From Jesus to Religion Chapter 9 Distancing through Philosophy

Chapter 9

Distancing Through Philosophy

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Col 2:8).

In our study, we have been noting concepts that have distanced God from the ordinary man and his everyday experiences. I have done this by showing these concepts as symbols of mediation that hinder a personal relationship, or what we have called an Abba (personal) relationship, with God. It is my contention that much of what is called the Christian religion in the West, falls into this category of distancing symbols. In other words, they are symbols that tend to remove God from the everyday experiences of the common man. In our study we have noted some of the chief or master symbols of religion that have distanced God. So far in this study, we have looked at the symbols of law, holy men, institutions, ritual, and icons. In this chapter, we are going to look at a symbol that is closely linked with the symbol of law and institution, that is, the symbol of philosophy or human wisdom.

I will begin by giving a definition of how I will be using the term philosophy. In our study we will use the term to apply to a discipline that seems to have as its goal, a systematic explanation of the world and in some cases, even God, which is based on human observation and human logic. In ancient times, this discipline was more theistic than in modern times and was one of the important factors that influenced the worldviews of both Christians and pagans. In fact, it is commonly accepted today that much of Western Christianity can trace at least one of its many roots to the philosophy of Aristotle.

The early church engaged in Greek and Roman philosophy when it began to take the gospel of Christ into the world of the Gentiles. The early church engaged these disciplines with great caution, a caution that was later thrown to the wind as the church became more worldly and institutionalized. However, the question is, how did the church get sidetracked into a quest for human wisdom, a quest that would move it away from its center, Jesus Christ and the everyday experiences of the common people? There is no simple answer I can give as to why the church got entangled in the wisdom of this world, other than to point out it lost connection with its Head, Jesus Christ. Of course, if you lose your head it can be a very serious problem. But we still come back to the question as to what caused it to move away from Christ.

There is no doubt that one of the greatest factors in this movement away from a simple faith toward worldly philosophy came out of the polemics that early Christians had with pagan intellectuals. The first century church proclaimed Christ in a style that we might call affirmation, affirming that Jesus was the Christ and then proving it from the Scripture and the personal testimony of those who had witnessed the resurrection. However, as time went on the church found itself in polemics with some of the great thinkers of the world and felt that it must engage these men on their own ground. In order to do this, the church would have to synthesize the world of the philosopher with the world of Christ. This all began with a noble effort to wrap the gospel in a language that could be understood by everyone, even the educated. In fact, we see this very thing in many of the New Testament writings. Most writers of the New Testament tried to use language that their readers were familiar with and could easily be understood by everyone. However, there is one great difference between New Testament writers and those of later generations and that is the former knowingly subverted the words and concepts of the world making them point to Christ, while the latter subverted the teachings of Christ with worldly wisdom in order to remake the gospel. Their motives for this were many, but one of the foremost was their desire to attract the intellectuals of the age and make it easier for the carnalminded masses to accept the gospel. Of course, this remade gospel often reflected the spirit of the age more than Christ.

Religion of the Educated

When it was seen that philosophy could be integrated with this new faith (though it completely subverted it) the faith became attractive to many of the highly educated. We need then only to note that the highly educated have, by their very nature, a will to power and would rise to leadership in the church. We then gradually see Christianity become the religion of the educated and the scholar. In a matter of a few centuries, a movement that was started by a carpenter and a group of fishermen filled with the Spirit, had become an institution controlled by the highly educated and the elite of society. When this happens, it becomes very hard for the poor and uneducated to maintain their place. So we can see that Christianity became a religion of the head instead of a religion of the heart. In this, the common people were once again distanced from God, as the knowers and their body of knowledge were placed between God and the common people. As the body of knowledge grew, it continued to distance the uneducated, poor, and the common man from God while at the same time it continued to give more and more authority and status to the highly educated clergy and their institutions. This gave them the leisure to study and write. Without their awareness, the church, in fighting the philosophies of the world was itself becoming the very thing it was fighting.

The Lust of the Knowers

There is little denying that another factor in this subversion was the lust that intellectuals have for recognition by their peers. It seems that Christian intellectuals have always had the propensity to feel they must justify their beliefs to the worldly knowers. In order to do this, they seem to believe they must take the latest secular theories and synthesize them with the faith, not realizing or maybe not caring, that most of these theories have paganism as their root. This lust for intellectual respectability, coupled with man’s tendency to build systems of beliefs, all add up to radical subversion of the gospel and the distancing of the common man from the true Christian gospel.
141How Forms of Mediation Have Subverted the Christian Faith

Roy A. Clouser has written an excellent book pointing out how irreconcilable most human theories are to a Christian worldview. His book is entitled The Myth of Religious Neutrality: An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories, (University of Notre Dame Press). In his book, Clouser shows how all theories have as their foundation, a religious belief making many of them totally irreconcilable to a Christian worldview. This book is long overdue, and I highly recommend it.

Love Affair with Human Reason

In the exaltation of the knowers in the Christian community, I also see the beginning of the church’s love affair with human wisdom and reason. The immediate effect of this love affair was that the church began to interpret knowing God as a cognitive function instead of a relationship that was based on man hearing and obeying the Word of God. Instead of hearing and obeying, the church began to think that its major purpose was to analyze God and Scripture under the microscope of human reason. Of course, this in essence sets human reason up as the judge of God’s Word instead of God’s Word judging human reason. The devastating effects of this love affair with human reason would not be totally realized for over a thousand years, until the time of the Enlightenment, when human reason would be deified and revelation totally rejected. This was because it could not be squeezed into a naturalistic paradigm of the Age of the Enlightenment.

