Skip to content

A Secular Theology, Part 1

January 14, 2018

Gay Pride Parade, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2004), Author Rose Brasil/ABr, Source Agencia Brasil (CC Attribution 3.0 Brazil License)

I would like over the next few weeks to discuss several articles from the Journal of Christian Legal Thought.  These address the profound cultural changes we see taking place around us, and the threats those changes pose – both to Christianity and humanity at large.

“…who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…” (1 Rom. 25).

“Drag has always served a purpose…We mock identity…We show people we’re shape shifters.   We are God in drag.  That’s our role — is to remind people of that.”

-Ru Paul, Time.com [2]

We begin with an article by Thaddeus Williams titled “A New Theocracy” [1].  Williams examines a secular theology which is rapidly gaining ground.  He terms this Contemporary Western Creation Worship to distinguish it from the Creator worship of historic Christianity.

Secular Belief System

Williams identifies four essential beliefs of this secular, postmodern theology:

  1. That man is autonomous from any higher authority.
  2. That man can define himself in whatever way he likes; that he determines his meaning and purpose on earth.
  3. That man was never fallen; that he is “naturally good” as the philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau maintained. Consequently, that humanity is continually evolving toward its ideal.
  4. That there is no such thing as sin.  Sin, if it exists at all, is to be attributed to “institutions” according to Rousseau; to the “oppressor class” in Neo-Marxist terms.

In sum, “Self has become a god and self-fulfillment our salvation,” as Paul Hiebert said.

After all, how can human beings be in violation of a moral law, if their desires are the moral law?  Never mind that past generations would have viewed this as arrogance of the highest order.

These beliefs are diametrically opposed to the beliefs of Christianity.  Not only do they constitute a false gospel.  The behavior which flows from them is deeply disturbing.

Disturbing Behavior

The assumption is made that human beings are guaranteed a life free of guilt, when God is removed from the picture.  But are they?

Without God and redemption on the basis of Christ’s sacrificial death and Resurrection, man is deprived of justification.  However, the desire for justification remains.  Without God, man turns to society, the law, educational institutions, the media, even entertainment sources, in search of it.

A constant imputation of guilt to others is required to shore up the sense of moral superiority.  Those not in accord with a personal assessment of blamelessness are viewed as the enemy.

All who oppose this secular theology are characterized as bigots, phobics, and fascists.  First demonized, they must in the end be silenced.

Significant Shortcomings

The shortcomings inherent in these beliefs are significant.

For one thing, autonomy imposes a heavy burden on the individual.  The collective “we” is often invoked to offset this.

But the 21st Century evidence that creation worship results in chaos and discord includes a “doubled…divorce rate, tripled…teen suicide rate, quadrupled…violent crime rate, quintupled…prison population, sextupled out of wedlock births, and septupled…rate of cohabitation without marriage” as Thaddeus Williams puts it.

Additionally, Williams goes on, “When we disavow the Creator, we unwittingly lose all that the Creator means for our humanity – our telos [Greek for ultimate aim], our intrinsic…worth as image-bearers [of God’s], a realistic sense of our fallibility, and our universal need for grace.”

Dangerous Beliefs

The dangers of these beliefs are enormous.

“Make no mistake; what is now unfolding in western law and politics is not a face-off between [Christian] religious theocrats and freedom-loving secularists…What we are seeing is no less than a new [secular] theocracy.  It is a dogmatic faith…working to silence all heretics and enshrine itself as the only legal faith of the land.  It is a faith in which the creature, not the Creator, defines the human telos.  It is a faith with no holy God as a pride-deflating reference point to realistically assess our own fallenness and fallibility.  It is a faith that projects all evil from our own hearts onto any institution that refuses to celebrate our autonomous [self-defined] identities.  It is a faith striving to usher in a new heaven and a new earth, centered not on Christ but on Self, guided not by Saint Paul or Saint Peter, but by Saint Rousseau, Saint Marx…”

-Thaddeus Williams

This secular gospel drastically overestimates mankind’s essential goodness and underestimates his capacity for evil.  In that lie the seeds of its own destruction.

