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Only Two Religions 8 - Where Is Society Headed?

Heritage Presbyterian Church
Adult Sunday School

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Only Two Religions 8 - Where Is Society Headed?

  1. 1. P e t e r J o n e s Director of truthXchange A Worldview & Culture Teaching Series by Ligonier Ministries Adult Sunday School Summer 2019
  2. 2. Lesson Slide 8 2 Where Is Society Headed? The Big Question How can we make sense of the breakneck spiritual and social changes happening right now in our culture? and How should Christians respond?
  3. 3. Lesson Slide 8 3 Where Is Society Headed? Lessons in the Series 1. Explaining Modern Culture 2. The Rise & Fall of Secular Humanism 3. Carl Jung’s Alternative Spirituality 4. Paganism in the Shadows 5. Paganism in the Spotlight 6. Pagan Sexuality 7. From Personal Spirituality to Worldview 8. Where Is Society Headed? 9. Unbiblical Responses 10.Articulating a Biblical Worldview 11.Living in Holiness 12.Thinking with a Discerning Mind
  4. 4. Lesson Slide 8 4 Where Is Society Headed? Lesson Introduction • With society’s acceptance and adoption of a pagan worldview, one may ask where society is headed • It is becoming increasingly hostile to the Christian worldview, which clearly distinguishes between Creator and creation. It seeks to eliminate this distinction in all areas of life and culture. • In this lecture, we will see where society may be heading if it continues to worship the creation rather than the Creator
  5. 5. Lesson Slide 8 5 Where Is Society Headed? Scripture Readings • 13 "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-20 • Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:32
  6. 6. Lesson Slide 8 6 Where Is Society Headed? Teaching Objectives 1. To explore the direction society may be headed as a result of its adoption and promotion of oneism 2. To show the manner in which oneist thinking is being promulgated today 3. To contrast the oneist worldview with the Christian worldview
  7. 7. Lesson Slide 8 7 Where Is Society Headed? Watch Lecture 8
  8. 8. Lesson Slide 8 8 Where Is Society Headed? A Destructive Generation? • Many positive changes and great progress • Technological advances in medical science • Better education and health care has lifted many from poverty • Increased awareness and protection of human rights • Growing awareness of the importance of a clean environment • Accessibility of information via personal computers and the internet • Spreading ideals of freedom and democracy • Global recognition of the oneness of humanity • Many negative changes and a societal “coming apart” • Breakdown of family and traditional marriage • Economic, cultural, and foreign policy betrayals of many vulnerable (e.g., rural, traditional, conservative) communities
  9. 9. Lesson Slide 8 9 Where Is Society Headed? Dim Prospects • The generation of the 60s sexual revolution has borne its fruit in their children (the millennial generation) • Single-parent homes • Absentee fathers and overwhelmed mothers • Poverty and children who roam the streets instead of study in class • The result is an “unChristian” generation that is coming “unglued” (Kinnaman & Lyons). These authors portray this generation as exposed to: • “more violence, dissolving family structures, pornography, and sex before and outside marriage…substance abuse and addiction are widespread; that STDs, AIDS, teenage pregnancy, single motherhood, absent fathers, and abortion are common; that profanity is normal; that one in six millennials is in debt; that one in four is divorced; that suicide is the third leading cause of death; and that they are a fatherless generation. Of the 20-somethings from Christian homes, 60 percent no longer have any connection to church.”
