When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars,
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars.
This is the dawning of the age of
(from the smash-hit musical HAIR, 1967)
The eschatological musings of Aquarian gurus concerning the dawning of a New spiritually-pagan Age can understandably be dismissed as so much astrological drivel. But look around you. Major changes are taking place that will render America and indeed the world unrecognizable. On the one hand, there are tremendous destructive forces massed against the Judeo-Christian consensus, determined to bring it down. On the other, a revolutionary anti-Christian ideology believes it can make all things new. An air of social revolution blows across the bridge to the twenty-first century. As with all past revolutions, the old order has to be brought to its knees before the new order can take control. Is this what is happening right now in America? Whatever the answer, we certainly do seem headed for some kind of New Age.
Four components constitute our special time: 1) Objective chronological and technological changes as we enter the third millennium; 2) The destabilizing of the Judeo-Christian cultural consensus; 3) Pagan reconstruction; 4) The resulting inevitable war for the spirit and the soul of the nation.
a) Chronologically we are entering a new millennium — which is like the annual passage from December 31st to January 1st when everyone gets high or nostalgic, only now multiplied by a thousand.
b) We are entering the global community which now includes the 1.2 billion population of China symbolized by their takeover of Hong Kong on July 1, 1997. The Iron Curtain has fallen; the Bamboo Curtain is on the way down.
c) Cyberspace and the internet connect the planet in a worldwide web. Networking joins people and ideas across the whole world and opens up vast possibilities for the coming reality of a one-world global village.
d) Ecology and economics have gone global. Many ecological problems recognize no national boundaries, and trade has become a worldwide enterprise.
e) Philosophers speak of a new form of knowing and hail it as the beginning of a new era. Philosopher Stephen Toulmin says: “We are now at the end of an era, not just in the calendrical sense—the end of a millennium whose dates began with the numeral 1, but in a deeper historical sense. We are living at the end of the historical period called ‘modern.’” In this new philosophical paradigm, the way knowledge is pictured is no longer that of a building with foundations or grounds, but of an INTERCONNECTING ENVELOPING WEB.1
THE DESTABILIZING OF THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN CULTURAL CONSENSUS
a) The end of Christendom: While this is a simple date on the calendar, some speak of the end of Christendom, and others, more ominously of the “Christian Interlude.” According to the astrological charts, the age of Pisces (the Fish—long a symbol of Christianity) will end around the turning of the millennia, to be followed by the Age of Aquarius, the age of the goddess/water-bearer who will finally quench our spiritual thirst. Scholars, Christian and otherwise, now universally call the years, until recently known as B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, “the year of our Lord”) B.C.E. The imprint of Christianity shows on the calendar even as we enter the so-called Third Millennium, which is only the “Third” because of the birth of Christ!
b) A time of educational crisis: Everyone speaks of the “dumbing down of America.” A survey by the Public Agenda Foundation in 1996 of 1,300 randomly-picked high school children showed that two thirds said they could easily do “much better,” that their teachers do not obligate them to do their homework, that they lie and cheat, that the teachers do not seem to care, and that their diplomas are virtually handed to them without any serious effort. Seven in ten said disruptive students are a serious problem. Solutions are not simple, says the report. Kids are growing up in a “teenage culture that the youngsters themselves fear: the cliques, the clothes, the teasing, the cheating, the lure of dangerous drugs and weapons…” which means that more money and arbitrarily raising academic standards by presidential fiat will not get to the real problems.2 In his recent academic best-seller, The Closing of the American Mind, Professor Allan Bloom of the University of Chicago asserts that the one thing of which we can be certain is that by the time they come to college, as a result of their elementary and high school education, undergraduates will have learned the dogma that all values are relative. In other words, they will have learned no real values at all.
