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by Jacob Ninan
There is on one hand a resurgence these days in seeking after God by people who are desperately looking for answers, and many are coming to a personal knowledge of God even in miraculous ways. But on the other hand it is clear that the world on the whole is getting farther away from God at a speed never seen before. The German philosopher Nietzsche made the statement that God was dead! For a large number of people, God is becoming irrelevant. When scientists made the discovery of the Higgs boson sub-atomic particle nicknamed the God particle, some of them said that it was now unnecessary to bring in the concept of God to be able to explain the universe. More grievous than all this is the moral decay that is sweeping the world. Flouting of moral norms is being promoted through the media and lapped up by the general public with increasing abandon. If we look more carefully at what is happening overall in the world scene we can notice some strands of deception that are behind this development. These strands form part of a somewhat invisible web that connects them together. A coherent plan of deception seems to be at work when we take a broad look at this web of deception.
At the inner circle of the web we find the theory of evolution. Many people seem to assume that this has now become a proven fact instead of remaining as just a theory, forgetting that the theory gets revised every now and then with some new discovery of facts that question the older theory and that there are still many serious questions that are left unanswered in the explanation. But what the theory has essentially accomplished is to remove the requirement of God in many people’s minds as the Creator of the whole universe. Once that is believed, out goes the need for being accountable to God for what we do with our life. When we are just blobs of substance that exist on this earth for a short time, why should we have to bother about moral absolutes about right and wrong? If we are just animals, albeit the most highly evolved ones, should we not just try to be the ‘stronger’ among the others in different situations in order to survive and enjoy ourselves in the meantime? Why should we waste our time caring for others, among other things?
If there is no God and we are just biological products of chance, there is no basis for morality or any accountability for how we live our lives. But the fact of the matter is that the theory of evolution is not able to explain the sense of right and wrong we are all born with, whatever civilisation we are born into. How can we also explain the love we experience for others which sometimes prompts us to sacrifice something of ours for the good of others? Or the awe we feel before breath-taking scenery or works of art? There is a metaphysical reality to human life which cannot be explained by chemical compositions.
Once we are declared independent of God, we automatically become the masters of our own lives and also our destiny. Apart from the rule of society which is thrust upon us, nobody can tell us what we ought to do or ought not. This is the second strand of deception that is being spread throughout the world. Psychologists tell parents to leave children alone to have the freedom to develop their own individual personalities, and philosophers tell us that no one can impose his ideas on others, be they religious, cultural or traditional. Having said this, what we actually find is that the real opposition is only against Christians sharing their concepts with others, including Christian parents with their children. The name of Jesus is not to be taken openly, and Christian values and principles must not be ‘imposed’ on others. ‘Christmas’ gets converted to ‘holidays’ and Bible verses or the Ten Commandments should not be displayed in a way that would influence others. There is full freedom for other religions, cultures and tradition! When it comes to them, the key words are tolerance and respect! Christianity is put under pressure to subjugate itself as just one of the many ways that lead to God. The logical fallacy of not being able to reconcile with the opposition to Christianity on one hand and the proclamation by the other religions of being tolerant gets lost in the agitation against Christians claiming a uniqueness of their God.
Once there is no God to give account to and we are just animals living on the earth for a short time, the goal of life becomes to ‘enjoy’. There is an abundance of ways in which we can enjoy life, be they through eating and drinking, partying, wearing fancy clothes and ornaments, entertainment of various types, sports, visiting new places, accumulation of wealth, attaining lofty positions in career or society, etc. If we just pause and think about it, we can see what a great percentage of human activities are taken up by this goal to enjoy and to provide this enjoyment. People run after enjoyment believing that it is what will satisfy them and bring meaning to their lives. This is another strand of deception within the web.
Such a goal is illusory – the more we enjoy these things, the less we feel satisfied and the more empty we feel. It is not infrequent to see people who have seemingly reached the pinnacles of such enjoyment find the emptiness too hard to manage and commit suicide. Blaise Pascal, a famous French mathematician and philosopher, put it like this: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” For those created by God in His own image, ultimately only He can satisfy.
When we see ourselves as the supreme authority over our own life, independent of God or anyone else, then what we want becomes paramount. We claim it as our right to be able to do whatever we want. Individual wants become individual rights. Once they are seen as rights, no one else has any right to oppose them! This is yet another strand of deception that is influencing the present way of thinking. As a result of falling for this deception, people are doing now what everyone used to know instinctively as being wrong – abortion, homosexual acts, to mention the most ‘popular’ acts – and others are taking pride in giving their social and legal support for such people. It has come to pass that people are glorying in what should have caused them shame (Php.3:19). This way of thinking and behaving is throwing the door wide open for immorality and sin to abound rapidly.
One offshoot of this strand of deception is to make people believe that personal rights supersede all other concerns. Normally when laws are made, people look at what is right or wrong and what is good or bad for people. But recent rulings by courts show that they give precedence to personal rights even when it is obvious that such rights are leading to what is wrong or bad for individuals as well as society in general. Personal rights have been accorded unrealistic freedom.
When there is no God to define right and wrong and individual freedom is given undue importance, morality is required to be thrown out! However, people still recognise that individuals have a sense of right of wrong within themselves that cannot be ignored. The deceptive way many people have chosen to deal with this dilemma is to say that morality has to be relative to the individual – to be defined by each individual for himself and not to be imposed on others. Obviously, this means that laws cannot be enacted that take into account commonly accepted values of morality. As a result, laws related to morality that used to exist are slowly being removed or at least not acted upon. Laws pertaining to adultery or homosexual acts are disappearing!
Decay and degeneration of values are the result at the moment, and these are leading to more and more chaos in individual lives and society. “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness” (Eph.4:17-19). Thinking people have already started talking about the possibility in the nearby future of the destruction of society and even the extinction of mankind, if things progress in this direction.
The path of deliverance is only to return to God who created mankind. God is the one who defines right and wrong and what is good for man. One of the marks of our having been created in the image of God is the conscience with which we are all born because of which we instinctively know something is wrong before we do it or immediately after we do it. The only way to find a cohesive meaning of life is to let God into it and let Him define it. The only way to enjoy life and to find fulfilment is to walk according to His ways.
God has come down to man’s level, demonstrated His love for him by offering him forgiveness and acceptance at the cost of the death of His own Son. The result of that life with God will be order, stability, peace, goodness, love and joy. But man must respond to God first with humility, repentance and faith.
-- Editorial in the Light of Life magazine, July 2017
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