This is a follow up to my commentary "Accepting the Creator and The Creation". I wrote that commentary fairly bluntly as other individuals, far more prominent than myself, have written entire books in a much more soft spoken way trying reconcile this conflict to no avail. The consequences of the issue at hand are of such severity that a bluntly honest approach is, perhaps, the only approach appropriate. To recap, mankind has been fooled into a false choice of accepting the creator (God) or the creation but not both, when in fact no such either/or choice really exists. In other, more general terms, mankind was given the false choice of accepting either the spiritual or the material but not both.
It's a sad consequence, that it is by so many in the faith rejecting the material that so many more have been pushed into rejecting the spiritual and thus rejecting God. For as a practical matter, when forced into such a false choice, it is a far easier and broader path to accept the material (which is seen) and reject the spiritual (which is unseen and is only known by faith) than the other way around.
With the mandate to the faithful being to gather and grow the flock and to spread the word, faith, and grace of Jesus, we should think twice about forcing such a false decision and stumbling block upon our fellow man. We should think twice precisely because the ramifications are so great for him going forward into eternity. By forcing such a stumbling block onto the rest of mankind, not only are we not growing the flock, we are doing the opposite. Not only are we not spreading the good news, we are blocking it from being spread.
Most Christians who are caught up in this false choice, of accepting the spiritual and rejecting the material, remain in the faith. They put their focus on the truth, wisdom, and grace of Jesus instead of creationism. There are some however who have become so enamored with this false choice of rejecting the material, that have so completely pushed aside the grace and truth of Jesus to focus solely on pushing creationism, that creationism has become functionally, in spirit and in deed, a separate religion, largely disconnected from the grace of Jesus. In other words there are those who have become so obsessed with creationism that they have fallen away from the true faith on account of it. This includes those who have refashioned themselves as scientists and have adorned themselves with academic credentials in order to peddle gross falsehood and misinformation to the masses in their zest to promote creationism.
The truth is that all things belong to God and all good things come from God. All wisdom, all logic, all reason, all grace, all love, all hope, all spiritual reality, all material reality.... all belong to and is from God. There is no choice to be made of accepting either the spiritual or the material for all is of God. We must remember that all that is good comes from God, lest we forget that upon having created the universe, the world, and the creatures, God reflected and "saw that it was good" (Genesis 1:25) and upon creating man God reflected and saw "that it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). That the material has been corrupted (that man's nature has been corrupted through sin) and indeed that aspects of the spiritual has been corrupted (Satan and the fallen angels) does not change the fact that Gods creation, both spiritual and material, was good at its completion.
That many of these things (that were good) have been corrupted does not change the fact that they were once good. But the many do not comprehend this. Reason that has been corrupted is no longer reason but foolishness, but the many do not see this.
So the split has occurred along this false choice with the majority of western civilization choosing the material and rejecting the spiritual (and rejecting God himself along with it). In so doing, the nations have set themselves on a disastrous course. For it is the wisdom of God and the wisdom of his teaching by which the guiding principles of liberty, equality, and justice originated in America and in the western world. That the government should regard men equally comes from the fact that God regards men equally. The idea of Liberty and freedom comes from God as well, as God gives man the greatest, and perhaps the most dangerous, freedom of all... the freedom to accept God (to our great benefit) or reject God (to our great detriment). It is this freedom that makes us human, this autonomy that allows us to freely come to God. For without it we would not be human but rather something akin to robots simply following out our programming. If God had wanted robots then I'm sure that's what he would have created, but he did not.
Freedom, equality (equal treatment by the government), and justice is the natural state for which mankind was made and the state in which mankind thrives. This is evidenced by the relative serenity and prosperity of America compared to much of the rest of human history with oppression, inequality, and injustice and its resultant angst and impoverishment. One might think, given the overwhelming historical evidence of this fact, that even the secular atheists might be smart enough to keep and maintain this wisdom.