c) An epidemic of child violence: With the breakdown of families, and the disaster of the educational system, and the relativization of Biblical/Christian values, we should not be surprised to discover that this is a new day for child crime. A recent survey by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that this epidemic of child violence is confined almost exclusively to the US. The US has by far the highest rate of child homicides…[and] suicides…of any of the world’s 26 richest nations. In America the rate of juvenile crime over the past decade has grown faster than adult crime. Many of these 26 nations had no homicides involving children under 15. Theories proposed include the high numbers of working women, high divorce rates and the acceptance of violence.3 But beyond these immediate causes, such statistics suggest a culture in serious decomposition. Any parent knows that the great concern of parents is to produce from their offspring mature and balanced adults. This is true as well of civilizations, and ours right now is not looking too good. Children are actually killing their parents in numbers never seen before.
d) A new sexuality: The sexual liberation of modem times has liberated the pandemic of sexually-transmitted diseases, divorce and abortion. Spiritual liberation has unleashed a pandemic of drug addiction. Our youth are those who feel this destruction with full force, and they are America at the beginning of the Third Millennium.
e) Pornography: US News and World Report says that in the last couple of decades, pornography has become a “major component of American culture,” grossing $8 billion dollars annually as well as dominating the entire overseas markets. The US porn industry is promoted by respected companies like AT&T, Time Warner as well as hotel chains like Marriott, Hyatt and Holiday Inn.4
f) Destructive organizations: D. James Kennedy denounces the actions of the American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] as “devoted to expanding the rights of the criminals, choking the justice system and erasing any trace of the Christian faith from our public life.” “I believe the ACLU has done more than any other single organization to drive our nation into the chaos and crime of this modem age.”5 Others document the radical trend in the American Bar Association [ABA] which for the last few years has consistently adopted a leftwing social ideology.
g) Judicial activism: Administrations come and go, and their more radical agendas are often attenuated by a stubborn congress. Judges, by contrast, are around a long time, but not to worry. Judges are deliberately made more permanent in order to uphold dispassionately the Constitution and the democratically expressed will of the people. But wait. In the past generation, America has seen the rise of activist judges, committed to a “dynamic” interpretation of the “penumbra” of the Constitution, in other words, making the Constitution say what it does not clearly say.
In the engineering of a social revolution the help of this kind of judge is crucial on two fronts: 1) The new ideology of the religious and social Left is clearly out of sync with the rest of America’s history and with the framers of the Constitution, and so the Constitution itself must be slowly and subtly altered to fit with this new ideology; 2) Since the new Left is a small elite group, its agenda often fails and is voted down through the normal democratic process. Enter Leftist activist judges to overturn the will of the people, as in:
• Colorado’s Amendment 2 barring special rights for homosexuals, which was voted in by a large majority of Coloradans, but denied as unconstitutional, and thus held up in the courts for years, by one activist judge;
• California’s propositions 189 and 209 on the control of illegal immigration and the ending of discriminatory affirmative action were declared unconstitutional by one Left-leaning judge;
• Hawaiians oppose homosexual marriage about two to one, but one judge in Hawaii intends to make it state law, thereby obliging all other forty-nine states in the union to recognize this new definition of marriage.
Though the “new Left” Clinton presidency will only have lasted eight years, by the end of it, President Clinton will have appointed over 60% of all active judges, and you can bet they will also be activist judges. This may turn out to be the most significant and long-lasting legacy of the present administration.
h) Patriarchy is fingered as the great evil to be, to be rooted out of the body politic with imperious urgency. Clothed in the emotive language of democratic rights, this revolutionary agenda is funded by millions of tax dollars in antisex discrimination programs of endless variety. But think for a moment at what is really happening. The very structure of Judeo-Christian culture based on the fatherly protection of the family, with its implicit responsibilization of males in the process of civilization, has been radically undermined. Social experimentation of the egalitarian theory places women in combat and at all-male military schools, with disastrous results for effectiveness and morale. As Charles Colson so aptly puts it, our elitist intellectuals are sifting the wheat from the chaff, and choosing the chaff.
