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American Life Without God
This post was a speach I originally delivered at the Mason County National Day of Prayer Breakfast- which is why it has the patriotic emphasis (appropriate for the 4th of July). Although I do think that our country was founded by various individuals who held a Christian worldview, I also think that in many cases it was a mixed bag of Deism, Christianity, Civil Religion, Free Masonry, etc. Paul said that when in Rome act as the Romans and so in delivering this speech I did not question the Christian origin of America, but rather drew from the quotes of the founding fathers who seemed to hold a Christian WV (at least at the time the quote was written). Regardless of what your point of view may be regarding the church’s relationship to the state (a very difficult issue), I encourage you to put that aside to understand the cultural problem addressed.
On the eve of the Revolutionary War, April 18th 1775, after a British major ordered John Adams and those with him to disperse in “the name of George the Sovereign King of England.” John Adams, who eventually became our Second President, replied “We recognize no Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!” Alexander Hamilton, a revolutionary war captain and the first Secretary of the Treasury, who is known as the “Ratifier of the Constitution,” stated “I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.”
These quotes are merely a sampling of what seems to be a plethora of evidence favoring the Christian origins of America. America, seemed to be lead by many of its founding fathers to embrace not only the reality of a personal God but a God who has revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. Patrick Henry, the “Orator of the Revolution” in a speech delivered on May 1765 stated, “It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
In fact, the majority of our country’s founding leaders I would suspect and the people who followed them considered the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness to be the pursuit of God himself.
In more recent days, however, this national commitment to the Christian faith has become more of a civil religion practiced by a culture of people who call themselves “Christians” but in actuality are practical atheists or relative pantheists.
This state of affairs has resulted because the secular worldview primarily embracing the philosophy of scientific naturalism, which denies the reality of God or at least His involvement in our world, has become more authoritative in modern society than any other worldview. This worldview has surfaced throughout history but has had more and more influence since the Enlightenment.
This secularism has significantly impacted our modern society much like a disease that penetrates the body. In this case, however, it has infected the mind. Like a sort of Mad Cow disease this worldview attacks the brain and central nervous system and leads eventually to the total loss of the power to reason. This disease is spreading and America is losing its mind. I could share with you some staggering statistics to illustrate the moral disintegration of our culture. However, for the sake of civility and to show the heart of the gospel, I would rather encourage those who “believe” to be more and more concerned that they show grace towards outsiders. That they make every attempt to season their communications with a flavorful salt. That they express to others that they have not forgoten their own corruption and falleness. For even our so-called works of goodness are like filthy rags to God apart from the grace of our redeemer, Jesus.
While our desire is to live and breath humility and grace, we can not be silent from questioning and standing up against the ideas associated with the secular worldview. For Ideas have consequences and secularism has as its logical fruit such political actions as the removal of the ten commandments from public buildings, the denial of prayer in the schools, the omission of God from the pledge of allegiance, and so on and so forth. Indeed the eventual fruit will be the omission of the Living God from all areas of public life.
This way of thinking which denies the reality of God gains its momentum by preying on the minds of men, women, and children who lack in their ability to discern truth from error. This worldview comes as a wolf in sheeps clothing- self professing its own validity because of its so-called compatibility with certain scientific obervations.
For example scientists tell us, as the secular worldview maintains, that the universe came from nothing and that it is headed for a heat death – That it is running out of its useful energy as it gradually expands. And that it is wearing out while it cools off, much like a wound up clock runs down.
If you recall, in the prophetic novel “The Time Machine,” H.G. Wells depicts the eventual outcome of a world wearing down. His time traveler visits the distant future to experience first hand the eventual and inevitable end of the world. It is cold and lifeless. Wells time traveler returned, but to what? He returned to merely an earlier point in the same purposeless rush towards oblivion.
And this is the heart of the secular worldview. If as it maintains that God is not there then both man and the universe are inevitably doomed to death. If there is no God and life merely ends at the grave then the individual human life is not qualitatively different than that of a swarm of mosquitos or a cock roach because their end is all the same.
According to contemporary philosopher, William Lane Craig, all we are in a world without God is “a miscarriage of nature thrust into a purposeless universe to live out a purposeless life… the same cosmic process that accidentally coughed us up in the first place will eventually swallow us up again.”