[1]  All articles discussed in this series can be found in Vol. 7, No. 1, Fall 2017 Edition of the Journal of Christian Legal Thought, published by the Institute for Christian Legal Studies (a joint ministry of Regent University School of Law and the Christian Legal Society).

[2]  Time.com, “Ru Paul On Why Identity Shouldn’t Be Taken Seriously But Loving Yourself Should” by Cady Lang, 4/20/17, http://time.com/4746895/rupaul-time-100-video/.

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  https://avoicereclaimed.com

From → Christian, Faith, Religion

14 Comments
  1. This is a fantastic post, Anna! Very insightful. I tweeted and Facebooked that Hiebert quote. Thank you.

    The basis of the new morality is the only thing that is wrong is any action that cause harm to others. This includes both physical actions and speech. Any speech that offends someone is often considered a form of violence. This is pagan morality.

    One minor suggestion: I would change “For another thing, Williams goes on,” to “Additionally, Williams says,” or “Secondly, William says,”

  2. Thoughtful post Anna. This “secular theocracy” that Williams describes has its roots in the original sin in the Garden when Satan twisted the Word of God to entice man to place his trust in himself rather than God.

    The resurgence we are seeing of this “doctrine” is the prelude to a world wide religion that will ultimately forbid worship of any God except for the Antichrist. The speed in which it is establishing itself across the nation’s should be a clarion call to all Christians to seek the Lord while He may be found.

    • You are so right, Ron. The funny thing is that this secular theology is being packaged as something modern and revolutionary.

  3. Reblogged this on idahodimple.

  4. Thank you, Anna, for bringing this great evil to light. The destruction of western society is staring us in the face with a demonic glare. You wrote, “This secular gospel drastically overestimates mankind’s essential goodness and underestimates his capacity for evil. In that lie the seeds of its own destruction.”

    If mankind is basically good without God, why is it that man with his amoral intelligence takes every scientific discovery and weaponizes it. Madam Curie worked with radiation for its possible medical uses such as her x-ray machine that saved thousands of live during WW1. It did not take long for this “basically good” mankind to turn this early work with radiation into weapons of mass destruction. Man makes the automobile for a good purpose that we might have greater mobility and more efficiently be able to produce and transport the basic needs of life. Then terrorists take these same cars and trucks and uses them to kill hundreds of people as “car bombs” or by ramming them into crowds. He finds a cure for bacterial infections and then finds a way to make super bugs that defy cures and weaponizes them.

    God came in the form of a Son that we might live not only forgiven lives by His sacrifice, but that we might be given new hearts instead of these cold stony ones that are at the root of this problem (see Ezek. 36:25-27 and Hebrews, ch. 8). Apostle Paul wrote,

    But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world [fallen systems of men] has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.” (Gal 6:14-15, ESV2011)

    Christ living in us as God’s NEW creations is the answer, not the religions of men, secular or otherwise. Only as His New Creation can we love as God loves and be motivated in the right way.

    Bless you in Him,
    Michael

  5. Anna, this is interesting (citations included). I’m not trying to be argumentative here, but I disagree with the idea that secular theocracy is to blame for the ills listed here, especially when Christianity has been at the forefront of major religion while so many other atrocities occur and continue to occur, sometimes in the name of Christianity.

    • You make a legitimate point. Tragically, evil acts have been committed in the name of religion, Christianity included. Jim Jones and David Koresh are just two illustrations. The Catholic Church sex scandal is an instance of evil associated w/ religion on a grand scale.

      However, where Christianity has been implicated in such travesties, the faith has been misinterpreted and misapplied. True Christianity is or should be characterized by love, self-sacrifice, and holiness (to be distinguished from self-righteousness).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: