Contemporary secular political leadership "hates knowledge of the moral order and scorns correction" (Bruce K. Waltke, Proverbs Commentary). Expecting them to comprehend that moral relativism, state-enforced morality and political correctness embody the death knell to sustainable freedom is equally unlikely, and foolish altogether to them, as expecting natural man to dismiss that life and life's events are endowed with the Spirit of God.
The urgent call in present-day America is for Christians to expose the current idols active in the public square. Controlling the cultural mountains of influence, secularists lack both the moral fiber and the will to fathom where the battle for the Soul of America is about.
"Why in the world is there payment in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom when he has no capacity to learn?" Solomon wondered. To which Jewish Hebrew scholar Michael V. Fox answered: "That wisdom could be purchased somewhere is the fool's notion, and it might be just silly. Job 28:15-19 says that wisdom cannot be bought—not because it is so expensive, but because no valuables can be compared to it. Wisdom belongs to a different category of value and hence cannot be acquired in this fashion" (Michael V. Fox, Proverbs Commentary).
Spiritual wisdom cannot be purchased.
Over the last century, secularized intellectual elites have succeeded in replacing Western civilization's immutable point for judging society—the Bible—with laws based increasingly on sentiments and preferences. As a result, America now finds herself in a quandary.
As a case in point, five secular U.S. Supreme Court justices took it in 2015 upon themselves to redefine the 4,000-year-old definition and purpose of marriage. Laws apparently must change whenever the "sentiments" of society change, making sentiments normative. "We can expect, therefore, that when the sentiments shift from nursing homes to gas chambers as the answer to the problems of the elderly [and skyrocketing debt], the laws presumably must comply." (Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture).
Should morality bow to culture? Or must we have, as Blaise Pascal concluded, a fixed point in order to judge?
Calling good what God calls evil, modern justices are fulfilling the biblical definition of idolatry. Defined as "the doctrine that knowledge, truth and morality exist in relation to culture, society or historical context, and are not absolute," relativism is an affront to God.
Relativism's allurement shines clearly through in Dutch philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd's proclamation of faith: "History has no windows looking out into eternity. Man is completely enclosed in it and cannot elevate himself to a supra-historical level of contemplation. History is the be-all and end-all of man's existence and of his faculty of experience. And it is ruled by destiny, the inescapable fate." (Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture).
In taking freedom out of life's experiences, historicism* and social sciences "make it impossible to retain the Christian conviction that people are responsible and accountable for what they do" (Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture).
"It is appointed for men to die once, but after this comes the judgment" (Heb. 9:27).
American Founder Noah Webster [1758-1843] would have characterized the imprudent Abington School District v. Schempp decision in 1963 as an attack on liberty.
Almost all the civil liberty now enjoyed in the world owes its origin to the principles of the Christian religion. The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils that men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or rejecting the precepts contained in the Bible. (Richard Lee, American Patriot's Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America)
Having taken the
wrong turn we find ourselves in what appears to be an endless bog. We decide to turn around and retrace our steps to discover the correct route to the destination. However, someone in our party has read his Hegel and tells us that we want it to turn the clock back. The reply to that is that to go straight ahead will take us deeper into the bog without knowing how many miles it stretches or what lies beyond, that the destination is elsewhere, and that the only way we shall find it is to discover where we made our mistake (Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture).
The turning-back point entails the current location, the sheer drop, from which secularism has brought a once biblically-based America to the precipice of ruination.
It is going to be a long, hard slog. "The values of the respective disputants [read secularism vs. Christianity] are so fundamentally at odds that the tactical questions are irrelevant" (Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture).
The belief that what has happened in America over the last century has to do with the differences between Republicans and Democrats betrays serious confusion. The war is spiritual. Two distinct religions are vying for control of America's public square. Secularism versus Christianity. Both cannot coexist, one will ultimately end in the destruction of the other, as a consequence of the other's elevation.
These days, the city of 91,000 at the north end of the Sacramento Valley, seems to sit halfway between the godly and the earthly—and not just because of the divine spectacles of nearby Mounts Shasta and Lassen. At the heart of Redding stands a quintessentially California church with a focus on community impact so intense you could almost call it supernatural.
America is in her third trial, which likely will be equally severe as the first two: the Revolution and the Civil War.
God be thanked that Gideons and Rahabs are beginning to stand.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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