How the West was lost – and what God’s people ought to do about it.

Mar 25, 2019 by

Interview with Bishop Gavin Ashenden (Pt 2), Prophecy Today:

Randall Hardy concludes his interview with Bishop Ashenden, who speaks about how believers can respond in these turbulent days.

RH: Many Christians, from a broad cross-section of Bible-believing backgrounds, are holding on to a hope that the secularisation of the West could be reversed. The bolder ones expect this to be the case. Do you see such hopes to be realistic?

GA: I’ve spent the whole of my adult life trying to reverse secularism in the West. I’ve done it energetically and I’ve done it in its heartland, which is the university where I spent 25 years arguing – enthusiastically and joyfully – for the Kingdom and for belief. I enjoyed tripping up my atheist friends with the weaknesses in their own arguments, but I have to say that no matter how many arguments I won, they didn’t often result in the change of the human heart.

If I look at the extent to which the churches have changed human hearts in the West, however, whatever you put it down to, we haven’t succeeded very well. So some of us can enjoy scoring points philosophically, but that isn’t the goal and it doesn’t achieve very much.

We ought to give some thought and pray for discernment to understand why we’ve lost so many hearts, but I think you have to take into account…the notion of spiritual conflict…and also the inevitable hubris of technological innovation.

I’d like to think that as time [goes] on and secular society [begins] to collapse under the weight of its own ambition and cleverness, we could [make] more impact on hungry human hearts. But long before that will happen, [I believe that] Islam will overtake us and we won’t have the opportunity.

RH: For centuries the Western church has considered itself to have a role in governing the state. Do you think this has been helpful in fulfilling its main mission? How do you think Christians can most helpfully engage with the state in the future?

GA: The role of Christians is always to Christianise people and, again, the human heart. The Gospels ought to have taught us the danger of hoping to produce a Christian state, because of the constant danger of imbalance between the life of the Spirit and the life of the flesh, speaking theologically.

So the best Christianity can do is to infiltrate and infect the state for good, but its influence grows and wanes. There have been times when we’ve done that very effectively, partly because our rulers have been hungry for God, and [there have been] times when we have done it very badly, partly because our rulers have had hard hearts. But it’s always ebbed and flowed. The great temptation is to imagine that we can capture the state for the Kingdom of Heaven, and that’s a category error.

Read here

Read Part 1 of this interview here


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