Christianity Oasis Ministry
Know the Foe
Chapter 11 - The Inevitable Tide
There's good new and there's bad news. Which news is which depends on your side of the Humanism-Christianity conflict. The good news, if you are a Humanist, is that you will win–and that is bad new if you are a Christian. The bad new, if you are a Humanist, is that your victory will only be temporary–and that is good news if you are a Christian. How do I know? As the Old Sunday school song proclaims, "The Bible tells me so!" (Now there is a good reason for Humanists to read the Bible.) Actually, the Bible is full of prophesies and several touch on this very theme. But we will continue that discussion later.
When in Rome . . .
It has been said that history repeats itself and in the case of Humanism, we can hear the echoes of the Roman Empire clearly. Many of the dogmas of Humanism are a repackaging of elements of the Roman Empire and they are gradually gaining a place in modern Western society. Below are a few quotes (in italics) taken from the Humanist Manifesto, Appendix 3. References to Roman culture are taken mostly from The Twelve Caesars.
Rome saw Christianity as a threat to the Roman lifestyle. Christianity was suppressed and no public expression of Christ was allowed, under penalty of prison or death. Since the Christians would not worship the Emperor and would not participate in pagan orgies and offerings to pagan gods, they were seen as a politically disruptive influence, troublemakers.
We believe, however, that traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species. Any account of nature should pass the tests of scientific evidence; in our judgment, the dogmas and myths of traditional religions do not do so.
As nontheists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity.
It is interesting to note that 50 percent of Humanist Manifesto 2 is devoted to opposing religion and promoting Atheism.
It is not politically correct to mention Jesus in "polite, politically correct company". The ACLU has been successful in removing any mention of God from the classroom and religious traditions from the public arena. It has become acceptable to ridicule Christians, particularly Evangelicals as superstitious, unreasonable, fanatic, and of a lower mental awareness.
David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Institute, and Gabe Lyons of the Fermi Project published a study of attitudes of 16-29-year-old Americans towards Christianity. They found that about 38% of all those who did not regularly attend church had negative impressions of Christianity, and especially Evangelical Christianity, associating it with conservative political activism, hypocrisy, anti-homosexuality, and judgmentalism. About 17% had "very bad" perceptions of Christianity.
In late 2003, there was a dispute in New York City over whether or not schools may be allowed to display religious symbols. Jewish "menorahs" and Islamic "crescents" are permitted, but "nativity scenes," that depict the birth of Christ, are not allowed. New York City lawyers maintained that the Jewish and Islamic symbols have a "secular" dimension, while the latter is "purely religious."
Harold O.J. Brown of the Howard Center for the Family, Religion and Society wrote, after several school shooting that targeted Christian students, that he saw a "similarity between the way the Roman authorities charged Christians of that era with odium humani generis (hatred of the human race) and the way the political and media establishment charge the Christians with creating a "climate of hate." David Overstreet, national director of field ministries for the National Network of Youth Ministries, said Christians have endured persecution throughout the ages. As evidenced by the targeting of Christians in the Columbine and Paducah shootings, however, "there is a heightened potential for prejudice on school campuses," he said. Mr. Overstreet blamed a collapse of moral standards for producing what he called "a growing culture of violence." Today, the Secular-Progressive society is not evolving into a more enlightened society, it is returning to the culture of Rome.
The Roman moral code was essentially a state-controlled ethical structure in which public conduct was regulated by laws and private conduct was self-determined. As the wealth of Rome increased due to the expansion of the Empire, the society became proportionately more hedonistic and corrupt. The bloody games produced by emperors and influential officials were conducted in order to appease an increasingly bored, restless, and morally corrupt populace. The games were initially similar to modern boxing matches, but a blood-thirst grew as the population became more decadent. Eventually, their "maximum individual autonomy" was expressed in the mass murder of Christians whose moral dogmas they found so offensive. When the state determines moral standards, that morality will eventually corrode and the moral boundaries will yield to political interests.
Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful.
We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational needing no theological or ideological sanction.
We believe in maximum individual autonomy consonant with social responsibility. Although science can account for the causes of behavior, the possibilities of individual freedom of choice exist in human life and should be increased.
Situational ethics is increasing as the secular moral code in Western countries. The principle of anything goes as long as it does not adversely affect society is being supported by many court decisions. Pornography, once socially unacceptable and illegal, is now legal and socially acceptable in the liberal and more decadent circles. Sexual promiscuity is now considered a normal function and is commonplace in TV shows and movies. Pressure is increasing to legalize marijuana and other "social drugs". The objection to religious dogmas expressed in HM2 is essentially an objection to an absolute moral standard and moral discipline. A dogma is nothing more than a teaching. HM2 is full of dogmas. It is Christian dogma that is rejected. Christian dogma says, "Sin is sin and it is still sin even if society does not want it to be a sin". In a Humanistic society there is no sin. Today, the Secular-Progressive society is not evolving into a more enlightened society, it is returning to the culture of Rome.
