Morality without God is Doomed to Fail
Secular morality will always eventually leads to chaos. It is inevitable due to the nature of man. We can have the best intentions of creating a good society. We can try to be good with all our might. Some of us may even be sucessful…for a time. But a system of values that is based upon the goodness of each man will always break down in time. Regardless of good feelings and noble goals, at heart, man is selfish and wicked. Man is desperately evil in big ways and small. Have you ever noticed that you don’t need to teach small children to fight over toys? No one instructs little ones how to throw tantrums, it is something that we have lurking in us from the day we are born. If the question of what is right is left up to us, we will eventually twist it into something that serves us. Our desires and lusts will eventually be the basis for deciding good and evil.
(This is the fatal error in Jordan Peterson’s and many others good intentioned attempts to help humanity btw. They rely upon man. 5 Lessons for the Church from Jordan Peterson.)
Death in Paradise
William Golding wrote the novel The Lord of the Flies in 1954. It is a story about a group of boys who are stranded on a tropical island during a nuclear war. Their plane crashes and leaves them in a literal paradise. They have no adult supervision, no work, and no rules. They can do anything they choose and there is no one to tell them that is wrong. Seems like the beginning of a fun youth fiction book, right? Yeah, not so much.
In Goulding’s work, the boys initially have a grand old-time frolicking and playing. A shift gradually occurs, however as time passes and the inner desires of the boys begin to be expressed. Without an outside influence to tame them, their innocent joyousness is supplanted by something terrible. Envy, greed, and lust for power begin to show themselves among the boys as they vie for control over the group. The evil that lurks in all men’s hearts, even little men, bears its ugly fangs. They are not fighting over money or kingdoms, but it is their ugly heart’s desires nonetheless. Goulding goes so far as to create a mythical beast on the island as a symbolic part of the storyline. All of the boys are afraid of the beast. They know it is out to destroy each of them. They just don’t realize the beast is the evil that lurks inside each one of them like a savage monster. It dwells within them waiting to get out and destroy.
In the story, there are a small number of characters who do not get caught up in the ugliness. They are the innocent and noble among us. But since their goodness gets in the way of the rest of the characters lusts, they become the culture’s enemy. They are impediments to others getting what they want so they are bad. Without external rules to the contrary, frustrated desires naturally result in anger and frustration. Violence is the next logical reaction. Each man desperately must fulfill his wants even if that involves destroying those who get in the way. The boys of Goulding’s story are no exception. The story that begins with an idyllic island paradise ends with boys killing each other for power, gain, and even sadistic pleasure. The beast has truly devoured them.
Anarchy and death are the results of man being allowed to truly follow his heart.
The Heart is Desperately Wicked.
William Goulding story is meant to be more than just a savage boy’s story. It is an allegory, a picture within a picture, about the nature of man. His point is within the confines of society and culture man is polite and structured. This person obeys laws, goes to school and learns to get along. Yet, if you loose the bounds upon him and allow him to follow his heart, man will fight, kill and maim to get what he wants. Goulding saw the horrors of World War 2 so he knew of what he wrote. Man will do terrible things if no one is watching, including killing the good men trying to protect the good, the weak and the vulnerable.
Goulding’s allegory is consistent with the Bible’s opinion of man’s heart. It is evil and deceitful says the Lord. In us, without God, no good things dwell. Isaiah compares our works with filthy rags. The Lord of the Flies, therefore, accurately reflects the history of man’s rebellion of God and the horrible consequences that have resulted.
Death, pain, and sorrow are the results when people throw off God’s rule and replace Him with their own desires. We need only read the Book of Judges for evidence of what happens when each man does what is right in their own eyes. Judges is a time of shocking acts of evil and chaos among the people who are supposed to be serving God. Some of the accounts contained in the book are almost bizarre upon first reading. Samson is not the noble warrior we expect from Sunday School, but a drunken, prostitute-loving fool who suffers greatly for his folly. Tribes are warring with one another over the right to have an altar in their territory. Israelites kill one another over stupid things with no apparent consequence. It can be a head-scratching book when read without understanding the ultimate message. Yet, it makes perfect sense if you read it for what it is meant to convey. A warning to anyone who reads it. This carnage is what happens when you throw off the standards of God and try to let man decide right and wrong.. Each person doing what is right in their own eyes results in sin running rampant.
When man believes that life is about man getting what he wants, evil is inevitable and life is ugly.
If we look around at the world today, we are not quite to the days of the Judges or the savagery of The Lord of the Flies. We still are a society greatly influenced by Christianity. Simple Christian thoughts like “do unto others” and “love others” remain cultural standards. Yet, these constraints are being removed at an extraordinarily rapid pace. In the western world, beliefs that had been in place for hundreds of years are being done away with at a dizzying pace. Morality and norms are being trampled under foot in the name of progress and claimed enlightenment. It is hard to even keep up with what each part of society is deciding is not needed anymore.
The biblically influenced societal norms are being replaced with a morality defined by the loudest voices in society. Whoever is in power gets to define what is right. It doesn’t matter if it is right, just as long as we want it! It is like what Josef Stalin said when asked to consider the moral objections of the Vatican to his madness: “How many divisions does the Pope have?”. Dictators like Stalin, Pol Pot, and Hitler may be more extreme examples of this from history, but there are subtle ones everywhere. Iceland recently victoriously announced they had eradicated Down’s Syndrome on their island. How did they do it? They killed all the babies with markers for Down’s Syndrome in the womb…and called it good. This is the end result with secular morality.
Might makes Right?
What is the result of all of this “progress” we have been experiencing? Strife, chaos, anger, and confusion seem to plague us. There are cultural clashes wherever we turn as groups throw off the old and strive for what they say is right, also known as getting what they want. They have decided what is right in their own eyes and are determined to obtain it, regardless of the morality.
The beast of The Lord of the Flies that lurks in each person is being unleashed at a staggering rate. Signs of anarchy and societal breakdown are everywhere. The things that are good in the world are attacked by those who seek to follow their heart. They want something, therefore, society should change to allow it to happen. 10,000 different groups screaming that their needs and wants are most important and ready to battle to the end to get them met. It is a scary picture.
Follow Your Heart? Where does it lead?
William Goulding and the Judges seem to point to the same answer. Where each person does what is right in their own eyes conflict, death and anarchy follow close behind. A scarier picture than the factions that are tearing at each other today is where such division usually leads.
What is the antidote for these conflicts when everyone claims to be fighting for the truth? When everyone feels such emotions behind every cause they back even if they contradict each other?
That answer is the same as in 1954 or when David sat on the throne.
Jesus stated that He is the truth. He did not state that He knew the truth or spoke the truth both of which are also true. He is the Truth, the Way, and the Life. When life has gotten contentious, confusing and dangerous, when all else seems to be crumbling, it is the truth that sets us free and places us on the right path. Jesus said He came to set the captives free. He pierces through all the clamoring voices with the Truth that has been the same since before the Earth was formed: Himself. Only HE can fix it. We can only repair any fractures in the foundation of society through preaching Jesus and Him crucified. It is He who built the society that we love so much, to begin with. Only He can repair it…or see us through if the Lord of the Flies times do come.
Turn to Him today. Allow Him to fix it in our lives today and preach Him to others to fix our societies. Only He is big enough to handle it and change men’s hearts. We must be born again to enter into the Kingdom of God, be reborn today! Bible Verses on Being Born Again.
Did you know that the Lord of the Flies is from the Bible? It is another name for Satan. William Goulding appears to have been making quite a pointed statement. Are we understanding his point?