"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." (Revelation 3:1) Though "even in Sardis" a remnant had remained faithful, the majority were spiritually dead. Sardis was a dead church, as are increasing numbers of contemporary Western and American churches which,
"(though) enshrined with stained glass, statuary, crosses, and inscriptions that have the "name" of Christianity emblazoned throughout their property, yet they are dead spiritually." (Dead Sardis, Henry Morris III, www.icr.org )
Though a remnant of Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, mainline Protestant and Evangelical churches remain faithful, the entire denominational spectrum is hideously marred by spiritually dead and dying churches. Like drifting debris they flow into and unify with the various forms of spiritually-dead humanism characterized by rejection of the living God and eternally unchanging Higher Things and the idea of humanity as deity.
Whereas 17th century English deists all but openly rejected Christian theism and the 18th century Enlightenment century came completely 'out of the closet' with vigorous, sustained attacks on the Triune God and Christian faith, it was Auguste Comte, the 19th century philosopher who invented the Religion of Humanity.
Comte's religion advocated worship of science and of the Great Being, defined as humanity past, present, and future. In his book, "Idols For Destruction," Herbert Schlossberg notes that Comte's religion had,
"... a catechism, sacraments, a sacred calendar, a priesthood, prayers and something imitative of the Trinity....Comteans formed positivist societies for the worship of great people, and their churches spread even to South America." (p. 41)
Historian Carlton J.H. Hayes described Comte's religion as,
"...a mystical as well as positivist phenomenon, not alone the subject of meticulous (scientific) research but the object of religious worship, a substitute, as it were, for the Christian God." (ibid, p. 42)
Though seldom avowed openly, the spiritually-bankrupt idea of humanity as deity is expressed by ascribing to man attributes of the living God. Man is sovereign (morally autonomous) and characterized by the supremacy of his omniscient reason, mystical mind-powers, and intuition. He is morally perfect, for he stands beyond good and evil. He is not fallen from perfection, rather he is evolving ever upward away from his ape ancestry, therefore needs no personal Savior,
"What a comfort," said the hero of Aldous Huxley's utopia,"to be in a place where The Fall was an exploded doctrine!" (ibid, p. 43)
Autonomous man is finally "free of the ascriptive ties of family, community, or state...." He owes no allegiance to his family or to the country that nurtured him; he is an emergent product of nature, a cosmic being responsible for no one but himself, "to make or even remake one's self in accordance with one's ambitions." (Daniel Bell, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, pp. 224, 89)
Thus morally relative, autonomous humanists are extremely hostile to all notions of Higher Authority, eternally unchanging Truth and Moral Law (i.e., Ten Commandments) and prayer as they are external to the legislative levers controlled by humanists, both secular and "Christian," such as the young Reinhold Niebuhr and his contemporary disciple, church intellectual Joseph Fletcher, a publicist of situation ethics.
In his widely quoted and very influential book Niebuhr gives his approval to whatever results from his fallacious idea of goodwill,
"Nothing is intrinsically immoral except ill-will and nothing intrinsically good except goodwill." (Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics, p. 170)
In the same vein Fletcher adds,
"Nothing is inherently good or evil except love (personal concern) and its opposite, indifference or actual malice." (Moral Responsibility: Situation Ethics at Work, p. 38)
And so lying, propaganda, promiscuity, abortion, euthanasia, pederasty, pedophilia, universal health care, "gay" marriage, open borders, wealth redistribution, and confiscation of personally owned property and weapons, if claimed to stem from 'love' are inherently good while dissent against all of this "love" is obviously malicious.
Morally-autonomous men, including those who paradoxically claim to be Christian, control and direct their own spiritual evolution. They have been naturally selected (predestined) to realize unimaginable spiritual advances that will lead to actual human divinity.
In hot pursuit of human divinity:
"Evolutionary Christianity" is producing the longed-for and much-prophesied synthesis, namely, the union of science and spirituality." "...evangelical theistic evolutionists, 'progressive' Emergent Christian leaders, radical post-theistic Christian liberals, Christian non-dual mystics, pro-homosexual ministers, radical religious feminists, and recognized evolutionary scientists (of which some) are deeply influenced by Pierre Teillard de Chardin, and pagan "geologians" such as Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme." "Emergent Church Pastor Rob Bell...claims to be reinventing Christianity as an Eastern religion while evangelical leader Leonard Sweet uses quantum physics to 'scientifically' prove that God is 'in' everything. Not surprisingly, Sweet cites Teilhard de Chardin as "20th century Christianity's major voice." (Dr. Peter Jones cited in "Normalizing Necromancy: Tempting the Church to Talk with the Dead," Worldview Weekend, 1/23/12)
Such is the theater of the absurd in which natural man is sovereign, his mind omniscient, hence there is neither up nor down, male nor female, right nor wrong, true nor false, normal nor abnormal because the living God is dead in their hearts, and while America and the West drift aimlessly in "infinite nothingness" spiritually dead humanism progressively dissolves the foundation of soul, mind, worth, morality, family, Church, country and individual liberty.
Thus saith the Lord: "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
Therefore, "Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it." Jeremiah 6:16
They said no, we are not sinners, we are our own gods. We choose to walk and do as we think best; we will save ourselves.
And so thus saith the Lord to those who say no,
"I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." (Revelation 3:1)