The Bible and the Modern Mind
We have found that what people today think about the authority of the Word of God and its teaching is the result of
rationalism, the concept that man can come to an understanding of the things of God
simply through the process of human reason. Now the origin of our modern liberal view of the Scripture came from the
thinking of certain philosophies. In the past,
classical philosophy used to think in terms of antitheses. That is, that if this thing were right, then
the opposite of this right were wrong. If this thing were true then the opposite of this
was not true. This is the biblical point of view. In other words, people believed
in absolutes. They believed that there were absolutes that you could come to. There
were absolutes of morals. You would find these in the Word of God.
Well, into this classical way of thinking, rationalism came on the scene and rose to particular power in the 18th
century, and certain rationalistic thinkers came on the scene and proposed some new ways of
thinking—ways of thinking that rejected the classical way of the antithesis. The first man that we looked
at was Immanuel Kant. He rejected the concept of knowing absolutes. He claimed
that the human mind could not know anything except what comes through the five
senses. He was an empiricist. But he believed that this information from
experience could be processed by reason into enlightenment.
The motto of Immanuel Kant is expressed very well in the volume by Colin Brown called Philosophy and the Christian Faith,
where he says that the motto of Kant and the concept of coming enlightenment was,
“Dare to use your own understanding. This applies especially to religion. No generation should be bound by the creeds and
dogmas of bygone generations. To be so bound is an offense against human nature whose destiny lies in progress. We do not yet,
Kant admitted, live in an enlightened age, but we do live in the age of enlightenment, the age of
Fredrick the Great. Mankind is in the process of coming of age, refusing to take external authorities, and
judging everything by its own understanding.”
Now that’s rationalism and the expression of its hopes of enlightenment, all of which opposes the biblical system of the grace
perception by faith. Many Christians today have been injected and destroyed by this poison of refusal to take external
authorities, namely the Bible, but to judge everything by one’s own reason
which means human viewpoint. With the rejection of absolutes, he created a religion that anybody could practice, believer or unbeliever.
The next man we looked at was Georg Hegel. He went from Kant’s no absolutes and he
pressed it to the fact that everything consequently was relative. He set one fact against another fact and came
out with a new fact—a thesis against an antithesis, and came out with a
synthesis. He said that’s how truth
grows. It’s always changing. It’s always variable. It’s always moving from one conflict—the
tension of two ideas comes to another idea. But we do not look to the Bible and find the ultimate propositions of truth.
Kant said that man could reason himself to what was right and wrong. Hegel said that there is no right and wrong. Everything is
relative. It may be wrong now—it’ll be right some other time. One attack upon Hegel that was very interesting came
later from the next man that we looked at here, Soren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard
said about Hegel and his philosophy of relativism, “How often have I shown
fundamentally that Hegel makes men into heathens—into a race of
animals gifted with reason. For in the animal world the individual is always less important than the race, but the peculiarity
of the human race is that just because the individual is created in the image of God,
the individual is above the race. This can be wrongly understood and terribly misused, but that is
Christianity, and that is where the battle must be fought.
You can see that Hegel’s concepts certainly are at the heart of Communism—that the individual is not important, but the group
is the thing that is important. The state is the thing that’s important, whereas from a biblical point of view it
is you as an individual that is important because you have been made in the image of God.
Kierkegaard took the concepts of Kant and Hegel and he applied them to Christian theology—no absolutes, but only
relatives. Now Kierkegaard said there’s rational basis
for knowing anything beyond your five senses. He was, again, in the empirical realm. He concluded that human reason could not arrive at
any information about the spiritual realm. He said human reason is OK in the natural fields of science, but when it comes to
spiritual things, you can’t find anything.