Yet, in just a few short decades since this secular atheistic rejection of God has taken over our Universities, we see such basic wisdom crumbling and falling to the wayside. Once God was rejected, the notion of right and wrong was quickly rejected as well. Suddenly there is no right and wrong, there's just human opinion. In many academic circles this has progressed on to the idea that there is no truth or reality itself, there's just human opinion. Yet, how plainly stupid is this line of thinking, for reality and truth smack us in the face every day.
For example, Cardinals are little birds that are red. If every human being were to disappear from the face of the earth tomorrow, Cardinals would still be red. In other words the fact that Cardinals exist and are red is not dependent whatsoever upon human opinion. If someone carried the opinion that they could fly and subsequently jumped off the nearest skyscraper, their opinion that they could fly would ultimately have no bearing on the outcome that they would experience. Reality imposes itself regardless of human opinion. Many of these academics, that have adopted this position that there is no reality other than human opinion, still have to operate within reality on an everyday basis in order to function and even survive, but then blissfully go right on thinking that there is no right or wrong, there is no truth and reality, there is only human opinion.
Many of these same academics when posed a question of, if they were to come across a man brutally raping a woman or molesting a child would they act to stop it, say yes they would. Yet if there is no right or wrong but only human opinion, why act to stop the rape? Perhaps it's the man's opinion that rape is ok, so who are you to enforce your opinion over his? You see many of these same academics still retain, deep down, some sense of right and wrong, all the while thinking that there is no right or wrong. I worry about what will happen when they, and those they are indoctrinating, fully suppress any and all sense of right or wrong altogether. What all of this shows is how amazingly fast wisdom and reason, once cut off from their source (God), disintegrate into foolishness and delusion.
Out of this denial of reality, in favor of all things being human opinion (or human emotion), has come an ideology of pure emotional subjectivity, unhinged from logic, reason, fact, or common sense reality. In essence, instead of the emotion being a reaction to reality and being guided by reality, the emotion creates reality. This is very dangerous for suddenly the guiding principles of society such as liberty, equality, and religious freedom, which are grounded in reality, lose their moorings because there is no longer reality at all (other than the emotion of the moment). Criminal justice based on fact, reason, and evidence is replaced with lynch mob mentality. Oppression of other people and other groups becomes ok because one's emotions say that it is ok.
Just a few short decades after rejecting God, this madness of emotional subjectivism has taken over our academic universities and is called "wisdom" by the secular academic elites. The "wisdom of man" one could say. Through the influence of the universities and the indoctrination of new generations into this delusion and foolishness, it has taken over our media establishment and even our government. In the political realm this unhinged emotional subjectivism is called liberal progressivism but this is far more fundamental than just superficial politics. America, this last great nation that was created in the name of God, is at a far more dangerous crossroads than what many realize. For that which occurred in Germany in the 1930's can happen anywhere, including here. Being guided by pure unhinged emotional subjectivity opens the door to anything. One becomes worthy of extermination simply because others emotionally feel like they are worthy of extermination. One is a witch worthy of being burned at the stake, not because of any fact or evidence, but simply because others emotionally feel that way.
It is alarming to see where this emotional subjectivism is taking humanity. To see the future of western civilization we only need to look at where this emotional subjectivism has currently taken the greatest hold, which means looking at Europe (which is further down this tragic road than we are) and in American society, at the university campuses. As I mentioned in "Accepting the Creator and the Creation" although there is no proof of God, there are areas where scientific knowledge along with logic and reason are strongly leaning towards the existence of God. Likewise in the realm of societal behavior there is strong leanings, based on logic and reason, that God exists. What I'm talking about here is the irrational and totally inexplicable antipathy and outright hatred by the secularists towards Jews and Christians (God's original chosen people and God's adopted people who have been grafted in).
Take, for instance, Israel and the stance that the liberal progressive academic elite take towards Israel. Israel is demonized into the ground for doing the bare minimum to ensure its survival. Does anybody think that Palestine would even exist today if the country that it was bombing and launching rockets at was Russia, North Korea, or Iran? Yet of all the atrocities that are being committed in the Islamic world, of all the oppression that is occurring in communist North Korean or China, it is not these things that garner the rage of the liberal progressive academic elites. It's Israel. Once you look at it rationally, it makes absolutely no sense other than that those, who have rejected God, hate God's chosen people.
