In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was the living God (John 1:1) Who, "created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:27)
And the Word said of them,
â€œBehold all souls are mine: as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, the same shall dieâ€ (Ezekiel 18:4) for the living God discerns the thoughts and motivations within the hearts of men and possesses the power to separate spirit (heart, mind, will), psychic (soul), and material (body),
"For the Word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Heb. 4:12)
And when the Incarnate Word walked this earth He further revealed,
"You are from beneath, I am from above. You are of this world, I am not of this world." (John 8:23)
Jesus Christ is not from above with respect to his human body that was formed in the natural world in the Virginâ€™s womb, but with regard to his Divine nature and person. He is of the supernatural God, the only begotten of the Father, thus His mission, His good news of salvation, crucifixion and resurrection are of heaven:
"For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (2 Peter 1:17)
The revolutionary impact of Christian teaching was nothing less than a scandal to pagan thinkers. It was inconceivable to them that both a supernatural and a natural or material realm exist. From the time of Babylonia only the natural realm existed, even though divided into heaven and earth, or "as above, so below" as Hermes Trismegistus descibed it in his famous magic formula.
"Above" was the divine One Substance (primordial matter) variously known as Chaos, Nu, the watery abyss or void while "as below" the divine kings were the divine-human link between heaven and earth.
It was utterly repugnant to pagan thinkers that God should assume materiality, for matter was evil. This thought was as abhorrent to them as the idea that souls are of God, that all men--even the divine kings-- are sinners in need of redemption and that according to the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo, matter was of Godâ€™s creation and did not preexist creation as a separate and evil principle.
Before Mount Sinai and the Voice that spoke to Moses out of the fire, the pagan earth was dark. It was crowded with deities, some benevolent but others like the fire demon Moloch, fearsome and bloodthirsty:
"While relatively little is known of Moloch, much more is known of the concept of divine kingship, the king as god, and the god as king, as the divine-human link between heaven and earth. The god-king represented man on a higher scale (more highly evolved), man ascended, and the worship of such a god, i.e., of such a Baal, was the assertion of the continuity of heaven and earth. It was the belief that all being was one being (materialist-pantheist monism), and the god therefore was an ascended man on that scale of being. The power manifested in the political order was thus a manifestation or apprehension and seizure of divine power. It represented the triumph of a man and of his people. Moloch worship was thus a political religion (i.e., Leftism, Marxism, Progressivism, Fascism, occult New Age)....Moloch worship was thus state worship. The state was the true and ultimate order, and religion was a department of the state. The state claimed total jurisdiction over man; it was therefore entitled to total sacrifice." (Rousas Rushdoony cited in "The Antichrist," by Vincent P. Miceli, S.J., pp. 246, 247; emphasis added)
The pagan theocratic state freely took the lives of its children â€” and adults for that matter â€” as sacrifices to the god of the state. With the rise of the neo-pagan theocratic Soviet Union and National Socialist Germany, the sacrifice of human life commenced on a scale so vast that the word 'genocide' was coined to describe the bloodletting.
It was Sinai said George Steiner, that changed everything:
"The Jew emptied the world by setting his God apart, immeasurably apart from man's senses. No image. No concrete embodiment. No imagining even. A blank emptier than the desert. Yet with a terrible nearness. Spying on our every misdeed,searching out the heart of our heart for motive." ("Unspeakable," Os Guinness, p. 99)
Invisible, unimaginable, out of reach of man, thus not manipulable, the living God Who exists outside of the time-space dimension is,
"the One before whom all hearts lie open and no secrets are hidden, the One before whom all other authorities, loyalties, allegiances, and accountabilities rapidly recede into a distant second place." (Os Guinness)
It was the revolutionary concept of God and man as God's spiritual image-bearer--though fallen--that gave birth to the "belief in the unique dignity of human beings," and this is,
"...the force that created Western civilization, where citizens do not exist for the state but the state exists for the individuals. Even kings, presidents, prime ministers, and army generals cannot be allowed to trample upon an individual and his or her rights." (Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations, pp. 12-13)
It was this revolutionary understanding that led John Cotton to declare,
"It is neccessary, therefore, that all power that is on earth be limited." (Guinness, p. 99)
