Dogma?

“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.

 

The Cornerstone of Liberalism

The Cornerstone of Liberalism

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!  John 8:43-45 NIV.

The foundation of Liberalism[1] is made up of many stones.  However, the cornerstone of the philosophy is the autonomy of the individual.  What do we mean by the autonomy of the individual?  It simply means that the individual is self-governing and to some degree is self-directed.

It may surprise you to hear that the Bible has quite a bit to say about this doctrine of the autonomy of the individual.  In the story found in the book of Genesis, God created man free to make a choice and he also warned man that if he made the wrong choice there would be consequences.  The choices were to governor one’s self and be independent of God (autonomous) or to choose to be self – denying and allow God to govern one’s life.

If we look at the liberal faith through the lens of the story.  Liberalism is nothing more than an organized rebellion against God[2].  Like Adam in the story liberals do not believe God, of course in our age it’s not a matter of believing God, but rather not believing IN God.  However, no matter how you word it, it’s the same old story.  Man , wanting to be independent and free from the authority of God.  In the story Satan deceived man in two ways.  He first convinced man that God’s word was not true and then that God did not mean what he said.  Both of his arguments were attacks on the truth of God’s word.  Based on what I’ve all already said, it only follows that the liberal faith would be attacking God’s word today and even setting themselves up as the judges of God and his Word.  Well, that exactly what we find.

It is the liberal faith that has embraced relativism (the denial that there is any absolute truth) and has led the attack on scripture and on the living word who is Jesus Christ.[3]  In fact, liberals and their siblings[4] despise any authority, but especially anything or anyone that represents the authority of God.  Like their father they hate God and everything that pertains to the true God.  Like their father they know how to subvert language and appear as angles of light to naïve and gullible men.  The apostle Paul says of them “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness” 2 Cor. 11:14-15.  Still to this day we have liberals masquerading as Christians for their own purpose or the purpose of their father.

Even from a utilitarian point of view, liberalism has a number of problems, if every person is self-governing and self-directed, what happens when people begin to go in different directions and they then begin to disagree on whom and what should govern?  The liberal answer is that a man’s freedom or self-governing ends where any others man’s freedom begins.  But does this really take care of the problem or does it just raise more questions?  For example who will determine where one man’s freedom ends and any other man’s begins?  The state?[5]  If the state is to determine this, is the individual really free?  What happens if the state defines freedom differently than the individual?  Maybe we should toss a coin?  No, the one with the most power wins and in the modern world that means the state.  Liberalism therefore will always look to the state to determine where freedom begins and ends.  The state then judges the difference between good and evil.  In other word the state begins to determine morality.  Could this be the source of political correctness?  It surely is the beginning of a totalitarian state.

In the story, God creates man and then gives him freedom.  In the liberal system it is the state that defines and gives freedom to the individual, of course, if the state gives freedom, the state can take it away.  If the deity gives freedom no government would have the right to take that freedom away.  This was the thinking of the founding fathers when they said that men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” and government was created to protect those rights.  It is quite obvious that the founding fathers were not liberals.  This is the reason why liberals are not extremely fond of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.  They simply don’t believe them.

There is any problem with the liberal faith, which is, who has the authority to define the concept of freedom?  Freedom is one of those elusive concepts that could be defined in a numbers ways.  For the atheist it could be defined simply by the expression “Freedom is doing what I what to do or simply being left alone by the authorities”.  For the Christian freedom would be defined “as being free from self to serve God and others.”

Now liberals, will respond by saying that the state should stay out of defining freedom or liberty.  But if this true, why then do they use the public school to push their liberal faith?  In fact, every time they have a change, liberals use the government and the court system to impose their liberal faith on the American people.  They get away with this because the American people do not recognize liberalism for what it is, a godless religion that is against all other religions.

In the story when man sinned something happened to his nature.  Before the fall his will was directed toward God, after the fall his will was directed to himself.  His will was directed to satisfying his lower nature.  He then began to live not for God, but rather to satisfy his lower nature’s appetites.  The story therefore depicts liberalism, perfectly, for liberalism is nothing more than a high form of hedonism (living for pleasure).  Even, discipline and self-restraint is practiced primarily to extend the ego.

The conclusion is this; liberalism is nothing more than an organized rebellion against the living God.  It is a religion or a philosophy that denies and subverts God’s word.  Therefore, it is sinful for Christians to be involved in liberalism or to support any group or politic party that supports it.

[1] Liberalism is not being nice or compassionate. It is a philosophy that competes and stands in contradiction to the Christian faith. The advanced liberals which often call themselves progressives are liberals who have embraced the liberal philosophy and have taken it to its end, which is anarchy.

[2] The symbol and the height of the liberal move is the French Revolution with its motto “No king and no God”.

[3] Liberals have used the methodology of higher criticism to deny the authority of scripture and to deny the Lordship of Jesus. Note Eta Linnemann Book  “Historical Criticism of the Bible” with the sub-title “Methodology or Ideology? Reflections of a Bultmannian turned evangelical”. Also note Jude 8-16

Harry Blamires book “The Christian Mind” saved me from embracing a liberal view of the Bible.

[4] The two siblings of liberalism are atheism and libertarianism. Atheism is the ultimate distortion of the image of God in man and libertarianism is a secular counterfeit of the Christian faith which in its true state lives above the law.

[5] In the end for the liberal the state becomes God walking on the earth. A good example of this that the state in the abortion controversy ended up determining what is life or non-life. In this Secular liberalism is nothing more than man playing God.