Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Without God. . .

In contrast to those who enjoy blaming Christianity for nearly every war, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, in his 1983 Templeton Prize Lecture, “Men Have Forgotten God,” argued that the 1914-18 war was the result of a collapse of the moral imagination rooted of man  due to a practical atheism.  Solzhenitsyn blames that loss of God for the war to end all wars, a war that has bequeathed not a legacy of peace but a seemingly endless history of conflict.

It is not a simplistic blame but an admission that at the time of the WWI the world had long ago given up on the quaint notion of a God worthy of man's attention.  In essence, the root of man's problem has always been the idea that it was possible to organize the world without God at all.  For surely this has been the pursuit of modern man with his skepticism of all things Christian but his absolute trust in that which appears to be science but may only be posturing arrogance.  Why should we be surprised?  Was this not the same arrogance that dismissed Moses to go up the mountain all the while working to create a tamer god from clay and gold?

Western high culture was not so high as it presumed to be when it determined to make modernity the deity and to betray every fact of history and every truth of reality in favor of this ultimate lie.  Without a God to measure humanity against, the only thing left was to pit man against man, culture against culture, until there is only conflict, suspicion, and mistrust.  Man was never so frail as when He decided that he did not need God but could become or control whatever deity was useful for his purpose.  Since then we have only argued and less about truths of substance than about claims which can never be proven.

What did we learn from the great war?  To mistrust and belittle all tradition and authority until it does not compete with the glory of self in the moment. . . To eliminate objective moral truth and to replace it with a spinning compass that points only to want, desire, and self-interest. . . To cede the international not to religion that binds but to negotiations from national interest?  If these are the lessons, we learned them too well.  Instead of destroying fascism and socialism in their infancy, we fed them until they have grown fat on the food of human suffering, conveniently blamed on religion but it is a religion no one really believes anymore.

Christianity had been the glue that bound people to a conscience informed by the eternal God, the One who transcended boundaries but not for a kingdom of this world.  Without God, without the Church, and without the authority of the Scriptures, the world became a devil's playground of temptation, technology for war, and the toil of suffering in which self-denial could not be justified anymore.   In other words, we buried God but opened a Pandora's box that without God we cannot close, nor do we want to.


Anonymous said...

Excellent observations on both the modern and the ancient worlds.
The devil knew people very well "...YOU shall be as God...knowing good from evil" (while Adam stood by saying nothing) has always been at very tempting, successful tactic.
Take God out of the equation...YOU can say what is good and what is evil... works all too well in the modern world.
God Bless the Preacher.
Blessed New Year: I hope things change.
Keeping up blogging, Pastor: we need your calm, clear voice.
X-Deacon, Timothy Carter. Kingsport, TN.

Anonymous said...

@ X-Deacon Carter,
Sir, why do you describe yourself as X-Deacon? Isn't ordination to the diaconate an ontological change? How can you be ex? Please explain; this has puzzled me.

Anonymous said...

The LC-MS had a Deacons Program for some 15 years. We completed 10 Seminary Level Courses (we jokingly said we were 1/3 of a Pastor because they took 30 courses including Hebrew and Greek). Deacons could have many duties, but always under a "Supervising Pastor". In 2014, The Convention voted to alter the Deacon Program: a candidate could complete a Colleague Program and be Ordained as a Pastor, or he could cease being a Deacon. I went through the Colleague Program, served as Vacancy Pastor at a small LC-MS church for one-year under the Supervision of an ordained Pastor. In July 2018 I got a bad medical diagnosis and had to withdraw from the Colleague without ever being "called and ordained" as a Lutheran Pastor by my Vacancy church. I am still active in helping my home Pastor and singing in the choir and reading blogs and writing a little, but my Deacon status has ceased. I am X-Deacon, somewhat with a bitter-sweet taste, but my faith in God has stood up OK as I now "really understand" that I am completely dependent on God's mercy, now as the Doctors can do nothing. I like supporting my home Pastor and I love reading Pastor Peter's Blog. I copy his blogs and diagram his writings with bullet-points and highlights to grasp his full Confessional thinking. It is very comforting to me to read what a real Pastor writes: I know I will never be a real pastor and that's OK. I always close any of my comments with "God Bless the Preacher" because "God Bless the Preacher" is how the Doctrine Pastor out in Seattle always closed the weekly "Sermon Preparation Class I took.I hope you too appreciate what a great asset Pastor Peters is to this troubled world.
X-Deacon, Timothy Carter

Anonymous said...

Postscript to January 1, 2019 at 3:29 PM Question "Why X-Deacon?"
I toyed with DeaconDemetia as a handle but that sounds a Little weird. X-Deacon is who I am, I guess.
Timothy Carter

Anonymous said...

Post Script to Post Script;
What does "Fr.D+" mean?

Dr.D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thank you X-Deacon Carter for your explanation. My God bless your continued service to Him.

My surname begins with a "D," and I am an ordained Continuing Anglican Priest. It is a common practice for priests to sign their name followed by a cross, "+." Thus Fr.D+ is simply my signature. (A cross before the name denotes a bishop.)


Anonymous said...

To Fr.D+
God Bless the Preacher...both you and Pastor Peters.
X-Deacon Timothy Carter

Anonymous said...

Post-Script to FrD+ ( sorry for all the post scripts, I have trouble staying focused)
The original Blog point being made by Pastor Peters, Alexandr Solzenitsyn, Luther and me is that "you shall be as God, able to say what is good and what is evil" is a very common trick used by the devil and by man.
I am glad to see you are reading Pastor Peter's blog. "Scripture Alone" and "Did God really say?" are always a basic part his meanderings. I don't know a lot about the Anglicans but they get accused of have adding a lot suff to their theology that Scripture never said. That is always dangerous. Please keep reading Pastor Peter' Meanderings: he is generally right.... BASED ON WHAT SCRIPTURE HAS CLEARLY SAID...and what Scripture has clearly said is all that really matters.
God Bless the Preacher,
X-Deacon, Timothy Carter,Kingsport,TN