I’m finally back to reading the book “Deliver Us From Evil” by Ravi Zacharias. If any of you remember, one of my first posts was an excerpt and my thoughts about it. And I pretty much haven’t picked it up since. Its an awesome book, one that gets me thinking, but just not a pleasure/entertainment reading. Which is mostly what I feel like doing these days. I can’t get very philosophical later in the evening when I’m relaxing. Doesn’t work too well.
Anyhow. I am extremely unproductive and unmotivated today. I’m starting to feel a little bit back to normal, but I still seem to be in the sickness frame of mind, aka lazy. I couldn’t sleep last night (up past 2 am) so I ended up sleeping in today, which has made me feel so tired and lazy. Totally defeats the purpose. And I had a bizarre dream about being in China working at a bath shop, then I was in my mom’s yard with Haddie running from scary guys (maybe Chinese?), and I had to stab some guy in my mom’s garage, but I couldn’t. I don’t know…it was a bit disorienting when I woke up.
Ok…all of that leads me to my point…I have seriously done nothing today. So I grabbed Ravi’s book and decided to have a read while Haddie was napping. He made some really good points about secularism and religion that I wanted to share. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some sense to you…his stuff is pretty complex and intense, but oh so true and good.
“If the supernatural is irrational, what will the secularist use as a point of reference for rationality? Who does one call upon for guidance in life’s choices? Whose voice shall we hear on these issues, or is each one to depend on his or her own inner voice?
…There is no longer any voice, no more revelation “from above.” Not only has secularization brought us a silent universe with no from without, it has brought us a silence from within as it has redefined the whole role of the conscience. It has removed any possibility of an objective supernatural revelation and supplanted it with the so-called inner voice of reason. It was only a matter of time before there would be no way to differentiate between the inner voice of reason and the inner promptings of unreason…we will see that it leads to a pragmatism that is unworkable and an evil that is devastating.
…Implicit to the secularized world-view is not just the marginalization of any religious idea but its complete eviction from public credence in informing social policy. If an idea or a belief is “religiously based,” be it a matter of sexuality or marriage or education or whatever, then by that very virtue it is deemed unsuitable for public usage.”
This, I, think is one of my biggest pet peeves about politics. Candidates that are Christians are made out to be old-fashioned and laws that are created to protect our families and freedoms are deemed out-dated and prejudiced. Now our society allows our children to rule and parents to be subject. Spanking and discipline are looked down on and in some cases even outlawed. Marriages are disintegrating, divorces rampant and sinful unions deemed beautiful and natural. Ok, back to Ravi.
“How irrelevant to the secularized consciousness is the invocation of a religious belief when establishing social moral boundaries and imposing them upon the ever-shifting soil of “community standards.” But we may ask from which side the imposition and irrationality really comes.
…it was obvious to me that they [Christian witnesses in a certain court trial] had clearly been placed in an indefensible position, because one cannot defend the particulars of a moral choice without first defending the theory in general upon which that choice had been made. Secularism, on the other hand, can defend any choice because it is never compelled to defend its first principles, which are basically reduced to an antireligious bias. But secularists do not take into account that on their own terms no position needs to be defended if a commitment to it is a sufficient reason in itself. It is believed that all moralizing is purely one’s private view then ought not that view be kept private? [I want to include an “oh…gotcha!” here. hehe] The secularist never answers how he or she determines whether anything is wrong with anything except by sheer choice. Secular belief grants itself privileges that it does not equally distribute.
…when secularism has spawned its offspring, it produces a loss of a sense of shame. There is no voice within to say, “No, this is wrong. Don’t do this to yourself.”…This is the unworkable pragmatism of secular thinking. All attitudes and all behavior find avenues of unbridled expression, and no one reserves the right to say, “It is not enough to say you’re sorry–you ought to feel sorry and ashamed of what you have done.”…Shame or remorse or society’s disapproval is powerless today to induce a desire to change, because the ideas that shape our culture make shame a hangover of an antiquated religious world-view. How then is it possible to reconcile law with libery when both the sense of right and the sensation of wrong have been eradicated?
…The unbearable reality of secularism’s consequential loss of sham is that the ones we victimize by evil can even be the ones we claim to love. To raise a child without shame is to raise one with no immune system against evil…To remove shame is to perpetuate evil even toward the ones we love.
…Shame is meant to protect the very ones we love. But our culture has killed it. With the name of God now unhallowed and His kingdom not welcome does it make any sense to cry, “Deliver us from evil”?