Birthrates And The Future Of Western Christianity
WHERE HAVE ALL THE GRANDCHILDREN GONE?
The first weeks of March were some good days in “Trump World.” First came tariffs on steel and aluminum with plants expanding, establishment Republicans mad, labor unions praising Trump, globalists Cohn and Tillerson out, Navarro on the rise, North Korea pursuing peace, and McCabe finally fired. Then came the spending bill controversy. All of this is well worth a political article of sorts. However, after reading a couple of recent articles in the American-run website Russian Insider. I was reminded of something much more important than pragmatic politics. It is regarding the realm of culture – the critical subject of birthrates in America and Europe and the survival of Western Christianity.
The first article quoted a famous Russian Orthodox priest, Dmitry Smirnov. Smirnov challenged his people to radically increase Russian birthrates for the survival of the Russian nation and culture.
The other article detailed the favorable results of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Federation’s combined effort to improve Russian birthrates and to advance Christianity in the lives of their people.
I sent these articles to a good friend who lives in the most Protestant Christian region of Iowa with a demographic dominated by prosperous middle-class Christians of central European ancestry.
Here was his immediate response:
I took my wife out to eat last night and the restaurant was rather busy so we ended up standing in line for several minutes before we could be seated. We were standing next to two couples who apparently knew each other from years back but had crossed paths and probably haven’t seen one another for ten years or more. The women were doing what women do, comparing notes on children and family. It was obvious they both had two children. The one lady was boasting how they have two grandchildren. When she turned to the other, she asked, “So how many grandchildren do you have?” In the saddest voice that we have probably ever heard, almost choking up, she said, “Oh, I don’t think we’re ever going to have any grandchildren with our kids.” When my wife and I sat down we commented on this and both agreed it was the saddest thing we’d heard in a long time. I almost wanted to turn to them and say “How have 50 years of feminism and the sexual revolution worked out for you? It doesn’t seem so harmless now, does it?” My other possible response was, “I have 22 grandchildren so far, can I loan you one for the weekend!” But I just bit my tongue and we sat down, reflecting on the sadness of it all. Now take that and multiply it by millions across America. God bless this Russian priest and his love for Christian children.
My friend’s analysis of the demographic issue of so few grandchildren is multiplied by millions of similar stories all across America. It is more than sad; it is a tragedy.
FEMINISM: A HARD TASKMASTER
He was also correct in exposing feminism and the sexual revolution as two culprits in creating the current mindset of the modern young American woman. She is a woman who has put family and children on hold for personal pleasure and career. The feminist worldview, along with birth control, free sex, and abortion, have been convenient aids in the creation of the new liberated woman who has rejected her Biblical and historical vision of a home, a husband, early marriage, and a large family. All of which, in the end, would have surrounded her with a joyful band of grand, and great-grandchildren, a lifetime of memories, and fulfillment as her days roll on to the passing of this life.
The feminist movement that started in the early 1960’s has been one of the most successful social revolutions in recorded history. Its success is measured in the transformation of the American family. The constant media psyop (psychological operations) and indoctrination have been tremendously effective in getting Western women to completely reject millenniums of historical traditions of family life replacing it with an entirely alien view of her feminine role in life and society. A young Christian woman must be strong in her faith to be able to resist the attractive lure of the feminist sales pitch which seeks to ensnare these gullible souls with a life of freedom, pleasure, achievement and of course empowerment.
The critical decade of her 20’s, when great families are created, is now spent on temporal things that fade like all other vanities. The modern woman spends her 20’s cheating Gods created order with personal driven activities of a job, amusements, multiple relationships, a new car, a dog, and travel, all of which in previous civilized societies were reserved for the time after her family was raised. These were often the best days in a married couple’s life; times of travel, personal pursuits and endless grandchildren events. The woman who buys into feminism in her 20’s will never experience this because she will not be able to get back that critical lost decade nor control her biological mortality.
