Roelf L. Ruffner
The above phrase was not coined by me. I first heard it on the Michael Medved radio show. I believe that it is an apt description of the increasing anti-religious (especially anti-Christian) attitude among many in our society. These folk are bound and determined to remove all mention of religion from the public arena. To them, religion should be put in a box and that box hidden away in one’s heart.
It began more than forty years ago when the U.S. Supreme Court forbade public prayer in public schools. Through the years this mind-set has gathered steam, resulting in religion being pushed aside in concern over “separation of church and state” (a concept not found in the U.S. Constitution or any state constitution).
Part and parcel of this growing antagonism is the man-made barrier between science and religion. The academic community in our nation has wholeheartedly embraced Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution—the unsubstantiated belief that all life evolved from pre-existing life. This unproven theory has been swallowed whole by our public school system, the media, and entertainment industries. They have no use for the Bible or Christianity. In its place they have attempted to make this erroneous science into their religion. True science is complimentary and compatible with true religion and vice versa. “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science [or knowledge] falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20).
Along with the acceptance of the theory of evolution is the newfound respectability of atheism. Atheists have long been relegated to the ranks of crackpots and eccentric cranks, like the late Madeline Murray O’Hare. But lately a new crop of atheists has arisen. They have been involved in several debates and have written best sellers. Perhaps this goes along with the rising tide of unbelief in our culture. Of course their arguments are still intellectually bankrupt and childish but so is the thinking of a majority of our society nowadays. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, There is none that doeth good” (Psa. 14:1).
Another part of this growth of secular fundamentalism is hedonism or the incessant pursuit of pleasure—especially sexually. Practices once considered disgraceful and disgusting by society are now openly flaunted: adultery, cohabitation, promiscuity, homosexuality, etc. Deviant practices once “in the closet” are out of the closet and their adherents are demanding that the rest of us keep our views “in the closet.” “And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting (Rom. 1:28—ASV).
What is the faithful Christian to do? Rather than retreat from the forces of Satan, we should obey the Lord and be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-14). With love, we must publicly refute this darkness with the light of God’s Word whether in the pulpit, or in print, or in our daily conversations. I do not expect secular fundamentalism to retreat but to only grow stronger. We should expect the worst. They want us to “shut up and go away.” “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:12-13). Rather than retreat, the church of Christ should advance with the Gospel and help free more from the darkness of sin (cf. Acts 26:18). Christ is on our side as long as we are doing His will (cf. Matt. 28:19-20).