Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The War on Principles & the Hope in our Worldview

The Pilgrims pray for their journey fleeing religious persecution
Daniel in the Lion's den

We live in a culture where really, values are passe.  You aren't allowed to have values.  Morality, principles are scorned by the media, ignored by academia, dismissed in politics, and mocked by Hollywood.  Especially for young people, if you have values your a loser.  If you carry a Bible around at public school, your a laughing stock.  If you believe in moral behavior, your backwards.  If you believe in principles in the political realm, then your an ideologue.  If you believe politicians should make decisions based on Constitutional principles, then your an ideological purist.  If you think sex is something sacred that should be reserved for marriage, then your a backwards rube, a traditionalist fool.  If you refuse to endorse, support, finance, and celebrate gay marriage then you are evil, bigoted, homophobic, racist, sexist, and the very definition of wickedness.  You are really worse than Hitler or Stalin if you don't endorse and celebrate gay marriage.  If you think the Bible is real, then you're an ignorant and dangerous fundamentalist.  If you think a fetus represents a sacred life, you're waging a war on women.  If you're blind to race, then you're actually a raving racist and white supremacist.  If you think a sovereign nation should police it's borders and prevent certain persons from entering illegally, then you are a heartless bigoted anti-immigrant hater.  The list goes on, ad infinitum.  

Insanity is the new sanity.  Lies are the new truth.  Depravity is the new holiness. Hate is the new love language.  Sin is the new standard.  Outrage, the new free speech.  And if you disagree, then they will silence you, or get you fired from your job.  And media will have a field day dancing on your ashes and celebrating your demise as the latest victory for social justice.  

I'd like to say something about all that.  And I hope you'll join me.  I hope I'm not alone in saying this: "No.  You are wrong.  Values still matter.  Religious faith should be respected.  Gay marriage is still wrong.  The Constitution is not out of vogue.  And yes, even the dreaded heresy of heresies: Jesus Christ is alive, and he is God."

In a world of lies, half truths, where we are astounded by the fact that all that we oppose in life seems to have full control... in the limelight of culture, media, and academia, we must be guided by marrow deep principles.  We must be guided by a worldview that is unshakable and firmly set within our souls.

We aren't people who are guided by talking heads in the media, or by big personalities in culture, or even by the latest "experts" and their speculations and calculations as to what is right and true.  Instead we are guided by presuppositions based upon value sets.  And so are they, those on the other side, the atheist, progressive, secular, Marxist, Freudian, anti-religious, democratic socialists, and all the other various ideologies and views of life that vie for power in our country.

They attack us for basing our worldview on the Bible, the Constitution, and moral behavior.  They say that those presuppositions can't be proven.  I would say, and have said many times that our presuppositions are more provable than theirs are.

The Bible is a respected historical document which lines up with outside historical accounts.  The Bible has transformed hundreds of millions of lives for the better.  The Bible is a remarkable document that only arrogant, condescending naturalists in academia have the gumption to mock.  Read a full case here.  The Constitution is not perfect, but given empirical reality, it has functioned very well to guide the prosperity of an amazing nation: The United States.  Moral behavior, well that flows from both of those sources, and it's value to society goes without saying, it is self-evident.    

Consider the alternative: various forms of Marxism, which have led to decay, economic collapse, and brutal genocides.  Consider the alternative of a society that doesn't value life, like Hitler's Germany.  Genocide followed, when one group of people were made to appear as the enemy.  Today conservative Christians are being scapegoated as an enemy.
  All the many names that fit under this crowd of seculars base their worldview on presuppositions.  Their presuppositions are that humanity is basically good, that humanity must look to itself for it's utmost and highest.  Is humanity good?  The state of the world, and the history of humanity should be enough, in short form, to disprove that immediately.  As Malcom Muggeridge the noted journalist said,"The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable fact while at the same time being the most intellectually resisted."  

Second, our adversary believes that only the natural world exists.  They believe in only the physical world.  Is that presupposition provable?  Absolutely not.  It's a presupposition.  It's a prior belief system based on faith in the doctrines of naturalism and evolutionary biology.

Third, they believe government should fix everything.  They tend to believe more government programs will help cure the ills of society.  They appeal to government in fact to transform America into a sort of capitalist-socialist hybrid.  They look to Europe and seek to make the USA look more like Europe.  Well, so far so good, our debt and stagnating economy certain now look more like Europes'.  (Many European countries have debt exceeding their GDP which America has had since the Obama presidency)  

Now I work for the Salvation Army, and charities are what we believe in on the Constitutional vein.  We don't believe we need to appeal to government when there is a problem.  Instead we appeal to heaven.  We create charities, church organizations, and temperance movements to transform the society to deal with social ills.  We don't believe the government should fix these things, instead we look to people to form organizations and charities to deal with social ills.  And when we do that, wonderful things happen.  