This love affair with human reason also contributed to the greatest hindrance of true faith. That is the belief that correct knowledge or theology is true faith and everyone who does not have the right theology or knowledge is lost. It is evident from the Gospels that this was not the view of faith held by Jesus. To Jesus, true faith trusted Him and His relationship to the Father. This is seen in Jesus ascribing true faith, sometimes great faith, to a Samaritan, a syrophoenician woman, and a Gentile centurion. None of these people had the right knowledge of God or what we might call today an orthodox theology, but who would argue that they were not saved by faith? When faith is reduced to knowing the right ideas or doctrines then it is subverted. Through this subversion, faith is reduced to a work of man, which can be produced by one man teaching another. However, Jesus pointed out to one religious leader that the true faith is a work of God and comes from above (John 3:1-5). Human effort can produce church members and members of a sect, but it will never produce true Christians, a lesson that our church growth friends have yet to learn.

Devastating Effects of Success

Needless to say, all this could not have happened in isolation from other factors that were happening at the same time in the church and in the cultures it was entering. Its very success was one, if not the chief factor, that opened its doors to worldly philosophy. As Christianity grew in popularity, its social status grew as well. It soon found more and more educated and upper class people entering its ranks. These educated and social elite who had entered the church found it very difficult to reconcile their interests, ambitions, and life styles with the simple faith proclaimed by Jesus. Most of these people were accustomed to the showiness of pagan religion and culture that found Christianity somewhat plain and drab for their taste. How could the pretentiousness of pagan religion and society be synthesized with the Jesus of the Gospels? Of course, the answer was to turn to the philosophers, who by this time had become the theologians of their time. It became the job of the theologians to put together two things that were the direct opposite of one another and totally inimical to one another, which is the radical teaching of Jesus Christ and the life style and beliefs of the pagan masses. This endeavor would take a highly educated type eager to please the status quo and the institutions that provided them the leisure to study and write—institutions that were controlled by the rich and highly educated.

It is only recently that theologians have been willing to point out the inconsistency between human cultures, the church, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. The reason for this newfound bravery is not a renewed desire for the truth, but rather most of these men now work for a university that is no longer controlled by the churches. Thus, there is no longer fear of the loss of one’s position. However, the lower clergy still vehemently maintain the status quo of their sects, culture, and their institutions against the plain and radical teachings of Jesus.

In order to maintain this synthesis between the world and the teachings of Christ, the church would have to also create institutions that could socialize the lower clergy whose main function is and was the socialization of the unconverted masses who had entered the church. In this, the church be
came a major player in the general socialization of Western culture, a role the Lord never intended it to take on, but one that it has laboriously tried to maintain. In this role the church was reduced to the handmaiden of Western culture. As long as it maintains this role it will continue to compromise the radical teachings of Jesus in order to stay in the favor of Western culture. It must do this out of necessity, for the masses that comprise this group are not willing, nor do they have the power, to conform to the teachings of Jesus. In this hybrid form, the church will continue to compromise until it recognizes that it cannot institutionalize Jesus, nor can it teach the ethics of Christ to those who do not have the Spirit of Christ. Unfortunately, the church is in such a deplorable spiritual state that it can no longer discern who has the Spirit and who does not.

A New Reformation

In order for the church to experience a new reformation, it must be willing to forsake the model of the philosopher (the knower) and again assume the model of the hearer and receiver as it relearn how to listen to the voice of God. It must humble itself and recognize that the Spirit and knowledge of Christ is not imparted like worldly knowledge. The true knowledge of Christ can only come through the work of the Spirit and is a supernatural working of God that cannot be reproduced by man, nor analyzed by man, much less reproduced by some formula, even a Biblical one. You see, God refuses to be systemized and one will never invoke God’s favor by submitting to a system or a formula of salvation. God is not in a formula. He is in Jesus Christ and can only be found by those who earnestly seek Him through a true faith that is expressed through love and obedience to Christ. This faith is a simple faith and is available to all who call on God out of a pure heart.

All of this is not to say that God does not use educated men to proclaim and do His will. Through the centuries God has always used both educated and uneducated to proclaim and fulfill His eternal purpose. However, the danger of human wisdom or knowledge is expressed numerous times in the Scripture. The apostle Paul gives us this warning, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Col. 2:8). We need to take note of the fact that in this text the apostle does not condemn all philosophy, but rather is warning his readers of a philosophy or religion that does not have Christ as its center and foundation. Philosophy in itself is not wrong, but when people start with an ideology that is founded on something other than Christ, it can only lead to the moving of Christians away from their first love. Christians must be cautious whenever they touch the world, but especially careful when they touch the secular, religious ideologies and philosophies of the world, because these things have demonic powers to move the unstable and immature away from Christ. However, this gives rise to a real problem, which is, that the knowers among us never view themselves as unstable and immature, for to know, in their thinking, is equal to maturity and spirituality.

Faith and Knowledge

The basic difference between the Christian system and that of worldly philosophies is the former is based on faith while the latter on logic and knowledge that has been gathered through observation and human learning. Thus, philosophy has at its foundation, observation and human deductions about the observations. This is equally true in much of Western theology where deductions are drawn from the observations of others, which are often generations removed from the first witnesses. In contrast, faith is based on revelation or illumination. No one will ever find the true God purely by human observation or learning, for God is a God who hides Himself from the eyes of men who do not have the Spirit to seek Him through simple faith. If you recall, it was the knowers who did not know Jesus. I could go so far as to ask the question, does a belief that is founded on observation and human logic really constitute a Biblical faith? Can human knowledge of any kind ever add anything to true faith or is theology simply faith trying to understand itself? Did a faith founded on observing the miracles of Jesus survive the test of true faith? We can gather faith that is based on evidence or human deductions alone is not faith, but rather knowledge, and knowledge that is based on empirical evidence is not faith, but is rather a certain kind of knowledge. It is a soulless knowledge that has very little to do with what we would call true faith. This may help us to understand why Christians are called believers instead of knowers. Of course, the knowers among us hate to hear this kind of talk because this puts them on the same level as us common folks who must depend on simple faith and the working of God.

