Posts Tagged ‘coronavirus’

Unmasking the Invisible Enemy amongst us

July 27, 2020
Don’t be deceived

Unseen, infectious, makes people sick and can kill. Stalking amongst us, causing suspicion between communities, cultures and families. Perhaps these descriptions fit the threat that you see as the most serious in our time. Coronavirus? Racism? Antisemitism? Political extremism? Addictions? The enemy has been wearing masks – but now the mask is not working so well anymore!

The real threat that is destroying communities and nations from within is secular humanism.

The global levelling effect of the internet, with the communications revolution has fuelled populism and distrust of the globalist powers that have trodden down the small person. Coronavirus has stopped the world in our tracks and given everyone a motive to rethink the purpose and priorities of life. All these effects are stirring an awakening of questions. Questions about who is telling us what to believe; who is defining the news and information we get? Who is making money and manipulating us? Ultimately – what if the worldview that we have been convinced to accept is not the right picture?

The truth is coming into view for those willing to seek.

This lurking enemy must be clearly identified:

Secularism has been killing and hurting and hindering lives forever, but our society has been desperately infected with this invisible killer in recent decades. The economic boom in the west after the second world war – producing the ‘Boomers’ – also produced a materialistic culture with an accompanying addiction to comfort and convenience. Prosperous societies started to buy the deception that somehow our need of God has diminished. The activists with a determined goal of breaking the powerful influence of a Judeo-Christian worldview became invigorated from the 1950’s onward. The effect has been corrosive and destructive: Most of the past two generations have been brought up to believe the nihilistic thinking of godless evolution – producing an epidemic of identity confusion. If children are taught that they are the result of a cosmic incident and life is ultimately meaningless, it seems reasonable that millions grow up with confusion, anxiety and self-doubt mixed with lack of trust. The follow on consequences are numerous, including so called sexual liberation which has caused hurt, abuse, confusion and dysfunction; We’ve seen comfort eating on a national scale – resulting in diabetes which is a health tsunami waiting to crash our health systems; we’ve seen addictions to mind altering drugs and alcohol as people attempt to anaesthetise their pain – leading to further abuse, crime, violence and increased addition; materialism has developed to offer its own pain relief with accumulation and worship of possessions and security in financial resources.

I perceive that the 2020 Coronavirus is greatly exposing the secular humanism that has been infecting us. The pandemic is having an effect that might well see secular thinking retreat.

There are rather obvious advances in the traditional measures of spiritual and religious persuasion amongst us, such as public prayers, Bible sales, church attendance or reporting of public commentary from church leaders. These shifts don’t, on their own, indicate a meaningful shift in thinking.

There are many other signs that atheistic secular thinking is in retreat: Churches are for the first time in a generation thinking seriously about reaching their communities in ways other than gathering in a building on a Sunday morning. Prayer has been prioritised across the world – partly because in-person meetings have not been permitted – so somewhat ironically, believers have had to pray and read their Bibles on their own! This too is encouraging but still not the real evidence of a shift in the big picture.

The real shake up in mainstream thinking is the shock that our health systems and medical resources might actually not save us. The awakening to the thought that our wealth and technology can’t solve all threats; Our obsession with health and safety can’t fully protect us.

Our lives are fragile.

We have come to a point of inflection in the trajectory of our culture – where for the first time in history we have a global collapse of trust in human capacity and resources. The secularist train was already running out of steam because of internet enabled populism.

For at least a generation, prosperous societies have promoted secular humanism and one dimension of this has been the increasingly intense obsession with personal and social identity. The Bible is clear about our identity and our precious individual place in the universe, but this does not suit the political and social agendas of those who oppose truth.

The ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras stated “Man is the measure of all things.” In this statement he put in place a key pillar of humanist thinking. Most of the 20th century has seen this central idea promoted to children, young people and adults from every angle – resulting in a huge need to know who we really are!

Humanism has spawned secularism, which amounts to the dryness of life without the spirit, focusing on this age rather than the eternal. In most of the so-called developed world we have been trained through fashions, government policies and commercial pressures to esteem secularism. We have been persuaded that secular thinking is the safe neutrality between all the unknowable mysteries of the world’s religions. The secularists have used their persuasive arguments to minimise the spirit, to minimise human beliefs and life that comes from spiritual inspiration. Much of this has been argued on the basis that we must be equitable and tolerant – a level playing field for all. I believe that this has really been the lure of the candy-man to get into a cage where we deny reality and hope. Secularists claim that ‘science is pre-eminent’ but are quite happy to ignore scientific analysis when it doesn’t suit the agenda of the day.

We’ve been led to believe that it is gracious and kind to deny our heartfelt beliefs.

Humanism and secularism thrive when we accept relativism. That is that there is no absolute truth. Ultimately secularism and humanist thinking depend on relativism.  ‘Your truth is good for you, and my truth is good for me.’ This feels pleasant and tolerant for as long as we are content to not really address difficult issues of morality and conflict. Relativism is essential to discourage you and me from seeking truth. We are encouraged to stop at emotionally satisfying answers, even when we know these are shallow, transient and insufficient. You just need to believe a little lie.

Before long you will be disabled from dealing with the big lies.

I believe the invisible and destructive enemy that is secular humanism is now being exposed and found wanting. We are at an inflection point in history, and an awakening is happening – as people start to think for themselves, ask questions, and begin to pray.

It’s time to unmask the enemy! It is time to take our masks off and be truthful!

The new thing emerges – do you not perceive it?

April 10, 2020

For the past year I have been reflecting on this verse from Acts 16v25-26.

But about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Suddenly there was such a great earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.

Immediately all the doors were unlocked and everyone’s chains came loose.

We are in the midst of earth-shaking events. The ways that we used to operate and the constraints that we have been used to have been cracked open. Many of the constraints of the way we think and operate have been broken, halted or at very least paused. Businesses and whole industries are going to emerge changed. The Coronavirus events – the sickness, the panic, the economic shutdown and isolation are forcing change in days that might have looked like taking years in other circumstances.  Many are beginning to speculate or estimate what the changes will look like.

Video conference calling has become the new normal. Working from home has become a standard mode of operation for many. Hiring and firing online is mainstream. Home delivery has become the only form of shopping for many. At the same time, many jobs cannot be done from home or suspended – like healthcare, rubbish collection or taking medicine to those who need it.

I’ve been anticipating this last sentence for many months:

Immediately all the doors were unlocked and everyone’s chains came loose.

I perceive that we are now in this moment. If we permit constructive thinking and the way we perceive the situation we can open our eyes to the new world.

In this account of Paul and Silas, the jailer was locked into the pre-earthquake perspective, and initially assumed that the shaking loose of his inmates would be disaster for him. In fact, Paul and Silas had not run away. They had already been free in their thinking before the earthquake. Their personal peace kept them from running. Instead they then brought the jailer and his whole household into a place of personal peace.

The new situation emerging is that literally billions of people are being propelled into new thinking. We can be sure that entrepreneurial people around the world are already starting to think about how things could develop. This will include churches, healthcare, education, scientific research, entertainment, sport, government mechanisms and community activities. The way in which the poor and dispossessed are helped can no longer be ‘trickle down’ or just charitable giving – the time for enabling and empowering is here. Many who were impoverished by the old constraints and power structures might now be facing fresh opportunities. Many who have small resources right now also need our help. The measure we use for those who are weak or challenged will be the measure used for us. As we sow we will reap.

Recognise that the chains are coming loose – and start to perceive the new! Help others to see the open door ahead!