Abortion – a ritual of Materialism

This 1550 word post constitutes the first section of seven for the Pamphlet “21st Century Tract”

Induced Abortion is the process of deliberate intervention to terminate pregnancy in a woman. It is ordinarily referred to simply as “abortion” while miscarriage is the usual term for spontaneous abortion.

Today, Abortion is being presented as a woman’s Right i.e. she alone possesses the moral authority to decide to continue or to end her pregnancy. The state of pregnancy occurs within her body and nowhere else. It is therefore a matter of her health, and no-one else’s. Her individual rights are at stake. Any attempt to prevent her having an abortion is to deny a woman her rights and her ability to control what happens to her own body.

The denial of proper medical facilities to women seeking an abortion leaves them with a clear and unenviable choice. Either, have the child against their will – and that will is a result of a range of worries, from her financial and career situation to becoming dependent on a man with whom she is not prepared to settle in permanent relationship. Or else, she must resort to unskilled, or semiskilled persons who carry out such interventions in return for money. This last option can result in serious complications for the woman’s health; some have been known to die, and too many can end up being physically damaged, even unable to have a child at some later date.

The argument for Abortion is powerful, emotional and very practical. It is not to be treated lightly.

That is why nations whose historic tradition was broadly Christian and therefore anti-abortion, began in the 1960s and 1970s to liberalise laws which prohibited abortion.

Britain did so in 1967 when it passed an Abortion Act. This Act granted a de facto right, but not a technical right, to abortion. It was a typically pragmatic approach which recognised the realities around illegal and dangerous, “back street abortions”. It provided for induced abortion by registered medical practitioners where two of them agree that the physical or mental welfare of the woman is at stake. The intention was clear. If a woman was intent upon an abortion, her health should not be put in question, and she should not be obliged to resort to dangerous and illegal amateurs – as happens when abortion is prohibited.

France followed suit with its own law in 1975, while the United States Supreme Court had ruled in 1973 in the case of Roe versus Wade that a woman was at liberty to have an abortion.

But this is not the whole story. Abortion remains for many an immoral and usually unjustifiable act. The question is:-

“Why should that be so ?”

The answer lies in the underlying moral issues in play. Those moral issues reflect the philosophical clash which this tract and this website seek to explain. Indeed, this writer regards induced abortion as the quintessential manifestation of Materialism. As such it exposes the fundamental issues arising from Materialism and throws into relief the contrary philosophy of Philotheism. It also marks the turning point of influence which the two antagonistic philosophies represent. Materialism manifestly became the dominant religious influence in western society when induced abortion was ‘legalised’.

Induced abortion is the deliberate destruction of the developing life in the womb of a woman whose relationship to the developing child is that of the mother. This is scientific and psychological fact.

No life exists before conception – i.e. the point when the male sperm penetrates the female ovum. Life exists after that point, not before, and that life will be according to the type of sperm and egg supplied; it can be no other. The developing life is a life; it is not viable of itself, but it is a life which will become a viable, independent human being – an independence and viability which does not occur until some years after birth.

This is scientific fact. It is also true relationally and psychologically. When the mother wants the child, she refers to it as her baby. When she does not want to continue the pregnancy, the language changes and it invariably becomes a “foetus”.

The facts of the matter, however, remain unchanged. It is the perception which changes. And that perception is predicated on desire, not on the facts. Even so, Materialists argue vehemently that no life exists and that people who talk like this are being “emotional”. Materialists will even contradict the scientific fact that life begins at conception – the beginning of the normal process of 9 months development in the womb before birth.

This is a very serious point and it goes to the heart of the psychology arising from the Materialist view of life.

The Materialist only sees – and therefore only values – the Material ! Atoms, molecules and their various assemblages together are the sum total of our existence. Everything in life is explained in these terms because such terms describe what demonstrably exists. The material, physical world can be tested and proven by scientific means. All else cannot; all else, therefore, does not exist.

But Philotheism maintains, however, that our existence has an unseen and non-material, spiritual dimension. Indeed, that spiritual dimension is prior and superior to the material world we see and touch.

Philotheism therefore both recognises the broader aspects of our existence, and also their vital significance for us.

A human pregnancy is therefore much, much more than the physical state of being pregnant with a bundle of atoms still forming into recognisable human form.

In the first instance, there is the independent identity of a new human being, not just in physical terms of a unique genetic bundle, but of a unique person with inherited characteristics and an independent SOUL granted by our CREATOR.

That this is so accords with our sense of identity as human beings, and with our inter-relationship as human beings in families and ethnic types.

The Materialist views the process of abortion as simply a surgical procedure. That, however, is far from the entire truth of the matter. We have already spoken of the unborn child’s existence as human. That cannot be denied – except by those who refuse to see the comprehensive truth of the matter.

Our fundamental experience of life about us, and the fact that our Creator has made us to be social beings, both these tell us that both relationships and psychology are at work here.

The first is the mother and the developing child in the womb. The psychological consequences of medical termination of a pregnancy should not be underestimated. How many women are scarred psychologically by this experience of induced abortion?

The focus on woman+foetus in the world view of the Materialist fits perfectly the notion of chemicals in the test tube environment called the uterus. From this subliminal notion arises a morality of pure utility with absolutely no room for the perfectly normal human feelings around the event of a pregnancy in the family.

Apart from the fact of a new life emerging, and apart from the fact of a mother’s relationship with her child, there are also wider relationships concerned: the relationship of the father with the mother and the child; the relationship of the respective grandparents – the parents of the mother and of the father – and all their inter-relationships.

The fact of those fundamental relationships between human beings with souls and spirits is totally excluded from the Equation made by the Materialist mindset.

This censorship of the facts about our existence is both typical and symptomatic of the Materialist religion. Yes, it is a religion because it demands human allegiance to its tenets as a moral obligation above all other obligations.

Around the issue of abortion, we see the religous nature and demands of Materialism at work. We see, too, how callous and how dangerous it can be.

The priesthood of Materialism demand that no-one has the right of conscientious objection to involvement in abortion. A doctor or a nurse is required to participate in this “procedure” as if it were just like any other surgical intervention. Christians have lost their jobs or been forced to resign for refusing to participate in what they regard as murder.

Viewed from the perspective of the Philotheist, however, we see that abortion looks too much like a human sacrifice to the SELF god. The woman refuses to accept and fulfil her God given role to bear a child, having become pregnant [normally the result of exercising her initial right to choose to have a sexual relationship].

Materialism demands that a woman reinvent herself as her own god, made in the image of the merely Material world. She can choose to terminate the unborn life or to prolong it. She is god over her own life, and god over her child’s life. She is not answerable to her Creator as the Primary agent of the new child’s existence. She herself is the begining and end of her own existence. She answers only to herself. She does not answer to the father, to the grandparents, nor indeed to her Creator; she answers only to herself.

In the philotheistic worldview, however, she must answer to God who is the Author of the new life in her womb, and who has placed a sense of maternal responsibility in her heart.

Belief – today’s religion is materialism

This 1350 word post constitutes the second section of seven for the Pamphlet 21st Century Tract

Materialism marks our Age. It is the dominant characteristic of the times we live in. It has displaced traditional “religion” as the ethical and cultural influence which informs every other domain of life. Indeed, it behaves just like religion: it appeals to and feeds on the religious instinct present in every human heart. 

It is creating a new ‘theocracy’ based on the human being instead of on God – an “anthropocracy” to contrive a term from classical Greek words. In this “anthropocracy” all spheres of activity are to be brought into conformity to the central focus of worship. Indeed in today’s world, we are witnessing the destruction of the traditional demarcations between politics, economics/business, and religion. 

The mega businesses dominating the critical communications technology of our times are now actively trying to implement policies associated with the Social Justice  agenda of Progressive Politics. We have bred a generation of professionals in every field who have been inculcated with the perspective, principles and paradigm of this new man centred religion based on a purely Material conception of our existence. 

This rational and enlightened generation actively assists in promoting the paradigm of the new religion. They promote radically new and politically inspired calendar events like International Women’s day, or a special month for Black History etc etc. This is a deliberate campaign to replace traditional theistic conventions with a new world order. 