Two Kinds of Faith

We need to look at the word “faith” anew. For many, the word seems to carry a vagueness and uncertainty about the thing that is in view. However, when the word is used in the Bible for the faith of a Christian, there seems to be a certainty involved (Heb. 11:1). I propose that faith for the Christian is an imputed faith which carries with it all the certainty of any other form of knowledge. In other words, faith is just another way of knowing. But it is surely a different way of knowing.

In the Scriptures we can find the word faith used in a number of ways. It is used to describe the weak and often uncertain human emotion which is very similar to a wish that contains a certain amount of doubt and lack of trust. It is also used to denote a purely intellectual recognition. Both of these kinds of faith seem to be based on human observation and empirical evidence and are spoken of as something less than saving faith (John 12:42, James 2:19). This kind of faith might be compared with a theory in the natural sciences. It is based on evidence, but is not yet proven beyond a doubt. Therefore, it cannot be viewed as absolute knowledge. However, when the evidence gets strong enough, the theory then is spoken about as fact even if it has not been absolutely proven. Why should we expect anything different in the area of faith? If faith is just another way of knowing, should we not expect it to reach a point of absolute knowledge? However, this is not a Biblical faith. For this faith is still the work of man and lives with the fear that new evidence might overthrow it. Therefore, it is constantly trying to prove itself and defend itself from new knowledge or theories.

We could go so far as to say, a faith that is based on facts, evidence, and human deductions about the facts, can never be certain. Therefore, it cannot be called knowing. Yet the Bible says Christians can know through the Holy Spirit (1Tim. 2:20-27). It cannot be denied that God uses facts, evidence, and human reason to communicate to humans. However, the certainty of this knowledge only can come through the Holy Spirit. We hasten to point out that this knowledge that comes from the Spirit is limited to confirming and knowing that Jesus is the Christ (John. 14:21). It does not guarantee infallibility on every religious subject under the heavens. What it does guarantee us is that Christ will be formed in the hearts of the true believers and they will be transformed into His likeness by the power of the Spirit. It also confirms our inheritance as God’s children (Rom. 8:16).

It is obvious from just a casual reading of the New Testament that there are two kinds of faith exemplified in the disciples’ experience of faith. We see them placing their faith in Christ early in His ministry. This faith was based on the mighty acts that they saw Him perform (John 2:11). However, it was not a faith that was void of doubt and uncertainty. This kind of faith we might call a worldly faith, for it is the kind of faith of the carnal Christian or earthly man. But who would contend this was the same kind of faith that these men had after they received the divine life of Christ to live in them? After the giving of the Spirit to these men, they never seemed to have any doubt or uncertainty in their faith. Some may respond by saying it was the resurrection that gave them this assurance. Yes, but only in the sense it was the event that enabled the Lord Jesus to give the Spirit. Absolute faith does not come from empirical evidence. If it did, the disciples would have had it before the resurrection. No group of people in the history of the earth had as much empirical evidence as the disciples. Yet they doubted. What changed their faith? Was it more empirical evidence in the form of resurrection? No, it was the divine life, which carried with it the faith of Christ that changed them and gave them an absolute faith that was not really theirs, but the faith of their Lord (Gal. 2:20 KJV). This kind of faith we could call the faith of the heavenly man, for it is the faith of Christ and is supernatural because it comes from above (John 3:1-5).

All true Christians who have the Spirit of God in them, have at some time, experienced this absolute faith to some degree. However, for many it is a fleeting experience, for their flesh soon drives it out. This happens when they decide to walk in the flesh instead of the Spirit. When a man is living in the Spirit, he is living in and by the divine life God has put in him, and by the faith of Christ, which is a part of that divine life of the Father. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20, KJV). When a man is living by the faith of Christ in him, then he will have a certainty of faith and the assurance of salvation (1 John. 5:13).

One great thinker of the Christian faith found the secret of true faith one night when he was alone with God. He wrote of his experience with God on a small piece of paper and carried it in his coat pocket. A friend found it after his death. The note read: “In The year of Grace, 1654, on Monday, 23rd of November, Feast of St. Clement, Pope and Martyr, and of others in the Martyrology, Vigil of Saint Chrysogonus, martyr and others, from about half past ten in the evening until about half past twelve in the evening FIRE, God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob not of the philosophers and scholars. Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.” This was written and experienced by the father of modern physics, Blaise Pascal. You can see he found the secret of true faith.

Faith and Love, the Handmaidens of Knowledge

When the church reduced faith and love to the handmaidens of knowledge, it began to believe that faith could be captured and put into systems that are at the command of the knowers. Then it is assumed that if you can find the right system, you can make sons of God or restore the church by simply imparting the right knowledge or system. When this happens, the faith becomes subject to man, his reasoning, and his methods instead of man being in subjection to faith. Time and time again, I have watched preachers run carnal men (sometime small children) through what I call the Christian machine (their systems) thinking that they were producing Christians, only to find a different kind of carnal man coming out on the other end of their machine. Thus we have only a carnal man who then has all the self-righteous and moral biases of a religious man added to his other carnal ones. They go in as carnal men who believe that they are lost sinners and come out carnal men who believe they are righteous and saved and, of course, proud members of a sect. In this experience they receive their first vaccination against Christ and true faith. When this happens the masses are Christianized, and Christianity is paganized. In essence, we have just drawn a picture of the church growth movement with all of its methods, programs, and systems. When knowledge is exalted, we also begin to see a subtle shift from sin being the problem of mankind to ignorance being the problem. This amounts to a tremendous shift in emphasis, for the sickness will determine the cure. If the problem is ignorance, then men have some control over the problem. However, if the problem is personal sin and spiritual powers outside of man, then mankind has no control over the problem and must face his finitude, which is the very thing that the knower refuses to do. On the other hand, if sin is the problem, it would seem that the cure would be an emphasis on prayer and confession of one’s finitude, which are symbols of man’s dependence on God.

