By: Joe Butta & Steve Daskal
CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS
It is nearly 2018 and things that would have been unimaginable in the 1950’s are today protected by laws in various western nations. The question is…How did we get here and who determines what can be described as normal behavior?
Secularism is not new. It was rampant in the latter days of ancient Greece and the latter 2/3 of the Roman Empire. Alexander’s Hellenism was very humanistic — while pagan rituals were retained, they were not taken very seriously as a belief system, but rather as a justification for the imperial cult and the sports, sex, and self-indulgence that was the norm for the free minority and eagerly sought by the enslaved majority. Similarly, the Roman Empire became increasingly secular by the end of the Antonid [first] dynasty. Again, pagan rituals were retained, but as a justification for the imperial cult and the orgiastic rituals of the various sects and cults that grew up around this or that “deity.” Secularism arose at the end of these civilizations and played a role in their end, because the beliefs and values which motivated them during their rise became hollowed-out shells of what they once were, getting paid “lip service” but not being taken seriously.
The unbelievers in our schools and universities often teach that the existence of so much evil in this world negates the existence of a holy and righteous God. Life itself proceeds with no discernible purpose. Events that occur in the cosmos appear to be totally random. The First Law of Thermodynamics proves since energy cannot be created or destroyed the universe has always existed.
Since we cannot argue that creation exists then how can creation exist apart from an act of creating initiated by an unseen Creator?
Most people throughout history believed or practiced their religion because they were raised to do so, made to feel guilty if they failed to do so, or coerced by social pressure to “fit in” with their family/clan/neighbors/local elites. Prior to the 20th century, there was generally little questioning of authority, and swift, vigorous punishment for those who dared to do so. What people learned in the home and school was also not all that demanding – it took an hour or so on a sabbath-day, or was the “price” for a feast day off from one’s work demands, or on fairly rare occasion required some self-denial for a fast day. There were always privileged, authoritative “religious” to obey: priests/monks/nuns on up through archbishops, or rabbis, or imams/mullahs, or the like, many of whom in turn had still higher human authorities to whom they were held accountable. These religious did not share their shortcomings, therefore many of the laity were convinced that they, unlike themselves, didn’t have any.
Often in life people of good will find it very difficult to understand or even tolerate the other let alone find areas of agreement. Upon closer analysis when one understands the core beliefs of people their opinions and actions become far less perplexing. This is important because once understood we can more easily anticipate certain views even those views that are in opposition to what we may hold as being true. Let’s categorize and extrapolate some conclusions.
Those who claim to need more proof to believe in God, don’t believe in God or are against those who espouse a belief in God conclude the following:
Do these modes of belief and thought represent THE truth?
For those who were not raised in a faith-based family or became disenchanted with traditional religion or were influenced into agnosticism, atheism, anti-theism and evolution by our education system any number of cults or the new age movement may appeal to them as a new form of enlightenment. Some folks while claiming to be Christian also dab in cultic practices and belief. One thing all cults have in common is a variant point of view on the person of Jesus as described in the Bible. This does not include Judaism since Christians and Jews claim the same book as Holy Writ but differ in its interpretation. Below are some of the cult’s views on Jesus.
Do any of the terms listed above represent THE truth?
Before any Christian can make a case that Jesus is the Son of God; Christians must address that God in fact exists. Agnostics claim that they are not sure God exists and are looking for more proof. Atheists don’t believe in the existence of God but recognize that others do. A true atheist isn’t bothered by others mention of God they just don’t want to be forced or belittled for not believing. Anti-theists hate what they say they don’t believe in. They want God removed from the public square and are ideologues who want others to reject faith as they have. Most evolutionists believe they have a theory that explains life on earth without the intercession of a causal agent. They are usually emphatic that creation science is not science but rather the creation myth repackaged. Since an alternative explanation of origins is vehemently opposed by most evolutionists, many in their ranks have elevated evolution from theory to fact. There are people who definitely believe in God, but are Evolutionists. Many Rabbinical Jews fall into this category. They say that God worked out Creation through evolution, and that the word “yom” or “day” in the Creation account can also mean “period of time”.