The old world order was characterised by European colonialism, perceived as aided and justified by the Christian Church. Any one who favours any aspect of that old order is seen as a Right Wing reactionary – a dinosaur defending the outdated and the morally indefensible. Therefore the political term “Right Wing” has become a term of derision and contempt; a term of dismissal and condemnation. 

It is no longer permissible in this new world order to take any other perspective of life. The new order is moral and true; the old order is hypocritical, false and fundamentally unjust. So, the old must be eradicated from our consciousness and systematically replaced with the philosophy and values of the new religion. 

Allow me to ask you a question. Your response will indicate how much you have absorbed the new order and its monothematic world view. 

Was there any good done by the European colonial powers during the time of their domination of the non industrialised, non European world [circa 1500 – 1960s] ? 

“Good” of course assumes a moral view and that moral view will be affected by cultural and social assumptions. 

Yet, as human beings we can surely agree that moral good entails having concern for the welfare of others, and not placing our interests above theirs to the point of exploiting them. 

Concrete examples are saving people from death, not killing them; having regard to another persons feelings and desires, not raping them; respecting others need of their possessions, not depriving them by guile or force, having no regard to their needs or their rights. 

In short, we can say that it all comes down to respect and trust, one to another. Interestingly we may note here the Decalogue of the Jews – generally called “The Ten Commandments”. Those Ten Commandments show God to be morally concerned and morally demanding of human beings in all their relationships. A quick reminder of their content: 

  1. no other gods in place of the God self declared as “I AM”
  2. not making any human contrived image to worship
  3. not denigrating the reputation of God by using God’s name in vain
  4. observing a day of rest in which God the Creator is remembered and thanked
  5. having respect for parents [implicitly thereby for all legitimate authority]
  6. not murdering others
  7. not breaking faith with an intimate partner by being physically intimate with another
  8. not stealing property from others
  9. not telling lies about anyone or any situation
  10. not lusting after whatever someone else possesses but which we don’t

Jesus Christ summarised this list of apparent denials as “Love God and Love others“.  Personally I regard Christ’s summary as the primordial principle to achieve a truly just and fair world. If everyone thought and behaved in this way, it would transform the world for good. 

As you can see from the list above, however, the assumptions and values of today’s world are quite different, even contrary.

But returning to my question about the European colonial era, we now have a primordial principle by which to assess good and bad. Examining colonial history, we find there many instances where the Ten Commandments were often broken, and seriously so !

But do serious moral shortcomings mean that European colonialism was inherently, and at all times evil ?  Can we not identify any good during or arising from the European colonial era ? Or does the existence of some wrong mean that to ask any such question is in itself immoral ?

A rational and comprehensive assessment must surely be able to pose the question, then consider all the evidence, before coming to a representative conclusion. Can it be right to pre-empt such enquiry by jumping to conclusions based on prior assumptions and political convictions ?

The thinking of our present Materialist age emphasises rational enquiry. Yet in practice it manifests total intolerance. The paradox is explained by its psychology. That psychology is rooted in “me first” – my ideas, my wants. It refuses to consider alternatives. It lacks the constraint to be patient – the fundamental psychological requirement which enables us to take time to think things through, and be willing to change what we want according to the outcome of our reflections. 

Why ?

Adapting the Decalogue paradigm to the Materialist equivalent, we find that :-  

  1. An objective God is replaced by the subjective god of Self where our own needs, ideas and desires become all important
  2. we thereby create another image to worship – i.e. the supreme reference point for what we value most, and therefore how we think and consequently what we do
  3. we now refuse to see and value any authority figure beyond ourselves; we are now self obsessed and self promoting
  4. there is now no routine opportunity to stop and to reflect; to consider what we are and where we are going; to lay aside the cares of this life and to recuperate – instead the obsession with stimulation and consumption is incessant and debilitating
  5. we are no longer required to respect others beyond what suits our own agenda
  6. we all agree that killing people is wicked – indeed Jesus went further, defining hatred as the root of murder. But in today’s new religion anyone disagreeing becomes a legitimate target for hatred
  7. marriage is now denigrated as part of the illiberal old order; having a sexual relationship from the first day of meeting has been promoted by western media now for decades; sexual fidelity as the basis of a relationship of true trust is despised and displaced by base, selfish lust
  8. stealing remains ostensibly evil; but global commercial business systematically exploits the developing world’s resources, both human and natural, manifestly careless of the impact on indigenous populations
  9. telling lies is now normalised – politicians lead the way, while the media generally hypes every situation to get sales, failing to present a fair and representative picture of a person or event; distortion and misrepresentation are the basis of ubiquitous commercial advertising; in social issues, to tell the truth about induced abortion provokes violent condemnation from the affronted priesthood of anthropocratic Materialism
  10. today’s world thrives on greed; western economies unashamedly pursue “growth”; government indebtedness is predicated on economic growth; greed is constantly promoted in the media, be it via commercial advertising or the values assumed as normal; the entire social justice movement is predicated on wanting what others have and on feeding a sense of deprivation; greed is at the heart of a multitude of psychological ills as people fill their lives with goods, but starve the needs of their souls; greed lies behind the constant pursuit for everything ever better, ever faster … Greed feeds off legitimate need and demands everything happens faster and faster. No-one realises speed equals GREED

Christianity – its historic and moral significance

This 1300 word post constitutes the third section of seven for the Pamphlet, 21st Century Tract

Christianity was once the dominant religious culture of the European nations. It distinguished the identity of European nations from those in other continents. Today, however, we detect mere traces of Christianity’s historical influence in Europe and its former colonies.

The landscape of Europe is littered with Christian church buildings. Some church buildings are still used, but their congregations are usually small and elderly; many church buildings are either empty or sold off to be used for other purposes. While the Anglican Church in Britain remains the Established Church, its membership and its influence are both now much diminished.

The English monarch remains the supreme governor of the Anglican Church, and Elizabeth II is herself devout. But such are vestiges of a former pre-eminence. There are constitutionally 26 bishops sitting in the United Kingdom House of Lords, but their influence is minimal in a chamber with 800 members.

For centuries, the clergy had a disproportionate presence in the upper chamber of the English parliament. No more.

Today, the moral climate prevailing in the European and English speaking countries of the world is atheist and materialist. Consumption, acquisition and possession are the key indicators of social values and ambitions.

In this post I want to point out the critical importance of Christianity.

Christianity provided us with the idea that we owe a duty beyond ourselves, and beyond each other. We owe a duty to God our creator. God as our Creator, has proprietory rights over us; he will therefore assess and judge all that we do during our earthly lives.

That is a powerful check upon the human conscience and behaviour. It means that whatever others may do, indeed whatever governments or any organisation may do, we are obliged to regard what God requires above all else.

It means we police ourselves according to God’s standards first and foremost, not according to the whims and changing standards of human society at large, or the particular company we may each keep.

It means, too, that all forms of human authority are in turn answerable to God. They do not exist for themselves; they have obligations under God. They have obligations to God. They have an obligation to do justice, according to God’s rules; to ensure fairness; to protect people in their person and in their property.

High or low, we are therefore obliged to respect others in their person and their property as the Ten Commandments and the Christian message teach – not because of modern ideas of social contract or Rights.

Modern notions start with self, and with our personal expectations. By contrast, Christianity taught obligation to others: Love God and love your neighbour as yourself. The psychology required and the psychology framed in us is not just fundamentally different – it is opposite. It demands responsibility and it teaches duty.

Christianity is the ultimate leveller and the ultimate tutor. It tells us we are all sinners before the one perfect God who made us – and who loves us. We are all equal, whatever our material or social differences; we all have equal value in God’s eyes. Which is why God requires that every one obey the same moral standards set out in the Ten Commandments. No matter what your station in life or your wealth, or your influence,  all are subject in their every day relations and attitudes to the Ultimate Authority above.

But in today’s world, the moral reference point is SELF – not God, nor the good of others: just SELF. My views; my wants; my ambitions; my possessions; my future.

And to be brutally pertinent, let me cite Abortion. I stated in a previous post for this Tract that legalisation to allow induced abortion represents the critical turning point between the former culture and values, and today’s materialist mentality.

