The Church’s Role in National Decay

(Courtesy Open Clip Art Library)

By Spencer D Gear

At a time when Australia is in moral disarray, who decides what are the `right’ values for government, education, media and individuals? We live in a society that is wanting to throw out absolute, God-given moral values and replace them with the whim and fancy of individuals. The public square seems naked.

Chuck Colson, of Watergate fame in the USA, who became a born-again Christian believer, while speaking of the USA, stated in 1994, prior to September 11, 2001, that “the culture in which we live is nearly lost.” [1]  Secular historian, Will Durant, follows a similar theme when he states that “we will find it no easy task to mold a natural ethic strong enough to maintain moral restraint and social order without the support of supernatural consolations, hopes, and fears.” [2]  Francis Schaeffer’s response to Durant’s comment was:

    Poor Will Durant!  It is not just difficult, it is impossible.  He should have remembered the quotation he and Ariel Durant gave from the agnostic Renan in their book

The Lessons of History

    According to the Durants, Renan said in 1866, “If rationalism wishes to govern the world without regard to the religious needs of the soul, the experience of the French Revolution is there to teach us the consequences of such a blunder.” [3]

The Durants persist with morality’s link to faith: “There is no significant example in history before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.” [4]

    The hunger for the transcendent remains unabated. . .  The yearning for the spiritual just will not die. . .  There is no clearer demonstration of this unrelenting hunger than the experiences of Russia and China as each has, in its own way, tried to exterminate the idea of God, only to realize that He rises up to outlive His pallbearers. . .  The greatest question of our time must be considered: Can man live without God?  It must be answered not only by those who are avowedly  antitheistic, but also by the many who functionally live as if there were no God and that His existence does not matter.  [5]

If Australia is to be restored, God’s transcendent truth must be proclaimed, demonstrated and brought to bear on our society. Jesus said that this was essential for believers (the church) to be salt and light. Christians must stand up and be counted for God’s truth in allareas of society.


Crime and violence skyrocket; sexual promiscuity and venereal disease are rampant; the poor and homeless are marginal; who protects the unborn, the handicapped and the elderly? Daily I deal with rebellious youth and disillusioned parents. Sometimes they are care-less parents and fed-up youth. Where is the church? Singer and songwriter, the late Keith Green, nailed the problem when he sang that we are “asleep in the light”:

Do you see, do you see all the people sinking down?
Don’t you care, don’t you care?
Are you gonna let them drown?
How can you be so numb not to care if they come?
You close your eyes and pretend the job’s done. . .
He’s told you to speak, but you keep holding it in.
Oh, can’t you see it’s such sin.
The world is sleeping in the dark
that the Church just can’t fight,
‘cause it’s asleep in the light. [6]

David Wilkerson agreed: “The church of Jesus Christ is asleep.  Its shepherds are mostly slumbering or chasing after their own dreams. Only the sleeping church could have allowed the abominations now poisoning it.” [7]

The moral madness in Australia is worsening. For the average Aussie, life goes on as usual with few concerned about the awful danger we are in. Almost nobody is alarmed. Apathy has overcome the culture and the church. But that won’t stop the judgment that is coming.

The people of Noah’s day did not expect the catastrophe, but it came just the same. While we live in relative luxury, gross injustice is being perpetrated with the shedding of innocent blood. But what does a fat society and a sleepy church do? “Give us another drink!” South Australian Christian ethicist, John Fleming calls it “decaffeinated Christianity.” [8]  John Smith says we are a “delinquent church.” [9]

For Israel, it took a Lion’s roar through the true prophet, Amos. What will is take to awaken Australia’s Christians, let alone the culture? God has already given Christians His orders: “And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here(Romans 13:11-12).

It is time to wake up!!

The spiritual and moral danger we are in, are too critical to brush aside with, “She’ll be right mate!” The issues we face are too crucial. The destiny of people made “in the image of God” hangs in the balance. The direction of our nation is too pivotal for Christians to be casual and lazy when delivering God’s message. Christian preacher and writer with prophetic insight, John O. Anderson, challenges the church: “The lawyer’s mistakes go to jail, the doctor’s mistakes go to the cemetery, but the minister’s mistakes go to hell!” [10]


[1]  Charles Colson, “Foreword,” Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God?  Dallas: Word Publishing, 1994, p. x.
[2]  Will Durant, The Humanist, February 1977, in Francis A Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto.  Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1981, p. 45.
[3]  In ibid.  The quote is from Will & Ariel Durant, The Lessons of History.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 1968,  pp. 50-51.
[4]  Durant, ibid.
[5]  Ravi Zacharias, pp. xv-xvi.
[6]  Keith Green, “Asleep in the Light,” retrieved from “Frontlines” on June 10, 2002, at
[7]  David Wilkerson, Set the Trumpet to Thy Mouth.  Lindale, Texas: World Challenge, Inc., 1985,  p. 108.
[8]  In John O. Anderson, The Cry of Compassion: The Church’s Needed Voice in Today’s World.  Klamath Falls, Oregon: John O. Anderson, 1992, p. 67.
[9]  John Smith, Advance Australia Where?  Homebush West, NSW: Anzea Publishers, 1988, p. 211.
[10]  Anderson, p. 81.

Wake up from your slumber!

Copyright © 2014 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 28 October 2015.