The maximum individual autonomy practiced by the Romans was vigorously applied to sexual practices. The Caesars were overwhelmingly homosexual or bi-sexual. Houses of prostitution were legal, well patronized, and catered to all sexual preferences. Pedophilia was commonplace. However, the maximum individual autonomy went too far and even the sexually permissive Romans were offended by the increasing numbers of transvestites, including several senators, who flaunted their feminine fashions in public. The senate finally passed a law prohibiting men from wearing silk– in public that is.
In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct.
The many varieties of sexual exploration should not in themselves be considered "evil."
In Provincetown, Mass., the school board has voted to begin teaching preschoolers about homosexual lifestyles and to back hiring preferences for "sexual minorities." Susan Fleming, superintendent of Provincetown schools, said, "The whole question is making gays and lesbians, whether through visuals or examples or acknowledging different family structures, ... visible." This philosophy is rapidly spreading throughout our school systems nationwide. In some schools, the children are taught that homosexuality is as normal as heterosexuality and even encouraged to experiment.
The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is a New York City and San Francisco-based unincorporated organization in the United States that advocates the liberalization of laws against sexual relations between adult and minor males--resolving to end the oppression of men and boys who have freely chosen mutually consenting relationships". The American Civil Liberties Union is a major player in the effort to allow pedophiles to practice their pleasure.
The liberal judge activists got the message.
In 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages could not be prohibited. A referendum legally reasserted one-man one-woman marriage. On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. On April 7, 2009, the state legislature overrode Gov. Jim Douglas's veto of a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry, making Vermont the first state to allow gay marriage through legislative action. In 2000, Vermont became the first U.S. state to offer same-sex civil unions. Other states that allow same-sex marriage are: New Hampshire, Iowa, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and the list grows longer each year. Other nations that allow same-sex marriage are: Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. In all cases, the number is increasing.
Nations that allow same-sex unions or partnerships are: Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zeeland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, and Great Britton. It should be noted that much of the same-sex marriage legalization has come through liberal courts and, in many cases, referendums defeat the practice. It would appear the liberal courts are out of touch with society on this matter.
And, of course, there is pornography. Fifty years ago the liberal courts ruled that pornography was "art". Now pornographic sites on the internet are the most popular–by a wide margin.
Romans practiced infanticide, suicide, and abortion. Suicide was usually practiced by those who were disgraced and wanted an "honorable" death. By the 2nd century, the Roman games consisted of gladiator fights to the death and the killing of Christians in various "entertaining" ways.
It also includes a recognition of an individual's right to die with dignity, euthanasia, and the right to suicide.
The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized.
Abortion is now legal everywhere. Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, and physician assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and in the U.S. the state of Oregon. It is a path of small steps from killing someone or assisting suicide because they are dieing and are in pain to killing someone because they are infirm and no longer want to live. Then advance to killing someone because they are born with congenital abnormalities and they may have a difficult life (already justification for abortion), to killing someone because they are mentally or socially "unfit" as is proposed by the eugenics contingent (see Chapter 13).
New World Order
The Roman Empire was a marvel of organization and unity. It controlled, what was for the Roman citizen, the known world. Roman religion was imposed on the conquered nations and Roman law was enforced by the Roman army. The conquered nations were taxed and their tribute made the Roman citizen wealthy. The conquered contributed more than money; they provided the slaves necessary to maintain an advantageous economy. The Roman Empire was ahead of its time technologically, their infrastructure allowed the large expanse of the Empire to be controlled and the Pax Romana enforced. Modern historians, artists, architects, engineers, politicians, poets and, of course, Humanists praise the Roman "World Order." But ask those who were subject to it. If a "world government" is such an ideal means of developing society, why was the Roman army larger after expansion was complete than when they were actively in battles and taking new lands? In spite of the magnificent organization and international communication system, corruption was endemic and rebellion was just around the corner. It was an excellent example of the saying, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community.
Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.
The problems of economic growth and development can no longer be resolved by one nation alone; they are worldwide in scope.
We must expand communication and transportation across frontiers. Travel restrictions must cease.
The economic disaster of 2008 made the point. The world is united economically. With economic unification comes increasing political unification. Even before the economic collapse, there was a tendency for unification: United Nations, World Bank, APEC, ASEAN, NAFTA, and the European Union. In some of the regional groups, open borders are available to member nations. Rapid international transportation and the Internet allow global commerce and trade to grow at an astonishing rate. Out of the global economic crisis, there have emerged several concepts that indicate an even more unified world is developing. Global regulation of equity and financial transactions is assured. Even a global currency has been proposed. National identities are crumbling and centralization is increasing.
Nations and national associations are becoming increasingly socialistic as national identities are diminishing. The social engineers are pressing agendas that promote state control at the expense of individual freedom. Today, the European Union is almost as socialistic as "state capitalist" China. This, of course is necessary for the puppet masters to have the strong strings that manipulate society.
