Most Americans live their days with little thought of God. Their television and movies mostly ignore God. For the most part, the media ignores God. People have not allowed God in the workplace or school to avoid controversy and pursue peace. This is secularism.
The U.S. government ignores God. Political correctness has chosen secularism, which is the exclusion of thinking of God. Americans have bought the lie that secularism is neutral.
Politicians have little mind to think theologically about policies. Why should they? They must “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech” (1st Amd). In the process of ignoring religion, they think little about preserving this right of religion, because their thinking disregards God having a place in the state.
The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God
The ninety Founding Fathers who formed the First Amendment were concerned that some would deceive the people to remove Christianity from government. The First Amendment was to avoid a national church and give Americans freedom of conscience concerning religion.[Separation of Church and State?]
Americans have left behind the depth of reasoning that saw the Creator who endowed mankind with unalienable rights as stated in the Declaration of Independence. In contrast to secularism, natural theology is the initial approach to thinking about the Creator and the creation, and biblical theism completed that thinking via God’s revelation in Scripture. That thinking once had a home in the States. Americans have become ignorant of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them” (D of I).
The Founding Fathers approached thinking of the Creator by relying on biblical theism in support of Christianity rather than relying on “an establishment of religion” as a national church. Of the two hundred fifty Founding Fathers, four were deists and the rest professed Christianity. Despite the misconception that deism is a belief in an impersonal God, deists simply rejected the inspiration of Scripture as 18th and 19th century dictionaries record the definition of deism. However, deists did understand natural theology and its agreement with biblical theism.
Natural theology can serve both believers and skeptics to understand basic concepts about God that insure that humanity has certain unalienable rights. As America is now, people are polarized in their thinking and one side is unable to understand the other. No one is playing on the same field, and corrupt politicians revel and reign in such smoky disarray.
Reasonable Theology for Christians
How can natural theology help? For Christians, this means reasoning from Creation about the Creator. Christians recognize that creation demonstrates the Creator. David proclaimed, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Psa 19 ESV). Paul noted that humanity is without excuse for not seeing God’s eternal power and divine nature in the creation (Rom 1:20).
The apostle Paul reasoned by what people could see from the Creation in Acts 17. Paul spoke to philosophers, Stoics and Epicureans. Skeptics of the Bible still love to quote Epicurus. Biblical examples continue to support reasoning from creation with skeptics. Reason informed by the Bible demonstrates that is apostolic method of helping people to understand the Bible and its purpose. What will people turn when they see that life has no purpose beyond death without God in view?
Jesus reasoned with people to understand the Scriptures rather than forcing the Scriptures on others. For Christians, there is a way to reason with outsiders to open them to consider the Bible as an infallible guide.
Reasonable Theology for Skeptics
For the skeptic, agnostic, and even staunch atheist, thinking about natural theology can help them communicate with believers. Skeptics cannot persuade others concerning naturalistic processes without understanding why rational people see God’s existence. Believers see design in that biology is more complex than human design and whatever is more complex than design is also designed. Believers also see that whatever begins has a cause and the universe began, and thus the universe has a cause and that cause must transcend the universe. Furthermore, believers observe that moral absolutes and unalienable rights cannot exist without God, and therefore, they conclude that God must exist.
Much of how people shape their opinions now comes from an emotional existence as in existentialism. Secularism thrives on emotionalism, and how people feel toward others. Their views ebb and flow according to how they perceive others and their behaviors. However, humanity needs emotions based on reason where being kind is better than being nice. A person may be nice and not kind. A nice person may tolerate most behaviors, but a kind person warns of probable harm.
Natural Theology Applied
The blessing of natural theology is that it is simple and yet deep. Simple observations have great implications. For example, biology is more complex than human design. Whatever is more complex than design is also designed. Therefore, biology is designed. Humanity can naturally perceive that there is a Creator.
Furthermore, humans are the most intelligent living beings on earth. Why? If humans create and the Creator created everything, then humanity has an obvious likeness to God. If humanity has an innate observation of morality and God is morally virtuous, then humanity has a moral likeness to the Creator. Without God, there is no standard for human value. If nature values the strength of humanity by its strength to survive, then who are the most important? Many value others by who can create and produce more. However, if everyone shares in God’s likeness, then humanity has a transcendent value and thus each person is objectively equal with one another.
What happens when natural theology applies to the institution of marriage? Observation 1: marriage is an institution that is only natural to humanity. Observation 2: one man and one woman have propagated humanity from the beginning. The implication is that natural marriage is one man and one woman. God made man and woman to reproduce and live as the foundation of the home. Thereby, many can see that the institution of marriage deserves respect, definition, and protection. This is reasonable to uphold “traditional marriage” apart from any other union.
The Implications of Secularism
Is it possible that there is no God? The problem with this question is: “Is it possible?” All things are possible, but arguing from possibility is a fallacy. The most common logical fallacy living in the minds and thought of humanity is appealing to possibility. Someone thinks oneself is right when that person believes something is possible, and then they form a worldview around that possibility. As any logician would admit, this is irrational. Human thinking should look for probability if not absolutes. Someone can argue that anything is possible, but is is probable.
Naturalism has redefined the scientific revolution from Christian observations of nature and changed science into a secular field. However, few have really thought about the implications of such behavior, secularism releases science from objective moral values and limits observations of causality and understanding natural fine-tuning.
Intolerance of Faith
Secularism cannot defend and protect the rights for freedom of faith and religion, because secularists are too fearful to recognize faith or touch theology. They would probably do better knowing something about theology first. Secularism is now the dominate ideology of the American people.
The Roman governor Pliny continued Emperor Domitian’s precedent to execute anyone who was not loyal and traitorous to Rome, so Pliny required those suspect to offer incense and wine in worship of the emperor, Jupiter, and the pantheon. Pliny’s emperor Trajan agreed, and thereby, Rome addressed their problem of Christians by enforcing laws that criminalized Christianity. Now, secular politicians have begun making laws that are not directly discriminatory but marginalize and criminalize Christian living.
Here are some final points of thought, study, and review:
- What does secularism exclude? Is this a neutral position?
- How can secularism defend the First Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights — freedom of religion and speech?
- What is the meaning of “Nature’s God” in the Declaration of Independence?
- What is the fallacy of an appeal to possibility? How many fears are based on this fallacy?
- What are laws called that indirectly discriminate?
- Do you agree with secular America?