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The Power of an Idea

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Showing how we got here as a society, and what the solution is

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Colossians 2:1–9 KJV 1900
1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.


Don’t heed Worldly Philosophies which are vain deceit

The Power of an Idea

For me it started with Isaiah Berlin. Granted, Alexander Herzen, Alexis de Tocqueville, Friedrich Hayek and others – Tolstoy, Mill, Camus, Orwell to name a few – all contributed to varying degrees. But it was definitely Berlin who first captivated me with the at once powerful, transformative, compelling, and sometimes destructive, power of ideas.
In his seminal essay 1958 Two Concepts of Liberty, Berlin reminded us of the German poet Heinrich Heine’s 1834 warning that the power of ideas is not to be underestimated: “philosophical concepts nurtured in the stillness of a professor’s study could destroy a civilization”. Heine was principally alluding to the 40 years of bloodshed and murder in the name of progress that had followed France’s 1789 revolution, but it is a warning the 21st century would do well to heed.
Ideas are everywhere. They underpin social, economic and political acts. They provide inspiration for art, literature and films, which, for future generations, become a lens through which they can observe their ancestors, discovering what they thought, felt, liked, disliked; how they lived. In the context of a human condition characterised by heterogeneity, the proliferation of ideas can contribute towards celebrating those individual differences, while at the same time offering means of co-operation: shared traditions, cultures and nationalities all arise from shared ideas.
And yet ideas have also been the direct cause of horrible human crimes for millennia. Or rather, one idea in particular: the notion that all answers to the central questions of human life – individual, spiritual, political or cultural – can be reduced to one single answer, an irrefutable and universal standard. It is this very idea which underpins the extremist ideology of the Islamic State – that pretends to know what is right for every single individual – and which presently offers such a visible and direct challenge to the Western liberal paradigm.
Edward Andrews, The Power of Ideas,
What people think; what they believe about reality, about how we know what we know, about how we should live our lives, becomes, not just important, but absolutely paramount.
Three areas of Philosophy
Metaphysics - Our ideas about reality. Is reality knowable? What is included in reality?
Epistemology - How do we know what we know. What does it mean to know something? How are we sure we do indeed know it?
Ethics - How we should live our lives.
One idea in particular has caused a multitude of problems for us: The idea of Secular Humanism. Or, if you prefer, Methodological Naturalism, Materialism, the idea that ONLY what we can see, taste, touch, and feel is real.
The apologetic used to defend this worldview is called Evolution, and it was pushed to the forefront by two individuals.

Charles Lyell

A Scottish geologist who introduced the idea of Uniformitarianism, or the idea that natural processes in earth’s history happened at a uniform rate. “The present is the key to the past.”
He presented this idea in his book, Principles of Geology.
Before this most scientists subscribed to the idea of Catastrophism, or the Biblical idea that there was a flood in our recent past that rearranged the geology of the Earth’s surface in one catastrophic event.
Lyell saw himself as “the spiritual saviour of geology, freeing the science from the old dispensation of Moses.”

Charles Darwin

An English Naturalist, geologist, and biologist, popularized the idea of Evolutionary Biology, the idea that all of life arose ultimately from inanimate material.
He presented his ideas in his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.
Interestingly, this was a rather old idea, but Darwin popularized it due to the respectable, scientific slant he put on it.
Originally he attended Cambridge university to become an Anglican clergyman
In this period of his life he did not doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible.
On board the HMS Beagle Darwin would quote the Bible as an authority on morality, and saw in nature evidences of creation
By his return, Darwin was critical of of the Bible as history, and wondered why all religions should not be equally valid
He was introduced to Charles Lyell’s book Principles of Geology on board and had read it during the voyage
He began to question the account of scripture based on the “scientific evidences” that, when interpreted by Lyell, contradicted the historical creation account presented to us in the Bible
Five years after his book was published, he was awarded Britain’s highest scientific honor, and by 1870 most scientist believed that evolution occurred.
Every belief system leads us to inevitable conclusions about the nature of reality, how we know what we know, and how we should live our lives. Let’s see where this belief system would inevitably lead.

