Politics and the Church – The Politics of God [Part 9]

Surveys show that ‘godlessness’ is growing at an alarming rate across the globe.  In a short time countries such as France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Australia will lose their Christian majorities to those who consider themselves “religiously unaffiliated”.  A recent National Geographic article entitled “The World’s Newest Major Religion: No Religion” states that the religiously unaffiliated now are the second largest “religious group” in Europe. [Gabe Bullard,”The World’s Newest Major Religion: No Religion”, National Geographic, April 22, 2016].  In the United States it makes up almost a quarter of the population, and in the past decade alone, it has overtaken the Catholic Church, the mainline Protestant denominations, and all followers of non-Christian faiths. Even for many who profess Judaism, Christianity, and other world religions, their professed religious views have little or no relevance in their lives.  They are believers in name only; their behavior is thoroughly secular.  In reality they are ‘atheists’ even though the polls do not show them as such. Let’s face it, we live in a functionally ‘godless’ society where secular values…man’s politics…have achieved dominance in most sectors of the general public…to an especially high degree in the media,  academia, the entertainment industry, and the government…man’s politics.  In the 150 years since Nietzsche made his bold proclamation that “God is dead”, the ‘godless’ have worked overtime to make his prophesy come true.  We have taken ‘freedom of speech’ and used it to justify freedoms our Founding Fathers never intended.

We have touched upon wars and mass murders of the past century, abortions…infant murder, suicides, ‘mercy killings’…all the evidence that points to godlessness being a culture of death.  The philosophy is of the self-centered and the hopeless.  A recent Harris Poll reported that only one in three Americans consider themselves “happy”. [Carolyn Gregoire,”Happiness Index: Only 1 In 3 Americans Are Very Happy, According to Harris Poll”, Huffington Post, June 1, 2013].  This is astonishing considering how many advances ‘man’s politics’ has given us in technology and medicine.  With life so much more convenient and comfortable than ever before, why hasn’t there been a rise in contentedness?  It appears that the levels that have gone up are in the areas of anguish.  There are record numbers of divorces, nervous breakdowns, and stress-related illnesses.  Incidents of violent crime, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, rape, drug addiction, alcoholism, and depression are at all-time highs.  350 million people worldwide suffer from depression and other forms of anxiety. [Marina Marcus et al., “Depression: A Global Public Health Concern”, World Health Organization, 2012].  Why so much misery with all the technological and economic wealth ‘man’s politics’ has given us?

But wait a minute.  The ‘godless’ would say things are so much better now than they used to be.  We’ve had tremendous advances in civil rights and women’s rights since the rise of secularism.  And that is true.  But they leave out one important factor.  The ‘godless’ were absent during the most critical years of those struggles.  The most heroic leaders of the civil rights movement were believers.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister; Malcolm X a black Muslim.  Both boldly proclaimed their faith in God who gave them the strength, courage, and wisdom to take up the civil rights cause, even to the point that it cost them their lives. [Lee Habeeb,” The Secularization of Martin Luther King Jr.”, LifeZette, January 15, 2017].  Lee Habeeb went on to say that we frequently heard of Dr. King but rarely ever of Reverend King. You will see clips of his stirring secular rhetoric but not parts of his speeches filled with references to God.  Reverend Dr. King’s devotion to justice came from a single source…the Bible.  All the great civil rights figures of the 1960’s were believers…Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernathy, Elijah Muhammad, and even John F. Kennedy.  The women’s rights movement was no different.  Before it was hijacked by Planned Parenthood, most of the first feminists leaders were ardent believers.  Women like Susan B. Anthony, Sarah F. Norton, and Victoria Woodhull not only believed in God but were also pro-life.  They did not believe that the road to women’s freedom needed to be paved with the bodies of unborn babies.  It was only when women like the ‘godless’ Gloria Steinem came on the scene that women’s freedom was equated to killing unborn children.

Yes, there have been many wonderful advances in human rights over the past hundred years, but they have come about mainly as a result of the blood, sweat, and tears of believers exercising ‘the politics of God’.

When we speak of the growing malaise and hopelessness of modern-day society, that has been the contribution of the ‘godless’.  Much of ‘man’s politics’ has fallen victim to the ‘godless’ pursuit of pleasure and self-focus.  To avoid such pitfalls requires much discipline established in the Word of God…’the politics of God’.  When we get to the point of putting self above all else, we will see a failing society and nation.  More on this next week.

– Bob Munsey

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