Sex is no longer considered within a social or family context – a context of responsibility for bringing another life into the world and taking care of that life. A man and a woman committing to each in marriage before God and before their fellow human beings, their families and communities.

Sex is now a purely private and individual matter of pleasure and indulgence. It is concerned with self first and last. And if a child results, that child can be eliminated when its existence is inconvenient to the inclinations or circumstances of the mother or father.

To put that in religious terms, it is sacrifice of a human life on the altar of Materialism.

This attitude and behaviour is the ultimate in self centredness; it is the ultimate in rejection of all social meaning and moral constraint; there is no consideration of wider society or of the particular child. There is no regard for the normal and natural constraints of who we are , nor for our God given roles as mother and father.

Materialism has stripped us of our humanity, and mocks God our Maker as superstition. Yet God provides us with the most pertinent moral code to live our own life successfully – and to live for the fundamental welfare of everyone else.

Christianity, of course, is centred on the historic person of Jesus Christ. Christ claimed to be God come in the flesh. Whether you accept Christ’s claim or not, the life, ministry and death of Jesus Christ supply the supreme example of civilised behaviour. He is the ultimate role model. Christ’s self sacrifice stands as the ultimate reference for each of us, not just morally but – more critically – psychologically. Our duty to others; our respect for others, before selfish interest.

I can think of no better example to achieve a harmonious society where everyone is valued and their intrinsic dignity upheld.

Regardless of what wrong Christ’s faithless followers have done, and regardless of what the institutionalisation of Christianity has also sometimes done – the founder figure Jesus Christ remains a remarkable role model. Jesus has inspired so many lives, and so much good. The propagation of Christ’s creed around the globe made Christianity the foremost religion in the world.

Christian influence decisively formed laws and informed the exercise of authority. Christianity taught the fundamental notion that we are each made in the image of God, yet each of us can also fail. We are all sinners in need of Christ’s love and forgiveness. And forgiving, not hating, is of the essence.

This conception of ourselves and how we should behave stands in stark contrast with today’s materialistic conception of the human being. In this conception, we have evolved; we are not created, and we have no dependence on God or any accountability to God. There being no God beyond us, we have become our own god, determining good and bad for ourselves; we now determine our destiny and even our identity. We answer to ourselves –  to our own needs and appetites. We are beholden to no-one else, except as we choose, and only as long as that is convenient to us.

The psychological outcome is that we are becoming socially irresponsible and increasingly selfish. Having become rebels against our Creator, we become rebellious against social order and the norms of civilised society.

Abortion, divorce, family breakdown, drug dependency, pornography, prostitution and untouchable organised crime are but symptoms of the prevalence of this new creed and of the utter rejection of Christianity.

In this climate, it becomes feasible for governments to take draconian measures to control ordinary, everday life in the most intrusive ways.

The State takes the place of God and begins to act like God.  That not only becomes normal, it becomes desirable. Although the concept of God is rejected, the subconscious instinct remains and must find an outlet, an Object to take God’s place.

Invariably, an authoritarian human Hero with often horrific results.  

Deviation – the purity of Christianity betrayed

This 1800 word post constitutes the 4th section of seven for the Pamphlet 21st Century Tract

Pure Christianity has rarely been practised. The pure faith recorded in the New Testament of the Bible is compelling. It is moral, spiritual and totally pertinent to the condition of human beings in any and every age.

Jesus Christ’s teaching can be summed up in 7 words: Love God and love others as yourself.

Those words would not be disputed by any of the three major monotheistic religions. But what would be disputed, however, is the claim of Christ to be “I AM” – the claim which distinguishes the Christian God among the monotheistic religions.

Pure Christianity prioritises the dignity of every individual human life. It teaches that God came in human form to live and teach the perfect life; that the perfect God provided the perfect sacrifice to atone for the sins of imperfect human beings in order to restore relationship between God and fallen humanity. That restoration must be responded to by the believer, individually. Each of us is called to submit to our lives to Jesus Christ.

The Christian God therefore places the highest dignity possible on individual human life. God places inestimable value on the individual soul.  The spiritual relationship of harmony is restored individually. And that relationship of harmony is a God given example for human beings to emulate.

If restoration of relationship and harmony for individuals is the priority of God, then the hightest priority for human beings is to follow Christ’s example and live for others, not just for self, by the power and grace God supplies.

Human egocentricity is therefore immoral and undesirable. Instead, obedience to God and harmony with others by God’s enabling is ethical, desirable and practicable.

The impact of this thinking on society down the centuries is immeasurable. Not just in the conception of charitable works, but in the elevation of human dignity in, for example, jurisprudence and the exercise of judicial power.  It impacts society in the conception of what a gentleman should be – chivalrous and courteous, considering the needs of the weak and refraining from the abuse of power over the powerless and poor. It is a thoroughly civilising influence in society.

The impact is incalculable, yet qualititative and real. And we can identify the difference when we look at the outworking of today’s prevalent religion, Materialism.

Would any civilised person disagree with the essential teaching of Christianity as a thoroughly moral basis for society ?

Love the God who is love and so love others as yourself

Remember that in Christianity especially, the God to be worshipped is defined as love, both in doctrine and in action. Christians are called to live out the example of Jesus Christ: they are called to make the message of the God who is love real in their own lives;  a process called sanctification.

That is the model, the example. It is the standard and the theory. But history reveals that it has not always been the case.

Disastrously so.

All human beings wilfully defy and deny moral standards. That itself is proof of the existence of sin in human beings – an analysis of the human condition which all 3 monotheistic religions recognise.

The particular teaching and power of Christianity is that the disciple is called to overcome the spiritual operation of sin by choosing to obey the presence and power of God the Holy Spirit in their lives. That is the central struggle, yet the one which the disciple all too often fails embrace.

The non Christian of course cannot help but fail to obey God. In Christian teaching, the non Christian is enslaved by sin, and so unable to obey God.

It should hardly be surprising, then, that human beings repeatedly and notoriously fail. And indeed, the organisation called to represent Christ on earth has manifestly failed time and again.

That manifest failure has given unbelievers cause to question, doubt and deny the reality of God – and especially the claim of Jesus Christ to be God. It is hardly surprising, then, that western society now is largely atheistic.

But the failings of the professing Church cannot logically cancel  out the existence of “I AM”.

The shortcomings of practical Christianity by professing Churches and individual believers must be acknowledged for two vital reasons.

One is obvious. A civilised human being learns from past mistakes and corrects their bahaviour for the future.

The other is this. That the honour and reputation of our common Creator should not be stained and tarnished by the evil committed by those who claim to honour God.

We could recount a catalogue of terrible events in history. We could talk of wars of religion and Crusades; we could talk about people executed for heresy in the most horrific ways. We could talk about the sickening hypocrisy of religious organisations. But I want to get at the underlying roots rather than rehearse all the evil symptoms.

A particularly serious problem is Churchianity. Placing the worldly existence and perceived interests of the organisation before the reason for that organisation’s existence.

Every Christian is called to obey Christ the Head of the Church and on that basis to love and co-operate with others. But in reality, Church organisations manifest the values and thinking of this sinful world – and fail to implement the pure teaching of Christ.

The true Church is organic, not organisational. It is a living vibrant spiritual entity, not a hierarchy with titles, budgets and buildings. Christ commissioned the apostles to go forth and preach the word, baptise and train disciples.

Christ did not tell the apostles to go and accummulate this world’s goods and property; to make ornate buildings; to create different denominational structures around esoteric emphases in doctrine; to worship and follow gifted charismatic leaders; to create hierarchies of talented people according to this world’s values and priorities; to give people positions and titles to differentiate themselves as more important than everyone else.

The rot began centuries ago and the Emperor Constantine’s conversion served simply to precipitate that process dramatically.

But that is not the only problem. Another major cause of deviation is in ideas. The idolising of ideas giving rise to faction. In short Ideology, indeed Theology. An emphasis on the sort of rigid, rational logic we associate with philosophy rather than a rounded, holistic view of the whole conception of what  actually constitutes a human being ie spirit, soul and body – not just a rational brain in a material body.

The New Testament is not just another Ideologial Manifesto. It is in reality, a practical guide for living a lifestyle of obedience to God by the power of the Holy Spirit. God being real, God requires reality in his disciples. God provides the power to live out the reality of the distinctive spiritual life to which the believer is called.

