- Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Dear Dr. E: I have read several stories recently about an increasing interest among millennials and Gen Z in spirituality. While at the same time, thousands seem to take pride in abandoning traditional Christianity, it appears that equal, if not greater numbers, are embracing witchcraft, tribal shamanism, Gaianism, or a conglomeration of Eastern mysticism that cherry-picks certain aspects of Buddhism, Hinduism, and even Communism to suit their political purposes. I have even seen photos of Pride parades that say, “Satan loves you.” What do you make of all this? Didn’t all the new atheists, like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, tell us that with the death of Christianity, we would see a death of “superstition” and the rise of rationalism? It appears we are witnessing the opposite. — WATCHING FROM THE SIDELINES IN WYOMING

Dear Watching: What this all proves is that Blasé Pascal was right when he told us that there is a God-shaped vacuum in every human heart, or as Bob Dylan said, we’re all “going to serve somebody; It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but we’re going to serve somebody.” 

Worship is an undeniable fact of human nature. Because each of us is made in the image of God (i.e., the imago Dei), we all look beyond the material to the eternal. We all hunger for something more. Everyone intuitively knows that we are different from the rock, the tree, or even the animal. C.S. Lewis told us that as thirst was made for water, so our desire is made for God.

What you are witnessing right now in Western culture is the inevitable consequence of postmodern deconstructivism. History has taught us time and again that when we tear down the temple, we will build a Tower of Babel. If you get rid of biblical orthodoxy, you will fill the void with banality: a syncretistic, Druze-like religion that melds together a theology that serves our megalomania and moral relativism, one where we recite the Rosary on Sunday, pray the Al-Jummah prayer on Friday, use Witchcraft Monday through Thursday and spend the 30 days of Ramadan fasting.

I have said it before and will say it again: Ideas matter. Ideas have consequences. The mantra of our day that proudly declares, “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as it works for you,” just doesn’t work. Our infatuation with cross-cultural “tolerance” will have a very predictable outcome. In fact, we are watching it play out before our very eyes, and the irony is that the religion of Devos and the Great Reset is a very totalitarian one that is intolerant of everyone and anything it deems to be intolerable.

Worldviews are not morally equal. They can’t be. Because if so, we are logically forced to admit that when Hamas rapes Jewish women and beheads their babies, this is all fine as long “as it works for them.” If all values are personal; if all virtues are nothing but social constructs; if all morality is the result of an ongoing conversation; if everything we hold to be right and all that we believe to be wrong is nothing more than the result of politics, power, and popular vote; if all of this is true (but then again how can you argue anything to be true if nothing is true?) then all you or I can do in response to the cries of infants being sacrificed to Moloch is shrug and say, “Who am I to judge?”

If you believe in justice and seek to be an instrument of it in service to others, if you have any sense of indignation when we see bigotry, racism, and violence committed against people for no other reason than they just don’t look like you, if you feel that all this stuff is just evil; then ask yourself this question: Why? 

In the words of the old Gatorade commercial, what is it that’s “in you” that causes such a reaction? What standard seems to rise from within and say, “No! This is wrong”? Is it simply “what works for you,” or is it something more, something enduring, immutable, something that is real that is beyond our rationality?

Is it possible that what works for Hitler and Hamas is irrefutably wrong because it violates a rule in your heart that you know to be beyond your opinion or mine? Is it possible that tolerance has some limits after all, and those limits are found at the boundaries of what the Bible calls Truth?

By the way, the end to Pascal’s quote about a “God-shaped vacuum” is that it “cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”

If you are seeking guidance in today’s changing world, Higher Ground is there for you. Everett Piper, a Ph.D. and a former university president and radio host, takes your questions in his weekly ’Ask Dr. E’ column. If you have moral or ethical questions for which you’d like an answer, please email askeverett@washingtontimes.com and he may include it in a future column.

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