What is wrong with the world?


By DC Coetsee

Letter columns, commentators and ordinary people – just about everyone in the so-called Christian Western world complains about the decay of values, norms, standards, safety and general peace and welfare of people.

In the most powerful Western country, the USA, two candidates are fighting for the presidency – but even just 20 years ago, neither of them would have had a chance to qualify for perhaps the most powerful position in the world.

In our own country there is decay and chaos while the president in a state of the nation speech tries to drag the majority of the population along to continue to believe in “the good story” of the ANC government – preceded by a cheap display of official and personal flashy parades .

In the main “non-Christian” countries such as China, India, Russia, Japan and South Korea, life mostly goes on as usual. What is new are the surprising economic developments and increased living standards – which are the result of good education and acceptance of the typically Western standard of competence in every field as a non-negotiable condition for upward progress. Yet, especially in Japan, there are danger signs such as rising teenage suicides – the highest in the world.

What is the statement?

Seventy years ago, Francis Schaeffer predicted this decay and chaos because the “pillars” and “foundations” on which the bridge of Christian Western civilization rests are being undermined – as convincingly shown in 2019 by Tom Holland in his magisterial work Dominion and subsequently successfully defended in numerous debates.

Over that bridge, the inventions, values, practices and methods of the Kingdom of God were transferred worldwide for the welfare of mankind.

This “success story” is crumbling for two reasons.

First of all. In order to utilize, develop and sustain that “story” it is required that people’s hearts, minds and way of life be “renewed” by replacing the “desires of our sinful nature and of our thoughts” (Ephesians 2:3) with ” the law of the Spirit who gives life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2).

This is called regeneration “without which no one can see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

So, because the world was not taught to think radically right (in the sense of Romans 12:1,2) the garb of the Christian-Western culture was put on externally for the benefits – but the foundation on which this culture was built was the “sand” of comfort, prosperity and well-being instead of the “rock” of “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 7:22-24; 6:33).

Secondly. Secularism (originally deification of nature) has developed into a trend that aims to become the alternative culture and replace the Christian-Western culture. It is in its various guises, such as weeksLGBTQ+ and critical theories, conveyed to youth in its various forms through social media and almost the entire communication industry and education systems.

So what is wrong with the world? The answer is in Romans 1:18-32: The arrogant man did not honor or give thanks to God, but became foolish and exchanged the truth of God for their own god, themselves, and so it came about that the true God gave them up to their own desires.

Only true Christians can therefore understand what is wrong with the world – and also have the solution: “Therefore, while we have received an unshakable kingdom, let us be grateful and thereby serve God in a pleasing manner, with reverent submission and awe. For our God is indeed a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28,29).

Christians must proclaim that real certainty and hope to a broken and chaotic world.

  • DC Coetsee is a native of the Kalahari. He worked as a missionary for 40 years and is currently engaged in biblical counseling and training.