If patriarchs must go, then certainly the great Patriarch, God the Father, must be banished from Bible and liturgy. And so the Christian God and the Christian Bible are dismissed by leading Christian theologians as patriarchal male constructs to justify male power and oppression. They recommend that we pray: “Our Father/Mother who art in heaven.” In two thousand years of Western history, no one, except the ancient Gnostic heretics, has ever violated to this extent the name of God in the Scriptural record, which the Lord’s prayer demands that we hallow.
The Christian canon is attacked by Bible scholars who claim that heretical Gnostic Gospels, such as the Gospel of Thomas, with its egalitarian, androgynous sexuality, are just as authentic as the four canonical gospels, and perhaps more so.
In the wings is Zondervan’s “unisex” NIV, which its promoters hope will, by the year 2000, replace definitively the present NIV, and so the next generation of evangelicals will have sexual differences blotted out from their memory, not just by our androgynous culture, but also by “evangelical” Bibles they read.
i) The persecution of Christians: In the space of one generation, Biblical Christianity, the very backbone of American culture for two hundred years, has been pushed more and more to the margins of American society, effectively silenced by the ideology of church/state separation, and overtaken by the stealth progress of the new spirituality masquerading as non-religious civil rights and cultural enrichment. Pushed to the margins, Christians are seen as marginals, closed-minded bigots whose narrowness and exclusivity are denounced as the major cause of our present predicament. Impartial observers, not just evangelical leaders, have noted this odd phenomenon within the last thirty years. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President of the Center for Jewish and Christian Values in Washington, D.C., notes that “while Jews and Judaism are, by and large, portrayed favorably and reverentially [by Hollywood], Christians, particularly Evangelical Protestants and devout Catholics, do not fare so well.”6 This vicious treatment of Christians in the media is similarly unmasked by Jewish film critic, Michael Medved,7 and Rabbi Daniel Lapin.8 Rabbi Lapin brought together 75 well-known Jews and put out a series of ads in major newspapers, denouncing the bigotry of the Anti-Defamation League against Christians.9
In India, the government has a quota system to make sure all kinds of persons and religions receive jobs. The only group not included are Christians. Of all the many minority religions of India, only Christianity, which represents two percent of the population, is regarded as an import even though the Mar Thomas Christian church was founded, perhaps in the first, and certainly in second century A.D.10 Will this marginalization get worse? The Jewish commentator, Michael Horowitz, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute believes, because of the “overwhelming” evidence of large scale persecution of believers taking place right now all over the globe, that “Christians could be the Jews of the 21st century.”11
Who would have imagined thirty years ago that America would become the world’s leader in this potent destructive mix of divorce, abortion, “family planning,” drug addiction, homosexuality, the destabilizing notions of radical feminism and Eastern/pagan spirituality. When you put all these factors together you get a culture nose-diving to self-destruction.
DESTRUCTION: A NECESSARY PHASE IN THE REVOLUTIONARY PROGRAM
Hey, don’t worry. Such signs of social decay are parr of the Aquarian agenda. The Charles Manson family wrote “helter-skelter” in the blood of their victims, a term from a Beatles’ song describing the necessary social chaos preceding the new age, the storm before the calm. New Age writer, Marilyn Ferguson, speaks of the “confusion gap” as a positive sign of good things to come. “Not to worry,” she says. “Systems implode before putting themselves back together again in more elegant and constructive forms.” According to time-honored revolutionary doctrine, destruction of the old must precede revolutionary construction of the new.
This destruction of the old is made possible, not simply by radical and sometimes justified criticism of the old, but also by the dissemination of falsehood masquerading as glittering truth.
RECONSTRUCTION FROM A PAGAN BLUEPRINT
A new, triumphalist ideology dominates much of the centers of cultural power, and is promoted at every turn. When a revolutionary movement succeeds in destabilizing nerve centers of the culture it opposes, then its own solution can be promoted as the only savior.
a) East and West coming together. Since the sixties the East and the West have come together to form a unique, all-inclusive ideological community. Western democracy and technology have gone East, and Eastern spirituality has come West, filling a void created when the West began to cut itself off from its own Christian spirituality. “Orientation,” said the sixties philosopher J.D. Laing, “is knowing where the East is!”