Unification has one major disadvantage for the citizen; the farther government is from the people, the less accountability it has to the individual. The citizen of a small town can usually walk into the office of a town official and make a request or file a complaint, usually over a cup of coffee, and expect results. Try that at in a big city, state office or, God forbid, a federal office. Now imagine a world government. The less direct accountability a government has to the people, the higher the probability of a dictatorship. Democracy does not work without accountability and a unified world cannot be a democracy because the logistics of accountability will not allow it. However, there cannot be a world government as long as there are national superpowers based on free enterprise and individual freedom. Lurking in our future is an effort by Humanist to undermine the sovereignty of our nation and its economic strength. Only in that way can the impediment to world government be neutralized.
As Humanism is being advanced in our society, it is often labeled Progressivism. Today, most liberal politicians refer to themselves as Progressive. It is more acceptable than Socialist or Marxist, however, a rose by any other name is still..... We discuss this in detail in Chapter 13. However, as revealed above, the fruit of the "Humanism tree" is nothing new. In fact Humanism is a regression to the lifestyle of the Romans – just before they slipped into degeneration and the Empire fell.
Closing the Parenthesis
From the few examples above, one could speculate that we are not progressing in social, moral, political, and human values but are regressing back to the decadent times of the Roman Empire. I guess it is true what they say: history repeats itself. With regard to the struggle between Christianity and the secular world, this is particularly true.
When the Church began, it existed in an environment of anti-Christian paganism, anti-Christian secular powers, and anti-Christian philosophies. The Church grew in numbers and, by the 4th century, the persecution was eliminated and for several centuries the Church existed in a favorable environment; able to evangelize without restriction until a third of the world had become Christian. Now we see a gradual return to the times of the early Church.
This book is concerned with the impact of Evolutionism, Secular Humanism, and the Secular-Progressive movements on Christianity and how Christians react to these challenges. However, a greater threat to Christianity is growing in scope and influence as well– Gnosticism. We will discuss this threat in further in Chapter 12. Gnosticism was the most important threat to the early Church and it is still alive and well today. This is graphically represented in Figure 4.
Figure 4. Graphical representation of the Christian church as described by biblical prophesy.
The opposition to the Church as shown in the "Early Church to the 4th century" box is well documented in history as is the period of Christian evangelizing.
And the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and the end will come. Matt 24:14
When the evangelizing of the world is complete, the end will come– the parenthesis will be closed and the persecution will resume. The "good" times when Christianity is afforded privilege and respect, even from non-Christians is over. The parenthesis is closing and we are coming in to the final period of this amazing epoch. What will the last days be like? Here are a few examples taken from the Bible.
But mark this, there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having the form of godliness, but denying its power. 2 Tim 3:1-5
Paul continues to show how man tends to worship the created rather than the Creator, and the results are not so good:
Therefore God gave them over in sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen Rom 1:24
Peter continues the description of end-time conditions:
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 2Pet 3:3, 4
And from Jude:
But dear friends, remember what the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." Jude 17
But the opposition to Christians increases:
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. Matt 24:9
They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. John 16:2
He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. Rev 13:7
The evidence is clear, from both current events and the predictions in the Bible; Christianity will come under increasing rejection by society and with it the Creationists' positions. Humanism plays an important role in the opposition to Christianity, in fact, the primary opponent as discussed in Chapter 13.
A survey conducted by the American Religious Identification Survey and reported in USA Today in 2008, showed that, since 1990, there is an 11 percent increase in those who claim to have no religion. And many of those who do claim to have some Christian affiliation are not committed, practicing Christians.
A survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows that within the Christian community, the Evangelicals have become the majority and those churches that have compromised philosophically or socially to adapt to the Humanistic positions are the ones that have declined in membership. There is no question that a polarization is occurring throughout the world. Secularism is increasing and within the Church, the "Political", "Philosophical", and "Social" (politically correct) churches are declining and distancing themselves from the Evangelicals.
Increasingly, those who are seeking a spiritual life tend to build their own religion, picking and choosing whatever piece of theology seems to fit their particular preference– and this includes many Christians. At the same time, those who claim to be evangelical, born again, charismatic, or Pentecostal are increasingly committed and active in their Christian community.
And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Matt 25:32
The time is rapidly approaching when "fence-sitters" will have to make a commitment one way or the other. I mentioned at the beginning of the chapter that there was good news and bad news. So far, at least from the perspective of the Christian, we have only discussed the bad new. For the good news, reference is made to Revelation, Chapters 19 through 21 and 1 Jn 5:4, 5. We will continue this discussion in chapters 16 and 17.
 The Twelve Caesars (Penguin Classics, ISBN 0-140-44921-3) by Suetinus a Roman historian, who probably wrote the book during the first part of the 2nd century. It is one of the most accurate and detailed accounts of Roman life during the period of the early Christian Church.
Copyright © 2011 by Patrick Vosse
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