When we demand government fix everything, well, the United States is now over 30 trillion dollars in debt.  When we appeal to government to make the economy better, we get crony-capitalism.  When we appeal to the government to fix social problems, we get massive debt and failing government programs.  We get record numbers on government assistance, and debt spiraling out of control.  
The point here is, these ideologies don't work.  They don't function!  They are destroying our country.  These fools have destroyed the moral structure of our nation.  They've driven this country into debt.  And they've made political war on Christians.  They've mocked and ridiculed Christians, conservatives, and Constitutionalists.  Madness!  They've created these problems and then they swoop in to fix them, with government programs. 

They've removed morality, religious thought, and personal responsibility, now propagating their destructive ideologies in public schools and university institutions.  Is it any wonder that so many millennials feel an absurd sense of entitlement?  That everything should be free?  That government needs to care for them and give them free stuff from cradle to grave?  And is it any wonder that these young people are devoid of spiritual thought, given how so many in academia, politics, media, and public discourse make it a point to routinely mock Christianity?  And is it working for these millennials?  Is it?  Divorces skyrocketing, teen pregnancy skyrocketing, drug addiction on the rise! Is that working?  I've lived in two towns, Wausau Wisconsin and now Escanaba Michigan.  People in both these cities are dumbfounded by the flood of drugs moving in.  It's like the fabric of the societies are starting to give way.  This process began in the public schools, and in broken families and broken homes, and now it's come to it's full fruition; a generation devoid of morality, devoid of religious thought, and devoid of personal responsibility. My generation has been so lied to, so deceived, so tricked into turning away from the values that made this nation great. It's sick! They think the world owes them everything and they think meaning is to found in multicolored pills and in glass pipes.  I understand why.  They've been raised in a value-less public school system, matched with overworked families breaking apart under attack, then multiplied by a depraved media pushing sex, drugs, alcohol, theft, violence, and immorality of all kinds.  Is it any wonder given this destructive equation that we see young people are messed up in the head and broken inside and out?  No it isn't.

In this mess, this soup of chaos we must be that much more determined to be linked to our values, our principles, and our Christian worldview.  We've got to stick to our guns day and night; metaphorically speaking our principles and our worldview.  Let's look at these principles that have changed the world and brought about such profound liberty and prosperity. What are the basic precepts that make up this worldview?  Once again let us turn to Dr. Norm Geisler's key categories.  They are as follows:

Origin - Where did I come from?
Identity - Who am I?
Meaning - What is my purpose?
Morality - What is my code?
Destiny - What is my future?

Despite all the information imparted to young people, imagine if they could answer definitively these five questions.  Imagine young people armed to the teeth with this sort of rock-ribbed worldview.  Maybe they wouldn't be killing themselves in record numbers every year?

Origin - Where did I come from?
If your a naturalist, an atheist then you believe laughably that you came from rocks which were formed by energy released by a big bang 13.82 billion years ago. (Note: As the years go by the age of the Earth keeps getting older and older as scientists attempt to account for the insane complexity of the universe.) Yes, people actually believe this stuff.  Naturalists can't stand the miraculous.  But their own worldview requires miracles.  The miracles of naturalism, atheism are as follows:
1. Getting something from nothing - There is a universe, it can't explode from nothing. Basic logic, and if they throw "well who created God?" Well, they are making a category error.
2. Getting life from non-life - We've never observed that in science, ever.
3. Getting order from chaos - entropy, the second law of thermodynamics indicates that a system will tend toward disorder not order (and yes, this law applies to our universe.)
4. Getting the immaterial from physical matter - amazing how they don't realize their own miraculous claims.

For a Christian we understand that all life has value.  My life has value and so does yours.  The life of the most staunch atheist has value, even the life of Hitler or Stalin has value.  Why?  Because all life has value.  Every person is made in the image of God.  They are in fact a beautiful and unique snowflake.  Isn't that excellent?  This value guides so much of what we does as Christians and Constitutionalists.  We are willing to allow opposing opinions, because we know that every person has value and therefore has certain inalienable rights.  We don't engage in silencing people like progressives do, we believe that all people have the right to their opinions and should be treated respectfully.  The implications are huge for this simple fact, but I'll leave it there for the sake of time.

Identity - Who am I? 
I think we really covered that more so in the first category.  We are beings created by God, is our origin, and our identity is that of having infinite value and worth.  We are beings worthy of protection and ought to have life, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness.  Which is why we must, must, must appose abortion.  Abortion is the organized genocide of our day; abortion takes life, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness from the most precious among us: children.

Meaning - What is my purpose?
If only young people understand that life does have meaning.  And it's not the meaning we make up in our heads.  Life has objective meaning.  There is in fact a purpose to life and to the world and to the universe.  