A case in point: Australia, geographically in the East but culturally more Western than the West. This fun-loving, materialistic, a-religious culture long ago cut itself off from the spirituality of its English/Christian roots. According to a recent report from Christian leaders in that country: “Australia is becoming very spiritual, but not embracing Christianity…The swing towards postmodern, New Age, neo-pagan and Buddhist spiritualities in Australia is much stronger than overseas. Whether we like it or not, New Age is here to stay…there has been a vast spiritual vacuum here which the church has not effectively touched. The vacuum is now being filled up by New Age spirituality.”12 If it can happen in Australia, it can happen anywhere. Everywhere, the New Age is the “now age,” and from marginal cult it has become the dominant mainstream spirituality.
b) Deep ecology: While global ecology is a fact of modem life, many leaders in the Western ecological and environmental movements have turned to neopaganism for their working model.
Vice President Gore, who could be the first president of the USA in the third millennium, as both a Southern Baptist and a practicing Buddhist, pushes the envelope of religious syncretism to new levels. At a recent “Earth Mass,” under the auspices of a coalition of churches and synagogues for the joining of religion and environmentalism, the Vice President declared: “We are not separate from the earth. God is not separate from the earth.”13 File this as one more classic example of the worship of the creature rather than the Creator. Where is the church/state separation here? Where is the ACLU? In his book, Earth in the Balance, Gore, the “vice perpetrator” of the “easternization” of Christianity, adopts the model of the earth as a goddess whom the Greeks knew as Gaia, or Magna Mater. From the vice-presidential bully-pulpit comes a sermon about the rendezvous of radical feminism and deep ecology, with a call to arms in a new synthesis of pagan theory and praxis.
The neo-pagan “Christian” theologian, Matthew Fox, makes this connection as he describes an earth-based utopian eschatology for the planet. The title of his best-seller says it all: The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance.14
c) The rise of paganism: A recent book, Paganism Today: Wiccans, Druids, the Goddess and Ancient Earth Traditions for the Twenty-First Century is a collection of essays by twenty British university professors. It deals with subjects like: “The goddess as a source of healing for modern woman.”15 Charlotte Hardman, Lecturer in Religion and Contemporary Society at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, states with approbation that “Paganism is fast developing as the new religion of the twenty-first century.” Clearly this turn to paganism is not limited to Australia.
The China Daily, advertising in the Washington Post (Feb. 10, 1997), with an eight-page spread, seeks to convince the West that “China has nothing to do with abstract concepts or religious doctrines, while Christianity and Judaism do.” Moreover, “Buddhism and Daoism [leading religions in China] do not promulgate the concept of redemption…[so China] has never employed the doctrines of redemption to reshape the world.”
From this one can conclude that if when China repudiates its Marxism and humanistic Confucianism, other, more spiritual pagan religions wait in the wings to add one point two billion pagans to the global mix who would doubtless have no difficulty communing with the new “eastern” spirituality of the West. Then the mix of East and West will finally be complete.
d) The growth of Satanism: The numerous recent news stories of young people in bizarre rituals and grizzly sacrificial murders suggests that this essentially secretive movement, which has long developed in the shadows, is clearly on the rise. Of course, not every neo-pagan is a Satanist, but paganism is a web of concentric circles, at center of which is hard-core Satan worship. Paul, who knew the various levels of paganism, finally states that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers” (Eph. 6: 12).
e) A circular logic: There is an all-inclusive, post-modem, non-linear, feministic kind of thinking dominating the cutting edge of academic thought and held out to be the savior of a divided world.
