Summary: Theoanthrocide: The Death Of God & Man
Psalm 11:3 says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Without a doubt, the twentieth century ranks among the deadliest in all of human history and it seems the twenty-first will likely continue this appalling legacy. This era will also be remembered as a period of intense philosophical upheaval where the pillars of culture and belief were shaken and in many cases even shattered. A number of sophisticated liberals will contend that one cannot establish a link between these sociological developments because innocents have been slain in societies assenting to Judeo-Christian assumptions and not every unbeliever has been an ax-wielding serial killer. Yet it cannot be denied that in nations where the God of the Bible comes to play a role of decreasing significance, the value placed upon human life soon follows such a downhill plunge.
Exodus 20:3-4 reads, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image...” The Lord continues in verses 5 and 6, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: For I am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers unto their children unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto the thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.” Thus from the outset, evidence exists that consequences flow directly from one's attitudinal disposition towards the Almighty.
Usually, these consequences are thought of in terms of one's eternal destination. However, the warning that the iniquities of the father will be visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations dispels the notion of consequences being solely immediate. Rather, it indicates that ramification are possible within a wider social context. It therefore becomes evident that acknowledgment of and submission to the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob plays a fundamental role in ordering the individual's cultural and relational perspectives.
The requirement to yield to the God of the Bible is not intended to shore up the fragile esteem of a deity lacking in self-confidence. Rather, the foremost among the Commandments serves as a protective boundary designed to shield sinful individuals from falling prey to their own delusions as well as those of others.
In “The Universe Next Door”, James Sire lists a number of assumptions regarding the nature of God embraced by Christian theism. These include the following: God is omniscient, God is sovereign, God is good, and God created the universe and everything in it out of nothing other than through the power of His own Word (23-26). These assumptions are replete with ramifications for humanity's ethical situation. For if God is the benevolent, all powerful, all knowing creator and sustainer of the universe, it naturally follows that the plans and intentions established by His guidelines for man are therefore the best possible course of action. Obedience to the First Commandment bring the individual into compliance with the divinely ordained moral order and allows the individual to prosper the most from it --- if not in this life, surely in the next. Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” John 8:32 adds, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Rather than stifling mankind, the First Commandment allows for a liberation found in no other system of belief or religious thought.
Sadly though, the present age since the Fall in the Garden of Eden has been marred by sin and its consequences. Instead of complying with the First Commandment and accepting God's free gift of salvation found through belief in the work of Christ, man has consistently preferred to go it alone in a state of rebellion. Romans 1:21-23 says, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God....; but they became futile in their speculations. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of a corruptible man and of birds and animals and crawling creatures (NASB).”
It was not enough for man to bid God adieu and be on his way. Man's religious yearnings ran so deep that something had to fill the vacancy left by an evicted God. Throughout the twentieth and now into the twenty-first century, man has grown increasingly less-flustered about blatantly occupying without having to hide behind golden calves or Olympians sculpted from marble the throne once reserved for God Almighty alone.
Even though belief systems purporting to be theistic but opposing a sound Biblical conception of God present their own dangers, for the purposes of this brief analysis the most stunning ethical contrast is provided by none other than secular humanism. According to Tim LaHaye in “Mind Siege: The Battle For Truth In The New Millennium”, secular humanism holds to the following principles: God does not exist, man is all that does exist, and everything we see and experience in the world today arose through a process of evolution set in motion by the spontaneous generation of matter devoid of any divine creative impulse or overseeing guidance (185). As such, man finds himself alone in the universe, having to rely solely on his own finite intellect for survival and understanding. This state of existential self-sufficiency extends to the arena of ethics as well.