The Bible, the holy book of Christianity, is not meant to be a source of contention and faction. But more often than not, that is how it is used. Or should I say, abused.

The essence of Christian instruction is: Love God and love others. Simple. But intellectuals love ideas more than the God who is love.  They are too easily tempted to elevate fine doctrinal distinctions above the obligation to love and forgive others. The acrimony in the debate about Predestination and Freewill is a disgrace. It reflects the very mindset which the apostle Paul identifies in first Corinthians chapter 3 – spiritual immaturity.

The result is that believers remain in their respective Ideological camps, and the world sees a bitter and senseless division.

My own view of that Question has evolved over the years. I know what I think and why. I am prepared to explain it to anyone willing to listen. I am not prepared, however,  to brow beat any one with it, especially as I understand the process of development I have experienced over the years. Patience and understanding of the ongoing development of others is vital.  Attitude; growing in grace and the knowledge of God are what the apostles commend. Not bitter division and hatred generated by the need to show how right we are.

If God has managed to put up with my attitudes and opinions all these years, then I owe it to others to behave in the way he has  behaved to me.  Jesus does not require me to impose my beliefs on others – he calls me to live them and thereby witness their validity. Jesus calls disciples – willing learners or followers; he does not conscript or press gang anyone !

But there is another root problem. We have looked at Churchianity – the corruption of a faith into an institutionalised religion. We have just mentioned theology and intellectualism negating the obligation to love others truly.

That does not mean, however,  that doctrine can be lax and loose. A proper understanding is essental.  The insidious infiltration of alien ideas into Christianity has not just corrupted, it has debilitated.  I will cite just one critical example. The annihilation of the true meaning of the word ‘spiritual’. The idea that there is no dimension beyond the physical which our senses perceive. The idea we can only know God via feelings about God, or even that God is merely a projection of our feelings and of our own identity; so, God ceases to be an objective presence beyond us. Such thinking makes God dependant on man centred thoughts and feelings; it denies the objective reality.

Such thinking was advanced in the 19th century, and has born its fruit today. That thinking arose because intellectuals missed the fundamental point about the faith described in the Bible: i.e.. it is a living faith in a living Person with a real purpose to change our thinking and our lifestyles from sinful worldliness to obedient holiness. The Bible is a practical manual for a vibrant faith, not a political manifesto or text book of academic theology.

Christian faith is not fundamentally a religion with institutional rules and regulations, a hierarchy etc. Nor is it an ideological football for kicking around, chopping logic and splitting hairs – Jesus characterised this mindset as straining gnats while swallowing camels.

Christianity is about an individual living the life described in the Bible some 2000 years later. The God and faith of the first century AD are the same God and the same faith today, in the 21st century. Neither theology nor church history are entitled to alter or take precedence over the living reality described in the Bible about the first Christians in the first century church. That is a fundamental error made by believers, churches, academics, thinkers and theologians down the ages. It is a particularly prevalent error in today’s Materialistic intellectual climate in a society which idolises sensual stimuation and accumulation above all.

Enlightenment – pure Reason displaces Christian doctrine

this 2100 word post constitutes the fifth section of seven for the Pamphlet, 21st Century Tract.

The Enlightenment is a period of history which marked a decisive intellectual shift away from Christian thinking. It provided intellectuals with a rational basis for distancing themselves away from the centrality of God in human affairs toward the centrality of humans themselves. It eschewed the framework of thinking associated with God, and turned instead to reason, to logic and to the empirically provable knowledge of the natural sciences. While there was certainly an intellectual reaction against the Enlightenment in Romanticism, the fundamental shift had occured and continued to influence philosophy, politics and economics as we shall see in the next two posts, Follow On and Going Forward – the final sections of this polemic titled “21st Century Tract”.

The essential intellectual and philosophical seed of the Enlightenment is evident in Rene Descartes assertion, Cogito ergo sum – Latin for “I think therefore I am”. As one leading academic has stated, this was the launchpad for modern epistemology. What is epistemology. Well it is a sub branch of metaphysics, and metaphysics is that domain of philosophy which the 2011 Concise Oxford dictionary defines as:

the branch of philosophy concerned with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being and knowing

Epistemology specifically is defined as:

the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity and scope

In other words, how do we know what we know; looking behind what we know to why and how we know it – at the mental modelling and perceptions we apply.

Christianity had taught that the Bible gave us guide book to the spiritual realities which underpin our existence. Christianity held that the teaching and example of Jesus Christ gave us the fundamental moral and philosophical reference points for law and culture.

But Christianity suffered from corruption in the official Church – its manifest worldliness and sinfulness. In other words, Christians were hypocrites who did not live what they espoused. The Reformation provided an antidote by asserting

  • the fundamental importance of the Bible, not the Church
  • individual interpretation, not official Church interpretation
  • the necessity for individual faith, not just collective ecclesiastical ritual

That had a critical impact in preparing the scene for the Enlightenment because it challenged authoritarian Orthodoxy. The Roman Catholic Church was no longer necessarily considered to be the final arbiter of Christian thought and practice. Final authority lay with the original teaching of Christ and the apostles – and its understanding belonged to the individual believer.

This doctrinal divide also caused a social and political fracture between the Roman Church and Protestantism which resulted in ideological, indeed literal warfare. Christianity was again exposed as hypocritical, and a threat to civilisation.

In this context, Rene Descartes asserted a different reference point for human knowledge and understanding. “I think, therefore I am”. From there, it was a short step to the Enlightenment’s rejection of a God who claims to be active and involved in this world.

Many leading figures of the Enlightenment did not reject a general, vague idea of God. They saw themselves as deists. They rejected all the known religions of men, and resorted to the essential notion of a Creator who made the world, but then left it to carry on working without God’s intervention. That made sense in a world where human beings continued to kill each other in the name of religion. But it stripped God of the essential “I AM” meaning. God must be ever present, all powerful and all knowing. God by definition cannot be divorced from creation and the affairs of human beings. That would deny God’s nature and God’s concern for human beings, a concern epitomised in the person and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Deism was the position espoused by the Enlightenment apostle, Thomas Paine. He therefore denied the validity of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In his Age of Reason, Paine rejected those religions outright. In reality he rejected God, and his defence of the French Revolution in his Rights of Man reveals not just Thomas Paine’s mindset and mentality, but that of the Enlightenment:  uncompromisingly committed to Social Justice, whatever the cost.

Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man resounds down the years. It has informed the most fundamental assumptions and morals of today’s western intellectuals. To read it, is to understand the liberal Left, “politically correct” mindset ruling the institutions of modern society – from the highest judicial authorities in the English speaking world through to the western Universities.

Enlightenment thinking has triumphed and so Christianity is derided and disdained. Any one articulating a Christian stance today is treated as strange, if not indeed as a threat to society. Supposedly conservative politicians in the west today actually serve the new agenda; they have lost all respect for the Christian moral tradition and for any theistic conception of our universe.

Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man is now treated as Gospel truth; it has displaced and replaced the Bible in the moral assumptions and mental models of the western intelligentsia.

1. What does it say ?

2. What does it not say ?

3. What does it reveal to us of the zeitgeist of the western intelligentsia in this third decade of the 21st century ?

1. What does it say ?

Thomas Paine condemned the existing Order of his day, root and branch. He condemns monarchy, aristocracy, church and the immoral indifference to the material welfare of the poor. He does not mince his words. He speaks plainly, pertinently and radically. He mocks the patent shortcomings of the existing Order, but he is not just negative. He has a very postive and constructive agenda in mind. It is according to this agenda that he makes his criticisms.

Paine sets up the radically new presumptions and paradigm of the Rights of Man. For example, he cites verbatim the French Declaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen.

Paine establishes the need of the new Ideal by diagnosing the fundamental failings of the existing Order. Monarchy figures prominently and we need only reflect on his treatment of that issue to make a critical and telling observation.