So, to find purpose in life, man just has to believe that such a realm of purpose exists, and reason tells him that that’s
absurd—that there is a world out there but there is no way to get to it by reason,
yet it’s absurd that it should be there, yet man needs that kind of a thought. So, he reaches this realm, Kierkegaard said,
by a non-rational leap of faith, which is belief in something that reason tells
him is absurd. What Kierkegaard founded then was a faith that had no meaningful object. A biblical faith has the meaningful object of the
revelation of the Word of God and a historical description of Christ and what He has done for us. But Kierkegaard said,
“I’ll just leap out into the absurd, and I will believe in something that will bring hope to me.” So, man under this
point of view again has to find relative reasons to give meaning to life. So, experience comes to be the important thing.
One of our college came up to me last Sunday morning after we had talked about the emphasis upon experience by the existentialist
philosophers. She said, “You know, that’s exactly what they teach us at school. Just this week my professor said that any new
experience is a good experience just because it’s new.”
In other words, many years ago when Leopold and Loeb, University of Chicago students, decided that they would like to have
the experience of murdering somebody. So, they drove up to some little kid walking home from school on the
streets of Chicago, and they said, “Hey, sonny, do you want a ride?” The boy very foolishly said,
“Yeah,” and he jumped in the car on that cold day to get a ride home. Then in the back seat of the car they took an
icepick and drove it through his heart, in order to have the experience of
murder. It was a new experience. Was it a good experience because it was a new experience?
Now right here in the city of sophisticated metropolitan
Dallas you have college professors who are constantly saying what that
young woman heard from just one. This is a constant stream, and if kids have to attend a secular university, you
better hope that they have some deep-seated doctrinal fanatical orientation, or
they’re going to get in trouble. You can just about decide. Their faith is going
to be poisoned. Every class they attend they will rapidly and seriously and steadily deteriorate. There is no way around that unless they
thoroughly understand and have the capacity to analyze statements such as that. Drugs, sex, revolution, and
rejection of authority—all of these are non-rational experiences and they’re all a leap out there to this area of reality.
Well with Kierkegaard, what counts in your relationship to
God is not what you know but, again, how you react—how you feel. Feeling over against doctrine was the
important thing. However, the Bible does not call men to faith in Jesus Christ because it is absurd. It calls us to faith in the Lord Jesus
because we have good historical ground for that faith. We have his life. We
have his miracles. We have his death. We have his resurrection. All of these are events of history and
justifiable grounds for your faith.
So, we come to the modern scene, the heritage from Kierkegaard who combined what Kant and Hegel said and brought it into
Christian theology. From Kierkegaard came this concept that is referred to today as existentialism. This means that each individual exists in a
world in which he must fend for himself. It’s a world in which we assume that there is no God. He must work out his own values
and he is forced to make his own choices.
But man is in anguish over these choices because he has no idea where any choice that he makes at this particular moment is going
to lead him. His choices are not going to lead him to good. What he has done in the
past is not necessarily going to lead him to what is a good thing for
himself. He is in the world fending for
himself and he doesn’t know where he’s going. This is a theology of anguish and a theology of
despair. Man is viewed as being in an inhospitable world but he’s fighting a losing battle for survival.
Well, existentialism went in two directions from
Kierkegaard. It went into secular existentialism which is represented today by such a man as Jean Paul
Sartre and is a secular atheistic view. He’s a French philosopher. His point of view is
that there is no external authority given over man. There are no rules of morality because if there
is no God then everything is permitted. He says that man’s nature is never fixed. You can’t say that man is
bad—it’s always evolving into something. But he says man
has a lonely existence, with a life filled with anxiety. And no matter what man tries to do, even in a
good direction, always there’s hanging over him the threat of death, and ultimately death gets him. And bang,
that’s it. It’s all to no avail. It’s a very hopeless despairing position.