f) A new era for sexuality: The New Age displaces patriarchy/male headship with egalitarianism or matriarchy/female leadership. Gender differentiation is eliminated or down-played in favor of sexual freedom and alternate life-styles. This will be the sexual model for building the new civilization in the twenty-first century—even though it flies in the face of the Creator’s designs. Homosexuality has become the model of tolerance and freedom for the brave new world of tomorrow. Such freedom certainly produces diversity, but also enormous confusion. So a mega-basket-ball star, Dennis Rodman, appears cross-dressed as a woman on the Late Show for the entertainment of late night viewers everywhere. Tax dollars are poured into the NEA which then supports lesbian cinema, in particular, Women Make Movies, and their film, Hide and Seek, describing how three twelve year-old girls felt in discovering their lesbianism. This change has taken place in the space of one generation. Under the title, “Female Foreign Policy,” an article in the Washington Post documents that Madeleine Albright, from her influential position as Secretary of State is now pushing the original policy of Bill and Hillary Clinton as an American foreign policy high priority issue. She has instructed US diplomats throughout the world “to make the furtherance of women’s rights a central priority of American foreign policy.” At the very moment when America has taken its position, as the victor of the cold war, as the only superpower, it can now, virtually unopposed, determine the direction of the entire planet. Said Albright, “Advancing the status of women is not only a moral imperative, it is being actively integrated into the foreign policy of the United States…true democracy is not possible without the full participation of women.”
All should be in favor of the elimination of injustice perpetrated against women, but the egalitarian idea of justice includes the destruction of the Biblical family, the relativization of sexual differences, and the tolerance and promotion of homosexuality. The day will surely come in the not-too-distant future when America will have a homosexual Secretary of State who will make the defense of homosexuality a priority of American foreign policy, and who will declare with the same moral fervor: “True democracy is not possible without the full participation of homosexuals.”
What hubris inhabits the minds of our ruling elites to inflict the social and sexual turmoil of America upon the rest of the world, and call it justice?!
g) The birth of the religious left: We have witnessed the birth of the religious left. The new “spiritual” liberalism that came to life in the eighties is an important element in the discovery and promotion of the new spirituality. Its birth and growth is tied to the invasion of eastern spirituality, to the mounting syncretism of the WCC and to the burgeoning growth of InterFaith chapters through the Western world. New Structures are being developed, like the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and the Temple of Understanding, an expression of the Theosophical Society (the study of the occult) with deep connections at the United Nations where this new “Christian” liberalism flourishes. Here again is the notion of a worldwide web made up of interlocking religious traditions that all individually conspire to make up together a new and fuller understanding of religion for the new age and the millennium. We surely have only glimpsed the beginning of this kind of world-wide inter-religious communion.16
h) Global institutions: There are many significant global institutions like the World Bank and the UN which are osostensibly non-religious but are ideologically committed to a monistic one-world, sexually-liberated, abortion-driven agenda, and are promoting it at every occasion, as in Rio, Cairo and Beijing. Strobe Talbott, Bill Clinton’s roommate at Oxford, and now deputy Secretary of State, recently observed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) “can be seen as protoministries of trade, finance and development for a united world.”17 But this is not only happening at the international level. On February 13, 1997, the worldwide funding for Planned Parenthood and American-promoted abortion programs was passed by a comfortable majority in a Republican-led House of Representatives. Clearly the Republican Party will not stop the rot. But when evangelical theologian, Tony Campolo, in his sermon before the Gores and Clintons at the Inauguration Prayer Service, January 20, 1997, denounced sexism, racism and homophobia,, defended the "Gay" interpretation of Genesis 19, [according to which Sodom was not destroyed because of its sexual perversion but because it failed to take care of its poor], and omitted to mention the horrors of abortion, one must conclude that something is going horrendously awry.
SPIRIT WARS: THERE IS A WAR OUT THERE
The Outlook asked me to give its readers something of the setting and contents of my new book, Spirit Wars: Pagan Revival in Christian America. One thing I can say is that Spirit Wars came out a month before George Lucas re-issued his mega movie success, Star Wars. Is this astrology going bananas? Not exactly. Is this brilliant marketing technique? I wish! It is true that Spirit Wars is also part of a trilogy, the first of which was entitled The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back (P&R, 1992), and the third, The Return of... is in the process of being written. This little trilogy, however, is a drop of water in an ocean of revolutionary propaganda. But I did not consult the stars nor the New Age gurus, nor even the best New York advertising agency. When I returned to the States in 1991, after eighteen years in France, I noted the impassioned discussion taking place concerning “culture wars” in America.18 It struck me that the “war” was not merely cultural but pre-eminently “spiritual,” having to do with a sort of spiritual apostasy in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” America, the fortress of the Christian faith in modem times, has not simply been tinkering with a few cultural mechanisms, giving the wheel of democracy one more inevitable turn. In the last thirty years, America has been messing with its soul, turning away from its core beliefs to something quite alien. I wrote the book, Spirit Wars, as an attempt to document this, playing with the notion of Star Wars.
