Let me go over the game film with you. The last 2-3 years have been quite the ride for Americans in general and American Evangelicals in particular. The 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump, the #MeToo movement, growing cultural turmoil of gender/sexuality issues, and the continual cycle of liberal outrage countered by “conservative” bluster. We have sure been busy haven’t we?
With each new day it seems there is some controversy, scandal, or issue which immediately fractures “us” into camps. Without commenting on the particular events which trigger this ceaseless cycle of outrage-mongering, I do want to point out our opponent’s strategies and tactics.
Our society over the last couple generations has adopted what they believe to be a godless worldview. Truth is what you make of it. Morality is decided democratically. Right and Good are defined by your nerve endings. This system of thought is what we have come to call Humanism. Another name for it might be the belief in Human Autonomy. Another term for it is raw sewage.
Humanism’s underlying premise is that man is autonomous. Meaning, man is not dependent on God for life, morality, and ultimately salvation. Man can decide his own morality. Man can determine his own destiny. Man can define his purpose. Man is the answer for all his problems.
The problem with this thinking is that inevitably––and here is where we are at in the game––mankind comes to disagree with each other as to which road to take, which standard to apply, which morality to abide by. Humanism works its way, like a tar from a cigarette, into the society’s bronchial tubes. At which point the demons of lung cancer are unleashed. Humanism is accompanied by all variety of demons, but two in particular are having a great time as of late: faction and feuding. We’ve come to believe that truth is whatever you want it to be, and now we have been successfully pitted against each other in an eye-for-eye feud. Each faction vying to destroy the other.
Here is why we see such vehement strife in American culture. We ripped out the capstone of the arch and wonder why the left side and right side are tumbling into each other. Neither side can support itself, but each side is insisting that it has a point of cohesion which the other side must adhere to. The irony is that both camps are assuming their own autonomy. They are assuming that nature is all there is. Without God the Son there is no cohesion point in the universe that can prevent the demise of humanism. Humanism is pride, and pride always comes to destruction.
A society where each man is a god unto himself is certain to eventually crumble. The gods are always easily offended, and when they are angry they demand blood, they demand vengeance, they demand a sincere apology for insensitive remarks. You cannot insist that each person should discover themselves, follow their heart, and “do you” and then be surprised when the eventually civil war breaks out. Man is too feeble to hold things together.
This is why Christian worship of the Triune God is vital. When believers gather each Lord’s Day for worship, Word, and sacrament, we are making a defiant statement of our unwillingness to worship idols. We are insisting that Christ is the “uni” around which the universe revolves. We have a point of unity which humanism never can. Humanism looks inward for guidance, fulfillment, and salvation. Christianity points us to the only Man who was ever clean of unrighteousness. Humanism insists man doesn’t need God; Christianity insists that God became a man in order to reunite mankind with God Almighty––Father, Son, Spirit. Our weekly worship is a reminder that every true believer has died in Christ’s death, and no longer lives unto himself. Instead, it is Christ Who lives within.
Christianity is the death of feuding and faction, because vengeance is satisfied, offenses are passed over, and sin is satiated. All because the righteous sacrifice of the Lord Jesus’ shed blood. Every Sunday we remember that all our little individual religions, all our altars to self, are in ruins, desecrated, destroyed and tossed into the grave. But better still, we celebrate a resurrection which binds all believers together in Christ. We have more than what faction can offer, i.e. mere fraternity. Christ offers fellowship. Fellowship with Him, and in Him we are brought to enjoy the fullness of the Godhead, and we are joined with all the saints of all ages. Humanism will always end in ashes and death. Christ offers a resurrection.