The other expression of Kierkegaard’s existentialism was in a religious theistic realm. This is
represented by the theologian Karl Barth who was the founder of neo-orthodoxy. This Swill theologian,
like all liberals, was shattered after two world wars, and all of the optimism
of the liberals fell into discredit. Liberalism, with its rejection of the Bible, had no
authority on which to preach and it had no authority on which to speak to people. So, Barth recognized that liberalism was
doomed unless they got back to some kind of authority. So, people had been fooled by Karl Barth by
thinking that here was indeed a man going back to the Bible again. That’s why it’s called
neo-orthodoxy. Because Barth says, “Man’s got a problem with sin. Man’s got a problem of
alienation from God and he can’t reach God. It’s only as God reaches him. Man has to
receive Him through faith.” And he said all kinds of things that an unthinking Christian would say, “Now,
I’m glad to hear that.”
And once in a while some prominent religious leader will take some remark by a neo-orthodox theologian of this nature, and he
will make a big thing of it, like, “Finally, we’re getting together. Isn’t it nice that we’re
cooperating with liberals? You see how they’re coming
around to a knowledge of the Word of God.” But they’re doing no such thing because Karl
Barth always accepted the higher critical views of Scripture that we have looked at. He always rejected the Bible as an infallible
book from God. He always viewed the Bible as a book that was just simply filled with errors.
In a volume by Edward J. Young, Thy Word is Truth, he quotes Barth concerning his view of Scripture. “Barth said, ‘If
God has not been ashamed to speak through the Scriptures with its fallible human words with its historical and
scientific wonders, its theological contractions, with the uncertainty of its
transmission, and above all with its Jewish character, but rather
accepted it in all its fallibility to make it serve him, we ought not to be ashamed
of it when, with all its fallible, it wants anew to be to us a witness. It would be self-willed and disobedience to
which to seek in the Bible for infallible elements.”
So, Barth says, “Sure the Bible is full of mistakes. But it doesn’t
matter whether those things are true or not. It’s the message that these
things give. So, he was rejecting inspiration. He was rejecting the supernatural … quality
that the Bible possessed and he certainly rejected the idea that the Bible is
full of propositions of truth; that is, doctrine. Barth said, “No way. The Bible is not a
book of doctrine.” So, he chose Kierkegaard’s leap of faith out
there to optimism rather than return to the historic view of the Word of God.
Now the neo-orthodox form of existentialism separates all
religious truth from any contact with history. There is no place for reason to verify what you
think. You just make this leap of faith. Ne-orthodoxy says we do not view the Bible as
being historical. We reject Genesis as being an historical account. We do not
view the Scriptures as being an historical record about Christ. We just simply can’t verity it. It’s a leap of faith.
So, a statement in the Bible, according to Karl Barth, can be
historically false and yet religiously true. That’s the old Hegel heritage that two
mutually contradictory statements can be true. For example, the
neo-orthodox theologian will say to you, and he will look you right in
the eye when he says this, “Christ rose physically but he didn’t
rise physically from the grave.” “Both / and.” And you say, “I don’t understand
that.” And he says, “Well, according to the Bible he rose physically. That’s the record
that we have in the Bible. But because you weren’t there to see it, you can’t verify that it happened.
You can’t empirically, through your senses,
verify that Jesus Christ actually rose from the grave.” So, he says, “We take what the Bible says
because it’s a good message. Christ rose from the dead. But Christ did not rise
from the dead because you can’t be there to know that.”
Now this insanity has permeated from Kant and Hegel into the very thinking of our young people. You
have no idea how many college people think this same way. They think, “Man, this is the greatest thing
in the world. I wasn’t there. I can’t verify this. I have no point of verification. Therefore, maybe it is and maybe it
isn’t. Yes, it is. No, it isn’t. All at the same time.”
This also means that there’s no clear line between the lost and the saved. There is no clear line
between the church and the world; between what is Christian and what is non-Christian. The reformation stressed
that man cannot save himself, but with his reason he can search the Scriptures,
and under the illumination of the Holy Spirit he can find the true answers that
he needs. Neo-orthodoxy rejects that man can do this and come to truth.
