(This post has been edited as of 10.40pm, Malaysian time. Premature publishing occured.)
As I deduce through some brief thinking. Oh yeah, this could possibly be rated as one of those ‘preach-ier’ posts. I’ll let you decide but don’t say you weren’t warned if you read anything that disturbs you greatly. Although it should. Disturb you, I mean.
Today’s post may be slightly heavier than usual (except that I wonder how many really read my post from start to finish), but I’ll try to keep it concise – by the way concise means to the point not just short.
Nowadays, “fundamentalism” seems like a bad word. We have “fundamentalist Islamic terrorists’ who are seen as a global threat, we have “fundamentalist Christians” who are seen as a hinderance to progress, and uh yeah…that’s all I can think of right now.
In a way this kind of aids my statement, that fundamentalism isn’t the problem today.
Let me define fundamentalism first. Fundamentalism can be seen as a religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism. That definition was taken off an online dictionary.
But really fundamentalism just means going back to the fundamental, the very basic principles of a faith.
Anyways, we often view fundamentalism as the problem today – it’s such an emotionally charged word, especially with the media coverage it gets. In America, there was that whole Intelligent Design vs Evolution thing just this year. We have all these huge terrorist acts, such as 9/11 or the London July bombings. We blame fundamentalist groups for the instability in the Middle East – the Iraq situation, Iran, Hezbollah and the whole Lebanon-Israel issue. In Lebanon itself, things are beginning to heat up. Closer to home, there was that issue about the Muslim-Christian clashes on that Indonesian island – can’t recall the name – which took place a few years back, and the purported responsible three Christians were recently executed. Then there was the 2004 Bali bombings. And all the other JI activity. And the list possibly drags on longer. Yet as much as it is possibly a problem, there is a much bigger problem out there.
It’s called secularism – the abandon of God. Where man believes he writes his own story. He commands his own destiny. He fulfills his own purpose. He lives his own life.
And secularism has an infinite capacity to destroy. You only need to examine the historical record. To cite a few, we have the Crusades, the Bolshevik Revolution leading to the formation of the Soviet Union, World War 2, the rise of Communist China, 9/11, the Middle East crisis today, global poverty, e.t.c.
And the record is horrible to behold. Hundreds of millions have died as a result of secularism. Secularism, the abandon of God, has not only left its own mark, but it has distorted the very fundamental principles of God. It is the ultimate illusion, that there is no God, and the most potent weapon in the devil’s arsenal.
America’s disgrace today has resulted from their move towards secularism. This great nation is truly plagued with this disease, that is eating away at the very moral framework that the founding fathers built America upon. This has in turn led to many of the problems we have today, like the Middle East crisis. America (I’m referring to the government of course) has forgotten God and as a result it has made very bad choices. One was the Vietnam War. Another was the handling of the Middle East situation – which has given excuse to rising fundamentalist terrorism.
Outside of America, we have the destructive effects of Communism. Stalin’s human rights record is abominable. Historians have yet to come up with an accurate calculation of the number of deaths under Stalin’s rule but they estimate to be around 40 million people. And this is just limited to Stalin’s reign. When we expand past that, we have the record of what poverty has done to the people living under Soviet rule for three quarters of a century. We look at Mao Ze Dong’s Great Leap Forward. Yet another disaster. Estimates place the death count at 80 million, although the Chinese government states that it is lower at around 60 million.
And then we look at the issue of poverty. It is such a complicated problem to resolve as poverty has been the result of many varying factors, from internal strife, to civil wars, to war in general, to past exploitation by imperialist powers, to present exploitation by corrupt rulers, to ignorance of the root problem by richer countries. Why has this happened? Because everyone’s looking out for number one.
And that brings us to the issue of…us. A lot of the people reading this probably believe in God. But big news indeed…even Satan believes in God. Yet we often see Him as this remote uncaring being, ignoring all the evils and suffering of this world, all the unfairness, all our problems.
Here’s the newsflash – we caused those problems. Each and everyone of them. Because we chose to turn our backs on God. Man is full of depravity. We may be made in the image of God (which in turn puts us in a special position in creation – another article for another time), but we are evil, fallen.
And then here’s the second newsflash – well God did do something. We expect a magic word to cure all of the problems today. But God saw the global problem – secularism, the sin of turning away from God.
The world is a dark place, make no doubt. Past all the pleasure and fun we enjoy, there is a greater looming darkness. You’d think me being paranoid, or being overly preachy, or being overly pessimistic, or whatever you want to call it. Yet the reality of it all is that we oftentimes choose to ignore this one overbearing fact. And continue to be trapped in the chains of our illusions.
I think I’ll end this with two paragraphs regarding a favourite album of mine, by David Crowder Band titled “A Collision”. Crowder writes it much better than me anyways:
“And while we yet were sinners, Christ died for us. He did not leave us alone. He stepped into our condition to bring us back to God. To bring us back to what was intended. The divine, bearing all depravity. The most horrific of collisions. The most tragic and beautiful. The breaking is glorious and loud. We have won. It might not feel like it. You might not/can’t see it just yet. But the reality of our situation is that rescue is present. Every second of life is spent in the very presence of god. There is not a second of human history that He has not been present. Majesty is here. And it is coming. Finally. Just be quiet. And wait.”
“I believe that we are part of a bigger story unfolding. I believe that the rescue of creation has been coming toward us for a long time. I believe that sure, there was a moment that I was found by this rescue and that I am rescued continually, but the even greater thing, the thing that expands in my chest in this moment is that there is more coming! He is coming to set things right. He is coming to set things straight. He is coming and this is tremendously hard to take in, but our hearts swell and this tide of hope grows and after all of this, after this brokenness, after these tears, after this fury, after this tearing that is life…finally, finally…we will lift up our heads…finally…and the clouds will break…and finally…He who is all light and healing… finally… finally… majesty.”