Barbara and I returned yesterday from a weeklong 40th wedding anniversary trip to Scotland. We traveled first to Glasgow, and then sailed to the Isle of Bute. We then went on to Aberdeen, rode through St. Andrews, and finished in Edinburgh. The people were all friendly and helpful. We had a wonderful time touring the castles, manor houses, and historic sites. Queen Elizabeth was in Edinburgh the day we arrived. We did not see her, but passed her local palace called Holyrood. She hosted a garden party that day. I guess she did not know we were in town as we did not get an invitation. We also enjoyed hearing the ubiquitous Scottish bagpipes wherever we went.
Of course, the old buildings were impressive. We think if something is a hundred years old it is ancient. But many of the buildings we visited were built in the 15th century or earlier. Most awe inspiring were the huge churches which at one time were the central focus of the Scottish culture. No longer so, sad to say. Many of the old cathedrals are now museums or tourist attractions. In fact, Barbra and I were both conscious of a lack of any real sense of spiritual life among the Scottish folks. Their main concerns seemed to be the September vote for independence from the UK, the World Cup, Wimbledon tennis, and drinking.
This brings me to the point of this blog. Scotland and most other European countries are totally in a post-Christian era. Sad to say, over the past century or so, Naturalism has gradually gained a near complete hold on Western Europe. Historic Christianity is all but extinct and Evangelicals are few and far between. The only real growing form of Theism, due to huge influxes of immigrants from the Middle East, is Islam.
The United States is headed down that same road. Our culture is rapidly decaying into a secular vacuum. Even many Christian churches are now embracing ideas and practices that a generation ago were unthinkable. It is frightening to think that into this void are rushing cults and non-Christian religions. The only real hope is a national spiritual revival, but, honestly, I am not optimistic. It may be that we Christians will need to prepare ourselves and our children for a rough ride in the future.