Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ezekiel, the Temple, Secularism and the Decay of True Religion

I felt like the Prophet Ezekiel. God had taken him on an intimate and private tour of the inner workings of the Temple. The spiritual decay was far worse than Ezekiel had imagined. Israel’s spiritual leadership was happily engaged in idolatrous worship behind closed doors.

This Sunday, Anita and I went to the Episcopal Church. The honored guest preacher invited us all into the Episcopal inner sanctum, revealing its treasured secrets. According to him the Bible couldn’t be authoritative. That’s because even Jesus had been wrong on numerous occasions, and Paul showed us how irrational many of the Old Testament revelations had been by overturning them. Conclusion: This gives us the authorization to overturn anything in the Bible that’s irrational to us!

Anita and I looked at each other. I had long suspected that the guest preacher’s candid tour was an accurate representation of the real, unvarnished Episcopal Church. (Here’s what we usually hear it saying, “We too believe in the Bible. We just have a different interpretation.”) It reminded me of my tooth where the infection had penetrated to such a depth that I needed a root canal.

I whispered to Anita, “I think that we are seeing the real Episcopal Church.” Then the resident pastor got up to praise the “wonderful” sermon we had all just heard. That confirmed it, and so I took a long fretful walk to compose myself in prayer.

During the coffee hour, I confronted the pastor in the most loving manner I could conjure up. “If the Bible is no longer authoritative, what should be authoritative for us?” I shot at him.

“Well, I didn’t say that,” he corrected me. “Instead, we have to approach the Bible carefully, using our best critical tools.” I envisioned a doctor wearing his anti-septic mask and gloves, lest he be contaminated by the cadaver before him.

“Instead, of placing our faith in the Bible as God’s Word, are you insisting that we should now place our faith in the scholars and their Biblical-criticism tool box?” I asked. He responded surprisingly good-naturedly. However, I shouldn’t have been surprised. He had been a professor at Oxford for six years, among many other places, and knew all about dealing with characters like me. Nevertheless, he was one of the many architects of the new religion – the religion of the educated, secular experts, tamed, defanged, and socially acceptable

“I wish you had been in my Bible study!” I wasn’t going to be flattered. At least, I wasn’t going to allow this too soften me. However, someone else caught his ear, and I wandered away and found the seminarian – the interning General Theological Seminary student.

After exchanging some pleasantries, enough to convince her that I was one of them, I asked her, “What do you thin of the NYC ruling, ousting churches from the NYC schools where they had been renting space on Sundays. She was all in favor of the ruling and cited the “separation of church and state.”

“Well, isn’t this a violation of the principle of ‘equal access?’ If AA can rent space, why not also the churches?” I asked.

She then lifted the veil to the “holy place” of her true thinking. “Well, these churches tend to be fundamentalist. They won’t have women pastors.”

Sadly, it has been the more Biblically-oriented people who had been marginalized from the mainline churches and forced to seek asylum in store-fronts and schools, while the majestic church structures, which Bible-believing Christians had built, have been taken over by “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Now, once again, these churches were going to be booted out.

I then asked her a series of pointed questions: “Doesn’t your position represent ‘viewpoint discrimination?’ In essence, aren’t you saying that religions that don’t share your views or the views of your religion shouldn’t receive equal protection and access under the law?” She graciously excused herself to find more congenial company.

This is the nature of the modern secularized religion – monopolistic, intolerant, and promoting “freedom of religion,” as long as it’s their own pluralistic religion.

This new monopolistic religion is taking many forms. Here’s a recent example:

  • Gov. Christine Gregoire of Washington State has signed into law a gay “marriage” bill that will force church-owned facilities to accommodate homosexual ceremonies.
  • The bill text originally stated that religious organizations that provide “accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage” to the public must offer all those goods for use to homosexual couples seeking marriage or else face a penalty for discrimination. The version of the bill that passed dropped the qualification, allowing religious groups to retain marriage facilities for heterosexual unions.
Although this clause was finally dropped, it reflects the drift of today’s secularism: “If you don’t play ball with us, you don’t play ball at all. We will not respect your freedom of conscience or your freedom of speech or your freedom to worship if you violate our own religious views.”

While the secularists cry “separation of church and state” when a church rents space at a school, they have hypocritically instituted their own state-sponsored church with government funding in our public schools. And it’s a highly permissive religion! A recent video shows how Planned Parenthoodis sexualizing our children according to their beliefs about the “good” life. 

Meanwhile, the religious belief of naturalism has been exclusively enthroned in the science classroom. Consequently, natural mindless causation is the only form of causation that can be mentioned. Free from any God-talk, they now can joyfully shout, “Look how irrelevant God is! We can explain everything by naturalistic causation!”

However, there is not the slightest shred of evidence that causation is natural and mindless. Instead, it’s another chunk of evidence that cries out “God.” (It is much more reasonable to conclude that our laws emanate from the mind of God. After all, who created and maintains the laws!)

I’m almost sure that Ezekiel wasn’t thrilled with his Temple tour. It meant that he now had to do something. He had to cry out his outrage to a people who didn’t want to hear him and eventually killed him.


Some unlikely people are waking up to the threat of secularism and its offspring - moral relativism:

  • A Muslim Cabinet minister has become the latest member of Prime Minister David Cameron's government to urge the country to embrace its Christian heritage. Sayeeda Warsi also said that "militant" secularism poses a threat to Europe, a comment that has angered atheists and highlighted the divisive political potential of religion…In an article published Tuesday in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Warsi urged Europe "to become more confident in its Christianity"…
  • "You cannot and should not extract (the) Christian foundations from the evolution of our nations any more than you can or should erase the spires from our landscapes," she wrote. "My fear today is that a militant secularization is taking hold of our societies," she added, accusing some atheists of having the same intolerant instincts as authoritarian regimes.
  • In a speech in Rome, Warsi said that "too often there is a suspicion of faith in our continent." She said in Britain religion has been "sidelined, marginalized and downgraded" and "faith is looked down on as the hobby of 'oddities, foreigners and minorities.'"

No comments:

Post a Comment