Karl Marx / Communism
Moving from the religious world to the other influences that are upon us as to why many people think what we think about the Bible
today, we come to another important personality, and that’s the influence of Karl Marx
(1818-1883). He was a German Jew, a Lutheran, and he conceived the social order that we know of today as
Communism. He worked with an Englishman named Frederick
Engels who had a very prosperous textual business. By that business he supplied the financing
for the work that he and Marx did in formulating the doctrine of demons which
today is known as Communism. It was formulated in the book that Marx wrote and that Engels finished after
Marx’s death called Das Kapital. The thinking is based purely on Hegel’s dialecticism, that is,
Hegel’s opposites coming through with a new idea. It was designed as a program to remake society into a paradise where there
would be no war and there would be plenty. It is patterned after Satan’s design of the good life without God such
as reflected by the Canaanite civilization in the Scriptures. Marx was an atheist who viewed religion as a
capitalist society to give its suppressed people an illusion of happiness. Therefore, he viewed religion as
something that had to go. His system was to be built on atheism and religion had to be destroyed and replaced by a new
religion, the religion of materialism. So, we have the expression “dialectical materialism,” which is operating
on Hegel’s idea of a principle and an opposite principle, and the two fighting
against one another until they come to a new synthesis of a new principle.
So, Communism’s answer to life is that it’s all materialism. It has
permeated our society today. There is no design. Everything is a product of chance. It’s just matter in motion.
There is no God so there is no law. Consequently, the end justifies the means. This is permeated in religious
circles. You will find religious leaders who have accepted Marx’s concepts descended from Hegel that even
in spiritual things no matter what they do, even if it’s contradicted by the
Word of God, even if they are pretending that error is truth, even if they are
condoning somebody’s falsehood, the end justifies the means. We’re going to reach people. We’re going to
reach people. We’re going to reach people. And that’s a deception. You
must be aware of the fact that the most magnificent movements of reaching people on this earth are by and large
purely satanic delusions. They are not reaching people. The records in heaven are not
being changed. This is being done by the most sincere Christian people you could find anywhere this side of
glory land. Until you understand this technique of Satan, you may be tempted to be diluted like the
Pentecostalist is into thinking you can make decisions on experience. If the operation is lively and jumping and
big and accepted, this is God working.
Now this line of thinking is inherently in us. We can’t help thinking like this unless we
tear this out of our minds by the sheer force of the Word of God. This is Hegel. This
is Marx. This is dialectical materialism.
So, his call was to make Communism a religion, which it is; to reject Scripture; to glorify revolution and violence; and, to
establish the supremacy of the state. He called for the elimination of private property, and to concentrate power in the state.
Let the party decide what is good for everyone. Materialism is all there is to life. The state is worshipped in place
of God, and people become its slaves. Communism’s answers about man, about sin, about man’s needs, about his
destiny are all contradicted by the Word of God. Yet millions admire Communism who are
ignorant of its satanic concepts and its bestial character. This I sad and we have a lot of young people
who have never caught onto that—the bestial quality of communism, and they
actually think that they can sit across the table from a Communist and look him
in the eye and sign a document and think he intends to keep it.
But once you get to be an informed Christian and say, “Wait a minute. That guy who put his signature
on that document, that agreement that we made between our nations, that guy is
a Hegelian in his thinking. He thinks like Hegel. He thinks like Hegel, which
means that this is the tension we have now come to—when we get to here we don’t
have to keep what we signed and agreed. The end justifies the means. We can do anything to change it. We
don’t have to keep our agreement, as you remember Hegel taught—states don’t have to
keep their agreements. And unless you
understand that you will be deceived by the cries for peace. This is why the Bible says the world is going
to go crazy yelling, “Peace, peace.” Then the whole civilization is going to collapse
around their ears. Why? Because they believed a Communist who operates on
Charles Darwin / Evolution
Another man that has poisoned your thinking today is a man named Charles Darwin (1809-1892) who brought a theory concerning the
origins of life. He was an English agnostic who studied medicine and then went on to theology and finally to a career
as a naturalist. He gathered a mass of scientific data and he wrote a book called The Origin of the Species,
something like 110 to 115 years ago. In it he presented a theory of evolution. Life forms, he said, gradually evolved over millions
of years from a common life source. Now this idea was not new with Darwin, but he presented with some seemingly substantial
scientific proof as a basis for his idea which had not been done up to his time.