Philosophy and Division

Another problem that the church has experienced from a philosophical mindset is that it wants to analyze and divide things which should not be analyzed or divided. In short, it seeks to understand things by breaking a thing down to its basic elements and then attempting to analyze the pieces, believing that when it understands the pieces, it will have a better explanation of the whole. Though this method may be fine for science and philosophy as human disciplines, when it is applied to the things of God; it opens the door for a legion of demons to enter the faith. One of these demons is that men seem to easily lose sight of the whole and in turn become preoccupied with the pieces.
When this happens, people begin to lose sight that the whole is Jesus Christ and they drift in all directions, often focusing more on spiritual subjects than on Christ. Then the intellectual war begins as each person and group tries to bind their fragmented human deductions on each other as though they were God’s Word.

I use the word fragmented because all human knowledge is fragmented. It is very unlikely that any human being, or even a group of humans, could ever hope to gather all the information on any given topic, and even if they could, what would guarantee that their logic would be inerrant in interpreting the information? Here, some fall back on the promise of Jesus that the Holy Spirit would teach His disciples all truth. However, when these promises are viewed in their contexts, it becomes obvious Jesus is not promising His disciples that they would know the truth on every possible subject under the religious sun. This would reduce the Holy Spirit to a crystal ball. I believe these passages teach that the Spirit would teach them and show them that Jesus is the Christ and the implication of that knowledge for the believer’s life. If this be the case, the work of the Spirit would be to get our attention off all the subjects of religion and back on the center of our faith, which is Jesus the Christ. This includes getting our attention off the Spirit onto Christ. The work of the Spirit is like the work of John the Baptist, to point men to Christ. Making the Spirit larger or emphasizing any other subject, does not bring glory to Christ or the Spirit, but can only lead into the radical errors of dogmatism, mysticism, and Gnosticism.

Faith as Philosophy

Still another problem that arises from turning the faith over to a philosophical mindset is that men begin to look at it and treat it as a philosophy—in other words, something to think about and talk about rather than something to be obeyed. It is here that the clergy and orthodoxy are the guiltiest. They seem to spend much of their time engaged in eternal twaddle. They study, study, study and nothing ever seems to change. They are mere talkers, philosophers always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth by obedience to it (2 Tim. 3:7, Titus 1:10). The philosophical mentality always leads to a people who sit around and analyze the Scripture, not for the purpose of obeying it, but rather to satisfy the craving of the mind for the knowledge of good and evil, an endeavor that might be highly questionable for Christians. My friends, we need to understand that knowing the Bible does not mean that one has God’s approval. All it means is that one will be judged more harshly. The man who is approved and known of God is the man who obeys and loves God and his fellowman (1 Cor. 8:1-3). We have seen that philosophy has subverted the faith by making a synthesis between paganism and Christianity. However, we must go beyond subversion to our further theme of the distancing of God from the common people and their everyday experience through forms of mediation. How can philosophy distance God from the common people? I believe it is obvious that the common man and woman do not think of themselves as philosophers or as having the ability or even the desire to engage in the discipline of philosophy. It is the common belief among average people that philosophy is a discipline for intellectuals and not the common folk. Therefore, when Christianity is imaged as a philosophy, the average person is immediately distanced from it.

Increasingly, at the encouragement of the knowers among them, the church of the common folk has given over its divine right and responsibility of teaching Christ to the knowers and the institutions of higher learning created by them. This has left the impression that if one really want to know Christ and be a leader in the church, one must go to a Christian college, Bible school, or seminar, which by the way, are all symbols of the knower. This in turn leaves the impression that those who attend an institution are somehow more qualified than those who do not. Does this not leave the impression it is the knowledge given by the institution that prepares one for the ministry or Christian service? What about the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit? Where do they come into all this so-called educating? I grant you that all this strengthens the grip of the main institutions (churches) and also the sub-institutions (schools), but how does it make Christ larger? In fact, some churches have found that the tail is now wagging the dog instead of the dog wagging the tail. By this I mean, some churches are finding that they no longer control their schools, but rather the schools now control them. In this, we again see the tremendous control that the knowers have over the Christian movement.

In light of this, it may be time to ask some hard questions about the wisdom of building all these institutions in the name of Christ. Where do these institutions get the right to preach and proclaim Christ? Where is the proof that these institutions have really promoted the cause of Christ? In view of the horrible state of the churches and Western culture, I personally find it somewhat hard to see any overwhelming evidence where the Christian schools, that are so profuse in our land, have done much to save the churches or our culture. Could it be that all of these institutions are just another broken reed that man has put his trust in? Could it be that the institutions we are building, in themselves, are becoming symbols that distance the common people from God? Is not the building of institutions just another form of secularism that reflects the spirit of this and past ages? When did Christ give an institution the divine right to teach the word of God? When the church turns teaching the gospel over to a profane organization, does it not profane the Word of God by putting it in the same category as science and math? Is it not often the very students, who have not the Spirit, in turn use their carnal knowledge of the Bible to attack and belittle the Scriptures and the whole Christian movement? How can you force someone to study the Bible for a degree and not profane the living Word of God in the process?

Let me close this chapter by pointing out that our goal as Christians is not to know, but rather love God and to be known by God. “We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God” (1 Cor. 8:13). Amen.

The Myth of Multiculturalism, How to Destroy a Culture with Identity Manipulation

The Myth of Multiculturalism

How to Destroy a Culture with Identity Manipulation

Every culture on the face of the earth has its identifying traits and it is those identifying  traits that make it a culture.  If you change those identity traits you change the existing culture and if you change enough of those distinctive traits, you actually destroy the culture by turning it into something other than the culture you started with.

