High-Tech Religion or the Real Thing?
Watching the student riot “celebration” following the University of Connecticut NCAA basketball championship win in April was disturbing, to say the least. Seeing students kick the windshields out of police cruisers and set them aflame, while milling masses behaved like medieval Vandal Hordes in the streets, felt like a dire warning of things to come. The report that the carnage was actually planned, rather than spontaneous, adds to the concern.
Worse yet, the episode was not an isolated incident. Riots seem to be the nearly inevitable consequence these days of spring-break orgies and melées following sporting competitions and other events that draw large crowds.
Why have so many within America’s most affluent and privileged generation descended into what can best be described as neopaganism? These are the young people who will lead the country someday—a prospect that is not reassuring.
Temporary Disorderly Conduct or Future Chaos?
Some argue these young miscreants, like those in the generations before them, will outgrow their tendencies to yield to their baser impulses and will mature into model citizens. But there is a problem: Our culture has changed.
Previously, our society was rooted in a Judeo-Christian moral, ethical, and behavioral standard. Unfortunately, that norm is collapsing. Radical forces are gaining power, and they intend to “transform” America into an anti-God environment that disdains and rejects all that has directed, restrained, and guided the fortunes of the past. So zealous is this breakaway mindset that it is waging all-out war against everything Christian.
Of course, this situation is nothing new. Thousands of years ago, it frustrated godly Israelites and Old Testament prophets. Habakkuk complained,
O Lᴏʀᴅ, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds (Hab. 1:2–4).
In Habakkuk’s day, the national state of affairs had been turned upside down. A new, radical standard of moral and “political correctness” had swept away what had made Israel a unique light among the nations. It was change for the sake of change—deliberate and aggressive. But there was an unanticipated element in the alteration of affairs: the inescapable price a society pays for its revolution to eliminate God.
Anytime people try to drum God out of national life, they find a pathetic substitute to fill the void. In ancient days, it was idols carved by humans themselves—products of their own invention. Earth and environment, creatures, celestial bodies, ancestors, and oneself are a few in an almost inexhaustible list of things people worship instead of God. In the current climate, science and technology are in vogue.
No one can doubt that technology has profoundly changed our way of life. Many technological advancements are unquestionably beneficial. However, there is a downside to the national passion for the mind-spinning gadgetry that is rapidly becoming the grand distraction of this age. The burgeoning addiction to science and technology as twin gods of revolutionary secularism is altering America.
For example, our cultural and educational institutions have enshrined evolution as scientific fact. Those who disagree, regardless of their credentials, are written off as extremists and dimwits. In reality, evolution is faith, not fact; yet it stands as the anointed answer to the creation of the universe. Those who believe in it scorn belief in God and impose a pseudoscientific atheism on the rising generations.
The consequence is a moral, spiritual, and social void that leaves humanity on its own, with no compass for direction or regulated conduct. And when there is no recognized higher power, everyone becomes a power unto himself or herself, opening the door to such concepts as situation ethics, where every individual decides right and wrong according to personal preferences.
Denying God also alters what society deems acceptable. Without God, satisfying individual appetites (no matter how perverse or hurtful to others) is suitable behavior. A compelling statistic illustrates the extremes of the phenomenon: LiveNews.com has reported, “National Right to Life now believes that there have been over 56 million abortions since 1973,” when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade.1
Calamitous change is taking place. More and more people are rejecting God and the Bible and relentlessly ridiculing Bible-believing Christians. Perhaps most ominous are statistics telling us that the majority of “Millennials” (roughly, people ages 19 to 34) do not attend church or believe in God. If this condition prevails and becomes the national standard, the results will be catastrophic.
The truth, however, is that as much as a society attempts to inoculate itself against faith, it cannot remove the reality of God. His divinely forged, immutable laws will prevail. And as fashionable as reaction, rebellion, and outright warfare against Him become, the Lord of the universe will have His way. He has demonstrated this fact time and again over the millennia of humanity’s history on Earth.
In the end, mankind’s thrashing about to disenfranchise God is as futile as the quest of the delusional Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes’ fictional character who wasted his time jousting with windmills, thinking them to be giants.
In the world of truth, Saul of Tarsus (later called the apostle Paul) found that his quest to destroy God’s fledgling church amounted to nothing more than kicking against the goads, as Christ Himself put it (Acts 9:5). It was a futile enterprise. Paul’s meeting 2,000 years ago with the risen Savior on the road to Damascus would foreshadow the experiences of millions upon millions of people who would become transformed through a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.
Never Out of Touch
The Bible is never out of style or out of touch with reality. Nor is it myth or legend or, as some see it, a crutch for the weak and intellectually disadvantaged. As Paul said, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).
The Bible is truth. In fact, it has been far ahead of the times throughout history. What technology can achieve today fulfills what the Bible predicted millennia ago.
For example, the book of Revelation states without equivocation that two witnesses will be slain in the streets of Jerusalem during the future Great Tribulation, and they will be seen the world over (11:9). For centuries scoffers jeered at that prophecy. Two men, dead for three days, seen by people the world over? “Ridiculous!” they said. Modern technology has since put that ridicule to rest.
In Revelation 13 we are told an image will be built with the ability to speak and command the wonder of the people assembled before it (v. 15). How could a man-made image issue commands and make multitudes bow down in adulation? To many it seemed like pure science fiction. Yet technology has trumped the naysayers. The development of robots that do everything from peddling products to scrubbing kitchen floors makes the argument irrelevant.
Truth be told, many modern technological developments affirm rather than repudiate the accuracy of the Bible. The prophetic Scriptures, written long ago, are springing to life in our days as irrevocable witnesses to the One whose thoughts and ways are higher than ours (Isa. 55:8–9). His hand moves history, and His Book delivers instruction and information to finite, mortal men.
To ignore Scripture is not only futile but, in the end, fatal. Our pulpits should make the Scriptures known, without apology or fear of intimidation. There is hope! And that hope will never be extinguished, no matter how fierce or determined the opposition. The good news is that our hope is not in manmade formulas or works of mind or hand. Our hope lies in the Person who dispenses peace without price through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
- Randy O’Bannon, “56,662,169 Abortions in America Since Roe vs. Wade in 1973,” LiveNews.com, January 12, 2014 <lifenews.com/2014/01/12/56662169-abortions -in-america-since-roe-vs-wade-in-1973>.