Paine makes very credible criticisms. Very rational and comprehensible criticisms. A person who becomes king or queen is unlikely to be suited to the task. It is a mere lottery of birth. Indeed, it is nonsense to have a child on the throne. And how did kings come by their power and authority in the first place ? They took it ! They therefore rule by fear not consent, and they maintain their rule by violence. The logic is then, that they must be deprived of their position and power by force, if necessary, in order to establish a socially just and equitable government. The immoral position of monarchs cannot be tolerated, and the right thing to do must be to replace them with a constitution enshrining rights for all, regardless of birth.

Today, constitutional government in accordance with democratic values is taken as normal and right. This writer agrees wholeheartedly with democracy. What I do not agree with is the dangerous and unrealistic mindset at work today, a mentality we owe to the likes of Thomas Paine and his Rights of Man.

Paine’s willingness to see kings toppled by violence because of social injustice is a dangerous mentality. Subsequent historical events have demonstrated this danger as real and dramatically destructive of human life, as will be outlined in the next in this series, number 6, “Follow On”.

Because of this mentality the French ended up killing a moderate and reforming monarch who had sought desperately to solve his country’s problems. The real meaning of Paine’s mentality was amply demonstrated in the subsequent murderous Terror followed by the emergence of the dictator and Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.

The psychology behind “the ends justify the means” mentality is demonstrably dangerous. What rational Reason may readily justify, the psychological realities of human nature reject as dangerous and impractical, indeed counter productive.

Such reliance on Reason and rational, logical thinking also flags up the limitations of Paine’s analysis. He goes back to the origins and grounds of Authority. He asserts that they are founded on no more than the success of the biggest bully baron of the day. The entire monarchical and indeed aristocratical edifice is based on the fundamentally immoral basis that Authority is held and exercised by people who are the descendants of the worst but most successful gangsters of their day.

Compelling stuff.

2. What does Paine not say?

But Paine overlooks the complete picture about the realities of power and its exercise. By going back to the origins, Paine simply rules out all consideration of what happened in the intervening centuries. Which is why his analysis leads to his simplistic and idealistic conclusion, and that in turn leads in the real world with real human beings to the opposite of what Paine is seeking to establish. So the French ended up with the Terror, and then with Napoleon, and subsequently with the restoration of monarchy – just as the English had done 150 years before.

The English experience of a Republic and then the Restoration of Monarchy should have been a warning to Paine about the nature of his analysis; but like all Idealists he refused to see the reality of human nature in the cumulative historical record of what people are really like.

The multitude of his disciples today do the same. Like Paine they are completely oblivious to the wrong which they perpetrate by their blind adherence to Principle and Logic alone.

Power was indeed taken violently. Power is indeed held by force. This is all true, which is what makes Paine so compelling. But it is not the whole truth, as the English learned from the Cromwellian Protectorate and Restoration of their Monarchy.

Edmund Burke endeavoured to point out the whole truth in his Reflections on the Revolution in France, but Thomas Paine refused to engage with what Burke wrote. Instead Paine dismissed Burke; trashed his reputation; and simply refused to engage with the very real issues which Burke had highlighted.

3. The same still happens today.

Major decisions with fundamental consequences are taken by politicians and lawyers on the basis of Thomas Paine’s erroneous thinking which trashes, ignores and indeed censors out of consideration the sort of practical thinking demonstrated by Edmund Burke.

The UK Supreme Court provides a good example in its handling of legal cases contesting Brexit. There were 3 major court cases, all argued by one of the most brilliant lawyers in Britain today, Lord David Pannick QC.

In each case, the Court ignored the existing, traditional understanding of the British/ English Constitution. Instead the thinking and the decision of the Supreme Court reflected the mentality and mindset of Thomas Paine. Paine regarded the accumulated experience of centuries as recorded in historical and legal annals as mere “musty records and mouldy parchments” which therefore have no relevance to a just and fair society today.

All 3 Supreme Court decisions contradicted not just the norms of the way in which the Constitution was always understood and applied; they also contradicted the democratic vote of the British people in the June 2016 Referendum on membership of the European Union.

In contradicting both the decision of the ballot box on the specific issue and contradicting the Constitution,  the Supreme Court threatened the very stability of the nation. All eleven Justices patently gave priority to their personal Ideological predisposition in favour of membership of the European Union.

That is typical of Thomas Paine’s thinking.

  1. it deletes all consideration of any thinking and facts which don’t accord with its thesis
  2. it is then left with whatever can be construed to endorse its predisposition
  3. the resulting unanimity of the duly selected evidence proves them right
  4. so having “all” the evidence on their side, they deem themselves justified in imposing on every one else what they believe, at whatever cost

In short, their Moral End always justifies the use of any immoral means to rid the world of Injustice and Inequality and thereby ensure the establishment of a fair and equal Order.

Thomas Paine refused point blank to consider the vast majority of the very real concerns raised by Edmund Burke in his Reflections on the Revolution in France. Instead of engaging with reality; instead of engaging with the historical evidence cited by Burke and engaging with a realistic understanding of human nature, Paine smears Edmund Burke continually. Indeed,  Paine’s Rights of Man opens with a diatribe condemning Edmund Burke, and continues this smearing at intervals thereafter. In fact, Paine’s disciples have been doing the same to any one who disagrees with them ever since.

Following on – A for Atheist

this 1550 word post constitutes section 6 [A] of seven for the Pamphlet titled 21st Century Tract.

Much is made of Marx’s use of Hegel’s dialectic. But much more can be said of Karl Marx’s debt to the Enlightenment. Indeed Marxism could only have emerged from Enlightenment thinking. The logic is simple: since the world is now merely material, everything can be explained by Science. Therefore we can explain all human activity by scientific enquiry and scientific laws. Our humanity is now merely an extension of the material dimension. Nothing more. Now that God no longer exists, MAN himself must determine both his morals and his destiny. Neither are now caused by some nonexistent deity. We must start afresh, and we must ensure that inequality and injustice are dispelled forever, in the same way we destroy disease and poverty by the appliance of Science.

Marxism is perhaps the most influential of the political doctrines emerging from the seed bed of the Enlightenment. This highly Authoritarian and Elitist system of thought and action quickly outshone Anarchism- the libertarian strand of the new Socialist thinking which emerged in the 19th century.

But Marx himself merely follows on from the mentality already evident in Thomas Paine’s justification of the French Revolution. Both men saw the existing system as totally corrupt and unreformable, convinced that radical change was needed – change which could only be brought in by committed Ideologists.

But where Paine was content to ask for retirement pensions for the poorest of the old, Marx would demand a total redistribution of economic means. The State was to be the mechanism; therefore the State must be in the hands of the enlightened, Socialist elite. Only the Politically Pure could be trusted to implement the true Ideology and so ensure the socially Just Agenda was achieved. But while Marx envisaged this emerging in the course of time, his disciples were impatient. For them, nothing must impede The Agenda. Nothing. No person; no moral qualms; no conscience and no religious superstition. Stalin continued what Lenin had begun …

Both Marx and Paine totally rejected the Christian God as the existing Order’s ideological excuse for social, economic and political injustice. In thier eyes, the Establishment used Christian religion to bind the consciences of the People to accept enslavement under the established system of Class exploitation and oppression.

Marx’s diagnosis was dramatic and telling: religion was the demeaning, disgusting, draining and destructive opiate of the people.

Like Paine, Marx’s analysis was so radical and so hostile that it supplied a moral justification for the most terrible crimes to come. Anything the Ideologues of the Left could do to free the People, must be better than leaving them in their terrible bondage to the status quo.

Leninism, Bolshevism, Stalinism, Maoism and variants of Marxism like Nazism and fascism were the result. Those movements were responsible for millions of people being murdered and maltreated in the course of the 20th century. Each of those movements was the direct result of the Materialist mindset which emerged from the Enlightenment.

Yet the likes of Thomas Paine and Karl Marx sought the very reverse. They sought the welfare of the people at large. They sought Justice, and liberty. They sought an end to all the social ills they witnessed in their day. They sought to put things right. They were sincere and genuine. They were men of conscience with a concern to make the world a better place. They wanted only the best for others. Their aim was to put an emphatic end to the injustices and inequalities of their day. I do not believe either man sought or foresaw the tragic outcome of their thinking for millions of people in the future.

What then was wrong with them ?