There are a number of threats to true multiculturalism today.  One of them is radical individualism, which is tied to the philosophy of liberalism, and the second one is globalization, which is coming from, or has its roots in, global capitalism.  Both in turn have led to increased centralized planning, in order for large multinational companies to gobble up the world’s capital.  This centralized planning has led to increasingly larger government.  This bigger government believes that it can manipulate numerous societies to create a one-world empire and culture.  The problem with all of this, is that its’ promoters fail to see that the individual gets their identity and sense of selfhood from their culture. Their cultures are based not on their similarities with other cultures, but on their differences.  If you remove the differences, you take away the very soul of the individuals who make up those cultures.   When a people lose their identity or sense a threat to their identity  they wills suffer an existential emptiness brought about by the loss of that distinct uniqueness and identity.  Over time, this  loss of identity will in turn lead to social unrest.

True multiculturalism is the world the way it is with all its different cultures, its borders and its nations.  The expression ‘multiculturalism’ as used today is a ‘melting pot’, which is the very opposite of multiculturalism.  The corrupt use of  this word  represents the globalists last effort to destroy true multiculturalism and to replace it with uniformity (political correctness).  The world with all of its diversity is simply the way it has to be in order for it to be truly multicultural.  In fact, it seems that it has evolved that way, which means that it is natural, and you cannot fool mother nature for very long without experiencing her wrath.  However, modern man, especially those of the west and on the left, seem to believe that they can change human nature.  Some even go so far as to say that man has no nature thereby expressing the blank slate theory of human nature.  Nevertheless even they have created a new culture, or cult, which could be called the ‘culture of nobody or nothing’. A cult that is already causing havoc in the west.

The way to have real multiculturalism is simply to leave things alone, to leave them the way they were created by nature and the Creator, which seems to be extremely hard for the Western intellectual myth makers who think of themselves as the saviors of the world.  These intellectuals, since the time of the enlightenment, have been spewing out their nonsense with lesser men gobbling up their vomit.

One of the best arguments against the myth of multiculturalism is the very country that people use for an example of multiculturalism, that is the USA.  America is referred to as a melting pot. Even the metaphor itself is a contradiction to multiculturalism. The metaphor points to many cultures becoming something other than any one of them, as they melt together:  The many become one.  However, the premise that they become one if they melt together itself, is questionable.  If you have a subculture which refuses to  meld in, it will become the source of many social problems that can weaken a culture.  And if a culture that resists assimilation gets large enough, it will actually become the culture. The parasite consumes its host.

It has been said that Rome united the world through its multiculturalism.  However, it also divided the world.  It is a known fact that when Rome invaded  other nations,  they would remove its ruling class and many of the lesser classes and bring in foreign immigrants.  They knew that this would weaken the culture and help prevent rebellion.  I’m sure you’ve heard the statement that “diversity is our strength,” well; Rome had diversity and diversity did not save it from decay and complete collapse.  We could gather from this that our national leaders today are either ignorant of this, or they are attempting to control the masses and weaken them him by dividing them, and pitting them against each other.  Either way these leaders are pathetic.






“Man can be defined as an animal that makes dogmas.  As he piles doctrine on doctrine and conclusion on conclusion in the formation of some tremendous scheme of philosophy and religion, he is, in the only legitimate sense of which the expression is capable, becoming more and more human.  When he drops one doctrine after another in a refined skepticism, when he declines to tie himself to a system, when he says that he has outgrown definitions, when he says that he disbelieves in finality,  when, in his own imagination, he sits as God, holding no form of creed but contemplating all, then he is by that very process sinking slowly backwards into the vagueness of the vagrant animals and the unconsciousness of the grass.  Trees have no dogmas. Turnips are singularly broad-minded” C.K. Chesterton.

The world is filled with ideas, and many of those ideas could be classified as dogmas.  Now, a dogma is an idea that has hardened to a point that is no longer thought about but just accepted on authority.  The word dogma is not used as much today, this may be because it sounds too religious for a secular age, which itself has accepted the dogma of secularism.  However, we do have a word or idea that is very close to it.  It is the word presumption.  A presumption is an idea that we take for granted without much thought or for the most part, without any or little thought.

In view of the above it is a self-event truth that all men have and live by dogma to some degree. One thing that can be said about the religious man is that he has accepted parts of his faith as dogma while the secular man is still in a state of denial, believing he is living by reason alone or in some neutral zone free of presumption or dogma.  He has reached the unconsciousness of grass and he glories in it calling it tolerance or enlightenment.

Of course, there are some men who have very little dogma.  Some of these folks fancied themselves as skeptics.  Skeptics claim not to live by or believe dogma according to their dogma. The only dogma that they can believe is the dogma of skepticism.  According to them, you must doubt everything except skepticism.  Then you have the agnostics who believe nothing because they believe that it is impossible to be certain about the truth.  Of course, they are certain agnosticism is true.  We should not leave out the relativist which believes everything and nothing, and that everyone is right except the person that believes others are wrong.  Of course, they believe that the skeptics, and the agnostics are right.  The only person that they do not agree with is the dogmatist.  They do not seem to like people who think they know something which is true.

Out of all of the above, the relativist is the one most likely to be tossed about by every wind of teaching that comes along, for they lack a foundation of truth by which to judge any new ideas.  As it has been said, “a man who believes nothing will believe anything.”  In fact, the relativist really does not believe in objective truth. What they believe in, is personal truth, i.e. truth is what you believe.  What makes it true is that you believe it.  Most of these folks belong to the same cult, the cult of personal opinion.

The relativist are also the most likely to become fanatical and completely out of balance. Many  progressive folks fall within this group always moving forward without knowing which direction is forward; always seeing a cause to give their meaningless life purpose.  To me, the really progressive person is the one that when traveling in a direction that is not working turns around and goes in a different direction, like back.  Of course, if you are a relativist you don’t know which way is back.

