Core Ideas of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Posts tagged ‘secular humanism’

The Morality Police

Kirk Cameron appeared on the Piers Morgan Show last week, presumably to talk about his latest movie project.  He seemed a bit surprised when the host suddenly changed topic and asked, “Do you believe gay marriage is a sin?”  Not surprisingly, the actor shifted in discomfort.  He hadn’t booked the appearance to talk about social issues, and clearly wasn’t looking for a chance to “impose his morality” on a few million American viewers.  So he attempted to finesse the question, but Morgan persisted.  “I find these questions interesting,” Morgan added.

Over the course of three minutes, the ensuing conversation went something like this.  Cameron finally suggested that he believes that gay marriage is “unnatural.”  Marriage has been around as something between a man and a woman since the beginning, and we shouldn’t monkey around with it.  Morgan then asked what Kirk would do if his son pulled him aside to confess, “Bad news, Dad, I’m gay.”  Kirk replied, “I’d sit down and have a talk with him.  There are thousands of feelings out there, and you don’t have to act on every one of them. I’d talk with him about it, pretty much the same way you might talk with your son. ”

But I wouldn’t have a talk with my son,” the host responded.  “I’d simply say, ‘Great son. Do whatever is necessary to be happy with your life.” Having dragged his guest into the discussion, Morgan went on to hector him on how destructive it is to ask children to deny their natural feelings.

Ever the diplomat, Kirk Cameron actually wondered aloud why it was unacceptable for him to take a moral position about an issue, yet perfectly acceptable for Morgan to speak openly about a contrasting moral position.  And this is the crux of the position in which we Christians find ourselves today.  Freedom of speech has become extremely restricted in this country, and freedom of thought is utterly forbidden.

When the secular American Left takes a position, the debate is over and the issue is settled.  Whatever the term “consensus” used to mean, it now means that the Entertainment Industry has made a decision.  (Madonna has announced that she will use an August concert in Russia t0 denounce new laws there that discourage the promotion of homosexuality.  No one has called her a Nazi for imposing her moral standards on a foreign nation.) Piers Morgan mentioned twice that seven states have now voted to legalize gay marriage.  Seven!  “Doesn’t that mean something?” he wondered.  Maybe, but what does it mean that 43 states plus most of the people and most civilizations in the history of the world have agreed that same-sex marriage is unnatural and unthinkable?

Watch the interview on YouTube.  You’ll see Kirk Cameron behave diplomatically, choose his words carefully, and even admit that he considers his own sins to be greater than those of anyone else he knows.  He didn’t bring up the topic of gay marriage.  He concedes these were things “I believe.”  Within 24 hours he will be pummeled all across the media as some kind of idiotic, bigoted, moralistic Nazi trying to impose his morality on everyone else.

The Hollywood Morality Police have an APB out for anyone who refuses to swallow the New Morality and be happy about it.  If you speak the truth in love, they denounce you.  If you refuse to say anything, they win.  So be prepared to gently speak the truth in love and accept the blows with grace.  If you have the chance to choose between social issues and Jesus, just talk about Christ.  Consider it another occasion in which the saints must pick up the cross and follow Him.

Lift up the Cross!

The Christian Brain, Part 2

Occasionally, I’ll hear someone confess that it’s “hard” being a Christian.  The hard part usually boils down to the challenge of saying No to temptation, or the pain of being rejected by fashionable people.  Sure, stuff like that is tricky.  But I believe that the biggest difficulty of walking with Christ is the part about speaking the truth in love.  Sometimes, it’s hard to accept the truth when the world believes the it’s idiotic or even destructive.  And when I finally dare to utter it, the truth tends to come across as offensive and “in your face” because I have delivered it in anger or self-defense rather than love.

The Christian brain operates differently than an ordinary human brain.  For example:

  • A Christian brain is aware that it’s software has been corrupted by sin; warped by a short-timer’s perspective in an world that cycles in centuries; and confused by temptation.  Hence, pure reasoning is usually insufficient for effective problem solving.
  • The mind of a believer cries out for some objective truth to counter all the subjective emotionalism generated by the warp and woof of living in 21st Century America. Rather than simply enduring a diet of cultural sugar, my brain craves the nutrients and fiber that come from God’s Word.
  • In the face of a challenging situation, there are dividends I can reap when I refuse to respond instantly out of reflex.  Instead, I slow down, open up my mind to the Holy Spirit, and allow him to breathe some insight in the midst of my typical, hyper-active, do-something-even-if-it’s-wrong approach to life.

We’re all familiar with the mode of thinking you might call “secular humanism.”  In this viewpoint, God may or may not be real, but either way, he’s not a factor.  Then there’s another mental construct you might call “theistic humanism.”  That is, God is active and real, but his wisdom is largely limited to those important but invisible realms we call spirituality or religion.  In other words, “We can figure out science by ourselves.”  In contrast to both those worldviews, believers operate from a mode of thinking you might call “Christian theism.”  That is, we believe that the only reliable truth or interpretation of the truth available to us is from God, who is not only real, but is central to all of life.

Skeptics would say, “Oh!  So you Christians believe you should check your brains at the church door.”  And I would reply, “No, we believe it’s important to use our brains.  I apply my intellect to comprehend what God’s Word says.  Then I further apply my mind to understand the lessons of biology, history, and physics.  Then I invite the Holy Spirit of God to give me the power to apply the truth, and the patience to pause until the fog lifts and other things become more clear.

It takes a lot more brain power to be a Christian because I can’t simply settle for reflex answers or personal insults.  I am called to know the truth, apply it to the situation at hand, and then communicate it with compassion.  Advocates and atheists can settle for slogans and insults.  Disciples of Christ are directed to speak the truth in love.

Lift up the Cross!

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