Secularism and the illusion of neutrality

Do you know who you are and where you are going? The person with a postmodern mindset does not really know where they are and who they are, says Ravi Zacharias, one of this century’s noted thinkers and writers.

Everyone it seems is asking ‘what does it mean to be human…?’

Our twentieth century, far from being notable for scientific skepticism, is one of the most credulous eras in all history. It is not that people believe in nothing – which would be bad enough – but that they believe in anything – which is really terrible, said Malcolm Muggeridge.

 

Our culture no longer has a point of reference.

This denial of absolutes has had profound effects on all spheres of human life. The profound decline in trust between individuals, and corporations is a glaring example.

People who have always believed in absolute moral values and in a Creator God who loves them and has their best interests in mind have been seduced and brainwashed into believing anything but the truth, and the devastation is only beginning to unfurl as the years go by.

 

Marx and Kierkegaard were two key voices of the twentieth century. The curious thing is that though Marx purported to have an infallible scientific key to history, almost all his prophecies have failed to happen. On the other hand, Kierkegaard’s forecasts have been fulfilled to a remarkable degree. Take for instance his profound sense that if men lost the isolation, the separateness, which awareness of the presence of God alone can give, they would soon find themselves irretrievably part of a collectivity with only mass communications to shape their hopes, formulate their values and arrange their thinking . . .

What has secularism to do with this, you may well ask.

 

 

 

Figure 1 What do you really mean by Secularism?

 

First of all let us see what people believe in the present day and age.

Do you recognize yourself and your friend’s beliefs reflected in this poem, called the Modern Thinker’s Creed, by Steve Turner?


We believe in Marx, Freud, and Darwin We believe everything is OK as long as you don’t hurt anyone to the best of your definition of hurt, and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage. We believe in the therapy of sin. We believe that adultery is fun. We believe that sodomy’s OK. We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything’s getting better despite evidence to the contrary. The evidence must be investigated And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there’s something in horoscopes UFO’s and bent spoons. Jesus was a good man just like Buddha, Muhammed, and ourselves. He was a good moral teacher though we think His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-at least the one that we read was. They all believe in love and goodness. They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing. Because when you ask the dead what happens they say nothing. If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its compulsory heaven for all excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

We believe in Masters and Johnson. What’s selected is average. What’s average is normal. What’s normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament. We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed. Americans should beat their guns into tractors. And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good. It’s only his behavior that lets him down. This is the fault of society. Society is the fault of conditions. Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him. Reality will adapt accordingly. The universe will readjust. History will alter. We believe that there is no absolute truth excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds, and the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be the Father of all flesh, disaster is his rainbow in the sky and when you hear

State of Emergency! Sniper Kills Ten! Troops on Rampage! Whites go Looting! Bomb Blasts School! It is but the sound of man worshiping his maker.

 

I heard this today from Ravi Zacharias, and thought I would share it here. It parodies the polemic often heard today by residents of America’s [and other so called ‘developed’ worlds] Institutes of Higher Education, who have been raised in the last few decades under the State sanctioned beliefs of Secularism, and if they believe in God at all, it is one that effectively has one man blowing himself and others up to gain a sexual Paradise, while another is meditation on his navel to attain his version of such, through the annihilation of desire.

What were the steps in this slow decline of our morals, trust and security?

  1. Rejection of the beneficial transcendent moral authority of the Bible, which provides liberty with its necessary limits, with the immutable holy Creator as God.
  2. Increasing acceptance of the objectively baseless morality of secularism, which promotes everyone doing what it right in his own eyes (contra. Deut. 12:8), resulting in the most morally confused generation America and other so called developed nations has ever raised, open to the ever morphing degrees of immorality, with gaining carnal pleasures, possessions and prestige being exalted, and leaders who “by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:18).

This paradigmatic change may be seen to have manifestly begun with the 60’s sexual revolution, which the Left sees as a success, while we reap the fruits of its corruption. In no small part is the role played by new age philosophies [old wine in new bottles, exported from their lands of origin where they have failed miserably for centuries] which are contradictory at their very core.

I feel that Secularism has played a large role in the present mess we all find ourselves in.

Malcom wrote this poignant summary “So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.”

But Jesus does save sinners.

I do not know much about the author, British journalist Steve Turner, but he has some other Christian poems, such as this excerpt,

If Jesus was thirty today they wouldn’t really care about the public ministry, they’d be too busy investigating His finances and trying to prove He had Church or Mafia connections. The miracles would be explained by an eminent and controversial magician, His claims to be God’s Son recognised as excellent examples of Spoken English and immediately incorporated into the O-Level syllabus, His sinless perfection considered by moral philosophers as, OK, but a bit repressive.

If Jesus was thirty-one today He’d be the fly in everyone’s ointment- the sort of controversial person who stands no chance of eminence. Communists would expel Him, capitalists would exploit Him or have Him smeared by people who know a thing or two about God. Doctors would accuse Him of quackery, soldiers would accuse Him of cowardice, and theologians would take Him aside and try to persuade Him of His non-existence.

If Jesus was thirty-two today we’d have to end it all. Heretic, fundamentalist, literalist, puritan, pacifist, non-conformist, we’d take Him away and quietly end the argument. But the argument would rumble in the ground at the end of three days and would break out and walk around as though death was some bug, saying ‘I am the resurrection and the life… No man cometh to the Father but by me’. While the magicians researched new explanations and the semanticists wondered exactly what He meant by ‘I’ and ‘No man’ there would be those who stand around amused, asking for something called proof.

Ask yourself whom you would rather believe, the Creator God who gave us His very own life to purchase our freedom from the guilt, shame and power of sin, or fancy stories designed for itching ears which ought to have known better.

If you need any further prodding consider this classic rebuttal of the modern secularist thinker by Malcolm Muggeridge:

The greatest artists, saints, philosophers and, until quite recent times, scientists, through the Christian centuries, . . . have all assumed that the New Testament promise of eternal life is valid, and that the great drama of the Incarnation which embodies it, is indeed the master-drama of our existence.

To suppose that these distinguished believers were all credulous fools whose folly and credulity in holding such beliefs has now been finally exposed, would seem to me untenable; and anyway I’d rather be wrong with Dante and Shakespeare and Milton, with Augustine of Hippo and Francis of Assisi, with Dr Johnson, Blake and Dostoevsky than right with Voltaire, Rousseau, the Huxleys, Herbert Spencer, H.G. Wells and Bernard Shaw.

{Vintage Muggeridge, ed. Geoffrey Barlow, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985, 32-33}


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Quacks and Burkas

Imagine a Doctor advising a patient who has vomiting, to cover up all food and water in his home because the very act of looking at food makes him vomit, and vomiting is not good for health. What would you call such a Doctor? A quack, obviously! And you would ofcourse try to understand why there is vomiting in the first place, and treat it!

This brings me to a similar situation common to many parts of the world these days: covering up a woman in a burka or niqab to prevent men from lusting at them.

Why do some Muslim women wear burkas?

Raihan Ismail is a lecturer in Middle East Politics and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University. Dr Ismail spoke with 666 ABC Canberra to answer some common questions about the burka. The Koran calls for both men and women to ‘cover and be modest’ she said.

This is because being immodest can awaken lust, which is recognised as bad by most religions of the world.

So what is the only solution to the problem of lust?

The Bible tells us in simple and plain language that all of us were or are in this situation, following our heart and fulfilling the lusts of the flesh:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

The Bible also talks of a people transformed from within:

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

(Ephesians 2:1-10 NIV)

The answer to the lust problem then is not in covering up the objects of lust, but dealing with the lust within your own heart.

Easier said than done? Here is how it is possible:

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; the list goes on. (Galatians 5:16-19 NIV)

The Spirit of God is a wonderful gift that God gives to those who have repented of their sins and accepted the free gift of forgiveness offered by God through the substitutionary sacrifice of the sinless man Jesus Christ.

That is why the Apostle Peter could write two thousand years ago:

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:1-4 NIV)

God has created man and woman as precious, wonderfully different and yet equal in His eyes.

We all have been born with a default mode that is damaged, with the tendency to sin and lust. I am sure all of you have experienced that, in yourselves and in others.

Yet the amazing fact is that despite knowing us, God loves us, and has made the provision for us to ‘participate in His divine nature’, and overcome every evil in our hearts. The way is simple and effective.

So dear friends, do you feel that covering up women or the opposite sex is the solution to the problem of lust?

Religion tells us to follow rules and external conformity, hoping that will solve the problem of lust and other evils. God tells us to change our heart from within. You decide J