by Bill Nugent
Every person has a deep unrelenting need to commit one’s self to something larger than self. In virtually all societies throughout history this thing larger than self has had to do with the unifyingmyths of the culture. Every society has had an origins myth and adestiny myth.
The myths were regarded as sacred truth. Western civilization is no exception. Our sacred unifying truth (not myth in our case!) has traditionally been the Christian Gospel and the Bible has been our holy book. Lately, however, the opinion shapers of the west have tried to make unbelief the new myth. Such unbelief is also called skepticism or materialism.
Christians consider the Bible to be truth and not mere myth because it has a type of God’s signature on it. This “signature of God” are the many thousands of predictive prophecies in the pages of the Bible and their fulfillments in history. Jesus Christ came in fulfillment of over 300 Old Testament Bible prophecies including 62 major prophecies. No other figure in all of world history can make anything like that claim.
Over the last 100 years the leadership of the west has for the most part abandoned the Christian Gospel that has provided the spiritual framework for the greatness of the west. The elite of the west has tried to build a civilization on unbelief. The new origins myth is evolution and the new destiny myth is annihilation.
This began the largest social experiment of all time: a civilization based on unbelief. Even the pagan societies of the ancient world had some kind of belief in deities that would avenge wrongdoers. Western civilization however, has largely rejected any authority beyond the human self.
In the government run public schools we are taught from early childhood that we are descendants of apes and that our ape ancestors evolved form pond scum in the primordial ooze. This was all supposed to have happened by accident. Evolution is officially taught as an “unguided” process. Therefore atheism is the de facto state sponsored religion in the US and in many other modern states.
If there is no God there is no real hope for life after death. Therefore it can be said that secular education implies that there is no future. Children are taught that at death the lights go out. They are taught that there is no eternal purpose for their lives. This is the secular myth that lies at the base of contemporary western civilization. This is why western civilization is in decline. It is repudiating its traditions and is plagued by cynicism, despair and cultural self doubt. Even its birthrate has fallen sharply to below replacement levels.
Let’s look at what the secular myth has done to our moral values. I used to work with a man who often quipped “I’ve got a good memory, only problem is that it’s not very long!” He used to get a few chuckles out of that line and eased the tension when his forgetfulness inconvenienced others.
Western civilization implicitly uses a very similar absurd line of reasoning. It goes like this: “We’ve got good morals, only trouble is they’re not very absolute!” Absoluteness is to morals what length is to memory. A short memory is a poor memory. Relative (non-absolute) morals are poor morals. The secular myth provides no spiritual authority on which to base absolute morals. Their is no secular transcendant lawgiver.
Moral relativism has been all the rage at western universities for the last 50 years. Relative morals are morals that constantly change and are non-judgmental and lack authority. Each culture and each person makes up their own morals. Since each person is the final authority over their personal moral system no person can effectively judge or correct another person. It is therefore impossible for society to make any measurable moral progress under relative morals.
Western civilization’s traditional Christian view of absolute morals is that morals are given by God and apply uniformly to all people in all societies at all times. The eighth commandment,“You shall not steal,” was the basis of property rights and the rule of property law throughout society for more than fifty generations.
The Ten Commandments and other Bible commands formed the corpus of absolute morals that gave order, restraint and productivity to society. Moral progress was considered to be the degree to which society progressively conformed to the Bible’s concept of justice.
With the rise of Darwinian evolution in the mid nineteenth century, society began to secularize and regard human beings as nothing more than soulless descendants of apes. With each passing generation morals were increasingly seen as given by man and not given by God. Human morals were seen as simple rules of convenience that could change as the elite men and women of society saw fit.
The first humanists such as Horace Mann (1796-1859) were optimists who held on to the concept of the dignity of man. Secularism has no inherent concept of human dignity. To them humans are just atoms in motion. Secularists borrowed the concept of human dignity from Christianity.
The existentialists, beginning in the next generation after Horace Mann, were pessimistic humanists who denied the dignity of man. Existential philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) wrote monstrous things about humanity and he inspired Adolf Hitler.
In the nineteenth century, society as a whole did not immediately abandon the Bible’s absolutes. People lived off the moral capital that had been built up by faithful Christians over the centuries. The secularists at the helm of society began to gradually chip away at God’s law.
The first to go was the seventh commandment: “You shall not commit adultery.” It took several generations for sexual promiscuity to be accepted. Sexual deviance seemed harmless at first but the explosive spread of venereal diseases and the abortions of millions of the unborn gave pause.
The next to go was the sixth commandment: “You shall not commit murder.” This got a bit uglier as secularism was applied in a radical way in the Soviet Union which outlawed Christianity and murdered millions who even remotely resisted communism in the 1930s under Stalin. Hitler appealed to Darwinism in his book,Mein Kampf, in which he developed his racial theories. His racial theories led to the murder of millions.
Contemporary society has seen the failure of both Soviet communism and Nazi brutality yet still persists in the same mistaken evolution underpinnings. There’s been an explosion in the crime rate over the last two generations. The US has the highest incarceration rate of any industrial society. Thirty nine forms of venereal disease run rampant. Millions of babies are aborted in a mass murder of the unborn. The outrageously high divorce rate scatters families and leaves children unmoored.
All this is a set up for the greatest failure of any civilization. The Bible prophesies of the end times in passages such as Matthew 24:3-22; First Timothy 4:1; Second Timothy 3:1-7 and others. The great failure of unbelief will be fully manifested with the rise of the Antichrist, a dictatorial figure who will arise just before the second coming of Christ. Bible passages including Second Thessalonians 2:1-12 and Revelation 13:1-18 give details about this great dictator who will enthrall billions.
There is cause for optimism, however, in that as society lurches into greater corruption, the arbitrariness and absurdity of the secularist myth becomes more obvious and people will begin to wake up. The failure of moral relativism to produce social order, happy families and happy people causes people to cry out to God to find ultimate answers. Every human being has a life that matters for eternity. Millions of people are receiving forgiveness of sins through Christ who died for our sins. The signs of true spiritual revival are popping up all across the land. Many are being saved out from the darkness of postmodern society.