Survival of the Fittest
He also added another feature called natural selection, or
what has come to be known as “survival of the fittest.” He said that nature produces far more plants
and animal life than the earth can feed, so they have to compete with each other for survival. Consequently, those
who develop new capacities and adapt to the environment, these survive. Mind you, this is man sitting down in his
room, there is no God out there, and he’s thinking all this up in
order to explain what he sees before him. It seems very reasonable. This is
rationalism in operation. These new capacities that certain life forms develop are alleged to be the source
of new species. So, birds came from reptiles, and mammals from quadrupeds, quadrupeds from fishes, and vertebrates
from invertebrates, including man.
Now this theory became immensely popular, and it was applied
not only to biology but to other areas of life. Darwin himself had some misgivings and he wondered
if he had not made a colossal mistake as his idea became accepted and widely championed. Scientists today accept this theory as their
working hypothesis. Social workers have applied the same theory to human relationships. The idea is not to interfere with the struggles of
people in their misery. Some of the early abuses of the 19th century capitalism were justified on the theory of
evolution. Sure, the expanding industrial advancement of capitalism is causing misery to people, but
that’s how the fittest are going to survive, and that’s how we’re
going to evolve to a better and better way of life. So, they justified the heartless features of 19th century capitalism
which we have changed in our day.
Marx made it a central doctrine of communism. It explained for him the struggle of history. Lenin carried this concept to
new heights to justify the violence and the brutality in his system. He said, “You see, we’re all
evolving. Who’s going to survive? The fittest. Who’s the fittest? The guy who
can apply the most pressure at the right point at all cost.” So, Lenin said, “You see, any brutality,
anything goes, as long as communism survives.
Now the idea of things evolving into higher and better forms has permeated your thinking. You think,
by nature, you just think that things get better and that things evolve to
higher forms. However, again when we
come to doctrine we find that this is in conflict with the Word of God. The Bible says that species cannot cross over
into other kinds; that God made all the different species at one time,
and that they cannot interrelate sexually and they cannot inter-produce between themselves.
Now evolution has been the most single potent factor to
undermine the popular belief in the existence of God. When evolution finally permeated down from
the scientists to the man in the streets, this was the biggest feature
to bring question about God, and it is today. The kid in school who begins to study evolution and finds this a reasonable
view finds that he must inevitably reject the Bible as authority. He must inevitable question the Bible. This is the single greatest factor
that has swayed minds away from the Word of God. Yet it violates some of the basis of sciences. The laws of thermodynamics are
violated. We know that the laws of thermodynamics teach us that things do not improve and get better, but that
everything deteriorates. You know that when you buy a new car, it will not get better every year that goes by. It’s going to get
worse every year that goes by. You know that everything you own is like a top spinning down. It’s losing
its speed. This violates a basic law of nature itself, that things go from a lower form to an improved better
and higher form. Instead they break down.
It has been over 100 years and we have yet to find a single link between species. Obviously, if this
reptile here, crawling on the ground, goes up here to this beautiful bird
flying in the sky, we have all kinds of fossil remains of reptiles, and
we have all kinds of fossil remains of birds, but in between you should have
gradual changes, where a reptile is only 75% reptile and 25% bird; then
half-and-half; and then on up until it is just all bird. You should have gradual changes. But
we have not a lick. And this is a misery to the evolutionist today. He is embarrassed. You go up to him and talk
about it. He starts putting his hands in his pockets, and he looks on the ground, and he shuffles his feet, and
he doesn’t know what to do with himself. You say, “All I want you to do, friend, is
just show me one little fossil that connects any one species to another.” Well there isn’t any. There
is no way that you can take the Bible account of creationism and communize it with the evolution of Darwin.
