Mike Huckabee recently spoke at The Family Leaderâ€™s Leadership Summit in Waukee, IA. At the end of his presentation he said Americans must not deceive themselves into believing that the challenges our country faces can be fixed by politics. In conclusion he stated: "We could change the entire political landscape of America, but I am convinced more than I have ever been convinced that just electing different people to run the show doesnâ€™t change the script. We still need as a community to get back to the place where we understand that we are a nation under God, conceived by His own grace and purpose and when he turn our backs on His purpose and His providence it doesnâ€™t matter who we elect we will still be wanting and wishing and we will not be the nation we were designed and destined to be." (Mike Huckabee: Our Nation's Challenges Can't Be Fixed by Politics, Shane Vander Hart, caffeinatedthoughts.com, August 13, 2012 )
America's intellectual and cultural ruling class utterly reject the personal God Huckabee refers to--- the living, personal God Who dwells outside the time-space universe that previous generations going back to the founding generation believed in and worshipped. And due to the unceasing evangelization efforts of our ruling class, America is a nation in rapid decline because it's citizens are no longer held together by the same ideas, faith, and morality as previous generations.
This is why true Christian theism is collapsing over and across the entire denominational spectrum. The Pew Forum reports:
â€œ...most Christians no longer believe their own faith is essential for salvation. Seven in tenâ€¦believe other religions can lead to eternal life and that there is more than one way to interpret the teachings of their faith.â€ (Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? Patrick Buchanan, p. 53)
In 2009 Michael Spencer foretold the major collapse of evangelical Christianity:
â€œWe are on the vergeâ€”within ten yearsâ€”of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. The breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentaly alter the religious and cultural environment in the West. Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of its occupantsâ€”This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West.â€ (The Coming Evangelical Collapse, Christian Science Monitor, Mar. 2009)
In a humanist age that celebrates absolute autonomy (license), tolerance and diversity, "One nation under God, indivisable" is an antique conception fit only for the trashbin of history.
Humanists are offended by eternally unchanging Truth and moral authority. They see themselves as autonomous, meaning that not only do they invent their own truths and spirituality, but they create themselves, as with the case of Democrat Mary Gonzalez, the first lesbian to openly serve in the Texas House of Representatives.
As the autonomous, self-creating Gonzales defines it, she is not strictly a female but a â€œpansexual,â€ meaning she/he/it is attracted to "....men, women, men who identify as women, women who identify as men, and everything in between," because she does not recognize the living God's created â€œgender binaries.â€ (Do You Know What a â€˜Pansexualâ€™ Is? A TX State Rep. Just Came Out as One, Erica Ritz, theblaze.com, August 13, 2012)
All who reject the living, personal God embrace the only default positions. They are naturalism, immanentism, or materialism. Though not identical, these three metaphysical positions converge both on the rejection of the living God Who exists outside of the time-space universe and the idea that nature is the totality of reality. Nature exists prior to and somehow creates spirit.
Paul correctly described these three positions as nature worship and added that from the beginning there have only been two sources for all of the religious beliefs held everywhere around the world. Either man will worship and serve creation said Paul, or he will worship and serve the living God Who created creation.
Foolish humanist 'elites' believe they are creating a society that is new and better, but they couldn't be more wrong. The "new and better" society that contemporary America increasingly resembles is the crumbling ancient Roman empire of Paul's time.
Paul was intensely hated and feared by two groups of people, the Pharisees on one hand and the Athenian nature philosophers on the other.
The Pharisees believed in a distant, unknowable God-substance and in reincarnation. The Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus (37â€“100 A.D.), wrote that there were three sects of Jews during the time of Jesus Christ, the Sadducees, Essenes, and Pharisees. Two of the sects, the Essenes and the Pharisees sought a type of salvation through reincarnation. Josephus wrote:
â€œThe Pharisees believe that souls have an immortal vigour in them and that the virtuous shall have power to revive and live again: on account of which doctrines they are able greatly to persuade the body of people.â€ (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 1, No. 3)
To the Athenian nature philosophers, the revolutionary impact of Christian teaching that God is personal and exists outside of the time-space universe rather than being within nature itself was inconceivable. Additionally, the Incarnation, Resurrection and Gospel of salvation were scandals. That God should assume materiality was repugnant for matter was evil. This thought was as abhorrent to them as the idea of creation ex nihilo, which if true meant that matter was of Godâ€™s creation and did not preexist creation as a separate and evil principle.
