The New Paganism

Psalm 14:1 says: “The fool has said in his heart there is no God…” How sad it is that so many people do not see their need for the Gospel. A sociologist named Christian Smith coined a term “moralistic therapeutic deism” to describe the prevailing system of spiritual beliefs that a majority of young people live by regardless of their religion including Christianity they profess. What is it? It is moralistic because the objective is to be a good person, not to see oneself as a sinner in need of salvation. It is therapeutic in that the purpose of life is to achieve happiness through counseling and therapy, not to grow in spiritual maturity through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Deistic because though they may say God exists, He is not involved at all in our lives.

I am reading a book my Mark Driscoll entitled A Call to Resurgence.  He talks in his book about what he calls “pagan one-ism”. Here are some of the things he says about how this is practiced:

“There is no distinction between God the creator and creation. Radial environmentalism is one example of this. It exceeds a healthy desire to steward God’s creation and results in worshiping the earth because she is our Mother.

There is no distinction between God and humankind. Spirituality does not humbly look outward to God for salvation but arrogantly looks inward for enlightenment and morality.

There is no distinction between good and evil. All we have are perspectives, opinions, and culturally-embedded subjective values. There is no such thing as timeless moral truths that apply to all peoples, times, and places. We are left with shifting situational ethics, building a moral house on sand.

There is no distinction between angels and demons. All spirits and spiritualities are considered good, which leaves people vulnerable to demonic influences masquerading as angels of light.

There is no distinction between mankind and animals. Radical activists advocate for the rights and rescue of animals, often while supporting the murder of unborn children, contrary to the Bible’s teaching that mankind is uniquely made in the image of God and that the creative order places human life above animal life.

There is no distinction between men and women. Oneism replaces God-given gender with culturally-created gender…transgenderism, bisexually, homo-sexualityy, cross-dressing, and the like.

There is no distinction between religions. One-ism usually results in a vague pagan spirituality. As a result, a Christianity that makes distinctions (such as those listed above) is considered a fundamental threat to the entire worldview of one-ism.”

As you can see the most tragic implications of this new pagan one-ism is that it is entirely hopeless. To make matters worse, in 2012 Time Magazine listed “the rise of the nones” among the top ten trends changing America. Who are the “nones”? They are the growing number in our population who, when asked their religious affiliation, respond with “none”. This group of people tries to solve the above problems with humanistic answers. They talk about love with no basis for love or justice with no basis for justice. As you can see we are living in a spiritual vacuum that without the Gospel give men, women and young people no hope at all. So what do they do? They turn to many forms of escape to cope with life.

It should be our prayer that God would use us and our church to reach a hopeless society with the hope of the Gospel. When the Lord Jesus was talking to the woman at the well in John 4, He told her: “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again (meaning water from the well) but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give them will never thirst. But the water that I shall give will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me that water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw’.” (Verse 13-15) We know that only in Christ will the deepest needs of anyone be met.