They rejected the God of Christianity. In doing so, they

  1. rejected the practical diagnosis of the human condition called sin
  2. rejected the practical presence and aid of God in overcoming the problem of the human condition – the problem in every human heart – the problem at the root of all social ills, the problem of sin in every human being

Instead they deployed man’s own diagnosis and man’s own answer. But they failed to realise that man’s diagnosis and man’s solution are stained by sin, and therefore inherently deceptive and false; inherently inadequate and perverse.

The Christian conception asserts that human beings are both good and bad. Good because they are made in the image of God; bad because they are tainted by sin as a result of the Fall from Grace. Bad because they rebel against God’s moral code and thereby cause terrible problems.

Being made in the image of God, every human being – high or low – has inherent dignity which no other human being is entitled to despise or take away on any pretext whatsoever. This is the conception which lies at the heart of the order established in England at the end of the 18th century by the so called “Glorious Revolution” and by other measures passed into law during the reign of the devout William and Mary.

The English Bill of Rights was achieved a full century before the Materialist conception of Rights expressed in the Declaration of the Right of Man at the time of the French Revolution.

From the Establishment of the Rule of just Law by the 1689 Bill of Rights in England, the fundamental principle of Magna Carta of 1215 was affirmed. This is what Edmund Burke alludes to when he talks of forever settled in the English constitution – an assertion which Thomas Paine contemptuously dismisses as impossible in his book Rights of Man.

By constraining the power of the Executive in England, the Established interests were asserting the necessity of the rule of law for all, great and small. Because both prince and pauper are sinners. The poor, of course, have very little power to harm others, but the prince has exceptional means either to do good, or to do serious harm. The sinful prince must therefore be constrained by the constitution and the law. Principled law is paramount – not personal power and personal conceptions of right and wrong. Right and wrong are laid down objectively by God in the Bible. And both prince and pauper have an obligation to reverence God above all else.

But in the Marxist Materialist paradigm, the exploited are inherently good, not bad; and the exploiters are inherently bad, not good. This is the essential idea behind the class struggle, and it gives rise to a psychology at odds with the reality of the human condition [that we are all both good and bad], and it gives rise to a psychology which rejects God as the answer to the problem of the human condition.

Because good and bad are now located in particular classes or categories of people, and not in every one of us,  the evils which history records become inevitable.

The French Revolution was but the first taste of the effects of Materialist thinking. The regicide and the Terror were inevitable – and Edmund Burke was proved right when he warned the world of this in his Reflections on the Revolution in France published in 1790. The killing their moderate, reforming King in 1992, and the Terror of 1793/5 were forewarned by Edmund Burke in his powerful assessment published in 1790.

But writing his Rights of Man in 1791, Thomas Paine contemptuously dismissed Burke’s warnings and attacked Burke in outrageous terms. Why, because Paine was obsessed by the moral rectitude of the Cause behind the French Revolution.

Paine was reflecting and articulating the same mentality as the Marxist, whereas the Christian minded Edmund Burke saw the situation for what it really was. Edmund Burke reflected the Christian worldview while Thomas Paine articulated aggressive, Rationalist Materialism.

This same clash of worldviews and attitudes explains the fundamental battle between the traditional Right and the Ideological Left in the politics of the western world today. 

But the ideological Left today still refuses to recognise any problem with its thinking or with its attitude. It persists in its Materialistic and anthropocentric attitude. And because it sees itself as supremely, morally correct, it assumes it can never be in the wrong. So, anyone who disagrees makes themselves a sinner in the paradigm of this new Orthodoxy. Such wilful sinners must be re-educated or else eliminated from all positions of power or influence.

This mindset is fundamentally totalitarian and dangerous. It is now so influential that it has reinvented not just our sexual code, but our very sexual identity. This thinking is now so prevalent and powerful it has been enshrined in law. To disagree is to run the risk of prosecution for hatred. This was inconceivable even 30 years ago. It marks the radical eradication of the Christian conception of our humanity which underpinned and framed traditional western civilisation.

Even so, the Ideological Left spawned by the French Revolution in the seed bed of Enlightenment psychology cannot be held entirely responsible for the assumed Orthodoxy of religious Materialism in the West today.

The political Right has been captured and redefined by the cult of Money and Gain spawned by Materialistic Enlightenment thought. Edmund Burke also identified this threat in his Reflections on the Revolution in France published in 1790 – a threat examined in the next post titled, Follow On – Billionaires.

Following on – B for Billionaires

this 1000 word post constitutes section 6 [B] of 7 for the Pamphlet 21st Century Tract.

Paul, an apostle of Christianity, wrote that the love of money was the root of all {kinds of} evil. Jesus Christ stated a stark option for humanity: either God the Creator, or else the god Materialism worshipped by this world. You either worship One or the other; to worship both is impossible.

Powerful people whose god is evidently the Wealth of this material existence are now numbered in their thousands.  The 35th annual Forbes list published in 2021 records 2,755  $Billionaires with a total net worth of $13.1 TRILLION. The 34th list published in 2020 identified 2,095 billionaires with a total net worth of $8 TRILLION.

Those figures indicate a 31.5 % increase in the number of Billionaires, and a staggering 63.75% increase in the total wealth held by them. This coincides with the extreme measures taken by governments to supposedly curb the spread of Covid 19. But those very measures have seriously increased unemployment and poverty across the world.

Edmund Burke critised the phenomenon of men who made fabulous wealth by dubious means back in the 18th century. At that time, men were returning to England having made fortunes in countries which were treated as European colonies. These newly rich were known as “nabobs”.

Phenomenal fortunes were made during the 19th century as a result of colonial expansion. Of particular note is the wealth accumulated by certain Americans as they profited from the westward expansion of the United States, feeding off the legalised theft of native American lands. The civil war of the 1860s gave particular boost to men whose love of money exceeded every other consideration. Note this from Historynet:

…… the merchants and manufacturers who supplied the government with such cloth became suddenly and fantastically rich in the course of their scramble for contracts alongside others of their kind, the purveyors of tainted beef and weevily grain, the sellers of cardboard haversacks and leaky tents,” wrote Shelby Foote in his three-volume history of the Civil War. That was bad for the soldiers but good for a whole new class of nouveau riche millionaires. In 1843 there were only 20 millionaires in the entire United States. By 1863, New York City alone had more than a hundred.

The close connection between war and wealth was again manifest in the 20th century with the phenomenal economic opportunities brought by two World Wars – both during the conflicts and in the post war reconstruction period. War in the 1940s enabled the US economy to get beyond the difficult times of the 1930s. The economic boost from the supply of arms was not lost on either Big Business or US politicians. Today, United States government spending accounts for 39% of all annual global military expenditure, according to a Stockholm research institute.

The United States is known as the world’s foremost capitalist economy. That economy and the men who have grown rich off that activity, profited from colonial exploitation in their homeland and then from war abroad. But such fantastic wealth in the hands of a few is not only derived from legalised theft and from the destruction of lives and limbs. It also results from the massive corruption of perception by Advertising.

The 2020s mark the centenary of Edward Bernays and his twisted techniques to increase sales. Bernays deliberately advocated the abuse of psychology by linking a product with an unassociated image in order to create a positive desire in the mind of the viewer or listener. The purpose ? Simply to increase sales …

Since then, advertising has become ubiquitous. It is a multi billion dollar industry which adds nothing of true value. It is immoral beyond belief. It is a blatant and brazen breaking of the 9th of the Ten Commandments, thou shalt not bear false witness; and it deliberately incites people to break the 10th commandment, thou shalt not covet.

Bernays thinking and its subsequent exploitaton are prima facie evidence that capitalism rapidly degenerates into utter evil without a firm and emphatic Christian moral framework and control. The evidence was available within 10 years. Hitler’s propaganda minister Goebbels exploited Bernays thinking

Today, democratic politicians routinely use Bernays thinking to promote themselves and their cause. Democratic Governments have used his techniques during their public health campaigns against Covid 19.

Having rejected God and God’s moral standards, men in Big Business and in Big Government usurp the role of God in our lives. They usurp the right to dictate our morals; and they do so, not for our welfare [whatever they may claim],  but to promote their agenda for their personal or corporate purposes.

