To escape from drowning, you have to swim in what you are swallowing. Churches in the West are drowning in Western values, drinking deeply without being able to swim in the muck they are drinking, let alone being able to escape.
Imbibing Western values is easy. Just sit there. Watch the telly. Get educated in our schools and universities. Read the paper. Just sit there, open up, drink it in.
Western values are so easy. Every individual has the right to self-determination—to be who they want to be; to choose what they want to choose; to do what they want to do. Of course, the unwritten law that limits this potential anarchy is that in the exercise of my freedom, I shouldn't restrict the freedom of another or harm another in any way. This all sounds so good—so eminently ‘liberal’ —so free and freeing.
The Bible, on the other hand, is so difficult (so they say). It is so ancient. (How can first-century values still be useful for the 21st century?) It is so complicated. (How can it be true if you have to think for more than a TV news sound-bite?) It is so discriminatory. (How can it deem certain behaviours wrong?) And besides all that, you have to deliberately plan to read it, study it, inwardly digest it; it doesn't just come at you out of every pore as daily life is squeezed.
After a while, the rot sets in. The values imbibed from the world just seem so ‘natural’—so right. When the Bible is read, you feel the clash. (But why does it say that? In fact, how can it say that?) The issue is not simply that the conclusions are different; it is more than this. Western values are drip-feeding into us. We don't even have to think about them. The Bible, on the other hand, forces us to think about life, the universe and everything. And that is quite demanding.
The Bible once gave the West its values. Western values are no longer Christian. If so, can Western Christians even think ethically any more? It depends upon what they are drinking in.