It may be time for all of us to ask some serious questions about some of our new dogmas.  Question like, are they really taking us forward or are they simply getting us deeper into the woods.  So, deep that we will never find our way out.  Why not try putting some of your dogmas, or the lack of it to the test?  Start with your religious assumptions using the Bible as an objective standard to judge your ideas.  You do not have to believe it, but simply use it as a source of information to compare your personal dogma with.  You also might try the same exercise politically with the Constitution and other founding documents.  In doing this you might find these source documents truly refreshing and challenging.


A Letter From An Young Atheist

A Letter From An Young Atheist

“So Lyle, you don’t believe that you can discover God through reason alone?  I ask then, what else does it take?  I would guess your answer would be ‘faith’, correct?  If it is as you say, that God cannot be discovered through reason and rationality alone; that is the ‘crux’ of the matter for me and it is not something that I can accept.  Starting with a conclusion/presupposition and working backwards is exactly what you are NOT supposed to do.”

You may find a god through human reason; however, it will not be the true God.  The true God is so far beyond human consciousness that human reason cannot comprehend him and only marginally apprehend him and his existence.  This is why theologians define him as the totally other.

I do believe that you have a neat and tidy view of science and how it works, which is  completely naïve and totally contrary to reality.  If you read Thomas Kuhn’s book, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” you would see that science is not done as neat as you seem to think.  Do you think scientists are sitting around, talking about the scientific method like religious people talk about the ten commandments?  If they do they will respond to law (scientific method) the same way that religious people respond to the ten commandments.  They may give it lip service and then ignore them or use them as a general guide for doing science.  If they took them legalistically not much science would get done.

What you claim ‘you are NOT supposed to do’, is actually what is done much of the time in science.  It’s very common for scientists to form a hypothesis and then set out to prove it.  What is a hypothesis if it is not an opinion or a hunch?  Yes, it is a guess, but a guess with a lot of convictions behind it or what we might call  faith. You can bet more effort goes into proving them rather than falsifying or disproving them.  If they are disproven it will be by the community when they’re published. The same things happen in philosophy and theology.

When Darwin set sail on his famous voyage, he had a will to believe his hypothesis.  He was looking for evidence to prove a belief he already had held for years.  He was taught evolution by his grandfather and father.  Moreover, ideas on evolution were in the air  during his time and both his grandfather and father believed in some form of evolution.  What did he find?  He found what he was looking for.  He found some clues that there was evolution within the bird family, which he already knew.  He saw it on the farm with the select breeding of animals.  However, he found nothing that would prove his overall theories on his voyage.  Note this is not to say that I do not believe in some forms of evolution, I am just stating a fact about Darwin.  The finches (birds) of the islands did not in any way confirm the whole show of Darwin’s later theory of evolution.  I am saying this to point out that Darwin was not a legalist about the scientific method and to some degree ignored it.

You asked what else does it take beyond reason to believe in God?  As William James points out you need a “will to believe”.  Reason will come to the aid of the will, for it is often the handmaiden of the will.  It also comes to the aid of our passions, to justify them; you see this with those who are addicted to drugs.  Their reasoning will give them all kinds of rationale for using and then it will justify their using, and just about anything else.

Reason surely does not rule in human beings. The reign of reason is a myth of the Enlightenment and in much of western culture.  Humans will believe pretty much what they want to believe or what they have a will to believe[1]. The men of the enlightenment needed something to break the power and authority of the Catholic Church, so they created the myth of the preeminence of reason as the dominating force in humans.  So, they replaced the authority of the church with the authority of human reason.  The thinkers of the Reformation (Protestants) also needed something to supplant the authority of the Catholic Church, so they also threw in reason along with Scripture as the new authority.

The scientific method was created to try to keep the will and passions out of reason. However, it is doubtful that any method or law could keep the  human will and  its passions out of the human thought process.  An example of this is the atheistic communist party of the Soviet Union influencing and directing the scientific community. In communist countries the scientific method failed to keep ideological influence out.  You could say that the well was poisoned, even the scientific well by group passion and ideology.

Humans also reason within their cultural environment. In this, they think corporately as well as individually, i.e. the community controls their thinking and thus their reasoning. In this setting, science is no different from religion or philosophy.  In any discipline the various schools of thought argue and defend their party or community’s position.  Once you become a part of a community and turn into a true believer, with the help of the community, you will see the world through the eyes of the community. You will have acquired their world view.

I think you might want to spend some time thinking about this metaphysical force that you call reason.  Where does it come from and why should we trust it?  Can you trust reason totally when you believe that it comes from an unreasonable cause (evolution)?  If our minds are nothing more than blank slates, how can we know that the information that is written on them, including the idea of reason, is true? Could everything simply be created by our society and culture, even the idea of reason?  What about the concepts of freedom and virtue? Are these concepts real or just an illusion of  the biological illusion maker that we call our brain?  Could consciousness come from a universal consciousness, which exists outside of our brain and nature?

Therefore, I think a man should begin a search for God by asking why he does or does not will  to have a belief in God. It may be reason or it may be ones will or even one’s passion more than reason.

You say that you, do not believe because you want to believe the truth?  Well, atheism empties the truth of any real meaning[2].  In the end what different would it make? To the materialist or the atheist truth is nothing more than an illusion; that is, if their idea of truth is going to be consistent with their beliefs.  The only materialists who are consistent are those who have embraced nihilism.

Nietzsche was one of the few atheistic philosophers of his day and is still, to this day, one of the few that had the courage not only to embrace nihilism but to tell others of the consequences and the logical outcome of atheism.  He understood and believed rightfully so, that atheism will lead to nihilism and anarchy, if it is embraced and consistently lived out.  I believe that the French Revolution is an example of what happens when people lose their faith.

