The Interceders Encourager No. 50
For years, we in the Western world have tended to look down on the countries of Eastern Europe as poor, backward and undeveloped. It is not surprising we have felt this way, as they were suppressed under communism for so long, and, in so many ways were held back from developing economically. Spiritually, however, the story has been very different, for during all the years of the Communist domination, the churches in many of the countries, not only survived but grew, for, as is well known, persecution, providing it is not too severe, unites, purifies and strengthens the churches.
So while the churches in the West have been declining over the last 60 to 70 years, the churches in Eastern Europe, (not completely, but generally), have maintained their numbers and, in many cases have grown. Furthermore, they have remained much more traditional and old fashioned than churches in the West. They have been less influenced by worldly ideas, unlike most Western churches. There is more respect for God's standards, causing people to wear their best clothes for services on Sundays, as was always the case in Britain. Men, women and children sit separately, which I noticed was a great help in getting everyone to concentrate on what is being said. The children are well behaved in the services. Choirs are still highly regarded. In the Baptist, Pentecostal and Brethren churches, more of their people attend evening services as well as morning services on Sundays, while traditional mid week services are also well attended. There is a stronger emphasis on preaching and obeying the word of God. Most of their songs are more old fashioned than in the West. There is a strong emphasis on prayer, people being asked to pray many times during the services. Members of the congregation pray publicly much more than is the custom in Britain. They pray standing or kneeling, not sitting lazily as do so many in this country. I specially noticed that at the church in Bistrita that I attended many times, that all the rows of seats had enough space between them to enable people to kneel on the floor to pray. Maybe there are some churches in Britain like that, but I haven't seen any. What I have noticed is that in Britain, where churches provide kneeling pads to use for prayer, that people generally do not use them. We have become very lazy in our attitudes and actions.
All of these tendencies in our churches, and many more, are a reflection of the ways that our societies have changed. Under the influence of prosperity and commercialization, our countries have become more secular, more dominated by consumerism, more shallow and more Godless. Consequently, we have also become more proud, thinking that we know it all, and should impose our ideas on the rest of the world.
The spearhead for all these ideas is the European Union, which is avowedly secular and anti Christian in its whole outlook. It has refused to allow any mention of God in its constitution, or to admit the Christian foundations on which our countries have been based. Consequently, it has left itself wide open to the influence of Islam. Muslims have been, and still are, drawn to the West, and especially Britain, by all the benefits we offer them, in the form of free accommodation, free medical services, free education, free social services, generous weekly payments, help with translation, etc. It is not surprising, therefore, that their numbers are increasing at an alarming rate through arranged marriages, through illegal immigrants, through our weak border controls and, above all, by their large families. While Western peoples are decreasing in number through having fewer children, Muslims are
having very large families, changing the whole nature and balance of our societies. They are building thousands of mosques, and setting up strong Muslim communities in every city. They are taking over financial institutions, as well as the food industry with their own regulations.
The Western governments, along with their legal and educational institutions, are afraid of Muslims, and dare not offend them, knowing that if they do, they will be threatened by extremists. The Western powers are not only afraid of Islamic reprisals, they have made it an offence for anybody to speak the truth about Islam, calling it 'hate speech,' while Muslims are allowed to say all kinds of hateful things about us, saying that we are their enemies, and they are going to destroy us, etc, without being arrested for doing so.
Thus the Western governments are actually clearing the way for Islam to take over. Our leaders have been deceived by "the evil one" into thinking that Islam is a peaceful religion. Because they have no spiritual understanding, they do not understand the thinking behind Islam, and what their aims and ambitions are, or are unwilling to think about it. Those who do understand the situation have realized that the numbers and power of Muslims are increasing so rapidly that unless they are stopped, they will start to take over in one country after another in Europe within the next two decades.
By way of contrast, the Eastern European countries , especially Romania, have been spared from this huge Muslim influx precisely because they are poorer than Western countries, and cannot afford to pay out any of the benefits to immigrants, or to their own people, that the richer countries do.
Moreover, Romania has other advantages over the West. As we have noted, it has a wonderful Christian heritage. It is not a Christian country, but it is still a very religious country, i.e. a Christianly religious country, with most Romanians having an allegiance to one of the Christian churches or communities, especially the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church in Romania has been growing ever since 1989. Many new church buildings have been built, and even now they say that a new Orthodox church building is being opened every three days! This has been accomplished through the government giving them land and money for building these churches, including a big new cathedral in Bucharest which is being built right next to the People's Palace put up by their former dictator. It will be the tallest religious building in South East Europe.
