Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wisdom from Ravi Zacharias' book * DELIVER US FROM EVIL

I've typed these wise excerpts from Ravi for two in particular, Emily and Cara.

They need to learn to differentiate between opinion and conviction.  An opinion is merely a preference in a continuum of options.  A conviction is rooted in the conscience and cannot be changed without changing that which essentially defines the person.  In a pluralistic culture, an opinion should not be given the same passion as the weight of a conviction.  

Secularists do not take into account that on their own terms no position needs to be defended if a commitment to it is sufficient reason in itself.  If it is believed that all moralizing is purely one's private view then ought not that view itself be kept private?  The secularist never answers how he or she determines whether anything is wrong with anything except by sheer choice.  Secular belief grants itself privileges that it does not equally distribute.  

In a purely naturalistic universe there is nothing to transcend matter - there is no soul or spirit because that would imply the supernatural.  This dehumanizing "net worth" is all that secularism has left when life is seen through the eyes of the Spirit of the Age.  Brain power is not sufficient to explain what the mind and the heart instinctively understand.  If humanity is nothing more than its lowest common denominator, the very philosophy espoused by a valueless creature is valueless.  The ideas we pursue can be classified in terms of worth only if human beings have an essential glory.  Secularism strips humanity of decency because it strips it of common sense first by denuding the mind.

The pathetic, psychological, voiceless posture where shame is excised from our cultural intercourse, leaves behind a hell of possibilities and swings wide the door to evil in any and every form.  All attitudes and all behaviour find avenues of unbridled expression, and no one reserves the right to say, "It is not enough to say you're sorry - you ought to feel sorry and ashamed of what you have done."  Ah!  But this is too much to ask of the postmodern mind where self-congratulation is the mood engendered by irreligious social policies.  It is our philosophical commitment that ends up legitimizing shamelessness that puts an individual on the road to incorrigibility.  For any corrective in behaviour of for punitive measure to be effective there must be some point of hurt or undesired feeling within the one who has done wrong.  Shame or remorse or society's disapproval is powerless today to induce a desire to change, because the ideas that shape our culture make shame a hangover of an antiquated religious world-view.  How then is it possible to reconcile law with liberty when both the sense of right and the sensation of wrong have been eradicated?  Shame is to the moral health of a society what pain is to the body.  The loss of shame in a society is ultimately an attack upon all of civilization.  Loss of shame is an attack upon all of humanity, because shame was given to us as a guardian, not only of ourselves, but of our fellow human being.  The loss of belief in the supernatural,  which secularism implies, has led to an eradication of the sense of shame, which secularism cannot deal with.  The soil of shamelessness gives root to evil in its most violent forms.  With the name of God now unhallowed and His kingdom not welcome does it make any sense to cry, "Deliver us from evil"?

*Deliver Us From Evil by Ravi Zacharias, 1997, Published in Nashville, Tennessee by Thomas Nelson

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I just reread this and it IS powerful stuff! I love Ravi! :)