The consequences for our world today are incalculable. There is a breakdown of trust between political elites and the governed in western democracies. There is increasing tension between nations and power blocs as each seeks its own ends, regardless of the truth and common welfare of humanity. The emergent power of China in the 21st century has learnt a thoroughly cynical view of what they conceive as the ‘Christian’ West. Those ‘Christian’ nations exploited China quite atrociously in the 19th century, and continue in the present century to exploit the weak in the world. Yet those same western States now presume to tell China what to do within her own borders, demanding that western human rights be respected in mainland China and in Hong Kong. They hypocritically demand western style democracy for Hong Kong – yet in 150 years of colonial government, Britain never gave Hong Kong the democracy she practised in Britain during the century before restoring that colony to China.

China has learned from the Western powers how to do successful business. She is emerging as the principal player on the world stage during the course of this 21st century. She was long weak and subject to powers which exploited her lands in the same cynical way in which they exploited all third world countries. Today, China extends her influence around the globe via banking, trade, and construction projects designed to make colonies of now independent nation states.

As ever, Wealth and Power go together.

Following on – C for Consumers

this 1000 word post constitutes section 6 [C] of seven for the Pamphlet 21st Century Tract

Human beings have now been redefined as Consumers. We are no longer dignified as being made in the image of God. We no longer comprise spirit, soul and body – we are now just physical bodies with material needs and wants.

We no longer enjoy the protection of a supreme Creator and Provider who sees value and worth in every human being – a worth derived from being his handiwork, enjoying his love, and his superior purpose for our lives. Both law and culture have systematically been redefined according to a purely Material conception of our existence where human beings alone control their destiny and their morality.

Materialism dominates everyone in positions of power in western society – including many who espouse God. Politicians have no sense whatsoever of answering to the King of kings – the very idea is a joke! Politicians respond solely to what boosts their reputation in the eyes of the electorate. Problems can be solved by spending more money, or else by lying about who is responsible. The actions of politicians are dictated by what they perceive – or believe – people want. That perception is invariably merely material. God is entirely irrelevant.

In the Covid 19 crisis of 2020-2021, politicians sought to banish death and suffering by taking the most extreme measures to control the spread of the disease. Because there is no God to answer to, they saw no limits to their powers or responsibilities. They consulted the ‘seers’ of today’s Materialist Religion, the Scientists, and they foretold dire death and destruction from Covid unless drastic physical measures were taken to contain a physical problem. Physical distancing – both personal [at least a meter apart] and functional [closing down or severely controlling places where people physically gather]; physical control of our exhalation using masks; physical immunisation by mass vaccination. The answer is always physical because the diagnosis is always physical. The diagnosis is restricted to the physical because the soul is merely a physical manifestation; while the spiritual is a figment of primeval imagination.

There is therefore no consideration whatsoever for the consequences to human dignity or liberty. The working assumption in this material world is that the money to offset all problems can either be printed or borrowed. Traditional constraints don’t exist because we are now the masters of our means; we are the masters of our destiny. We are the masters of right and wrong – and of what can, and cannot, be done.

We now live in a world where the material is accentuated across every area of life. Indeed, not just accentuated, but domineering and controlling. The material dominates every aspect of 21st century life: morals; politics; society; religion; economy.

Human beings are being treated as material beings with merely material interests, material needs, and material wants. The pressure to consume goods is constant via marketing and advertising. There no longer exists a day in the week free from material concerns of production and consumption.

Entertainment is constant. We now have 24 hour television and 24 hour access to the internet. The communication of Information is persistently warped by considerations of how it will stimulate emotional reaction. The constant message across all platforms of information and entertainment is the indulgence of appetite and desire. For decades now human dignity has been insulted and depraved by the media assumption that it is normal to have a sexual relationship on the very first day of meeting someone !

Other human beings now exist for our personal gratification. If MY NEEDS are not being met in a relationship, then the correct course is to dispose of that relationship in the same manner in which I would dispose of a piece of household equipment which no longer functions properly.

The fundamental personal principle now at work is: How does this situation, this job, this relationship meet my needs, my desires and my aspirations.

The fundamental moral principle in personal behaviour has ceased to be my personal responsibility towards others. I am now a consumer of this existence; I am not primarily a responsible participant in society as family member, employee or citizen.

In fact every dimension of life is reconfigured around me and my wants. My sexuality is now reconfigured according to my inclinations, not according to objective biological science. Family is now reconfigured around overcoming personal limitations to make family work for me: children are now objects to be brought into being and to be possessed according to my needs; their needs are considered around my perception of their need. The work place is now to be reconfigured around my personal circumstances. Every aspect of our existence is now to be redesigned according to the ruling principle of the corporeal self. I am a consumer and society exists for the gratification of my material appetites.

Such extreme focus on the demands and Rights of the individual is not just warping our mindset with consequences for emotional and spiritual health.  It is not just destroying us and our sense of social responsibility. It is destroying the very planet on which we rely for our physical existence. How ironic ! A religion devoted to the Material is destroying the material world which it worships.

Sheer greed for material goods has led to unprecedented demands on the natural resources of the planet. We have been consuming oil for over a century with no regard for the consequences – either the depletion of that resource [now imminent] nor for the serious pollution which burning oil entails. Oil is just one example, but is typical of the way in which we fail to consider either the rape of the earth’s resources or the pollution which results from their industrial scale production and abuse.

Plastic pollution is now so extensive that there is no place on earth where plastic waste is not to be found, and found in dangerous quantities.

In reality our mentality must be challenged and radically changed. Instead, Materialism continues to preach and teach self indulgence. One way or another, we are destroying ourselves.

Going Forward – events after 2021 ?

This 2000 word post constitutes the final section of seven for the Pamphlet, 21st Century Tract

Going forward from the date this final section is written in June 2021, I believe existing strategic pressures will accentuate what is becoming evident already.  For example, in geopolitical terms the rise of atheist, Statist, oligopolist and ultra Materialist China. 

But to discern the broad strategic flow of events, we must consider the most significant changes of recent human history. For example, the last 2 centuries have seen a fundamental shift in the living environment of the world’s peoples. Two centuries ago, most people lived in the countryside and gained their livelihood on the land. But today, the vast majority live in towns and cities, gaining their income from occupations associated with urban living. This has brought a marked paradigm shift in mindset – that is psychologically – from a sense of dependence on nature and the seasons to dependence on a man made environment with man oriented priorities, and man made agendas. Certainly in Western nations, the sense of dependence on a Supreme Being has been eradicated, especially after the devastation from two World Wars in the 20th century.

In addition the world has witnessed an exponential increase in global population from 1000 million people in 1800 to 7,875 million today. While the rate of world population growth is now slowing, the human population is still growing  – not decreasing – despite Covid 19.

According to the website Worldometers.info consulted on June 19th 2021, births so far in 2021 are some 65 million while deaths are 27 million. The net increase in world population so far in 2021 is 38 million people, despite Covid 19. That fact alone should cause us to question the approach to Covid control taken by governments around the world. Such an authoritarian mindset by all governments according to one idea and with one type of response is unprecedented and could easily be the beginning of a one world approach exalting human control of people and planet – the classic mindset of all regimes and cultures which worship Materialism

The top ten countries in the world by size of population are recorded as:

  1. China – 1,444 million
  2. India –  1,393 million
  3. USA –      333 million
  4. Indonesia – 276 million
  5. Pakistan –    225 million
  6. Brazil – 214 million
  7. Nigeria – 211 million
  8. Bangladesh 166 million
  9. Russia – 146 million
  10. Mexico – 130 million

At present, the technological, economic and military power of the United States remains pre-eminent. For example, the USA accounts for 39% of current annual global military spending, outstripping all other nations.

United States pre-eminence arises from a culture of Materialism which became embedded over the last 100 years. That Materialist culture is marked by the astoundingly successful influence of its apostles. Those apostles have had a phenomenal impact on our world today. A century ago this decade, the father of modern ‘public relations’ and ‘advertising’, Edward Bernays, wilfully [and wickedly] associated disassociated ideas in people’s minds. The impact of his thinking goes way beyond commercial activity and has critically informed [and warped] thinking and practice in both politics and the mainstream media too. Today’s American billionaires include Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, respectively the founders of multinational communications giants Microsoft and Facebook. They have decisively determined the nature of, and purpose to which, today’s ubiquitous communications technology is used [or abused].

