Is God still relevant? The general trend in Western thought for the past couple of centuries has been in the direction of growing secularism. The underlying assumption is that human reason alone is sufficient to arrive at truth, and that consequently any type of religious revelation is unnecessary. Thus we have attempted to exclude God from our thinking. We pretty much think and act as if God did not exist.
In more recent times there has been an attempt to move away form the rationalism of modern scientific thinking, but this, unfortunately, has not resulted in a revival of religion. On the contrary, we seem to have become even more atheistic than ever, denying the existence of universal truths altogether. To this "Post-Modern" way of thinking there are no such things as moral absolutes.
But what if God really exists? What becomes of our secular thinking then?
The New Testament raises this question in a very pointed way in Romans chapter 1. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men . . ." (v. 18; NKJV). God is angry with us. Why? Because of our "ungodliness" and "unrighteousness." The Greek word translated "ungodliness" basically means "impiety," a lack of reverence or devotion to God. Or, to use a more modern term, it is frankly what goes by the name today of "secularism." "Unrighteousness" is the failure to live in accordance with God's law, especially as that failure involves the mistreatment of others. Thus we stand accused of crimes against both God and our fellow human beings. This is the reason that God is angry with us.
"Ah," but the modern secularist replies, "there is no evidence that God exists! There is no reason to believe in His existence."
The inspired apostle, however, continues his indictment. God is angry with men because they "suppress the truth in unrighteousness." He goes on to explain what he means. ". . . because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (vv. 19,20). We are surrounded by the evidence of God's goodness, wisdom and power. The sheer complexity of nature points to an intelligent Designer. (An evolutionist, of course, would deny this, but we have already dealt with the question of evolution in a previous blog post – cf. "Why Evolution Is False," Oct. 5, 2011).
But what has our response been to all of this evidence? ". . . because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools . . . " (vv. 21,22). Here we see traced out for us the whole course of modern philosophy, talking itself into absurdities, and never arriving at a firm conclusion.
And what is the judgment of God upon all of this? "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen" (vv. 24,25). In other words, the moral disintegration of Western society is the direct result of our refusal to acknowledge God. Secularism has been our undoing.
Sad to say, many Americans today choose to live as though God does not exist. They never visit a house of worship, engage in private prayer, or read the Bible. They never thank Him for His blessings towards them, and they never consider what His will might be when they make personal decisions. For all practical purposes we have become a godless society. How tragically mistaken we are! We are headed for the abyss, and yet we will not turn back and change our ways. What can become of us?