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Francis A. Schaeffer Predicted Today's Manipulating Authoritarianism

 ...something has happened in the last sixty years [1920's to 1980's]. The freedom that once was founded on a biblical consensus and a Christian ethos has now become autonomous freedom, cut loose from all constraints. Here we have the world spirit of our age – autonomous Man setting himself up as God, in defiance of the knowledge and the moral and spiritual truth which God has given. Here is the reason why we have a moral breakdown in every area of life. The titanic freedoms which we once enjoyed have been cut loose from their Christian restraints and are becoming a force of destruction leading to chaos. And when this happens, there really are very few alternatives. All morality becomes relative, law becomes arbitrary, and society moves toward disintegration. In personal and social life, compassion is swallowed up by self-interest. ...when the memory of the Christian consensus which gave us freedom within the biblical form is increasingly forgotten, a manipulating authoritarianism will tend to fill the vacuum. At this point the words "right" and "left" will make little difference. They are only two roads to the same end; the results are the same. An elite, an authoritarianism as such, will gradually force form on society so that it will not go into chaos – and most people would accept it.

As evangelical, Bible-believing Christians we have not done well in understanding this. ...Sadly we must say that very few Christians have understood the battle that we are in. Very few have taken a strong and courageous stand against the world spirit of this age as it destroys our culture and the Christian ethos that once shaped our country.

Excerpted from
The Great Evangelical Disaster
Copyright 1984
by Francis A. Schaeffer
Published by Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Westchester, Illinois 60153

Library of Congress Catalog Number 83-73125
ISBN 0-89107-309-4 (cloth edition)
ISBN 0-89107-308-6 (paperback edition)