It was likewise this revolutionary understanding that led the founding fathers to ingeniously devise a system of checks and balances. This distinctive separation of powers was necessary because sinful men seek power, but power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. However, legal barriers are not enough. The all necessary corrective and restraint upon sinful men requires corporate morality:
"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom." Benjamin Franklin
That the living Word of God is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart moved Congressman Henry Storrs of New York to stand with Davy Crockett in opposing the President's supporters who sought removal of the Cherokee people from their land:
"Your history, your treaties, and your statutes, will confront you. The human heart will be consulted---the moral sense of all mankind will speak out fearlessly, and you will stand condemned by the law of God...You may not live to hear it, but there will be no refuge for you in the grave." (ibid, p. 99)
In his book, "Unspeakable," Os Guinness observes that whereas past generations upheld traditional barriers to evil, contemporary Americans have allowed them to fall. One of the most startling erosions comes,
"...from the unbridled passion to transgress, the drive to destroy traditions, flout standards, and defy conventions. This passion has become the hallmark of many contemporary intellectuals and creators of popular culture, and it has the effect of turning evil from a latent into an aggressive force." (p. 103)
The real heart of this unholy passion is the Leftist Prometheanism,
"that the modern secular world has resurected and made available to a wider number of people than ever before (propagated in universities, by way of TV, movies, video games, music industry, secular education, etc). Thus, radical idea by radical idea, violent film by violent film, explicit song by explicit song, brutal video game by brutal video game, edgy cable show by edgy cable show, and shameless scandal by shameless scandal, the momentum grows and the binding forces concentrate. What was once unimaginable becomes thinkable and then fashionable. What used to be abnormal is now normal. Where we were shocked, we are now indifferent. Where before the definition of deviancy slowly became more limited, now, in the mad scramble for ratings and market share, there is an all-out race for the bottom in the name of 'daring' and 'edgy'---which always turns out to be the violent, the vulgar, the explicit, the tasteless." (ibid, p. 104)
Prometheanism--man is god-- is the hallmark of the French Revolution, Marxist Communism, Socialist Fascism, Secular and Spiritual Humanism, Progressivism, Leftism and occult spiritualist New Age.
Over the course of the past one-hundred years Prometheanism has come to dominate the thinking of Europe, much of Latin America, Canada, and Asia, as well as liberal, emergent, Interfaith and New Evangelical theologians, transnational political and intellectual elites and the worldâ€™s â€˜newâ€™ aristocracy comprised of bankers and corporatists. Thus the secular Promethean view is virtually the only way to properly think about God, Christian theism, morality, man, science, life, law, politics and culture, which explains why anyone who dissents against the Promethean view is labeled anti-intellectual, anti-progress, anti-evolutionary science, anti-reason, anti-choice and further demonized as bigots, homophobes, haters, and narrow-minded fundamentalists.
Prometheanism has declared the death of God and man created in His spiritual image. It has evacuated heaven to create room for the idolatrous pretensions of god-men who celebrate death, perversion and rebellion in the name of total freedom to transgress. During the 20th century it spawned overwhelming state totalitarianism in neo-pagan communism and fascism. And just as it encouraged the bloodthirsty Molochian 'god-men'--Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky and Hitler-- to take hold of the reins of power and open the floodgates of hell, it has likewise encouraged great wicked ones to emerge from among the wreckage of our degraded culture, a culture teetering on the edge of hell.
Guinness asks, "How long will we confuse evil with freedom? At what point will freedom's tilt reach the tipping point and collapse into more and more blatant examples of evil?....the tilt is pronounced, the slipway is greased (but undoubtedly) this warning will be dismissed as...alarmism." (p. 106)
Before his passing, Francis Schaeffer saw that America and the West had already turned away from the living God. In his book, "Death in the City," Schaeffer points to Jeremiah as the prophet for our own age. His message of forthcoming Judgment (1:14, 5:15) was not an easy one. It was not well-received by a church and culture in revolt. Because men do not want to hear unpleasant, disturbing messages they persecute, shun, and crucify the bearers of them. But Jeremiah nevertheless prays for Godâ€™s mercy, and his attitude, his courage, and perseverance in the face of persecution must be ours, said Schaeffer.
In an age such as ours, a church that stands firm on the Genesis account of creation, affirms there really is eternally unchanging Truth and Moral Law and says the living God Who discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12) really is there but also lives by itsâ€™ stated beliefs, is a church that demonstates that it really believes He is there.