The Logical Conclusions of Materialism

There are no supernatural events or entities at all. Only material, natural objects are thought to exist
Reality is self-creating, self-guiding, and self-evolving, leading to everything getting bigger, better, stronger, faster. Everything is gradually improving
There is no intelligent design built into existence and no direction to evolution, and so no purpose to life can be assumed. No more value can be placed on a human life as it can a fern, or a bacteria.
There are no supernatural elements to existence, and no non-material elements either
This means information, and ideas would have no place here
Natural laws, numbers, laws of logic, would have no place in our universe
So if no laws, then we have chaos. But that’s not what we observe
Because we sprang into existence by a cosmic accident, a rapid expansion of space-time, why can we trust in the overall stability and reliability of our observations of it?
In other words, just because I observe gravity acting a certain way today, how do I know it’s going to do that tomorrow? How do I know gravity operates the same way on earth as it does a billion light years away?
How can I trust my own thought processes? My brain is simply molecules-in-motion, How can I consistently rely on a something that was thrown together at random?
How am I able to prove inconclusively that my memories are recollections of actual events. Brains are able to manufacture them? Brains can alter them substantially.
Where do we get the idea of morality from?
How do we determine right and wrong?
Why “ought” I do certain things, and why “ought I not” do other things?
Why should I place such a premium on human life?
We’re a bag of chemicals mixing together in water. What’s that worth?
And who cares anyway? We’re born into a purposeless and meaningless reality, we live out our purposeless and meaningless lives, and we die.
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Ozymandias, by Percy B. Shelley
Even if we accomplish great things in our lifetimes, so what? They’ll eventually be forgotten by everyone
If I help people and improve their lives, what meaning does that provide me or them?
If I hurt people and take advantage of people, so what? They’ll all be gone soon enough, then who cares?

Our Society Today

Our morals are very subjective, based on…what?
Our laws are very subjective, again, based on…what?
Abortion is legal in the United States. Does that make it moral? Is there a difference? What difference? Why?
Divorce, Immorality, Homosexuality, Lesbianism, Transgenderism, Pedophilia, all legal, and normalized. Why? Under what, or whose, authority?
Is our government here for our benefit, or are we here for its benefit? What do we believe is the role of government is? Overall? In our lives as citizens?
Depression, Substance abuse and addiction, suicide, all on the rise. Why? Your life has no meaning!!! No matter what you do, you don’t matter. You CAN’T matter!
Despite living in, arguably, the most medically and technologically advanced country in the world, our overall health is at an all time low.
Hospitals are, sometimes, waiting room only!
Hospitals are short staffed, and they are consistently overworked.
We’re just a bag of chemicals, so just add the right mix of chemicals and all is well.

Heed those Philosophies that are after Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge

This worldview is in stark contrast to the worldview presented to us in Scripture by Jesus Christ

The Logical Conclusions of Biblical Christianity

Both the natural and the supernatural exist in our reality, and both are integral. Each has its place.
Reality sprang into existence at the Word of its Creator, the Lord God
It is carefully designed by Him with purpose built into it
To give glory to its Creator
To give mankind a place to live and serve their Creator
Reality reflects its Creator’s characteristics
All of creation is maintained and upheld by the Word of His Power.
There are natural laws that govern God’s creation, all written by God.
Information is present in God’s creation and has its origin in the Mind of God
Reality started perfect, then because of sin, death, degradation and decay entered creation, and now we see things winding down; getting worse, weaker, slower, smaller
Natural laws, laws of logic, information, numbers, etc. all have a place in the Biblical Christian’s worldview
We can trust the overall reliability of our sense
Our Creator wants us to learn, to discover, to grow
To accomplish this, we need reliable and trustworthy senses, a reliable memory
We also need a consistent, observable reality from which we can make observations.
Where do we get the idea of morality from?
Scripture details right and wrong based on God’s Character
God’s very character becomes the definition of right and good.
Anything contrary to God’s character becomes, by definition, wrong.
God is the ultimate and only inherent authority in all of reality, and so we cannot escape our obligation to obey Him
This is our “ought to”.
Why should we place a premium on human life?
Because we are created in God’s image
He placed that value on us, and so, by fiat if you will, we, every one of us, are of inestimable value
All right and wrong, and therefore, the basis of all laws, rightly comes from Scripture.


Matthew 7:15–20 KJV 1900
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
What are the fruits of Secular Humanism?
The propagation and scientific justification of slavery
The holocaust
According to the WHO, there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions every year.
This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions every day
In the U.S., there are approximately 3,000 abortions a day
This means that, excluding miscarriages, 22% of all pregnancies in the United States end in an abortion
Why? Life is meaningless. Humans are simply bags of chemicals and babies are a lump of fetal tissue, Women want to enjoy the same activities as men do with the same consequences as men have.
To sum up, Secular Humanism will end up producing fruit based on what is inherent in man.
Galatians 5:19–21 KJV 1900
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
What are the fruits of Biblical Christianity?
The end of slavery
The end of the holocaust
The viewing of women as being equal to a man
The vehement resistance of the slaughtering of untold millions of babies.
Love and compassion for all men and women, regardless of the color of their skin, culture, belief system, or economic status.
To sum up, Biblical Christianity will end up producing fruit based on the character of God
Galatians 5:22–24 KJV 1900
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
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