History, Religion, Time, And The "Que Sera, Sera Syndrome"

Time and history are inseparable. Historical events are always identified with time: that's just the way we finite creatures do things; it's just natural, we say. But wait a second, are you aware that time is actually a religious concept? You may think I'm kidding, but I assure you I'm not. And even though you may not normally think of time this way, it's true nevertheless.

Whether time is important or unimportant, cyclical or linear, are actually metaphysical and theological convictions. Now hang on for just a few paragraphs and I'll demonstrate what I'm talking about. The concept is an important one and must be understood if we are to throw off the fetters of humanistic thinking.

In our Western culture, time has traditionally been understood as that which comes between Creation and Judgment. As such, time is considered to be linear, that is, a continuum with a beginning and an end. However, in Eastern culture, time is very often thought to be cyclical, that is, a continuum having no beginning or end. To the Eastern mind, history (or events in time) are "particularities" of no real importance. Consequently, the Easter mystic prefers to contemplate the "unity" or "oneness" from which the particularities derive their meaning. Buddha, for example, is always depicted with his eyes closed because, as we have just said, to the Eastern mind there is nothing of any importance to see in events of history, except as they relate to the unity of "the whole." So, there you have it, and whether you have thought about it or not, time is, in fact, a religious concept.

Traditionally, in Western civilization, with its Biblical underpinnings, history (or events in time), contrary to the teaching of Eastern religions, has always been highly valued. It is only recently, as Western civilization continues to move further away from those truths taught in the Bible, that the value of time has been perverted. Modern evolutionary thought (viz., The General Theory of Evolution) is partly to blame for such a perversion. To many evolutionists, time, like matter, is eternal. Such is clearly an Eastern religious viewpoint. Rather than being seen as an arena in which God and His judgments meet the obedience or rebellion of man, history (or time) is seen, by those with this point of view, as the vehicle of salvation. In other words, Evolutionists, like Humanists, Marxists, and others of similar ilk, view history as "the whole show."

Such relativistic views of time always define history as a "closed system." Dutch philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd expressed it like so:

History has no windows looking out into eternity. Man is completely enclosed in it and cannot elevate himself to a supra-historical level of contemplation. History is the be-all and end-all of man's existence and of his faculty of experience. And it is ruled by destiny, the inescapable fate.

History, then, has become an absolute in the mind of humanistic man. Values, according to this way of thinking, are nothing more than "historical facts" that chart the course of the development of human reason. This is what Woodrow Wilson meant when he said: "Laws [i.e. codified values] have never altered the facts; laws have always necessarily expressed the facts." In other words, whatever the human sentiments are at any given time become the laws which govern that situation. In accepting the tenents of Humanism, Western man has rejected the "Law above the law" concept. Rejecting the supernatural, Western man has learned to bow himself in devotion to the natural, which includes history. History as the only true absolute has been enthroned as Lord of the universe. Accordingly, Oswald Spengler, in his monumental interpretation of Western civilization, The Decline Of The West, closed his two volume book of doom with this statement:

"We have not the freedom to reach to this or that, but the freedom to do the necessary or to do nothing. And a task that historic necessity has set will be accomplished with the individual or against him."

It is this philosophy, or worldview, that is currently causing our Constitution to be interpreted by jurists who believe law to be nothing more than the sentiments of the moment. For example, back in June 1972, one hundred and eighty-one years after the adoption of the Bill of Rights, in Furman vs. Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court "discovered" that capital punishment, at least at that time, was perhaps unconstitutional. According to the majority thinking of the court, capital punishment was a violation of the "cruel and unusual punishment" prohibition of the Eighth Amendment. That such an interpretation was clearly erroneous can be seen when one considers that the Sixth Amendment, which was adopted at the same time as the Eighth, mentions "capital, or otherwise infamous crime." Additionally, the same kind of jurists have discovered a "right" to abortion in that same Constitution. But even so, both liberal and conservative constitutional scholars agree that such a right, although it is now the law of the land, is really nothing more than the sentiments of the judges who "discovered" it. The truth is that abortion is no more a constitutional right than was the unthinkable thought among the Founding Fathers that a mother should be allowed to abort her unborn child.

