From time to time I have written about some of what I call the ‘Straws’ blowing in the winds that are rapidly changing Australian culture. Such ‘Straws’ are indicators of the increasing de-Christianisation of society, paralleled by a rising rejection of, and hostility to, the Church and Christians in general in every aspect of public life. However, two more recently observed ‘Straws’ are worthy of comment.
The first one I encountered was when a new bookshop opened in the local shopping centre a few weeks ago. I happened to be walking by the new shop one day and being a book ‘nut’ decided to have a look inside.
One of the sections that attracted my attention was marked ‘Spirituality’ so I had a closer look. There was large numbers of all sorts of books on offer- many on Eastern spiritualities, New Age religions and Post-modern pseudo-spiritual ‘help’ books. I decided to look to see if there were any Bibles and initially was unable to see any. Then I spotted it, yes, a singular ‘it’. One lone Bible on the very bottom shelf so you had to almost get down on your knees to see it, almost as if the owner didn’t expect to sell it! Only one copy of, what is still the most widely produced book in history, the book that has shaped western civilization, amongst a sea of multiple copies of ‘alternative’ spiritual offerings.
Then there was the second ‘Straw’, the Light, or more correctly the Light that was nowhere to be seen!
In recent years there has been a trend of house owners in our street decorating their properties with lights over the Christmas season. However, none have any indication of what Christmas is about. So we decided to join them this year but to put up a light display with an obvious ‘Christian Christmas’ theme to it (‘Christian Christmas’ would have been a tautology once but sadly no more!).
So off I went to a major hardware store where I knew there was a large electrical department to get my ‘real Christmas’ lights. On arrival I found that the store had a great range of lights in a special ‘Christmas lights’ section. I was sure I would be able to find what I was looking for.
What I actually found were many ‘Party’ lights and a great selection of ‘Santas’ in all sorts of colours, also Reindeer and sleighs in plentiful supply, as well as Christmas trees and ‘Rudolphs’. However, anything remotely connected with the Christmas story, a nativity scene, a Mary and Joseph, a manger or even the odd King or two, was not to be found. It seems that Jesus has disappeared from the Christmas scene.
These recently encountered ‘Straws’ are just two more indicators of the spiritual darkness falling on our society as the winds of a new paganism blow through and reshape every aspect of society. These winds are strengthening as the evacuation of Christ from every aspect of both public and private life, specifically ‘Christmas’, continues apace.
This has massive, and catastrophic, implications for future generations, specifically our children and grandchildren, yet it seems most Christians seem unaware of, or are just not prepared to engage in the urgent missional task that is the only way to stem the ‘Barbarian’ advance.
The ‘Straws’ blowing in the spiritual winds tell us that Christians need wake up to what is happening, for we are losing the war. The urgent need is that those of us who have received the Grace of the Christ-Light being shone in our hearts redouble our efforts to shine that Light into the descending darkness around us. This means taking every opportunity to do so, in both word and deed, at work, school, university, our recreational pursuits, in fact in every place we encounter others.
The ‘Straws’ (spiritual indicators) blowing in the ‘Winds’ of our time are many. However, the ‘Winds’ are now becoming Gale-force.