Nietzsche, said ‘truth is fiction’, and if you are a materialist you should either be honest enough to stop claiming truth in any fashion other than “my truth” because for the materialist, truth  only exists in each person’s mind.  At  best, reason can only define truth as what works for the individual and the tribe.

In your search for God by all means use reason.  However, do not make it an absolute,  for if you do you will find it chasing its own tail or falling into a series of unending doubts and questions.  Reason was given to us as a gift from God and is a fantastic tool and has brought many blessings, but if it is misused it is like a wild animal that can kill you.  It can bring you closer to God or it can cause you to fall into the abyss of unceasing doubting. That is if you have the courage to go there.

[1] I recommend the reading of William James essay on “The Will to Believe”.

[2] It seems that as atheism has increased, so has postmodernism.  Postmodernism is a philosophical position that teaches that true is a personal thing or is socially created, but has no real ground in reality. This questions the very concept of reason. Some investigation will demonstrate that most postmodern’s are unbelievers. It is extremely hard for the Christian to embrace such a philosophy that would deny human reason.

The One True Heaven

The One True Heaven

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth. “But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”  So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel–because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. Gen 11:3-9

The intellectuals of the Renaissance were made up basically of  two groups of thinkers, those which were atheists who rejected the idea of God and organized religion and those that maintain their faith in God and yet rejected the corrupted forms of religion.  The former evolved into what we call the enlightenment and the latter evolved into the Reformation movement.  Looking back on these developments, we see these two movements traveling along through time side-by-side yet with an increasingly greater gulf growing between them.

In the beginning of the Renaissance, there was an emphasis placed on a return to reason and freedom. In order to accomplish this goal the old authorities of dogma, tradition and church had to be overthrown and replaced with the concepts of reason and freedom.  However, the two different branches of the Renaissance, the enlightenment and Reformation would develop these two concepts of reason and freedom differently.  The enlightenment side would enshrine reason and human knowledge as the ultimate authority, reason and science would become God and bring heaven down to earth.  Man would be free from all authority and be self-directed.  Out of this, thinking came the later systems of  philosophies known as humanism, liberalism and communism.

The other branch of the Renaissance, the Reformation, believed that there were limits to reason and knowledge and that in order for man to be truly human he must live within those limits. They believed, without limits mans freedom would generate into chaos and the loss of freedom to his uncontrolled passions and his own finiteness.  They believe that those limits were set forth in the revelation of God in Christ.  The Reformation, therefore, believed that there were limits to the development of culture and that any attempts to bring heaven to earth would only end in misery.  They were skeptical about the enlightenment’s blind faith in progress and in human goodness.  In this, they rejected the twin myths of unlimited progress and the innate goodness of humanity; myths that still shape the vision of liberals and progressives to this very day.

After hundreds of years, we can clearly see the movement of both  groups. The reformation group has lost its hold on Europe, symbolized by the French revolution that had its slogan “No God No king” which could be interpreted as no authority other than the individual.  The failure of the Reformation in Europe could be largely contributed to its association with the ruling class and its failure to follow through on its attempt to reform organized religion and the culture.  Its failures allowed the men of the enlightenment to hold out a secular hope to the people and actually create a brand-new faith, a faith in progress (heaven on earth) and human knowledge (science).  The populace which had already lost their faith in religion were eager to accept this new faith even though there was no historical grounds or empirical evidence for it.

The question arises, How did the enlightenment thinkers believe they would  accomplish bringing heaven down to earth?  Well, it’s not a hard question, they simply had to bring God down to earth. That is exactly what the thinkers of the enlightenment did. They created the modern state.  As one of them said,” the state is God walking on the earth.”  This idea was set forth in varying degrees by a number of enlightenment thinkers and perfected in the writings of Karl Marx.  In Marx, you see the state exalted to the place of God and the animosity of the enlightenment towards religion and any moral authority other than the state (human authority).  For in the new heaven, no other authority can exist but that of the state which is nothing more than a human oligarch of authority.  Of course, that authority should be based on reason alone and science, the two demon gods of the enlightenment.  However, we also see in this system of unbelief a denial of free will and of human dignity.  Man is nothing more than an animal predetermined by biological forces; life is not scared but is expendable for the higher good. Of course, the state is the higher good.

We now know that reason is never alone, and that science is limited and controlled by many things other than reason, such as money and the ideological taint.   We also know from experience that the state never really promotes individual freedom, but rather it oppresses freedom.  Though history has shown us the failure of the secular movement; those that have placed their faith in it continually are on the same course today, just as their ancestors of the enlightenment did. How do you explain this blind faith?  I personally believe that it all comes back to their first presupposition of unbelief.  Once you get on the road of unbelief, there is nowhere to go other than statism (God walking on the earth).

It only takes a glimpse of the last century to see what this new heaven on earth looks like.  It looks like Russia and communist China.  Where 100,000,000 people have been killed, and untold numbers persecuted for not bowing down to the new God of the state.  Could it be that the materialist of the enlightenment promised one thing (heaven) and created the very opposite on earth?  If we are the heirs of the enlightenment, what do we have to look forward to?  It seems, if we continue on the same course of the enlightenment, there can only be one end; the ultimate state, a one-world government and George Orwell’s 1984.


