By J. Jeff Toler, for Shenandoah Christian Alliance
Once again class, do we really know the enemy?
Secularism is a belief system that rejects religion, or the belief that religion should not be part of the affairs of the state or part of public education. The principles of separation of church and state and of keeping religion out of the public school system are examples of secularism. There are, of course many, many others.
In his new book, The Gathering Storm, Secularism, Culture, and the Church, Albert Mohler writes about both passive and active secularism. As an example of passive secularism, he cites the case of Gretta Vosper, an avowed atheist who was actually pastoring a local parish of the United Church of Canada! This amazing situation was tolerated, even during publication of her book, With or Without God, which “trivialized belief in God and replaced faith with her own concept of morality and virtue as the primary marks of a Christian.” It was not until she tossed out the Lord’s Prayer that her congregation dropped from 150 attendees to 50. Evidently this was the last straw. She was very nearly defrocked by a local determination, but the UCC ultimately decided to simply settle with her rather than pursue a heresy trial, in what can only be described as utter capitulation.
Active secularism, according to Mohler, would include deliberate attacks by people outside of and antagonistic to the church, by attempting to remove the authority and influence of the church through confrontation. We see it, for example, in the militant impact of the so-called LGBTQ agenda. Again, Mohler cites a recent example in an article by Beatrice Alba in the Guardian that carried the headline “If We Reject Gender Discrimination in Every Other Arena, Why Do We Accept it in Religion?” Alba flatly declares that parents do NOT have the right to teach their children their deeply held beliefs. That right is to be left to the state.
If we are honest with ourselves, we know that these kinds of attacks began with notable intensity during the last administration, and are now at fever pitch all during this administration. Why is this we may ask? Another term for active secularism is Marxism.
Because the church represents, along with the traditional family, the last obstacle to the utter breakdown of an ordered, lawful, and peaceful society. Without them, we are living very close to the precipice of complete moral collapse. We are seeing the result of decades and decades of progress by the enemy. This is, by any definition what real spiritual warfare looks like. Active secularism features the labor of dedicated cultural Marxists. Elizabeth Johnston, The Activist Mommy nails it in this wonderful video. Marxists pursue their agenda relentlessly. They are good, very good, at their assignment. We need to study the game plan to defeat them.
Historically we know there is this horrible, and completely predictable fact about secularists/cultural Marxists: they strive for chaos. They want to destroy and tear down what God wants to edify—to build up.
- Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by The Spirit.(Ephesians 2:20–22 ESV)
Marxists will only produce detritus—waste, debris, and rubble, and it’s already heaped up in awesome, stinking mounds in America today. From this condition they hope to create power for themselves. But ironically, Marxists always end up destroying themselves. Like barracudas, they eat each other because they simply can’t help themselves.
So again, why? Is it possible such people are not in possession of their right minds? Marxists have been around since, well, since Marx. He in turn was inspired to rely on the rational. This is materialist thought. The problem with Marx, and all the others spawned by the paradoxically termed era; The Age of Enlightenment, was the reliance on their own rationale. This, it seems, is always a bad idea.
- The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.(Psalm 14:1 ESV)
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.(Proverbs 3:5–6 ESV)
Describing the descent of a materialistic secularist in Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton wrote, “Nietzsche had some natural talent for sarcasm: he could sneer, though he could not laugh; but there is always something bodiless and without weight in his satire, simply because it has not any mass of common morality behind it. He is himself more preposterous than anything he denounces… The softening of the brain which ultimately overtook him was not a physical accident. If Nietzsche had not ended in imbecility, Nietzscheism would end in imbecility.” [emphases added]
Though they may be imbeciles, the enemies of Christ are determined and dangerous.
There is a storm on the horizon. The winds are running ahead of it. It’s all but upon us. It will be terrible and destructive if we don’t protect ourselves. One thing is absolutely certain: while we know we are more than victors, we still must turn and fight the enemies that want the destruction of our families, our faith, and our future. We can’t just hand all this over to them. We certainly must not enable them. It would be a sin.
Pray, prepare, and participate.
The Gathering Storm, Secularism, Culture, and the Church. R. Albert Mohler, (2020)
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