What is the purpose within the Christian worldview?  Our purpose is to come to know the being who created us, and the being who created the universe.  Our purpose is to come into full relationship with God almighty, and to love God and be loved by Him.  In addition, just as important is our imperative to love.  Love is the very center of our mission and purpose on Earth: We are charged to love those who are unlovable, to care for those who are careless and to stand for those who can't stand themselves.  It is a beautiful charge, and a life of supreme meaning.  We are to lead a life sharing the message of the gospel, of Jesus Christ, to the lost and broken of this world.  It is a life that leads to charities being founded, it's a life that leads to mission trips to dig wells in 3rd world countries, it's a life that leads to orphanages being built and hospitals being founded.  It's a mission that seeks to fight injustice and destroy slavery and worldly evils.  It's a life that turns a person inside out, from selfish, lonely and miserable to loving, merciful, and serving to those in need.  And truly it is a hard life, it is a difficult challenge, and it's a cause that requires every inch of who you are.  It's not a pale grim path, but a path of danger, darkness, light, sorrow, joy and awe.  It is a beautiful, magnificent purpose that is true, and real.  It's not true because it's good, that is an added bonus, it's true because it's the actual state of reality; how things truly are.

Morality - What is my code?
The Bible and the Constitution articulate an astounding moral code.  This moral code gives instruction in every area from personal growth to sexual practices, to how to treat the poor and how to deal with evil.

This is where the rubber meets the road.  How am I going to live?  What am I going to do?  And I mean really, when it's tough.  When a lovely young lady wants to take you home to bed.  Yet she's married.  Or she's your best friend's girl?  Are your values going to transition into that situation?  Or are they going out the window for the sake of pleasure?  Are we hedonists or are we principled conservatives?  And another area, money.  Are we giving 10% of our income to charity?  Are we caring for our family?  Or does our money go only to our wants and desires?  These two areas are the most crucial I think.  Sex and money.  These are the areas where either we'll stick to our principles or we'll give in like hedonists every time.  What about drugs?  Or alcohol?  What about telling the truth?  What about cheating others for a profit?  These are the questions we need to ask.  

When Ben Carson had the option, either I endorse a principled conservative and get nothing in return, or get a seat in Trump's administration if I kiss the ring... what decision did he make?  What would you have done?  What do we do in these situations?  Can we stand with our principles when it means we lose?  Can we ignore a bribe and take a pounding for it?  Can we side with the American people and be hated by the elite in Washington?  Can we tell the truth about those in power and receive the full weight of their scorn?  We need to look at these situations through the lens of our convictions, and act accordingly.  Otherwise we're just hypocrites and deserve nothing good in life.

Destiny - What is my future?
Finally, what is my future?  If your an atheist, naturalist then you believe your future is to blink out of existence.  No life after death, and no reason to live rightly now.  If you die and no longer exist, why not live it up in sexual acting out, drugs, parties, bars, strip joints, and all the rest?  In other words, this worldview is not a sustainable one for a healthy society.  A healthy society can't function with those who believe life has no meaning; because people who believe that behave in self destructive ways, tending to bring disorder to the society.  Isn't that self evident?  It really is.

What is your future if your a Christian?  Your future is to live in glory with God almighty, in a restored universe, a perfected reality that people such as us cannot even imagine.  Not because we're pie in the sky types, not because we're afraid of death, but because such a position tracks with reality.  It tracks with near death experiences.  It tracks with the spread of Christianity worldwide.  It tracks with the default understanding within the human heart that what we are now is only a pale reflection of who we truly are and what we truly shall be.  Or as C.S. Lewis said,"If I find within myself a desire which nothing on Earth can satisfy the logical conclusion is that I was made for another world." Or as the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes recorded: "God has placed eternity upon the human heart."  We know these things.  They are self evident.  They are natural truths built within our very souls.  It is only by the false rabbit trails created by secular culture that we could be convinced to believe otherwise.  

Understand this: God is real, even if we don't want Him to be.  God is real.  He did in fact send us a savior, a God-man into the world named Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, grew up Galilee who did in fact die on a cross, put to death by the Romans, who also did in fact resurrect bodily from the dead, in the power of the creator of reality, demonstrating to us his victory over death and the hardline formula for the salvation of humanity.  This formula is simple, profound, magical, yet firmly planted in the ground.  It is a reality of life.  

There will be a day, not too far from now when each and every single person who lives today and has ever lived, will stand physically before the God who made the universe.  Each of us will give an account of what decisions we made and what things we did.  It's true, believe it.  We are morally accountable beings.  Our actions really do have consequences.  Our bad decisions cause evil in the world.  Our good decisions cause hope, rejuvenation, and joy in the world.  We will one day have to answer for our choices.  And we will have to answer the question as to who is for us.  On that day I will be certain to say and to know that Jesus Christ is my savior, that he has paid the penalty for all my poor actions, my sins against God.  For those who are unable to answer with such a statement, they will be removed from the presence of God, just as any of us would no longer seek to be in the company of those who reject us.  And they will then be in a place of sadness, a place of darkness.  And there is no escape from such a place.  It's true.  And God is just, right, and good to do so.  Believe it, and act accordingly.

In conclusion, in this crazy world of moral relativism and secular ideology it's more important than ever to have the courage to live out our principles.  Our principles are grounded in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit who works within us to help us stand against any and all temptations.  Continue to stand firm in the Christian worldview, and the rights found in the Constitution.  It's not too late.  There is still hope in our culture.  There is still hope for a new great awakening.  It could be right around the corner, closer than we all imagine.  It's always in the darkest moments of history that people come together to do great things, right before the moment of no return.  That moment is today.  Live accordingly. 

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