Furthermore, Romania is not only much more "Christian" than Western countries, even if most of the 'Christians' are regarded as nominal, it is also much less contaminated with secularism and influence from other countries. The whole country is much more homogeneous than we are with our 'multi- cultural society.'
As I thought about all this, I realized that Romania is in a special situation, though other Eastern European countries could also be a in a similar situation. It has not only been spared from many of the bad influences of secularism and from a Muslim invasion, but it has become one of the strongest "Christian" countries in Europe, so that it is in a uniquely privileged position not only to be a light in the midst of the spiritual darkness that is engulfing the West, but to be a spiritual powerhouse to wage war against the secularism and the power of Islam that have been taking over in Western Europe. I realized that God could
use Romania, and possibly other Eastern European countries, to stop the spread of atheistic secularism and anti Christian Islam, especially if they were encouraged and strengthened in their Christian convictions..
I have checked the official statistics regarding the countries in Europe that have the highest proportion of Christian believers, all having the majority of their population expressing a belief in the one true God, and where a high proportion of the people are associated with a Christian church of some kind. They are, in descending order of belief: Malta, Romania, Cyprus, Serbia, Macedonia, Russia, Greece, Poland, Montenegro, Italy, Switzerland, Moldova, Ireland, Portugal, Croatia, Andorra, Slovakia, Spain, Austria, and Liechtenstein. I am not saying that these countries are Christian countries, for there is obviously a lot of nominality in all of them. But no country in Europe has ever been Christian. They have all been taken into the Christian fold in a very formal way. The difference with these named countries is that a much stronger core of Christian beliefs has remained in them. All except one are Orthodox or Roman Catholic, so the people would all accept traditional Christian beliefs, including the Nicene Creed. Hopefully, they would all accept that there is only one true God, the God revealed in the Bible, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and would see the atheistic secularism and the anti Christian beliefs of the Muslims as diametrically opposed to what they believe.
Moreover, their countries still have a sense of national pride linked in with their Christian belief. Christianity is regarded as part of the social institution of their societies; which is so very different from the uncertainty, the secularism, the atheism, the agnosticism and the acceptance of multi-culturalism that has taken over in Britain.
So why should not all this be harnessed for God's purposes before it is too late? Why should the devil have his own way through the insidious secularism of the European Union? Why should there not be an alliance between these more Christian countries and the Christian peoples of Western Europe, so that together we make a strong defence of the Christian heritage on which Europe has been based, and challenge the secularists to come back to the one true God?
The countries of Western Europe need to be told that they have turned their backs on the God who has blessed them so bountifully in the past. They need to be told that they have betrayed the Christian heritage they have inherited from their forefathers; that they are full of pride, never acknowledging God publicly, or thanking Him for all He has done for them. They need to be reminded that they owe everything to God. He has given them their life, their strength and all their abilities. He has enabled them to find out things, to make progress, to be prosperous. They owe everything to Him but they have not acknowledged Him or honoured him as they should have done. They have refused to include any reference to him in their constitution, so it is not surprising that, as the Bible says, their thinking has become futile and their minds darkened. Claiming to be wise, they have become fools. They have become debased, promoting things that our forefathers would have regarded as disgusting. Not only have they allowed the practice of homosexuality, which God regards as an abomination, they actually advocate the teaching of it to children and young people, and prosecute those who stand up for what God has said. Marriage between a man and a woman is discriminated against through the tax system, while they condone people 'living in sin' outside marriage, and sanction sexual promiscuity by giving every possible help to unmarried
mothers. They allow 'marriage' between two men or between two women. They teach sex education in schools with no reference to marriage or morals. Through their policies aimed at breaking up families, the bedrock of an ordered society, they have created disordered, dysfunctional individuals and groups with no cohesion and no principles. By refusing to teach the ten commandments, and taking away corporal punishment, they have opened the doors to every kind of lawless and anti social behaviour. By refusing to execute murderers, according to God, the evil has not been purged from the land and the society, so our land and society are foul with the blood and the evil of thousands of murders. They have installed state lotteries, and thus promoted covetousness and caused poverty. By their policies on abortion, they are killing millions of unborn children every year. All this and more is confirming what God has said will happen when people reject the one true God, and why it is so necessary and so urgent that these proud, rebellious Western leaders need to be told the truth.