It so happens, of course, that George Lucas has drunk deeply at the well of this alien New Age spirituality. He has been one of its major purveyors. To the present, the Star Wars trilogy has grossed over one billion dollars. In just a few weeks, the reissue has already grossed over sixty million dollars. A whole generation “knows” that the “Force” surrounds them, and that by meditation and alignment with the “Force,” anything is possible. This trilogy is often hailed by the media as an uplifting “morality play” for our modem times. But whose morality is being taught? Lucas/ (Luke Skywalker?) is not just a gifted artist and savvy, successful businessman. He is a believer. He believes in the monistic circle of life whose circular morals ultimately makes good evil and evil good, the two sides of the Force. As one small piece of evidence of the faith Lucas espouses, it is not without significance that many of the filmed interviews for PBS between the Southern Baptist syncretist pastor, Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell (the intellectual guru of the new spirituality and one of Lucas’s spiritual advisors) took place at Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch. This highly successful TV series culminated in a book, The Power of Myth, which dismisses Biblical Christianity and idealizes pagan mythology and spiritual mysticism.
If it is socially acceptable for Lucas to depict the nature of things as a massive cosmic conflict, why is it wrong for Christians, in following the Bible, to do the same? Liberals denounce hymns like “Onward Christian Soldiers” as unbearably bellicose and then flock to see Lucas’s latest depictions of interplanetary war.
Christians should not fail to see that enormous changes in philosophy, sexuality and spirituality are taking place at the very moment when the mediums are proclaiming the triumphal arrival of a New Age, and at the very moment when Christianity, in its own (we all thought) “native” land, is being marginalized and pushed out to the fringes of American culture where scapegoats tend to end up. This is no longer the Fifties. This is spirit wars, and the enemy is in the air we breath, the water we drink, and most of the movies and television we watch.
Christians have to do with warfare, not simply because the Bible has clearly revealed it, but also because the war has broken out in the open in our time. The other side of multiculturalism and tolerance has recently declared that truth is power and that truth-claims are mere power-plays. So on university campuses, screaming replaces debate. Refusing the very existence of truth in order to promote the lie, the opposition has declared war on truth. On a local State University campus in southern California, a secular debate about the pros and cons of homosexual marriage was simply sabotaged by gay violence and intimidation.
It has to be said that the contemporary message of human liberation is therefore not playing according to the rules of truth. So, not surprisingly, its agenda is promoted both through half-truths and outright lies. The “new absolutes” (with a small “a”) fly in the face of the Creator’s designs. It becomes necessary to lie. To affirm, as pagan deconstruction does, that there is no objective truth is itself, at best, an ignorant self-contradiction, and at worst, a deliberate deception. The propaganda is immediately attractive, like the Strip in Las Vegas, but Pit spawns a culture of death. At its core it lies about truth and thus about life. Inevitably its ways lead to death.
A case in point is the progress of the great centerpiece of the movement, abortion. Legal abortion was born in a lie and has been maintained since then by deliberate deception:
• Norma McCorvey, AKA “Jane Roe” confessed that she had lied about being raped in order to make the supreme Court more amenable to her case.
• Sandra Cano, AKA Mary Doe in Doe vs. Bolton, claims she was lied to by the ACLU lawyers eager to promote abortion.
• Dr. Bernard Nathanson, once a top official of NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League), later admitted that the "fact" that thousands of women were dying from illegal abortions was manifestly false.