Likewise, in the last few years in America, there have been dozens, if not hundreds, of Christian groups that have been banned and kicked off college campuses. Most outrageously of all, this is being done in the name of tolerance. In the world of the liberal progressive academic elite, tolerance for gays is the perfect excuse for perpetrating absolute intolerance of Christians. Yet this doesn't make any sense either. In a truly tolerant situation both Christians and gays would be allowed to be on college campuses and coexist. Muslims in Islamic countries execute homosexuals for being gay yet seemingly get a pass from the liberal progressive elite. Yet if a Christian baker or photographer asks simply to not be forced to participate in a gay wedding, the emotionally subjective liberal progressive demonizes, intimidates, and bullies the Christian baker or photographer into submission, often to the point of taking away their business.
The secular liberal progressive atheists have genuine rage towards Jews and Christians. Why is that? There really is no good explicable reason that is rationally based on solely materialistic thinking. If one is an atheist then the strongest reaction, to the Jews and Christians with our belief in God, is amusement or, at most, mild annoyance. Not rage. It's also interesting to note that it's not Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Wiccans, or the Sikhs that garner antipathy and intolerance from the secular atheistic liberal progressive academics, just Jews and Christians. The fact that such otherwise inexplicable antipathy occurs may just be one more sign that God, as the Christians and Jews know him, does exist. Again, this is not proof of God's existence but it certainly is an interesting phenomenon to take note of.
Another societal sign pointing to the existence of God comes from what has happened with societies and nations since the time of Jesus. Jesus said "By their fruit you will recognize them." (Matthew 7:16) Look at the fruit of Mohammad and his teachings. Throughout the centuries the fruit of Islam has been subjugation by the sword and oppression of freedom by sharia law, leading to impoverishment, angst, and violence. Furthermore, those committing these acts of violence and oppression are following the teachings of Mohammad and the scriptures of the Quran and the Hadith.
Compare that to the fruit of the teachings of Jesus. Throughout the centuries the fruit of Jesus has been grace and forgiveness and ultimately has led to liberty and freedom. From this has come prosperity and serenity for societies that have embraced it. There are those who might say that there have been bad actors and outcomes in Christian nations over the centuries but the response is that those committing those acts were going against the scriptural teachings of Jesus in doing their actions. It has indeed been the teachings of Jesus that has lead to prosperity, serenity, and blessings for those nations. When those nations have not been blessed, it has been from turning away from the teachings of Jesus.
One final interesting note is the experience of the World War II generation of Americans. Do you think it merely a coincidence that this Christian generation, which heeded the call to confront and defeat the greatest human evil and threat to the world ever seen, the Nazis, has been the most prosperous and secure generation in all of human history? And, that just as this generation is dying off, the prosperity and security which enveloped them is starting to fall by the wayside? Or, instead of being a coincidence, is it God blessing those who were faithful and heeded the call?
An interesting question comes from all of this... obviously freedom (and free markets) leads to prosperity by its very nature of unlocking and promoting human potential. So, is it the principles of freedom, equality, and justice that provided America with such overwhelming prosperity or is it a blessing from God to his people, to a nation that was created in his name and for much of its existence has been faithful to him? The answer, I think, is YES. In other words it's both simultaneously. For it was faith in God's word and wisdom that lead people to these principles in the first place. Likewise as the people of this nation are now turning from God (in large part out of response to the false choice of accepting either the spiritual or the material), the wisdom that led to these principles of freedom, equality, and justice is now starting to fall to the wayside as well. Once these principles fall, soon thereafter the prosperity, serenity, and security that came from them will fall away as well. As one can see, once evaluated critically and logically, all things are connected and all good things do indeed come from God.
Getting back on track to the main topic, this false choice of accepting either the creator or the creation (accepting either the spiritual or the material) is causing ramifications of enormous consequences in eternity as it is driving hundreds of millions away from Jesus. But it is also causing massive consequences today in this world. Western Christian societies are turning away from Christianity and the wisdom of God because of it.
