The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Back to the Garden (without the Gardener)

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The editors and writers at Mother Jones claim that they are “religiously neutral,” even religiously indifferent. Their special edition attack on conservative Christians in the December 2005 issue should be viewed as a wake-up call to the church. The goal of the anti-Christian Left is to rally anti-Christians everywhere to put down the effectiveness of the gospel in the world even though it their only hope in this life and the next. They would never claim that they are in any way anti-religious only that religion, if a person chooses to take that path, should be “privately engaging but socially irrelevant” when it comes to morality and politics. As long as a person keeps his religious views to himself, no one cares what he believes. It’s only when religious beliefs are acted on and become public and influence intellectual, scientific, moral, and political decision making that there needs to be a prohibitory wall built between faith and life.

There may even be some people at Mother Jones who believe in a god—a “Benign Affirmer,” a deity that always says yes to any lifestyle choice as long as it is not judgmental of other lifestyle choices.

The Mother Jones brand of religious neutrality mandates that all issues must be settled in terms of principles planted firmly in the soil of this-world alone since there is “above us only sky.” There is no transcendental moral reference point. Only when the idea of a God judging mortals is done away with can enlightened minds lead the world into the dream-land reality of John Lennon’s Imagine, the National Anthem of secularists and atheists around the globe:

Imagine there’s no heaven,
It’s easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today…
Imagine there’s no countries,
It isn’t hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too.
Imagine all the people
living life in peace…[1]

Lennon’s premise, also shared by Mother Jones, is if you get rid of religion, all conflict, greed, and selfishness will disappear. Of course, if there is no God, there is no right or wrong. Evolution by definition is conflict, greed, and selfishness.[2] Evolution is blind and bloody. “It” doesn’t “care” about anything except to perpetuate the species; and “it” doesn’t care how “it’ does it.[3] We live in the moment of the eternal now, and we make our own heaven and hell and our own right and wrong as we go along.

When we shake off the superstitions of the past by replacing religion with reason, we will realize the potential of our inherent golden greatness. The dream has always been to “get back to the garden” where man plants and nurtures his world without God so that at last “the bombers” will turn “into butterflies,” as Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock” puts it. “Woodstock” represented “the high point of the 1960s dream of an alternative society”[4] based on the secular premise that “we are billion-year-old carbon” that has evolved to this moment in time to do great things. Others have expressed a similar goal based on the evolving abilities of man. Francis Ford Coppola, most noted for The Godfather trilogy, is unapologetic about his belief that unleashed human potentiality will save us all:

My dream is that the artist class—people who have proven through their work that they are humanists and wish to push for what Aldous Huxley called the desirable human potentialities of intelligence, creativity and friendliness—will seize the instrument of technology and try to take humanity into a period of history in which we can reach for a utopia. Of course, it is possible for the technology to be misused—we could end up with a Big Brother—but we could also have a balanced society, with an artist class leading the culture toward something approximating a happy family or tribe. At the moment, the nation is in a fog, and we’ve got to put our headlights on. Artists—those who rely on their intuition—can be the nation’s headlights.[5]

Coppola believes it’s the artist class that will save us. Scientists assure us that science will save us.[6] Judges believe they are the new gods who will make the world right.[7] What Lennon, Coppola, and the new gods in their black robes and white coats are advocating today has been tried many times before. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. The people at Mother Jones have not told us how they would run the world without Christ because they don’t know.

Endnotes:

[1] Lennon tells us to “Imagine no possessions.” When he was killed in 1980, his estate was worth in excess of $275 million, “not bad for one who referred to himself as an ‘instinctive socialist,’ for one who believed in the abolition of ‘all money, police, and government’” (David A. Noebel, The Legacy of John Lennon: Charming or Harming a Generation? [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982], 11).
[2] Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976).
[3] Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton, 1986). Evolutionists have personified evolution as if it’s a living entity with mind and purpose. Evolution is an idea in someone’s brain. Of course, how does the evolved brain of an evolutionist know whether the ideas that come into his brain are true? C.S. Lewis wrote: “If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees. And this is to me the final test. This is how I distinguish dreaming and waking. When I am awake I can, in some degree, account for and study my dream. The dragon that pursued me last night can be fitted into my waking world. I know that there are such things as dreams: I know that I had eaten an indigestible dinner: I know that a man of my reading might be expected to dream of dragons. But while in the nightmare I could not have fitted in my waking experience. The waking world is judged more real because it can thus contain the dreaming world: the dreaming world is judged less real because it cannot contain the waking one. For the same reason I am certain that in passing from the scientific point of view to the theological, I have passed from dream to waking. Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions. The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.” (C. S. Lewis, They Asked for a Paper [London: Geoffrey Bles, 1962], 164-165).
[4] Steve Turner, Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 13.
[5] Francis Ford Coppola, “A Conversation With Francis Coppola,” U.S. News and World Report (April 5, 1982), 68.
[6] Stanley L. Jaki,  The Savior of Science (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 1988).
[7] Mark R. Levin Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2005). See the chapter “Men, Not Gods.”

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