[Originally published in 2019 as The Real Civil War: God’s Truth vs Secular Humanism]
For the past few years, prominent American universities have seen large numbers of angry students protesting conservative speakers. Why are they motivated to do this?
Legitimate groups from the University invited the speakers and no one was being coerced to attend the events. Nevertheless, the aim of the protestors was to make sure no one on campus heard a conservative viewpoint.
These protests, ranging from shout outs to full-blown riots, occurred on such campuses as UC Berkley, Middlebury College, Claremont McKenna College, the University of Chicago, the University of Washington, and U.C. Davis. Some of the most intelligent young people in the nation attend these great universities.
This only deepens the mystery of why?
Obviously, not all students agree with these actions, but the conservative haters support their cause with great passion and celebrate their successes. An even stranger piece of the puzzle is that the conservative haters are a minority of the students, yet they are able to force their will on everyone on campus.
The battle against conservatives is not limited to young people. Adults have joined the civil war, as seen in the 2018 confirmation hearings for a new Supreme Court justice. Some of America’s liberal political leaders were willing to take extreme measures to prevent a conservative justice from being confirmed.
They were well aware that two major goals of secular humanists had been accomplished outside of the legislative branch of government by rulings of the Supreme Court—abortion rights and gay marriage.
Bret Cavenaugh, a conservative, was opposed by vicious unsubstantiated charges of sexual misconduct, even of criminal actions. The charges leveled at him were clearly aimed at preventing another conservative from serving on the Supreme Court who might weaken abortion rights or LGBT rights.
Confirmation hearings for any person seeking a position in government will likely face the same kind of opposition. If someone is a conservative, his or her beliefs and actions will likely be attacked by secular humanists.
The Battle Underneath the Surface
It is misleading to claim that such battles are strictly between conservatives and liberals. It is more likely that at the deepest level, the hatred may come from a rejection of God’s demands and purposes for the people on earth. Perhaps important clues for the divide are found in the Bible:
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. 1 Corinthians 3:19
“the wisdom of the (worldly) wise will perish, the intelligence of the (worldly) intelligent will vanish.” Isaiah 29:14
Birthed in God’s wisdom, His plan in the beginning was to create males and females, each with their own strengths and weaknesses to complement each other in a marriage covenant. From this union, He intended that the children born would be nurtured and taught by two mature adults until they were able to leave their parents and start their own families. The Creator saw the selfishness and deception in the hearts of humans, so He also gave them rules and commandments by which to build communities and to live justly with one another.
One side in this civil war of ideas accepts God’s wisdom:
- the origin of living things and humans as a result of God’s plans and purposes;
- marriage between a man and a woman for life, from which godly children would be born;
- and an acceptance of God’s Word, which is a guide for life, a light that identifies sin, and the gospel as God’s way to deal with sin.
On the other side are secular humanist ideas that are declared to be superior to God’s ways or that may deny God altogether. The accepted narrative of the origin of life and humans is a naturalistic account of Darwinian evolution in which random combinations of molecules and other changes in living organisms are guided by natural selection.
Boundaries between male and female are not distinct nor are they based on one’s gender at birth. Reassigning one’s gender is permissible and even celebrated. Marriage is not limited to a biological male and a biological female.
Furthermore, people who do not fully embrace these changes are widely labeled as bigots and may be punished by fines and penalties for failing to properly acknowledge them. Children who are not wanted can be legally killed in the womb. God’s Word is considered outmoded and inferior to man’s knowledge. The greatest sin is prejudice, as defined by modern humans.
So, it seems that the real divide is a choice between God’s Word and beliefs that are based on human reasoning. Both viewpoints cannot be true, so there is a fierce battle to win the right to establish one or the other as the dominant belief system in the culture. So-called compromise views eventually tend to side with one viewpoint or another.
Nothing New Under the Sun
I used to wonder why the Old Testament was filled with so many battles and conflicts between cultures.
Behind these conflicts were spiritual battles that pitted God’s truths against false human reasoning. They have always been intense and the consequences of their outcomes are often life and death. It is sobering to realize that when God’s people compromised with the world’s beliefs, they were defeated. It is encouraging to realize that when God’s people refused to compromise and called on Him to save them, they had victory.