Turning from the Truth
Our Lawless Age (7)
…and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 2 Thessalonians 2:10
Powerful forces of deception are at work in our secular age, espousing worldviews which deny the Truth of God and encourage men to make up their own approaches to such matters as right and wrong, good and evil, truth and lies.
These have found their way even into the temple of God, the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In his book, The Death of Satan, Andrew Delbanco traces the history of the concept of evil in America and shows how it has all but disappeared in our day. He writes, “In this world emptied of metaphysical meaning… our insurance policies may still include clauses covering (or more likely, exempting) ‘acts of God’ as well as storm, fire, flood, and the like; but the fact is that such events are regarded by most people as inscrutable misfortunes.” He continues, “There seems to be growing agreement that there was once such a concept as sin—broad and capacious but still meaningful—and that it has faded.”
Mr. Delbanco concludes his study with these words: “My driving motive in writing… has been the conviction that if evil, with all the insidious complexity which Augustine attributed to it, escapes the reach of our imagination, it will have established dominion over us all.”
It’s true that the sense of “evil” has made something of a comeback since 9/11, but only in its more spectacular versions. Evil is something done to us, not something we do to others. Like the concept of evil, the idea of truth, as an objective and unchanging reality, has also faded. Truth these days is only what one person finds agreeable or workable in his or her particular situation. “True for me” would be a better way of talking about whatever idea of truth survives in our lawless age. The idea that the Bible is truth, God’s Law is truth, or that God is able to reveal truth to us in any kind of absolute way is largely rejected, even by many people who claim to have faith in Jesus Christ.
So it’s no wonder that, even in the Church, people have become persuaded that the Law of God, while it may once have been “true,” if only for some people, is no longer something to which we must pay heed.
But where truth is denied and evil is downplayed, the shape of things will be determined not by that Kingdom not of this world, but by the priorities, pursuits, and pleasures of our secular and lawless age.
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In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).
Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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