The Great Myths of Modern Man

The Great Myths of Modern Man

The lawless man is produced by the spirit of evil and armed with all the force, wonders, and signs that falsehood can devise. To those involved in this dying world, he will come with evil’s undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused to love the truth which could have saved them. God sends upon them, therefore, the full force of evil’s delusion, so that they put their faith in an utter fraud and meet the inevitable judgment of all who have refused to believe the truth and who have made evil their play-fellow. The Apostle Paul

Before we can have a rational discussion on the subject of modern myths, we need to understand the terms and concepts we are using.  When I use the word myth, I am not referring to something that is false, but rather to a large explanatory story or narrative that gives us some insight into what stands behind the way we view the world.  In science they are called models or paradigms.  In religion they are called shadows, types, or parables.  In essence, myths are large metaphors that we use to talk about the things that we cannot see and yet believe they are there.  They are believed to be the truths that point to the truth that stands outside of man’s grasp.  All true myths in some fashion and to some degree, depict reality.  If this were not the case, they never would have been elevated to the place of myth.  With this in mind, we are ready to talk about the great myths of modern man.

In order to understand the making of the great myths of modern times, we have to understand the time of the Enlightenment in Europe which gave rise to the great myths of Western civilization.  The Enlightenment was a time of great upheaval and change in the thinking of man.  The old authorities in every area of life were being challenged and being replaced.  Feudalism was being replaced with democracy, magic with science, capitalism with socialism, and faith with atheism.

During this Enlightenment period there was a tremendous effort by the skeptics of religion to move the masses away from religion.  To do this, they would have to convince the masses that heaven could be created on earth by man and a transcendent God and a heaven up there was no longer needed.  If you recall, mankind had once tried to build a tower to heaven, which ended in Babel[1].  If man could not storm the gates of heaven, he would simply build his own on earth, while shaking his fist in defiance at the God of the true heaven.

However, to storm the gates of heaven and bring heaven down to the earth, mankind would need a huge amount of power; he would need a machine that could replace God.  He found his machine in the creation of the modern state.[2]  The state would be God walking on the earth creating heaven on earth, a heaven in which the God of heaven was no longer welcomed.  In the new myth of the state, it would be God who is banished from the new paradise, not man.  In this, we see the birth of the modern state and atheism, which are the two greatest myths of modern time.

In order for the modern state to become a god in the eyes of the majority of people, they would have to believe it had the power to save them and deliver them from the forces beyond their control.  These forces would include natural disasters, diseases, the very forces of nature, even death.  In order to accomplish this, the state would need to have a mechanism to convince the people that it was their true savior and not religion.  It would also need a discipline that could be used to support it. That discipline was found in the new field of science.  It is self-evident that science and the state have grown together and are very much dependent on each other.

And since the time of the Enlightenment the state has continued to annex more and more of the scientific enterprise for its own selfish ends, those being ultimate authority and domination.  In the last few decades science has been increasingly controlled by the flow of money provided by the state to support its research.

Another great myth of modern man is Darwinism.  The thinking of the Western world has been controlled by the concept or myth of undirected evolution since the time of Darwin.  In fact, it has become the dominating concept behind most science and thinking in general.  For many, the concept is now a self-evident truth.  To most, everything is getting bigger and better, moving from the simple to the more complex.[3]  Of course, this concept fits well into the ideological concept of progress that was implanted in the midst of the Enlightenment by Christian millennialism[4] and was the foundation on which they built the humanistic project of replacing the concept of a heaven up there with a heaven down here.  It also fit well as it supported the ideology of a capitalistic system, which was the prevailing economic ideology during the time of Darwin.  Darwinism has always been strongly supported by the ruling class, which maintains its place through the educational system of the state.

You could say that Darwinism was the missing link that the humanist skeptics of the Enlightenment (not science) needed to banish God from the earth.[5]  They needed a theory of how things could be explained without an appeal to a deity.  So the maxim was created that everything in the new discipline of science must be explained by natural causes without an appeal to a deity.  Of course, this sealed the faith of the new discipline of science as the weapon of choice for the skeptics and atheists to support and spread their unbelief or should I say their new belief?

However, true science was not created to banish God from the earth and many of the greatest scientists have been believers.[6]  Science as a discipline is the study of nature and has little to say about the existence of a God who stands outside nature.[7]  Science can make the statement that it has not found God in nature, which is a statement that theologians could make as well; on the other hand, many men of science can and do say that they see things in nature that seem to point to a deity who had organized all things.

To the thinking person and the person who truly understands science, science explains nothing; it only describes things.  It answers the “how” question not the “why” and “what” questions.  For example, when it speaks about light, it does not explain it but rather describes the way it behaves.  Sometimes it behaves like a wave and sometimes it behaves like a particle, but these are metaphorical descriptions and do not tell us what light is.  In fact, if we where to ask science to explain itself, it could not give an explanation without the aid of philosophy; in itself it could only tell us what it does, not what it is.

What are the great myths?  They are the myths of the mega state and the myth that it has the power to save, which is the myth of modern science-ism.  It is the belief or myth that everything in reality can wholly be explained by the theory of materialistic evolution.  Evolution is surely a large part of the circle of existence, but it is not the whole.  It may help us with a number of how questions, but it never answers the why questions of existence, and it is the why questions that gives life meaning.

In view of the above, the question must be raised as to how many of the new myths really square with reality and how many of them are simply illusions.

[1] Babel means confusion.

[2] Note: The Myth of the Machine by Lewis Mumford.

[3] This view of evolution is not based on science and is believed by the masses.

[4] The Christian faith believes that everything is moving toward perfection and completeness.  This concept evolved in the West into a strong belief in the concept of progress.  Without the Christian faith, the question must be raised as to whether or not there are any grounds for a belief in progress.

[5] Of course, true science explains nothing; it simply describes things.  When it slips into explaining things, it ceases to be science and becomes philosophy or something else.

[6] To name a few: Nicolas Copernicus, Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Galileo, Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Max Planck, and Albert Einstein.

[7] The US National Academy of Sciences has gone on record with the following statement: “Science is a way of knowing about the natural world.  It is limited to explaining the natural world through natural causes.  Science can say nothing about the supernatural.  Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.”  This was taken from Who Made God?: A Searching for a Theory of Everything by Fay Weldon.