So Much for the Divine Spark
That was then and this is now.
Most of us have had such sentiments thrown at us when we’ve lamented the current state of affairs and extolled the virtues of the “good old days.” Well, since the genocidal Saddam Hussein was snatched from among us at the end of a rope, I’ve been giving the viewpoint some thought. Is society ascending or descending? Are we moving forward or backward?
Several decades ago two ideas surfaced that have become staples of what some have coined the post-Christian era. The first notion wafted to us from the minds of liberal theologians who, finding sin and depravity decidedly discomforting, concluded that within every man and woman there resides a divine spark that renders all people essentially “good at heart.” All that is needed to fan the spark into a flame of virtue and magnanimity is encouragement. And voilà! Natural goodness bursts to the surface.
Darwinian evolutionists promoted the second notion: that through a process of natural selection, everything evolves upward toward an eventual state of functional perfection. All of this occurs outside the stultifying strictures of biblical restraints and moral refinements.
So within the halls of liberal seminaries, and then passed along to pew sitters, was the prevailing conviction that “every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” Such chest-thumping appraisals of the human condition eventually morphed into the popular mantra, “I’m okay, you’re okay.” Evolutionists kept pace by inventing formulas derived from the tadpole-to-frog phenomenon and applying them to old bones to “prove” the existence of an ever-evolving natural and social environment.
Yet the pestiferous question arises: Were the “good old days” better or worse than today? According to liberal theologians and atheistic evolutionists, the answer must be that the “better” is now and the best is on the way.
Since Jewish people recently celebrated the Feast of Esther (Purim), it may contribute clarity to the Bible, history, and the evening news to read the book of Esther and give some thought to the sentiment that “that was then and this is now.”
The events recorded in Esther transpired in the fifth century B.C. in Persia, modern-day Iran. During the reign of Persian King Ahasuerus, an aide to the king—Haman—hatched a plot to exterminate the Jewish people in all of the 127 provinces of an empire that spanned from India to ancient Ethiopia.
Haman’s wrath against the Jews was precipitated by Mordecai, a Jewish man who refused to bow before the egocentric, megalomanic politician. So Haman wrangled a decree from the king, condemning to death “all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day” (Est. 3:13). His feigned justification for committing this colossal atrocity was that Mordecai’s people were different from all the others; they did not keep the king’s laws and, therefore, were desirably expendable.
But God had providentially placed a Jewess, Esther, in the palace. Through her, the plot was uncovered. Wicked Haman was hung on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai, and the Jewish people were given a holiday.
What is striking about the story is that virtually every aspect of it is currently taking place in the very land where the drama of Esther occurred more than two millennia ago.
Because he hates Israel and its Jewish people, the 21st-century Haman, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, almost daily vows to destroy the Jewish nation—every man, woman, and child—in a single day and with the most devastating device available: a nuclear weapon. Although penetrating the mind of a madman is an insuperable challenge, we can deduce at least one of his motives: Israel and its 6 million Jews stand between Ahmadinejad and the throne of a global caliphate that he envisions for himself. Like Mordecai of old, Israel will not bow before the Persian despot or surrender and accept servile dhimmi status under Islam.
There are two things we must remember: (1) Despite what liberal pseudotheologians and their evolutionist sidekicks claim, God is on His throne, and His infallible Word is still relevant. (2) As with Saddam Hussein, Haman had a noose awaiting him. What form Ahmadinejad’s noose will take is as yet unknown. But of this we can be sure: Israel will not perish at his hand in a day. Israel has a future; her oppressors do not.
Haman was then. Ahmadinejad is now. And there is little difference between the two.
Progressive, evolutionary, ever-upward theory turned into a secularist religion is humbug. History is not on an interminable upward curve. Pure evil is ever afoot on this planet. And rather than being good at heart, “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21).
So much for the divine spark.