When the truth about God is declared to them, it must be made very clear that this is not just an idea or an opinion of man but the truth of the one eternal God, before whom every one of these leaders will give an account. All other religions are false. Christianity is the only revelation of God in human form, for Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, not just a way or a truth, and there is salvation in no one else. This has been proved through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and all the miracles that have been done in his name ever since, and all the revivals that have taken place throughout Christian history, the times when God has shown His power in supernatural ways. No other religion can claim such a record.
Therefore these proud Western nations need to be called to account, just as Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar needed to be called to account, and to acknowledge that there is only one true God, who created all things, and will bring all things to a conclusion when "He will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom He has appointed, and of this He has given assurance by raising Him from the dead.".
You may well be wondering why we should be thinking of these nominal Christian countries and groups, which are nearly all Orthodox and Roman Catholic. Evangelicals traditionally look down on these groups, saying that they are not real born again Christians. That may well be the case, but it is worth noting that the Roman Catholics in Britain have often been at the forefront in maintaining Christian standards, while we have heard very little, if anything, from the so called evangelicals. Many times they have put others to shame by their outspoken criticism of our anti Christian political leaders. So why should not their defence of Christian beliefs and practice, along with that of the Orthodox leaders, in all the countries of Europe, and especially in the ones where they are in the majority, be brought together and harnessed for God's purposes?
Some people may remember that at the time of the Reformation, Luther was told he should not be dividing the Church but uniting it against the threat of Islam. Luther took no notice, but there was a big difference then. The armies of the West were prepared to defend Europe against the Muslim invaders, and did so. Today, no such situation exists. Western Europe is spiritually asleep. They have no idea of the real aims and strength of Islam, and if they had, they would not know what to do, for it is an enemy within our own ranks. Our political leaders can react to direct attacks of terrorism, but they are unable to deal with the spiritual forces behind Islam. Only the power of the one true God is able to deal with that.
So instead of us bemoaning the increase in secularism and the increasing power of the anti Christian E.U. over our lives, and that Muslims seem to be having everything their way, and Christianity is being marginalized more and more, should we not be praying and acting to get Romania and the other countries in Europe who do not agree with the godless secularism of the European Union and the anti Christian forces of Islam, to join forces with us spiritually against the E.U. so that pressure is brought to bear upon them from many different parts of Europe, especially the East, to change their ways? They need to be told very clearly that they have been going in the wrong direction. In their man made wisdom, they have rejected the Christian heritage on which Europe was based, and opened themselves up to a virulent, anti Christian and anti democratic Islam that is opposed to everything they hold dear, and the only way to avoid the judgment of God and/or the takeover of Europe by Islam is through admitting their failures and getting back to the one true God, for He would then be able to bless them in so many ways.
There is also a time factor involved in this. Over the past twenty years, there has been increasing secular and political pressure from the West, from television, and from the internet to make Romania and the other named nations more secular and less 'religious;' and they have been successful to a large extent, especially among young people. So it is urgent that these countries have every help and encouragement given to them to resist these changes and make their countries spiritually stronger, so they can be used to lead this fight against secularism and Islam in Europe.
How could this come to pass?
a) By praying for these majority Christian nations, and the churches and communities within them, that they will stand strong, and will become spiritually stronger
b) By praying that these countries come together to form an alliance to stand together for God and His truth, and to be a double spearhead against the forces of secularism and Islam.
c) By writing, phoning, etc., to explain the urgency of the situation to them, and the great possibilities for the future.
d) By writing, phoning, etc, to get these same nations to come together and act together for the glory of God by telling the Western European nations, (the ones not on the list), that they have rejected and dishonoured their Christian traditions, and should get back to them as quickly as possible before it is too late, as this is the only answer to lawless secularism with its selfishness, its immorality, its dishonesty and its crime, and the only answer to the threat of Islam.
Could it be that part of the answer to our prayers for Britain is the forming of this pro Christian alliance across Europe, turning the tables on the atheists, the agnostics, the secularists and the Muslims and all the anti Christian forces arraigned against us?
I have drafted out letters that could be sent to various leaders, but at this time, I am simply asking you to think and pray about these things, as to what is the right thing to do.
Is it not time to be much more jealous for the name and reputation of our God, which have been maligned and rejected by so many in these days, and to use every opportunity to stand for Him and support those who do so?