• Just recently the director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, Ron Fitzsimmons, publicly admitted that when stating to the nation in 1995 that partial-birth abortion was rare and only practiced in life threatening situations for the mother or in the case of severe fetal deformations, that he had “lied through [his] teeth.”19 The only way out of lies is either to confess, as Ron Fitzsimmons just did, or to tell bigger ones.
• Kate Michelman of NARAL claimed that anesthesia “causes fetal demise” [in plain English, “kills the baby”] whereas the American Society of Anethesiologists described this judgment as “entirely inaccurate.”20
• One could add to this program of disinformation many untruths about homosexuality. Here is one example: Youth Action Online: Gay Youth Resources, seeks via the Internet, to give information, and, in so doing, to recruit young people for the gay lifestyle. It begins: “About one out of ten people in the world is gay or lesbian.” This “ten percent” figure has been shown to be manifestly false by reputable, independent studies done in various Western countries, demonstrating that the figure is rather between one and two percent.
Deception breeds hypocrisy. Sooner or later falsehood involves its perpetrators in howling moral inconsistencies. The pretense about abortion has the State, on the one hand, prosecuting a woman for damaging her baby by taking crack cocaine during her pregnancy, while, on the other, condones thousands who have their babies killed in the womb. While it prosecutes for murder a man who shot a woman and killed the unborn baby she was carrying, the State vigorously defends the professional right of abortion doctors to kill unborn babies with scissors and saline solution. As if in pre-arranged collusion, the media consistently refuses to allow pictures to be shown of what actually happens in an abortion.
This is a war because it concerns the truth about life. Homosexuals and radical feminists, in order to practice their lifestyles without hindrance, have to redefine reality by redefining truth, and many others in our present society are quite ready to join in and approve, because, for their own reasons, they do not want the Creator’s truth either. So Roman Catholic Mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley (March 14, 1997, the week of St. Patrick’s Day), grants spousal benefits to all homosexual city employees. Saint Paul observed the same phenomenon in the ancient world (Romans 1:31). Inevitably, falsehood ends in death, for the Father of Lies “was a murderer from the beginning.” Is it any wonder that our sophisticated end-of-the-twentieth-century culture has been described as “a culture of death”?
This is no longer a time when we can once more raise the sleeping giant of American Christianity, when we can awaken the good will and down-to-earth sense of the American “Moral Majority” everywhere, in order, once more, to call the nation back from its temporary insanity to down-home family values. The age of Christian Disneyland is over. Mickey’s new handlers are all committed pagans. Indeed, it’s a small world after all, especially when seen from the monistic, suffocating circle of life, where any notion of the transcendent Lord, Creator of heaven and earth has been effectively eliminated from the field of reference of America’s children. Where Disney goes, much of America goes. So, whether anyone wants to give credence to occult sages, spirit entities and New Age channelers, we are, as a matter of fact, living in a time of gigantic social and religious revolution where many of our leaders have turned to some form of non-Christian spirituality. The soul of the nation is now in the hands of the pagans, promoting, with all the flashy skills of Hollywood technique, the pagan lie. Much of the population has been dumbed down, sound-bitten and video-clipped half to death, with little will to resist.
If Christians are going to make any kind of creditable stab at fighting the good fight of faith and of raising the banner of the gospel in our time, using the “weapons” of truth and grace, we had better become aware of the nature of the enemy opposing us. We need to understand this Brave New World and we need to have a deep understanding of our own faith, and of how radically different the Bible’s saving message is to the counterfeit faiths of our day. We need to grasp hold of the sword of the Word, believing that God’s Truth is really true (and sometimes it takes looking at the Lie to get Christians really to believe this) and will one day, in God’s good time, be victorious. One day the stone not made with hands will detach itself from the mountain and smash to pieces the great pagan image. In the meantime, America seems now to have been anesthetized by a Disney-fication of the Faith.21 Our old methods of witness have produced a situation where ninety percent of Americans believe God loves them,22 but seventy one per cent no longer believe in absolute truth. “Zippity do da, have a wonderful day!”