Theistic evolution is an attempt to do that, and that’s a fraud—the idea that God started all these things in motion and
this is how God brought about the life forms. The Bible clearly says He created, He brought into being, these species, and
there they were, in that form. There is no geologic column (that supports evolution). You go
to a museum and you see this beautiful thing with all these primitive life
forms here, and gradually come up here and they get better. And you get up to the top and there is
… (a human being) standing right there at the top of all this—creation
completed. You can’t go anywhere in the world and find that. As a matter of
fact, if you were in Training Union last Sunday, you saw a brilliant demonstration on that film strip presentation of how primitive life
forms are sitting upon what are supposedly more sophisticated life forms. The only explanation for this is the
flood. That’s when it all happened. That’s when these things got shaken down
into their various strata. What the evolutionist says is just ridiculous.
Now many reputable scientists today actually reject
evolution as nonsense based on unverifiable speculation. However, most scientists do accept it. Well, why do these intelligent men believe in
this? That’s a good question. The reason that most scientists accept this
is that they are unbelievers. Unbelieving materialistic men are forced to accept a
materialistic naturalistic explanation for the origin of all living things. They have no other option. Do you know why most people believe in
evolution? Why most of your friends believe in evolution? Most people
believe in evolution because most people believe in evolution. They pick it up from one another, and they
assume that this is the answer.
Evolution is a matter of faith just like creationism is. The question is: Where are you going to place your faith? The
unbeliever holds that the idea of God is merely another product of man’s mind—another product of
evolution from the lower forms. Those scientists who are the staunchest proponents of evolution are also the strongest to deny
the existence of God. An evolutionist has to say that there is no God. That’s why he’s an evolutionist. He has to say
there is no open system where God is interjecting himself into the creation. That’s why he’s an evolutionist.
George Gaylord Simpson
Dr. George Gaylord Simpson is a professor of vertebrae paleontology at Harvard University. He
is one of the world’s best known evolutionist. He says of the Christian faith, which incidentally
he calls “the higher superstition,” in contrast to what he called the lower
superstition of the pagan tribes of South America and of Africa, he says that the Christian
faith is intellectually unacceptable. In other words, it is unacceptable to rationalism.
Duane Gish / Julian Huxley
In a quote from a volume written by Dr. Duane Gish, Evolution
- the Fossils Say “No,” he quotes Dr. Simpson. The quotation that he makes here is called by
Sir Julian Huxley, who is a British evolutionist and is the grandson of Thomas
Huxley who was one of the supporters and proponents Darwin’s theory who lived
at the time of Darwin. Simpson says, concerning this declaration, that here is one of the finest expressions
of what an evolutionist believes—a splendid assertion of the evolutionist’s point of
view. Quoting Dr. Simpson, he says, “Man stands alone in the universe, a unique product of a long unconscious
impersonal material process with unique understanding and potentialities. These he owes to no one but himself, and it
is to himself that he is responsible. He is not the creature of uncontrollable and undeterminable forces, but
his own master. He can and must decide and manage his own destiny.” Now
that’s one of the best of our scientists, and this is his view of what man is.
So, what shall we place our faith in? Simpson’s and Huxley’s view of
man, that he happens to be a chance animal? Or shall we place our faith into the statement of the psalmist, who in Psalm
103 says, “Know ye that the Lord, He is God. It is
He who hath made us and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his
pasture.” It’s a matter of faith. Who will you believe? If man is a chance animal, there is no god,
there are no rules to obey—he is just a naked ape.
Please remember that there is not one single scientific fact
to day which contradicts the Bible’s view of creationism. And there is not one single verifiable
scientific fact to confirm the concept of evolution. Our school books are constantly presenting a
view favorable to evolution. They ignore the overwhelming evidence contrary to evolution. Our
young people get the idea that evolution is a scientific fact. The state of
California has now passed a law, and they are in the process of
implementing it, where the public schools have to teach creationism as an option for
the explanation of life, along with evolution. It is getting fantastic resistance because the
educators are saying, “If we do that, it will give kids the idea that evolution is not a fact.”