In reality, the Constitution has not changed, only the sentiments of those who interpret it. Just withnin the past few days, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is alleged by some to be one of the "conservative" members of the Supreme Court, has continued to bolster her reputation among knowlegable observers as nothing much more that a fairly accurate mirror of public sentiment. Her rulings on abortion, the recent Michigan affirmative action case, and now the overturning of a 1986 ruling that endorsed the legality of anti-sodomy laws has turned legal logic on its head. Justice O'Connor, who ruled in the affirmative in that 1986 case, has now reversed herself and agreed that the Court's backing of anti-sodomy laws 17 years ago "was not correct when it was decided, and that it is not correct today." Is this true, or simply O'Connor'sóand the other justices who voted with heróreflection of evolving public sentiment? Obviously, the June 26, 2003 "Ban on gay sex struck down" ruling, as it was called in the front page headline of The Cincinnati Enquirer on June 27, reflects nothing much more than the evolving public sentiment that has now signed on to the homosexual agenda. (For some thoughts on this agenda, see "Homophobia" And The Homosexual Agenda.) According to Roger Pilon, who is vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC, liberals see "The Constitution [as] largely an empty vessel to be filled by transient majorities in the legislature or by socially enlightened justices on the Supreme Court," He says, "Liberals see the court in large measure as one more political body [and] they judge the court according to whether it's carrying out their political agenda" (quoted in the cover article in World On The Web, June 5, 2003, Volume 18, Number 26, click here to read).

Homosexuality, traditionally thought to be a perversity in Western society, is now being touted as a "viable alternate lifestyle." The growing sentiment in favor of the homosexual is currently being translated into law. Regardless of what state laws say, homosexual activity is a "right" protected by the Constitution. Time has evolved public sentiment into acceptance of homosexuality. Therefore, history, the Lord of the universe, now demands that the highest law of the land reflect that sentiment. Each day our society enforces some new sentiment. Even the family, the very backbone of our society, is currently being redefined. The traditional family, we are being told by the social engineers, is a relic of the past and must be eliminated in favor of something more modern. Reflecting on this very thing, Justice Scalia, writing for Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice William Rehnquist in the case mentioned above, predicted the ruling will mark the "end of all morals legislation" and will leave traditional marriage laws on "pretty shaky grounds." In other words, as a country, we stand on the verge of legalizing homosexual marriages.

It's disturbing isn't it? Yes, it is. And you may be asking yourself, can we really do any thing about it? My friend, listen to me, and listen closely! When we start asking this question, our enemy is very close to winning the battle. He's about to win because he has cunningly seduced us. For instance, when we mention traditional values or speak of the way things used to be, we frequently hear someone say, "You can't turn back the clock," or "You're just going to have to learn to adapt to the times." People who think this way view history as a closed system that's moving in an inevitable direction. To them, the values of the past represent archaic, out-dated thinking, while current trends are identified as modern (inevitable) thinking. To these who bow at the totem of history, historical trends must not be challenged. This "Que Sera, Sera Syndrome" (i.e. "what will be, will be") uses time as a very seductive metaphor, and if we are not careful, those of us who wouldn't think of bowing to history as the Lord of the universe can be trapped into believing a shrewdly devised deception.

Let me explain what I mean. When we speak of the destruction of traditional values and declining morality, instead of allowing the enemy to trick us into using a time metaphor, we should be insisting on the use of a space metaphor. For instance, if one were attempting to follow a road to a desired destination and came to a detour in the road, and upon taking that detour found himself up to his neck in muck and mire, but because he believed "One can't turn back the clock," he continued on until he disappeared under the ooze and slime, we would certainly think that person a fool.

So, what's my point? By now, I think you know what it is. America has taken a detour and has become bogged down in the muck and mire of Hedonism, Materialism, and Humanism. America doesn't need to be trying to return to some past that never really existed. What America needs to be doing is getting on the right road again. We must understand, therefore, the spiritual and religious aspects of the current problem. Americans must once again learn to think of time (history) as the arena in which God and His judgments meet the obedience or rebellion of man. Let us all examine ourselves, making sure we are, indeed, thinking biblically.