Romans 1: 21-22: America's 'Scientifically Enlightened' Lost Souls

According to Church Father Origen, the author of the Shepherd of Hermas (an early record of visions and revelations) is the same Hermas mentioned in Romans 16:14 who lived in Rome during the lifetime of Clement I.    In Chapter II of his second vision, Hermas is told that "...happy are they who endure the great tribulation that is coming on, and happy they who shall not deny their own life:"

"For the Lord hath sworn by His Son, that those who denied their Lord have abandoned their life in despair, for even now these are to deny Him in the days that are coming. To those who denied in earlier times, God became gracious, on account of His exceeding tender mercy." (Second Vision, Chapter II)

From the Renaissance to our own day Westerners have been rebelling against their Lord---the Divine Source of their own lives-- in a vain and utterly suicidal rebellion that is as yet coming to fullness during this time of increasing tribulation.  

The nature of the rebellion is the antithesis of the true Christian faith.  Whereas Christian faith is joy, patience, love, truth, humbleness, peace, perseverance, submission in all things to the Will of God, and blessed eternal life, the rebellion is full of stubborn pride, skepticism, lies, sophistry, death wishing, dark thoughts of murder and suicide, revulsion, burning envy, covetousness, impatience, seething hatred, jealousy, negation, blasphemy, ghastly nightmarish visions and hellish apocalyptic scenarios depicting collapsing cities amid fire and brimstone and monstrous blood-thirsty aliens, walking dead people, zombies, vampires and other hellish beings signifying eternity in Hell:

 "Thus heaven I've forfeited; I know it full well; My soul, once true to God; Is chosen for hell."   (Karl Marx in Marx & Satan, Richard Wurmbrand, p. 22)

When Marx, in his rebellion against his Lord, found himself compelled to reject the living, personal Divine Source of his own life because of his utterly foolish desire to establish that "man owes his existence (only) to man" he willfully and stupidly chose an eternity in hell rather than eternal life. (Political Apocalypse: A Study of Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor, Ellis Sandoz, pp. 113-114)

Romans 1:21-22 tells us how foolish rebels against God ended up in this vain and utterly despairing predicament:

"...because, having known God they did not glorify Him as God, nor gave thanks, but were made vain in their reasonings, and their unintelligent heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools..."

Their reasoning, or cognitive thought and comprehension processes became vain and stupid because in deliberately turning away from the living God Who is the only source of life and mind, they have accepted a position that is intellectually foolish and unlivable with regard to the universe, the origin of conscious life, what man is and what his purpose is.   The rebels are left with a position that can neither account for the origin of conscious life, meaning that they cannot account for their own "self" (spirit/soul) nor provide them with any meaning and purpose:

"For two hundred years we had sawed and sawed and sawed at the branch we were sitting on.  And in the end, much more suddenly than anyone had foreseen, our efforts were rewarded, and down we came.  But unfortunately there had been a little mistake: The thing at the bottom was not a bed of roses after all; it was a cesspool full of barbed wire...It appears that amputation of the soul isn't just a simple surgical job....The wound has a tendency to go septic." (George Orwell, Notes on the Way, 1940, from "The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, Vishal Mangalwadi, p. 3)

Professing themselves enlightened, scientific, cutting edge,  and oh so smart, evolutionary materialists, whether secular or occult New Age pantheist, are fools.....miserable nihilists for whom there is neither source for "self" nor purpose for life.  

Having questioned the existence of the psyche (self, soul) Cobain sought alleviation of his despair through secular psychotherapy.   But psychotherapy failed Cobain and he finally found escape from his misery by blowing his brains out.  Suicide is a logical 'virtue' for a nihilist who believes he has no "self" nor anything out there to give meaning and significance to anything here, including music. 

As the essence of every human being is soul/spirit, when nihilists deny this reality, as they must, it becomes very difficult if not impossible for them to make sense of music because music, like morality, is a matter of the soul:

"Those who think that the universe is only material substance and the soul is an illusion find it hard to explain music," said Mangalwadi.  "They have to assume that that music evolved from animals, but none of our alleged evolutionary cousins make music. (Some birds do 'sing,' but no one has proposed that we, or our music, evolved from them)." (ibid, p. 7)

Cobain's nihilist "music" appealed to America's burgeoning population of nihilists because as Mangalwadi points out, it was a full-throttled disharmony of rage,

"...anguish, hatred, despair, meaninglessness, and obscenity.   His song titles included "I Hate Myself, I Want to Die" and "Rape Me." (ibid, p. 9)

Most of what Cobain sang is undecipherable, and many of his lyrics that can be deciphered are without meaning, and  whether he knew it or not, said Mangalwadi, his lyrics were Zen koans,

"...counter-rational sayings such as 'what is the sound of one hand clapping?'  Such words do not make sense because (in the absence of Revelation) reality itself makes no sense.  Words are merely mantras---sounds without sense---to be chanted or shouted." (pp. 9-10)

 For fifteen hundred years, Christendom and then later Protestant America, had followed St. Augustine (AD 354-430) in affirming that as all men are the spiritual image-bearers of the transcendent Triune God (Gen. 1:27) then it logically follows that each person is a trinity of being — of soul, spirit, and body,

 "The essence of the human is not the body, but the soul.  It is the soul alone that God made in his own image and the soul that he loves....For the sake of the soul...the Son of God came into the world...." (Incomplete Work on Matthew, Homily 25, Ancient Christian Devotional, Oden and Crosby, p. 153)

The Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Word become Flesh, the Divine Source of life, Jesus Christ the Physician came to heal the spiritually sick.   But whoever rejects the Physician rejects his own soul, hence destroys him or herself:

"..... I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life..."   Deuteronomy 30:19-20

"The Lord hath sworn by His Son, that those who denied their Lord have abandoned their life in despair"....Cobain committed suicide because without our Lord there is only the despair of Nothingness---no 'self,' no purpose, and no meaning as the ultimate reality. 

Throughout America and the West, the almost total takeover of our institutions by nihilists means that, over time, these institutions become cemeteries of the walking dead.  Already, whole sections of America have become burned over dead zones of lost souls.

While it grieves us to see this growing population of lost, despairing souls, we must not see in their nihilistic despair our own eternity: "happy are they who shall not deny their own life."  Nor should we be tempted into believing that we can reason with these spiritually dead, hardened souls as they hold truth in unrighteousness and cannot be reasoned with, and furthermore, will demand that we submit to their own willfully chosen fate.

  @Linda Kimball