Well, Hegel introduced a philosophical basis for man to see
that there was no need for a creator God. Darwin purportedly gave a scientific reason, and the
result has been despair and total disorientation of our society.
One more man to look at is Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud was an Austrian and he was the
founder of psychoanalysis. He saw in Darwin’s theory the prospect of an extraordinary advance in human
knowledge. He was an atheist who believed that mankind was motivated chiefly by pleasure. Man, in other words, has an unconscious
desire for gratification of his erotic drives. Man is unhappy because society represses his free
sex gratification. This creates neuroses which psychiatry has to heal. Freud saw no purpose in man’s existence. He
saw no God and therefore, for him, everything goes.
This is the groundwork for the extreme permissiveness in our society today at all levels. Freud
simply carried evolution to its logical conclusions relative to human behavior. Today the intellectual and the
wealthy all promote extreme permissiveness on the basis of what Freud taught. Don’t restrict or you will
cause problems for people of a mental nature. It will create neuroses for them. So, there are to be no controls. Leaders
and authorities in every realm are ignorant of relationship between a free society and Bible doctrine, so they promote the concept of
permissiveness. They don’t know the difference between a free society and a permissive society.
So, the cry today is for no restraint. This is vividly portrayed in movies, in
drama, in literature, and in art. Christian youth are usually ignorant of the
contamination that Freud’s view has upon their own thinking. The result of this permissiveness is the crises that we are going through
in our society today—a crisis of violence; the crisis of ten thousand
children each week who run away from their homes; the disintegration of family ties;
the breakdown of authority at all levels; the disorientation toward the
nation’s rights; and, the rules of establishment that are the protection of the nation and of the society.
Well, the doctrines of demons, I can tell you, are in great action. Morality is decided by the
majority vote of society which means that the vote of the old sin nature
dominates. Human viewpoint thinking of these influential personalities exerts a subtle and steady pressure on
the believers to pull away from God’s divine viewpoint. But we praise God for the fact that He has
given us Bible doctrine which enables us to take every thought we have and
bring it captive to the mind of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). 1 John 4:4 tells us that “greater is the
wisdom of God which is in us than the deep things of Satan in the world.” In Colossians 2:8-9 God has
warned us against human viewpoint philosophy. I hope you can appreciate Colossians 2:8-9 by some of the things that we have
shown you where human viewpoint philosophy as led us.
B. F. Skinner
One primary moving force in our day is a man named B. F. Skinner who wrote a book called Beyond Freedom and Dignity.
He proposes a behavioral technology to change the externals of man’s environment in order to guarantee desired
behavior for utopia on earth. This will be the antichrist’s technique, and it is being widely promoted among us
today. Not what the Word of God says of changing man’s inner need, his sin nature, or the controls of his sin nature.
Not changing his fallen condition by bringing him into salvation, but surrounding him externally with right
conditions. This will move man to be what he should be.
In parent/child relationships, God’s revealed viewpoint of discipline, respect for authority, absolutes, and morality are, again,
widely rejected. Freud said that the childhood repressions cause all the nervous disorders that people experience. So, parental permissiveness
is the thing that has been urged. Proverbs says this is not so. A child is to be disciplined.
In the field of education, John Dewey accepted the ideas of
these philosophers that we’ve been looking at. He was an educator—the father of progressive
education. He rejected God. He rejected the idea of a soul. He rejected the idea of moral laws and
eternal truths. He promoted an education in which the individual was to lose himself in the mass. He was against individualism. The
key was letting the child do his own thing when he decided, according to what his group decided to do. He didn’t need any specific
requirements. And we have reaped a whirlwind from John Dewey’s concept. Proverbs 22:15, again, tells us that we are to
train, to guide, and to discipline.