Is there much doubt that the great task of evangelism in our over-evangelized, apostasizing, materialistic nation is a courageous and winsome proclamation of the Antithesis? In an age of all-inclusive relativism, syncretistic tolerance and spiritual deception, people need to see not some wonderful but all-too-often self-serving plan of personal success, but the great gulf between truth and seductive error, between light and darkness, between Christ and Belial, between the idols and the living God.
As our nation blithely walks the bridge into the next century, following her hollow New Age politicians and their spin doctors who tell them and us only what we all want to hear, Christians should be aware-and should teach their children to be aware-that what likely awaits them on the other side of Clinton's bridge is an Aquarian millennium of triumphant, unifying paganism determined to rid the planet of the bad karma of the gospel. On the other side of that bridge are spirit wars for the Truth, perhaps the most difficult the church has ever known.
1. Nancey Murphy, Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism: How Modem and Postmodem Philosophy set the Theological Agenda (Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1996), 90–98.
2. Robert J. Samuelson, “A Simple Lesson in Education,” The Washington Post National Weekly Edition (February 24, 1997), 5, and Richard Morin, “A Matter of Respect — Or Lack of It,” The Washington Post National Weekly Edition (February 17, 1997), 34.
3. Judith Havemann, “A Nation of Violent Children,” The Washington Post National Weekly Edition (February 17, 1997), 34.
4. US News and World Report (February, 10, 1997)
5. D. James Kennedy, an open letter from Coral Ridge Ministries (March 3, 1997).
6. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, “Hollywood Demeans Christianity,” Human Events (February 21, 1997), 14.
7. Michael Medved, Hollywood Against America: Popular Culture and the War on Traditional Values (New York: HarperCollins, 1992).
8. Bob Jones IV, “Deuteronomy Duo.” World (February 15, 1997), 12–15
9. Ibid, 14. New York Times Jewish columnist, A.M. Rosenthal, recently stated: “If I were Christian, I would complain that Christian leaders...around the world have failed in their obligations to fight oppression of their co-relogionists. I am complaining anyway.” Quoted in World (February 22, 1997), 10. See also the recent book by the Jewish columnist, Don Feder, Who’s Afraid of the Religious Right?
10. World Magazine (March 8, 1997),20.
11. World Magazine (January, 1997).
12. The Outlook, (February, 1997).
13. Salem National News and Public Affairs Department (March 4, 1997).
14. Matthew Fox, The Coming ofthe Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance (San Francisco: Harper, 1988).
15. Graham Harvey and Charlotte Hardman, eds., Paganism Today: Wiccans, Druids, the Goddess and Ancient Earth Traditions for the Twenty-First Century (London: Harper Collins, 1995), back cover.
16. See Tal Brooke’s When the World Shall be as One: The Coming World Order in the New Age (Eugene, OR. 1989).
17. Human Events (March 7, 1997), 1.
18. See in particular, James Davidson Hunter, Culture Wars (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), and Stephen L. Carter. The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion (New York: HarperCollins, 1993).
19. See the excellent Article by Cal Thomas, “Prochoice side tells abortion lies,” North County Times (March 4, 1997). See also John Leo, “The first crack in the wall.” US News and World Report (March 10, 1997), 19, who makes the damning statement: “It’s a dishonest campaign aimed at keeping the truth from the American people.”
20. John Leo, ibid.
21. Today (March 15, 1997), as I drove to my study, on Christian radio, I heard a “Christian” counselor ask rhetorically: “When you come to the end of your life, you will not want to be asked, ‘Did you work hard at your job?,’ but “Did you have fun?’”
22. Harold Bloom, Omens of Millennium (New York: Riverhead Books, 1990), 41.
Peter Jones, Professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in California, is author of the new book entitled Spirit Wars: Pagan Revival in Christian America (Wine Press, 1997); 331 pp. (65 pp. of end notes/documentation), $18.95 plus S&H. For immediate credit card purchase, call 1 (800) 574-2978. Also available through Spring Arbor at your local Christian bookstore, or at Barnes and Noble. Copyright 1997