  10. 10. Lesson Slide 8 10 Where Is Society Headed? The Death of Marriage • Marriage is now viewed as a public celebration of an individual act of mere self-expression, with no long-term commitments, buttressed by no-fault divorce • Nearly half of all American marriages now end in divorce, creating problems of family conflict, physical/mental health, and poor educational and economic outcomes • Many have given up on the institution of formal marriage with the added insecurities that follow • Co-habitation related to infertility or child welfare • Child welfare related to poverty, deprivation, and the penal/welfare systems • Fatherless households related to generational dependence on the state • Survival mentality related to moral compromise in order to escape a dysfunctional unbringing or to get ahead
  11. 11. Lesson Slide 8 11 Where Is Society Headed? The Plague of Pornography • In this age of streaming video and widespread internet access, porn use has become increasingly widespread among men and women • Jung and the 60s optimism predicted sexual fantasy would produce human maturation, but sexual freedom has actually produced slavery to empty images and impersonal shells of sexuality • The effect of porn on marriage and male-female relationships is devastating! • Porn acts like an addictive drug that rewires the neuro-plastic brain, producing an over-sexualized, narrow, and even violent mental life • The immoral misuse and decline of heterosexual sex and marriage has inevitably created conditions in which many now support same-sex marriage, which represents a new definition of the human being
  12. 12. Lesson Slide 8 12 Where Is Society Headed? The Rise of Homosexuality • In its scale and velocity, the moral revolution we are witnessing on the issue of homosexuality is without precedent in human history • Not looking at a span of centuries or even one century • This revolution has taken place within a single generation • Sociologist Philip Rieff saw in the 1960s: “The West was rapidly re-paganizing around sensuality…Sexual liberation was a powerful sign of Christianity’s demise.” • Today there is no “normal” sexuality. Indeed, any attempt to say so is shamed, punished, and in some places even criminalized as discriminatory bullying. • Based on the promising notions of “liberation,” the theory to believe in one’s individual desires as the locus of authority and self-definition is derived from a pagan understanding of existence, with this theory’s implementation ultimately producing social and personal implosion
  13. 13. Lesson Slide 8 13 Where Is Society Headed? Coming Apart: The Sociological Reality • Since the 1960s America has become deeply divided • A new lower class has all but abandoned four unifying virtues of the cultural success of America’s founding: • Honesty, industry, marriage, religion • The new upper class (“a hollow elite”) has profited from the founding virtues without retaining the conviction to insist upon them • More broadly speaking, what has come apart is the old Christian consensus • The elimination of sexual distinctions is how a civilization commits suicide. At its most profound level, the attack on contemporary culture is an attack on the creed that lies at the very foundation of Western civilization: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.”
  14. 14. Lesson Slide 8 14 Where Is Society Headed? Oneism Institutionalized • A leading British theologian wrote to Peter Jones on April 2, 2014, as Parliament formalized same-sex marriage: “The Rainbow Flag flew over Whitehall this past weekend, and our Deputy Prime Minister urged us to raise a glass in celebration. The Times carried an article about the upcoming marriage of two women who will be known as “Mrs and Mrs”. …Romans 1:32 is now, it seems, official government policy. When the waters of Oneism that have been beating the shoreline for many years come fully in, the house on the cliff top collapses with apparent, but not real, suddenness.”
  15. 15. Lesson Slide 8 15 Where Is Society Headed? Busting the Binaries • Behind multisexual liberation is the effective systematic promotion of ideological Oneism and the determined elimination of the binary structure of theistic Twoism, which Scripture teaches is the way the world was made • Oneists describe what seem to be civic or political issues, but which hide a deep spiritual program below the surface. Common oneist terms in public life: • Transgressing or denying boundaries • Denying the subject/object distinction • Breaking taboos • Abolishing “either/or” • As above, so below (no distinction between the divine and the human) • Non-duality • Oneness-all is one • Oneists feel the necessity of obliterating the Twoist distinctions God has placed in creation, and they do it partly by using terms that evoke human rights and global oneness
  16. 16. Lesson Slide 8 16 Where Is Society Headed? A Spectrum of Genders? Agender Androgyne Androgynous Bigender Cis Cisgender Cis Female Cis Male Cis Man Cis Woman Cisgender Female Cisgender Male Cisgender Man Cisgender Woman Female to Male FTM Gender Fluid Gender Nonconforming Gender Questioning Gender Variant Genderqueer Intersex Male to Female MTF Neither Neutrois Non-binary Other or *Customized Pangender Trans Trans* Trans Female Trans* Female Trans Male Trans* Male Trans Man Trans* Man Trans Person Trans* Person Trans Woman Trans* Woman Transfeminine Transgender Transgender Female Transgender Male Transgender Man Transgender Person Transgender Woman Transmasculine Transsexual Transsexual Female Transsexual Male Transsexual Man Transsexual Person Transsexual Woman Two-Spirit In 2014, as mainstream an institution as Facebook (in)famously offers its users a wide list of genders for self-selection:
  17. 17. Lesson Slide 8 17 Where Is Society Headed? New Gender Symbols
  18. 18. Lesson Slide 8 18 Where Is Society Headed? Coming Soon to an Elementary School Near You?
