The English language contains many words to describe lack of faith in God.
Atheism seems to be the root term–though it appears harsh to some people. Secularism is similar, and simply means “worldly.” Then there is humanism which sounds cool but begins and ends with human beings (no God).
Then there are the sensual terms like hedonism and narcissism, and also political expressions such as fascism, Nazism and communism.
The most popular word in contemporary culture is progressivism–which really means “moving beyond biblical beliefs” (to them, that’s “progress”).
Progressives want to create a post-Christian world.
Progressivism is not progress, and has one fatal flaw.
Progressivism’s Fatal Flaw
A new study appeared this week stating that unbelief in God has mushroomed in America since 1991.
Ben Shapiro shares the news:
“For the first time in history, atheists constitute the largest religious group in America. According to the General Social Survey, the number of Americans who have no religion has increased 266% over the past three decades and now account for 23.1% of the population, just barely edging out Catholics and Evangelicals as the nation’s dominant faith. Mainline Protestant churches have suffered the greatest collapse, declining 62.5% since 1982 and now comprising just 10.8% of the U.S. population.”
“As religiosity has declined, social ills have abounded. Nearly one in five American adults suffers from anxiety disorders, which now constitute the most common mental illness in the country. One in six Americans takes antidepressant drugs, a 65% surge over just 15 years.”
“The problem is particularly acute among younger Americans. While depression diagnoses have increased 33% since 2013, they’re up 47% among Millennials and 63% among teenagers. Coincidentally, suicide rates among American teenagers have increased by 70% since 2006. American life expectancy declined again last year, as Americans continue to drug and kill themselves at record rates.”
The only positive we can take from these findings is that, combined together, Catholic, evangelical and main-line denominational people-of-faith still account for over 57% of the population in America.
Still, this tragic surge in “faithlessness,” and the personal examples we are all acquainted with among neighbors and friends, should be reason enough for deep concern about the growth of unbelief.
This is not progress–it’s personal and cultural chaos and suicide.
Because the fatal flaw of progressivism is refusing to believe in human depravity and God’s solution for it.
When I wrote my doctoral thesis in 2012, then turned it into a 2018 book (River of God:Where Religion Began and Why Grace and Love Will Triumph), I was surprised by one finding:
That four of the five major world religions deny the fallenness of human beings.
Those four are atheism (no God), polytheism (many gods), pantheism (all is God), and Islam (a distant, warring God).
Only biblical faith accepts the truth that, because of Original Sin (Adam and Eve), we are born into a depraved world and are separated from God because of our sin (Romans 3:23).
When you don’t believe that people are innately sinful and need a Savior (Jesus Christ) to rescue. change, and empower them to do good–then all hell breaks loose:
- Family life erodes and disappears due to disrespect for parents and selfish neglect of children.
- Politicians are soft on crime and terrorism because they don’t believe in the power of evil.
- Government leaders promote open borders, not caring about the drugs, sex-trafficking, criminal elements, and other “sins” they are loosing into their nation.
- Drugs and other narcotics get legalized–dulling hearts and minds while increasing crime and traffic accidents.
- People experiment with sex, change their gender, create new genders–and via the “lust of the flesh”–destroy marriages, families and many healthy human relationships.
- Health care suffers because people given free aid don’t take care of themselves and lack incentives to eat and live right.
- Suicide and hopelessness increase because human selfishness dominates the culture and gives people no meaningful and eternal reason to live.
The end result of this chaos and dysfunction is powerful rulers (tyrants) stepping in to control and enslave the masses. That’s what happened two generations ago with fascism in Italy, Nazism in Germany, and communism in Russia, China, Cuba and North Korea.
Man’s fallenness, with no real remedy, creates the vacuum for totalitarianism. Atheism can’t produce character and eternal hope. It’s only good at multiplying narcissism and despair. The strongest narcissist then crushes the others (tyranny) to enforce order on a self-centered society.
We are moving that direction in America and maybe on a global scale (one world government) because of human depravity and the rejection of God’s solution, which is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Christ is the light of the world.
When human beings face the reality of their own sinfulness, and change their hearts and minds (repent and believe), God forgives their sins, restores hope, builds character, and pulls them out of the quagmire of personal and social disorder.
Dennis Prager rightly describes the human dilemma this way:
“What the first book of the Bible depicts is not only God’s creation of the world but, equally important, God’s shaping primordial chaos (Genesis 1:2) into order. The divine order consists of distinctions; prominent examples include man and God, man and animal, male and female, good and evil, holy and profane, parent and child.”
“The left [progressivism] is involved in a war against order; in its essence, leftism creates chaos. It has worked to destroy all those biblical distinctions. The present giveaway is the nihilist project of the left to erase the male-female distinction, the only innate human distinction God cares about: “God created mankind in his own image … male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27); “He created them male and female and blessed them” (Genesis 5:2). No ethnic or racial distinction matters in Genesis; only the male-female distinction.”
“The God-centered West produced Bach and Michelangelo. The left, which dominates music and art, has produced mostly junk; there is nothing higher to aspire to, as excellence is not a left-wing value and the left uses art to shock, not inspire.”
“Belief in God and the Bible were instrumental to the creation of America, the last, best hope of mankind. The rejection of that God and that Bible are instrumental to wrecking America (and the rest of the West). That alone tells me how important that God and that Bible are. The left knows it, too.”
Recently, I listened to a podcast where Bill O’Reilly (billoreilly.com and the “No Spin News”) asked an American professor if she understood why the Christian faith is being singled out to be silenced in the United States, but Muslims or others are not.
Bill didn’t know the answer. She didn’t either and mumbled something about the separation of church and state.
I nearly shouted at the computer monitor:
“It’s because only biblical faith teaches the truth about sin (our fallenness) and salvation alone in Jesus Christ. THAT is what the satanic forces want destroyed! (Revelation 12:7-15)”
It was the Devil’s lie in the Garden that led to man’s depravity. Satan now wants all vestiges of the true God removed from our lives, homes and nations, and all humans separated from their Creator forever–just as Satan’s fate shall be.
But Easter is coming!
Point all you know to the God-Man, Jesus Christ, who paid the price for our sins and rose from the dead to prove His deity. Christ is drawing billions of human beings out of their fallenness back into the family of God.
Reject progressivism and its fatal flaw. And rejoice in God’s mercy and restoration through Jesus Christ alone.