Monday, November 29, 2021

Atheist chaplains. . .

Oh, the horror and shock of it all!  Harvard appointed an atheist as head chaplain.  I know that there are people wringing their hands in sorrow over it all.  But, frankly, it is old news.  Harvard long ago ceased being an institution that took seriously God's Word.  Sure, there may be a few voices among the many who privately hold to the orthodox Christian faith but to be on the faculty of Harvard or to be a student there is almost by association to stick up the proverbial finger to Christianity and its claims.  The time for outrage has come and gone, folks.  It is time to wake up and smell the roses.

There is a part of me that is happy about this.  After all, the veil is lifted.  We see the secular university (even those with religious heritage) for what it is.  It is not a place where God is welcome or His Word has any real significance.  Instead, the university has adopted the new faith of the co-exist movement with its suggestion of religious truth found everywhere (and therefore nowhere).  This is not a place for us to send our young and curious sons and daughters.  Nevermind the earning potential that comes with an Ivy League degree, if it comes at the cost of the soul what have we gained for our children and grandchildren?  There are alternatives and better educations.  Besides, we live at a time in which the power of an educational pedigree seems less significant on the future outcome of the young adult's life than ever before.  What matters the Harvard diploma to those who hunker down before their screens working at home to line the pockets of Jeff Bezos and his ilk?  No, we ought to be thankful for their honesty and we ought to respect it.

By the way, it is not simply the Ivy League universities who have abandoned their souls to the devils of diversity, wokeness, historical revisionism, sexual freedom, gender identity, and relative truth.  Catholic University of America, Notre Dame, and most all of the Jesuit schools may be slightly behind the pace of the once formidable Protestant schools but not that far behind.  Rome does not know what to make of her once glorious crown jewel schools.  Though they have chapels and religion departments, these seem to have little real influence over the rest of the school and they are, themselves, bordering on the edge of Christian orthodoxy.

In this way, I wonder how long the smaller church colleges and universities can survive with one foot in the world and one foot in the Church.  We in the LCMS are not alone in wringing our hands over those schools once acclaimed as our crown jewels.  We have not the dollars or the students to preserve them in the way that a Hillsdale has insulated itself from government patrimony and secular identity.  Some may survive as legacy schools but the rest will probably be swallowed up for their real estate or auctioned off as the broken dreams of a generation that did not see this day coming.  When the mess is finally resolved, then we just might get back to the real mission.  When we have disposed ourselves of the idea that we can be like Athens and Jerusalem at the same time, then maybe we might realize that the real choice is even worse and do something about it.

Parents might realize that their children's faith is more important that their financial welfare, that being good in this world is being godly, and that the best for their children eternally may mean some real sacrifices in this present life.  Churches might realize that there is a real war going on for the souls of our children and families and that we will lose unless we put up a fight.  Just maybe we will end our fascination with programing the people of God and feed them real food with the Word and Sacraments.  Perhaps we will also realize that you cannot simply preach justification and assume that sanctification will spontaneously result.  For that is part of the problem.  We have not warned our people or our children of the dangers or pressed upon them the urgency and importance of remaining faithful -- all the while producing the good works of Him who called us from darkness into His marvelous Light.

Harvard shone some light into the darkness -- it did not enlightened as Christ's light does but revealed enough of the sad reality of our failed religious veneer on secular entities to remind us that they are not of God.  Now, what will we do with this self-revelation?

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