This reminds me of T.S. Eliot’s haunting lines:
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang
But a wimper
If this is the way the world ends as the secular worldview holds, that life merely ends at the grave, then it makes no difference in the ultimate sense whether one lives as a Stalin or a saint. Since our destiny is ultimately unrelated to our behavior, we might as well live as we please.
If there is no God as Dostoyevsky writes, then “all things are permitted.”
And this is exactly what is happening to America- Moral relativism in thought is ultimately resulting in moral evil in practice. And our once great culture has eroded into a culture now dominated by Mad-man disease. It is a culture which markets evil to our children as freedom and is what Christian author David Kupelian calls “a neopagan, Sodom and Gomorrah style freak show.”
I used to question whether or not it was such a big deal to remove the ten commandments from public life. But now I know, in light of what I have just mentioned, that this type of action has eternal significance. The removal of these laws is, in no small terms, an attempt by the Evil one to spread Mad-man disease and to destroy our individual souls and the once great soul of America.
James Madison, our fourth president, in an address he made in 1778 said that, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
Therefore, If we remove the Ten Commandments, then we have in effect replaced them with our own personal and subjective opinions. If we discard God’s law then we effectually erect our own law. For example, instead of the 2nd commandment “Thou shalt have no other gods besides me” we could replace it with the secular commandment- “There is no God, besides me.” Or instead of the third commandment “Though shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain” we could replace it with- “Take the Lord’s name in vain, in fact use it as a curse word. How about replacing “Thou shalt not kill” with “Though shalt kill- especially innocent unborn babies.
If you think this is extreme, let me remind you that it is simply the logical result of denying the reality of God and his moral revelation. It is clearly a potential reality of a culture which seems more and more determined to exclude the only Wise God from both private and public life.
Christ followers, I urge you to make every effort within your sphere of influence to halt the spread of Madman disease. Take a stand against this mindless worldview that is infiltrating and destroying our culture. For any society which so readily accepts a worldview that logically must admit no difference in the ultimate scheme of things between helping an old lady across the street or running her over is obviously gone insane.
Put on your mental and spiritual armor to do battle against this ideology that leads our culture and by extension our children to adopt a view of the world that cannot in principle answer the most important questions: What is my life all about? What should I live for? More importantly, what should I die for?
If madman disease continues to take over it will produce a society that has no good answer to these questions. In fact there would be no reason at all in the ultimate scheme of things, why I should not just end my life and get it over with.
That is why I am not shocked to learn that in 2003 1 person every 16.7 minutes killed themselves. In fact, in 2003 1 young person between the ages of 15-24 committed suicide every 2 hours and it was the 3rd leading cause of death among young people in America. And why not, it makes sense, if the youth are taught the secular worldview and learn that they are nothing but accidentally evolved animals with nothing but the grave to look forward to and that their life in the end has no ultimate significance Why would they try to endure the pain and suffering of this overly burdened world if they have no actual hope. In fact, suicide (if secularism is true) should not even be considered sad- for it would be survival of the fittest. If the secular worldview is right, then whatever is, is and the loss of life is not good or bad because in a world without God there could be no such thing as good or bad in the ultimate sense.
And unless we succeed, as a sort of vaccine against this Madman disease, our American culture will lose even the meaning of goodness and it will fall ever deeper into the abyss of relativism and contradiction. If, in the words of one writer, America has been great because she has been good, then America if she ceases to be good will inevitably cease to be great. How can we continue to be great if we have lost the meaning of good?
Christfollowers, we know the One who is the essence of both goodness and greatness. – The One who has shown us what is purpose, and meaning, and life. We have been born from above and have been transferred from the kingdom of this present darkness into the kingdom of His marvelous light. We serve and in reality are ambassadors of the King of Kings by whom all things were created and are sustained in their existence.
May we be salt and light in our culture to preserve it from further corruption and decay. Through the Light and Life who is Christ, let us be healed from and help others be healed from this mindless madman disease. By renewing our minds regularly in the Spirit may we shine like light among the darkness.
Remember the words of Isaiah:
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness
And the apostle John:
If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (even Madman disease)
I would like to close with a prayer that came from a journal written by our first president George Washington:
“O Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ, my merciful and loving Father…I humbly beseech Thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son and only Savior Jesus Christ who came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me.”
“Make me to know what is acceptable in Thy sight, and therein to delight, open the eyes of my understanding, and help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith, and repentance, increase my faith, and direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ the Way, the Truth, and the Life.“
America Honor Yahweh!