On this scene also came in our day Dr. Benjamin Spock, pediatrician. He wrote a book called Baby
and Childhood Care, which a lot of you sitting here have got at home. The present generation has been
reared on his advice. What was his advice? The same thing that came down from
Freud—don’t restrict the child. The child has an
innate desire for pleasure and permissiveness; so let him have it. Parents were told that they were not to spank
their children, but rather they were to sit down and reason and explain
themselves. Corporal punishment was not loving. So, you sit down and you take
this little guy and you set him up in his room and you give him his
little paints to paint, and he sits at his easel and he starts expressing
himself. And he expresses his creativeness. And after a while his creativeness just begins to bubble over and expand itself, and he can
no longer control himself, so he goes and he starts painting murals on the walls of his
bedroom. And then before you know it, the murals have expanded into the front room, over the piano, on the carpet, under
the carpet, and under the sofa. But don’t get mad at him. Don’t spank him. Just sit down and say, “Friend, you
shouldn’t be painting all over our front room rug.” And reason with him.
Now this insanity is not recognizing that children always
push their parents to find the limits of their coral. When your children find the limits of the
coral, they know how far they can go. Then they’re secure within that coral. And they do this right on up through their teen
years. Now if you’re the kind of a mother who says, “Johnny, don’t do that. Sally, I wish
you’d stop that. Now, Suzie, this is the last time I’m going to tell you—don’t do that.”
Fifteen times later you say, “Suzie, this is the last time I’m going to tell you—don’t do that.” Finally
when you raise your voice and scream, Suzie has learned from experience that
at a certain pitch, you’re going to (spank) her. And at that point, she knows that you mean,
“Now you’re going to quit.” And then Suzie quits. Now if you would have
(spanked) Suzie the first time, you wouldn’t have had to be screaming at her and she
would have known exactly where the coral was. That’s all she was trying to find. She was
trying to find how big her playpen was so she would know how far she could
go. Now that’s Bible doctrine, not Dr. Spock.
So, we’re not to discipline in anger or in brutality. We are to
discipline with affectionate severity (Proverbs 13:24). Proverbs 22:6 says if
we train up a child in the right direction, he’ll go in the right
direction. And yet the permissiveness has poisoned our thinking. Even
Christian parents are thinking that they are disciplining their
children, they’re thinking they’re putting their kids on the line. And I have seen again and again the little
subtle ways that these children are being permitted by their parents to
have their own way. I have seen kids sit and steal their brother’s ice cream right off the plate when he was
looking in the other direction. And I’ve seen these parents say, “Now you shouldn’t do that.
That’s not a nice thing to do,” instead of nailing this guy to the wall. Then parents wonder when they’re
grown, why all of a sudden they’re not going to be told, “No.” All of a sudden you’re not going to restrain them.
Now I’m trying to get across to you that we have been poisoned in our thinking. God help you
if Bible doctrine doesn’t clean it out. The next time somebody sneers and looks at you
contemptuously over the term “bible doctrine,” you just think back about Kant and
Hegel and Freud and Darwin and Dewey and Spock and all the other people who have come down
through the years that have contaminated your thinking, and you thank God that
He has alerted you to the cleansing effect of the Word of God. Otherwise, you will absorb the doctrines of
demons, and you think you will be serving the Lord and accomplishing
great things for God and reaching people, but you poor pathetic fool,
you’re playing Satan’s game to the hilt, and you’re not changing one thing
in heaven because you’re acting out the poison that has been injected into your
mentality. Now doctrine straightens you out.
Our social planners and our educational engineers keep
looking for ways to reject the Bible’s view of sinful man, and
yet create a better society by human efforts. TV
wreaks with the thesis of permissiveness and the violation of biblical
principles and biblical morality, and it all goes back to these
humanistic philosophers. A new world order is indeed on the way, but it will not be through the long-haired hippie
revolutionists or through the sophisticated social planners, but it’s going to
be through the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. His Word is truth.
Dr. John E. Danish, 1971
Back to the Basic Bible Doctrine index
Back to the Bible Questions index