In â€œAgainst the Christiansâ€ (frag. 77) Porphyry, disciple of Plotinus and Arnobius, writes:
â€œHow can one admit that the divine should become an embryo, that after his birth he is put in swaddling clothes, that he is soiled with blood and bile, and worse things yet?â€ (The Pagan Temptation, Thomas Molnar, p. 27)
In â€œAdversus nationesâ€ (2.37) Arnobius complains:
â€œIf souls were of the Lordâ€™s raceâ€¦They would never come to these terrestrial places (and) inhabit opaque bodies and (be) mixed with humors and blood, in receptacles of excrement, in vases of urine.â€ (ibid)
Nature philosophers held that souls are not God created, for how could an impersonal, unknowable, all-permeating substance create anything, let alone souls? Things mechanically emmanate, emerge, or evolve from nature's One Substance of which souls are mere particles that have fallen into evil matter.
Now we know why the Pharisees and nature philosophers hated Jesus Christ. If He was Who He said He was, then all men are fallen and cannot attain self-salvation by any means. Additionally, naturalism, materialism and immanentism were not just untrue but utterly vain, useless for knowledge and useless for salvation, as useless as reincarnation.
Jesus Christ offered forgiveness of sins and resurrection unto eternal life, but they who refused to see themselves as sinners believed they already had somethingâ€”--reincarnationâ€”-and they were willing to murder our Lord to protect their pride-induced delusion.
For both ancient and contemporary humanists, the problem centers on the issue of the incarnate Word Jesus Christ God Himself. This is because the notion of a dead God (i.e., scientific materialism), or a distant, unknowable God (Pharisees, Gnostics, Deists, Unitarians) or the notion of a God-force immanent and/or identical with nature, therefore of man (ie., Hermetic Mystery Religions, Liberal Christianity, Eastern mysticism, New Age spirituality, Evolutionary Christianity) are concepts that most accomodate the pride, lust, covetousness and wrath of men. In short, these concepts place immeasurable power in the hands of fallen, easily corruptible men.
In his book, "God and the Knowledge of Reality," Thomas Molnar, now deceased professor emeritus of philosophy at CUNY, argues that naturalism, materialism and immanentism allow men to set themselves up as the interpreters who may shed light on and even speak for the non-existant God, distant god and/or god-force as the case may be. Over the centuries, said Molnar, this function has been filled by Pharisees, Hermetics, Oriental mystics, esoteric speculators and nature philosophers.
A short list of contemporary Western interpreters includes Ockham, Joachim de Fiore, Kant, Spinoza, Fichte, Comte, Feuerbach, Hegel, Marx, Darwin, Teilhard de Chardin, Rob Bell, Robert Muller, Al Gore, and Ken Wilber.
According to any of these positions, man becomes by default, by direct or indirect appointment a divine being insofar as he occupies the supreme spiritual role in the universe. The divine-man is an idolator who is able to cherish the absolute uniqueness of his thoughts, emotions, aspirations, and enthusiasms. His will becomes the highest form of thought, decision, or action.
This is of course is the idolatry condemned over and over again by Scripture. In our own time, millions of humanists mean millions of idolators.
In contrast, a living, personal incarnate God Who lives outside the time-space universe presents to man an immediate form of the living, personal Absolute God outside of and discontinuous with man and nature. This God is near enough to man to be known, to know manâ€™s thoughts, and be consulted. The incarnate God imposes on man decisive limitations, ie., the finiteness of his mind, his falleness, and the two sexes, male and female. He requires that man give an account of himself during his time here on earth and He passes Judgement unto eternal life in paradise or unto eternal hell.
In conclusion, autonomous, self-creating humanists are entirely confortable with no God, distant gods and god-forces but not with Jesus Christ, the incarnate God. And this is why political and economic fixes cannot cure America. It may well be that America is beyond recall, beyond redemption.