The worldview of western culture is based on science—on physical principles which can be established empirically through experimentation and observation. This viewpoint originated after the Reformation when the first scientists—godly men—wanted to understand the orderly principles by which God created the physical world to function. People in the West were no longer living in ignorant fear and subject to the capricious superstitions of the Dark Ages.
Scientific understanding became the established paradigm of the West, leading to the Industrial Revolution and eventual world domination embodied by two centuries of colonialism over Third World nations by European powers which by then were Christian in name only.
Science of course has no room for “miracles” or the invisible world of the spirit which do not follow the empirically verifiable laws of science. Thus most people raised and educated in the West—whether believers or not—do not put their hope in the supernatural. Mainstream culture in the West openly denies the possibility of “miracles.” If we are sick, we will see a doctor. Believers who are sick will normally not expect the kind of instant miracle we read of in the gospels and Acts. If a born-again Christian recovers from a sickness, he or she will give thanks to God for the doctor and modern medicine. This is one reason the supernatural as recorded in the Bible is rarely seen in the West. Here there is little expectation or “faith” for the miraculous as seen in gospel accounts. (The foregoing is not meant as criticism, but as an observation.)
By contrast, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and idol-worshipers in the Third World still believe in—and in fact live in—the realm of the supernatural. Although they do not know the One True God, they do believe and have faith in the invisible realm of the spirit—whether by trusting in a witchdoctor, a mantra, an amulet, a medium, a local priest, or by offering a sacrifice to some local deity. They indeed have “faith” for some miracle. If they are desperate, some will seek a miracle from whatever invisible source might help them—even from Jesus Christ if given the opportunity. In this they are quite similar to the idol-trusting, sorcerer-dependent Greeks and Romans to whom the early disciples preached the gospel (Acts 13:6-12). At that time powerful miracles accompanied the preaching of the gospel leading many Gentiles to accept Jesus Christ.
The same does and should happen when properly trained disciples today preach the gospel in the Third World to resistant people groups which never had the opportunity to hear the gospel. When the sick among them have sought healing from sorcerers, priests and doctors and failed, in desperation they will seek out our workers. And when they are miraculously healed only in the name of Jesus Christ, they will turn to him and accept him as their only Lord and Savior.
The key is proper training for the harvest workers—training which must closely follow the ministry of Jesus and his disciples when they healed the sick and cast out demons in the gospels and Acts.
Generally, western-educated people will be less open to the miraculous than people brought up in a non-western culture. Moreover, the culture of western nations is based on Judeo-Christian values. According to a missiological perspective, they have already been “reached” for the gospel. The focus of the gospel has therefore shifted to nations and people groups in the Third World which have never heard the gospel. God is fair.
Moreover, the formerly Christian culture in the West is being taken over by “God-haters” as taught by Paul in Romans 1. Below is a report issued by The Blaze during the worldwide pandemic of 2020.
The words of 2 Peter 2:20 are being fulfilled.