  19. 19. Lesson Slide 8 19 Where Is Society Headed? Destroying Spiritual Binaries • In interfaith approaches to religion • Moving beyond our deadlock, our polarization, our binary, either/or thinking • Advocating a “religionless” and “creedless” Christianity • Announcing the arrival of an age of pure inner experience, with the godhead defined in less dualistic terms, e.g., praying to God as our Mother the nourishing spirit of mother earth • In refusing to use the term “evil” • Avoiding the gross simplifications of moralistic language in describing acts of jihadists • Avoid moral clarity because “evil” things must be included in the union of all things • Jung joined the binary of good and evil to produce a deeply relativized view of morals, allowing the individual to decide what is good or evil • Without spiritual binaries, heaven and hell (theological liberalism), human and animal (naturalistic evolution), human and technology (transhumanism)—all are one and therefore indistinguishable
  20. 20. Lesson Slide 8 20 Where Is Society Headed? Destroying Cultural Binaries • Political correctness denies any distinctions between cultures, religions, or value systems. Thus, politically correct multiculturalism dominates the public square and the university campus and affects domestic and foreign policy. • Destruction of the gender binary began with radical feminism’s rejection of patriarchy and the ultimate patriarch, God the Father. Now we are starting to eliminate the male/female gender binary and their associated relationships (mother, father, husband, wife). • Homosexual leaders call for deconstruction of the gender binary, and this destruction is often set in motion on college campuses, as a sort of lab for the future • In this fuzzy utopian fantasy, society was supposed to evolve into a great big happy androgynous paradise where everyone is equal to everyone else in every way. Instead the wheels are coming off.
  21. 21. Lesson Slide 8 21 Where Is Society Headed? The New is not New • John Oswalt, Old Testament scholar, makes an important statement about ancient paganism in The Bible among the Myths (section: “Denial of Boundaries”) In the ancient world, boundaries between realms (humans and gods, gods and nature) were eliminated. All the boundary-crossing behaviors of the ancient world (such as cult prostitution, incest, and homosexuality) are not “primitive behaviors…or unfortunate aberrations…They are theological statements, necessary expressions of the worldview of which they are part.” • The new “complete cosmology” is applied to everyone. At its heart, ancient/modern oneism: • Makes man a god • Joins opposites • Rejects the moral order of good and evil • Dismisses the objective reality of created human nature • Erodes the old humanity of the (admittedly imperfect) Christian civilization, which is indeed coming apart
  22. 22. Lesson Slide 8 22 Where Is Society Headed? Study Question Answers 1. There is a growing attempt to redefine human civilization based on the notion that man is god. True 2. Melanie Phillips stated that sexuality is the battering ram against the fundamental tenets of Western culture, in order to destroy it and replace it with a new type of society altogether. 3. Pagan thinking even seeks to try to eliminate the distinction between true and false. True 4. Pitirim Sorokin, an escapee from Stalin’s Soviet Union, stated that the first essential mark of civilization requires that men take responsibility for their offspring. 5. The totalitarian state seeks to obliterate the distinction between itself and its citizenry. True
  23. 23. Lesson Slide 8 23 Where Is Society Headed? Discussion Questions 1. Many today argue that the Christian notion of hell needs to be discarded, and that a loving God would not damn anyone. Explain how this line of reasoning is influenced by oneist ways of thinking. 2. Peter Jones explains that it is not only toleration of non- Christian sexuality that is demanded, but also silence from the opposition. When should Christians voice their opinions in this matter, and how should they do it? 3. If the educational system is promulgating an essentially pagan worldview, how can Christian churches and families best counteract such teaching? 4. If paganism seeks to eliminate oppositions, including the distinction between right and wrong, how can there be any sense of justice? Contrast this pagan impulse with the Christian view of justice.
  24. 24. Lesson Slide 8 24 Where Is Society Headed? Next Lesson In such an apostate society, people are no longer confronted with the notion of the image of God reflected in the reality of “natural law,” the awareness of a Creator and in the human being as responsible for the creational mandate, in sexual distinctions of male and female, and in the functioning of moral conscience. The Oneist train is headed to destruction—but we also can’t just jump off the train of culture; we need to keep moving toward some future. Paul has given us his guidelines.
  25. 25. Lesson Slide 8 25 Where Is Society Headed? Resources by Peter Jones • Only Two Religions (study guide) • Only Two Religions (evangelism tool) • (website) • (website) • The Other Worldview (book) • The Pagan Heart of Today’s Culture (booklet)