Yes, the ideas of atheism and agnosticism have been around since the times of ancient Greece. But, up until 150 years ago it has only been a small percentage of society that had been drawn in by them. It is this false choice of having to choose either the creator or the creation (the spiritual or the material) that has given atheism its teeth and made it so alluring to so many. For, over the course of the last 150 years, massive segments and percentages of western society have fallen away on account of this false choice. This is because this false choice gives the appearance of ceding reason, logic, and empirically known fact to the side of atheism. This appearance is a false appearance because in truth all spiritual and material reality (as well as all reason, logic, and empirically known fact) are from God.
As I mentioned, once cut off from their source (God) objective reason, logic, and the empiric are gradually disintegrating into unhinged emotional subjectivism and delusion. An example of this, amongst the many, is how the multiculturalism originating in the 1960's has evolved into the full blown liberal progressivism of today. The original idea being that all cultures are equally good and equally capable. The problem is that some cultures as vastly more successful, serene, secure, and prosperous than other cultures, and this is plainly visible. One only needs to compare the relative impoverishment and strife of the Islamic middle east and the secular communist nations of Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea with the relative prosperity and serenity of the west. So, if all cultures are equally good and equally capable, why the discrepancy in reality and outcome between different cultures? The secular emotional subjectives (the liberal progressives) must explain this discrepancy somehow.
The "logical" explanation from the liberal progressives is that, since all cultures are equally good and equally capable, the successful and prosperous cultures (the west) must be exploiting the unsuccessful and impoverished cultures (the communist nations and the middle east) to account for this discrepancy. Thus the cultures that are successful and prosperous are the bad guys and are to be maligned and the cultures that are unsuccessful and impoverished are the good guys and are to be lauded. This explanation ignores the true cause of the discrepancy which is that cultures that embrace freedom and equality (which unlock human potential) are vastly more successful than cultures that embrace oppression and inequality. This is true whether the source of the oppression and inequality is religious (such as Islamic Sharia Law) or secular (such as Communism and to a lesser extent, Socialism).
Ultimately this leads the secular emotional subjectives (liberal progressives) to indirectly malign that which is good (liberty and equality) and indirectly commend, or at least justify, that which is bad (oppression and inequality). This is simply one example but it is interesting that the secular emotional subjectives, having cut themselves off from the grace and wisdom of God, do this with virtually every issue of good and bad or right and wrong. They turn it on its head such that right is wrong, wrong is right. That which is good is seen as bad and that which is bad is seen as good.
Instead of freedom for people to be gay and freedom for people to be Christian, and freedom for all to make up their own minds on such things, the liberal progressives push outright oppression of Christians and the freedom of religion. Their governmental policies reward and motivate people not to work hard and realize their potential when the principles of freedom and equality (equal treatment by government towards citizens) do the exact opposite. On virtually every political issue the liberal progressives, being guided by unhinged emotional subjectivism instead of grace, logic, and common sense reality, make the wrong choice.
You see, all things really are connected and this false choice of choosing either the creator or the creation, having driven so many away from Jesus and God, is now impacting virtually every area of western civilization. It's causing chaos in our politics, corroding our guiding principles of liberty and equality, and has even gotten to the point where it's starting to corrupt that pure ground of objectivity itself, empirical science (as can be seen in the realm of climate science, but more on that later).
We currently stand on the precipice, at the crossroads. America, being only the second nation in all of human history to be founded in the name of God, is the last great standard bearer of reason and logic, of liberty and equality. If America falls, the world will certainly fall with it. Reason and faith both belong to God and were meant to complement one another, not deny one another. The foolishness and delusion, that was given seed 150 years ago by the original false choice of creator or creation, has grown and spread to involve nearly every facet of western civilization and there is much damage being done that needs to be repaired. This can only be done through the truth, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind" (Matthew 23:37). We must not forget and neglect the third part of that truth. Grace and blessings to all who follow the light and the truth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.