Our blindness has reached its maturity; we have lost our way, lost our sense of direction, and lost our compass. So warmed by our feelings of “authentic” self-satisfaction and cherished moral autonomy, most Americans don’t even realize we are blindly, and yes, authentically, careening into an abyss. History attests to our demise. More importantly, God assures us of it.
When we 50-somethings were children, American optimism taught us that we could be astronauts, professional athletes, astrophysicists, or neurosurgeons. Our choice. Imagination alone limited potential and opportunity, and dreaming big guaranteed living large. But our societal professors lied to us. They told us social, physical and mental limitations were artificial; leftovers of a less wise age, they were illusions to be rejected. Modern dreams, we were told, come true. Was there a ceiling? Well, only as high as our thoughts could rocket.
Of course the promises failed, because unlimited human potential and catching stratospheric dreams are myths. And even though nearly all of us landed jobs with monetary values tumbling well below the cloudy thresholds, most of us still clung tightly to the lie. Why? We loved it. Even empty optimism tasted good. Even after we abandoned the hollow hopes in a chest of yesteryears, we never forsook the lust for self-fulfillment. We had become junkies for sugary sanguinity. We became fools for the lie that the world really is our oyster.
But it is worse than that. These lies of previous years not only hung around the neighborhood, they reproduced like rabbits. Refusing their confining boundaries, they hopped to new realms and bounded to new heights. Autonomy and opportunity were no longer just about professions, but about our entire existence. Vocational choices, all ours, of course. But so too are personal and moral choices. Sexual freedoms, all ours. Gender choice, all ours. All decisions, all ours. Kuyper’s Christ had met his match. Together with millions of others, we claimed, “There is now not a single square of inch of the universe over which my own heart does not declare, ‘it is mine.’”
It was and is disastrous. Any who still think freedom comes by asserting self, welcome to the cage of sin, the Alcatraz of condemnation. The Almighty himself warned us that defiant claims and defiant dreams shackle every self-proclaimed master of his own fate and captain of his own soul (to coopt Henley’s famous Invictus). Indeed we have boarded our own ships, but rather than charting their courses and piloting to new vistas of self-determination, we find ourselves slavishly gripping the oars with sullen faces and whitened knuckles. As oarsmen chained to our filth and foolishness, we stroke desperately at our moronic immoral monotony.
Consider a few illustrative points, some of which smack very close to home. Yes, even some self-identifying evangelicals sit brashly in the seat of scoffers. Desecrating the law of God, we have demanded the unrestrained murder of infants in the womb. Untold numbers of “Christians” defend a woman’s right to abortion. Defying the Word of God, we have ordered our nation to redefine marriage and normalize homosexuality. Even certain “evangelicals” like Mathew Vines, argue that the church has misinterpreted the biblical sexuality texts for millennia. Hordes, millennials in particular, have grafted themselves into Vines’ “gospel” defense of homosexuality. Denying biblical wisdom, we have told our children they can believe whatever they wish about themselves and their world—their gender, their identity, their religion, their morals, their music, their video games, their gods. “Believe, say, think, and be whatever you want. God will love you anyway.” All such “Christian” versions of my-child-is-the-center-of-the-universe are pagan to their core. Our children have taken our beloved lie and run with it into an abyss of hopelessness.
In Babel-esque form, this 21st century wisdom informs us that God is who we make him to be and that we can get to him on our own terms, in our own way, by our own theological preferences, using our own moral grid. Our lives are for us, defined within us, and governed by us. Our advance is so great, in fact, that should we decide God doesn’t exist, well, poof! He somehow disappears. What power! What freedom! What foolhardiness.