A foundational doctrine of feminism is an “anti-baby” creed which views children as a nuisance and hindrance to the modern woman’s pursuit of perceived personal happiness. Volumes could be written on the tragedy of feminism, the suffering it has caused millions of women, and its massive destructive cultural ramifications. If an evil mind in some dark place could have ever invented a social philosophy that could ruin historic cultures and destroy whole civilizations it would be feminism.
But, the Christian reader must look beyond the proponents of radical feminism and consider the Biblical response and ask how such a destructive worldview was not effectively resisted and stopped by the Church, specifically by Protestants, who only a half-century ago had the ear of an important majority of Americans in the 1960’s-1980’s.
THE PROTESTANT PASTORATE: ASLEEP IN THE PULPIT
The radical feminist agenda that changed the American woman could have been quickly stopped and tossed in the dustbin of absurd ideas if Protestant pulpits across the country had risen to the challenge, routinely attacked it and gave their congregations the Biblical alternative of true Christian womanhood.
I ask the Protestant reader, when have you in your church life ever heard a series of sermons exposing and attacking feminism while presenting the contrasting Christian alternative? Or listened to an adjoining sermon series on the Biblical view of children in which your pastor challenged the young women to their historic call, to marry early and have large families? I have sat under 45 years of sermons and I’m still waiting.
So what has happened in the last half-century? Without a thorough Biblical alternative, our young Christian women have drifted along under the massive media propaganda campaign of feminism. They have ended up with a blended view of their calling, a view that has a little Christianity mixed with a lot of feminism. Many of these Christian women, with their compromised worldview will end up delaying marriage, and if they marry at all will have small families, many with just two children.
How Protestant pastors and the many family organization leaders could have allowed this to happen I do not know. Their timidity and irresponsibility to the truth and their calling bring with it a significant claim of dereliction of duty which they will have to answer to God. In the meantime, our Christian women, families, and churches suffer from this lack of leadership.
ISLAM’S SECRET WEAPON
We have all seen the images of Islamic men and clerics holding up babies to the sky declaring to Europe, “We will conquer you.”
Islamic leaders understand the great weapon they have in their birthrates and know that if they can get the smallest foothold in an egalitarian European country, in a few generations that country will become theirs. Their confidence of victory rests in the fact that their women have remained in their traditional roles as wives and mothers and have not succumbed to suicidal Western feminism.
They boast about how their high birthrates will overcome Europe yet European leaders sit paralyzed with no response or plan on how their culture and people can survive. Then again, no people can outlive the loss of their religion.
HOPE FROM EASTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA
One of the most amazing things to witness in our time is the Christian leadership coming from Russia and much of Eastern Europe calling for the resurgence of nationalism, culture, and family. A renewal of Christianity in these former Bolshevik controlled countries is fueling this new dynamic.
It is astounding to watch the re-formation of Christianity with the mutual effort of both civil government and the Church serving alongside each other in their national resistance to Islamic immigration and Western debauchery. It is as if God pressed the pause button on Russia in 1917 and the Eastern European countries in 1945 and then recently hit play, causing them to pursue their old faith and traditions without having to experience 60-100 years of Western religious apostasy, feminism and moral decay.
The joint cooperation of church and state reminds the Christian of the great Protestant Reformation where the magistrates walked hand-in-hand with the Reformers to advance Christ’s Kingdom and renew a Christian culture.
In Russia today the government is promoting a massive Orthodox Church building program in Moscow and other large cities so that their people can walk to church. The purpose of this government program is more than just advancing Christian traditions but also it is to increase birthrates. The government recognizes that citizens who come under Christian instruction are less likely to abort and more likely to pursue larger families.
In Vladimir Putin’s recent interview with Megan Kelly, she asked the Russian president, “what do you see as one of your greatest accomplishments as president?” He replied with comments on the doubling of the Russian economy and bringing millions of his people out from under the poverty line. Then he said this:
“Back in the early 2000s, our population shrank by nearly a million people a year. Can you imagine the scale of the disaster? Almost 900,000 people. We have reversed this trend. We have even achieved a natural population increase. We have very low infant mortality, and we have reduced maternal mortality to almost zero. We have prepared and are implementing a large-scale program of supporting mothers and children. Our life expectancy is growing at a high rate.”
Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, has a similar vision for his country. Half of Hungary’s media and banking is now Hungarian owned, after showing the door to the international bankers. The Hungarian leadership has also begun to elevate motherhood and encourage Christianity.
In Orbán’s February 19 State of the Union speech this year he declared:
“I believe that families form the unifying backbone of the entire country. I believe that everyone who commits to having children should be given all the support possible. I believe that mothers must be respected and honored. And I believe that if we do just this, then in the Carpathian Basin there will be more of us Hungarians, rather than fewer. I believe that we Hungarians have a future if we remain Hungarian: if we cultivate the Hungarian language, defend our Christian and Hungarian culture, and preserve independence and Hungarian freedom.”
Russia and Eastern Europe, with its vibrant renewal of Christianity, is providing worldwide leadership for the Church of Jesus Christ. Who could have seen this just 20 years ago? Is this not the work of God?
THE BAMBINO STRATEGY
Western Christianity must take notice of Eastern Europe and start strategizing for its own self-interest and survival.
Personally, I don’t have much faith in the modern Protestant pastorate to expose and root out feminism in their churches and to challenge women in their congregations to obey God’s commands. Many of these men seem more afraid of their congregations than God.
Much of the Christian school movement and especially homeschooling was promoted, not by timid pulpits, but by Christian mothers concerned for the welfare of their children. The same may be necessary for the renewal of the traditional Christian family. Young women must start to see through the destructiveness of feminism, and on their own, seek to honor God in their Christian calling and dedicate themselves to having large families.
The hope one day, before it is too late, is for future church leaders to take on this critical task and help mothers in the church with what I call the “bambino strategy.” There are so many ways that churches can support mothers in their congregations and promote Christian womanhood with their young women. The practical means of aiding young mothers with large families are endless, starting with instructional classes from the older women to babysitting services.
One idea for a large church would be to dismiss the minister of music and allocate his salary to mother and children services. This could be combined with a church-run adoption agency for women in the congregation who are unable to have children.
For the “bambino strategy” to be effective the local church leadership must see that we are in a demographic battle for the survival of our religion and must begin to promote an aggressive pro-family vision to the congregation. Such a church may lose some offended members, but many more will come when the word gets out of their positive actions toward motherhood and the Christian family.
We must continually remind Christian women of the blessings of motherhood. Two such accounts are found in the Bible. The first and greatest of all is Mary, the mid-teen woman from Nazareth who was chosen to bare the Christ Child. To her Gabriel declares:
“Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” —Luke 1:28
Another was to Isaac’s wife Rebekah:
“And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, ‘Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands, and may your offspring possess the gate of those who hate him!’ “ —Genesis 24:60
To the Christian woman who asks “I would love to be married and have children but where are the responsible Christian men?” I entirely understand your frustration and a proper answer would need five additional articles. But, since I am writing about birthrates, and we all acknowledge that women run the relationship, marriage, and baby business, I am obliged to address women first.
I have hope that the day will come when Christian women can recapture their historic roles as wives and mothers and glory in their Biblical calling and where a Protestant can arrive at church on any given Sunday and view rows and rows of families in pews filled with Christian children. It would be a day when families with four children would be considered small and many would have seven or more. Six would be the norm.
Before that day comes, Christian people must realize that they are in a war against the forces of humanism, a battle for their very survival. We will never win this war against humanism politically for God has ordained the role of civil government to be a limited one. In God’s sovereign plan with His people, we must never forget that culture always trumps politics.
True societal reformation must be religious in nature and go to the heart of where people live. When we witness the rekindling of the Biblical family among the people of God, it will be an indication that a new reformation of Christianity is coming to the West.
Young Christian woman, unto you is given a great gift that is unique to your gender; the ability to bring children into this world. It is a gift that comes with a high and honorable calling to be guardians of society and keepers of civilization. Will you take on this call like countless previous generations of women or will you drawback and embrace a life the world offers you free from self-denial and sacrifice with promises of personal fulfillment, convenience and comfort?
© 2018 Tom Ertl – All Rights Reserved
E-Mail Tom Ertl: [email protected]