But United States pre-eminence could well be ceded to China or to Russia, or both. China and Russia figure in the top 10 of the global population tables – along with a number of Islamic countries.

My ‘prediction’ is an assessment of the strategic tendencies already emerging.

Russia, for example, has massive natural resources, and an authoritarian government. Russia is also associated with 3 other populous States in the Top 10 above, as a member of the BRICS group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Together they have over 40% of world population and their technological, economic and military potential is phenomenal and unprecedented.

China is beyond question Materialist in every domain of human activity. She has the highest population, although India is now expected to overtake her in the next 20/30 years. China’s vast population now needs to be supplied with goods after the manner of modern consumerism. As a rural based economy until the last quarter of the 20th century, the full weight of China’s population was not felt by the world. But today, China has emerged not just as the factory of the world, but as a world leader in technology. The increasingly likely origin of Covid 19 in the Wuhan Virology Laboratory is testament to China’s emerging experimentation with power; as is her recent military occupation of disputed islands in the South China Seas. The newly emerging Social Credit system and the inhuman oppression of entire people groups like the Tibetans and the Uighur Muslims testify to China’s total cultural and political subjection to the religion of Materialism.

China will become pre-eminent in this century unless the United States or Russia take drastic, direct action to curb and control her. Russia, however, has chosen alliance with China – but is that a pact like that of Stalin and Hitle in 1939, a convenient postponement of their inevitable future confrontation ?

Of necessity, Biden’s USA continues the policy begun by Trump to confront China’s expansionism. But is the USA willing to go to war to to prevent China taking her supreme place ?

The United States, however, is deeply divided politically and socially within. She also suffers from a crushing and escalating national Debt – a debt which cannot be controlled without serious internal economic and social consequences, and without fatally undermining her military/industrial machine. Can the USA really mount a successful military operation against a power which could field the largest armies in the world and whose urbanisation programme of the last 40 years demonstrates her phenomenal capacity for logistics and the successful implementation of large scale programmes ? Without imposing her will and her agenda in this decade, the USA will find herself ceding ever more ground to China until she can no longer resist Chinese supremacy.

Sheer lust for power combined with fast depleting, finite world resources is already leading to low level warfare between these highly Materialist super powers. It is conducted via the internet, and via penetration of the economies of the developing, poorer and therefore dependent nations. Far from disappearing, colonialism and imperial ambitions are very much alive. In this connection I must make one critical observation. In none of these 21st century powers is the lust for control challenged or offset by the Christian ethic and influence as it once was in the culture and institutions of the British Empire.

Instead, the dominant Materialist religion and culture of today’s world powers is persistently reducing human beings to mere units of production and consumption. This is especially evident in those countries which never had the Christian heritage of the English speaking countries. This reduction of the vast majority of human beings to mere ciphers is made worse by technological developments in Artificial Intelligence and the existing widespread dependence on computers. Computing technology has insidiously displaced the norms of human privacy and subjected us all to the requirements of intrusive and manipulative corporate control. No-one in their right mind would allow a complete stranger to enter their home and accompany them into every room, noting all they do and examining the contents of their private spaces such as financial transactions. But that is what computer companies do today !

For their part, the indigenous populations of the western nations have already lost all sense of the Christian God and doctrine. Convinced Mammon worshippers, their peoples are reduced to a lifestyle of production and consumption. Their Values are now geared around wants and desires. Mass advertising has taken its toll. Reality TV and game shows abound, as do films and shows about inordinate sex and violence. There is no respite in the modern ultra-connected world to escape the constant hype and stimulation of senses. Young people are now increasingly diagnosed with addictions to mobile phones and internet games. An entire generation has grown up and come to middle age without the slightest conception of the West’s Christian heritage. The dominant Materialism of our age is the only reference point for their values and thinking.

Everything today teaches us to indulge our physical senses, and there is absolutely no External Immortal Power either to love us or police us. Criminal drugs gangs control the suburbs of large American and European cities. Indeed, in Latin American countries like Mexico, drugs barons and their militias actually confront and fend off the legitimate forces of law & order.

Modern technology merely accentuates these problems. Communications technology spreads evil quickly and credibly. Its speed and immediate access to whatever we want fuels a psychology of greed. In the 1920s, the first Director General of the BBC, the Christian John Reith, had high ideals for the medium of radio believing a broadcaster’s task was to inform, educate and entertain. But today, the content of broadcasting media, be it television or internet, betrays the worst of human nature.

The sheer speed of modern technology actually feeds into a psychology of greed and conflict, not rational debate and illuminating thought. The way in which even traditionally respected broadcast media handle headlines betrays a mindset desperate to capture a larger audience by means of appealing to the lowest common denominator. Thou shalt not bear false witness has been consigned along with all traditional Biblical wisdom to the bin labelled “the wicked past” and is therefore irrelevant to creating the civilised world of tomorrow.

The ideological inclinations of the western Intelligentsia today are destructive of both moral fibre and a proper grasp on reality. Not only are the formerly Christian western nations under threat externally, but the exigencies of Materialism are destroying their ability to resist internal pressures. The conscious reconfiguration of the norms of our humanity according to the extreme individualism of western Materialism is unprecedented in the entire history of the human race. A leading activist for the British LGBT+ campaign recently called for “a new normal” at a commemoration event for women graduates of the University of Oxford. The activist suggested that Oxford should promote her “new normal” – academia must now be partisan.

Such talk – with its arrogant assumption about its normality and acceptability – has developed in the open and tolerant culture of former Christian countries whose intelligentsia has been conquered by new wave Materialist Doctrine. A mentality which expects the standard norms of our humanity to be reconfigured according to a partisan minority agenda and yet be treated as normal, is self evidently extreme. The complete detachment from reality which this represents is disturbing, and it bodes ill for the survival of that culture. This extreme individualism derides the very notion of “normal” according to what people traditionally know to be normal and acceptable. Worse, it treats disagreement as extreme and seeks to censor it by smears, reproach, and exclusion from all public platforms. It is the ultimate in anthropocenticity and God hate. It is the inevitable fruit of a self obsessed individualism which has perverted the fundamental perspective and norms of Christianity to its self centred ends.

Personal responsibility in the Christian paradigm has been perverted to personal interest and greed, while responsibility before God for the interests and welfare of fellow human beings has been perverted into an obligation before the State to condone the aberrant behaviour of extremist individualism.

The Christian tradition of the western nations is consigned to the Past. As the emergent extremism of the Self destroys western society from within, the ascendant acolyte nations of Enlightenment Atheism attack the western nations from without.

The conceptions of liberty arising from the English tradition of 1215 and 1688 have been eradicated, along with the Christian God. All present indicators and tendencies suggest the triumph of what Jesus Christ labelled “Mammon” in his strategic insight in Matthew 6,24.

But this assessment takes no account of one decisive factor:

Will God intervene ?

Preface to 21st Century Tract

Author’s 500 word Preface to “21st century Tract”

I regard Thomas Paine as an apostle of Enlightenment thinking. Thomas Paine [1737-1809] was an Englishman who became an American citizen. One Oxford university editor of Paine’s text the “Rights of Man” called him the first international revolutionary.

In his “Rights of Man” [1791] Thomas Paine condemns the traditional political and social order as redundant and immoral, the Church included. In “The Age of Reason” [1794/5] he condemns the Christian religion explicitly.

Thomas Paine was a remarkably principled and courageous man. His condemnation of the Orthodox politics and religion of his day was an act of exceptional courage for which he was duly persecuted. His adherence to pure principle also led him to be persecuted by the more practical and ‘political’ of his fellow Enlightened campaigners.

Thomas Paine had a tremendous impact in his own day. His name resounds today as one of the truly great pioneers of the modern, Materialist, and atheistic Western world in which so many of us live.

I am no Thomas Paine, but I do want to challenge the prevalent philosophy of the existing Established Order of my day, i.e. the prevalent Materialism of the Enlightenment thinking promoted by Thomas Paine and his kind.

In the “21st century Tract”, I intend to demonstrate that Materialism is deceptive and so dangerous; and that the Christian religion is valid theoretically, practically, and psychologically.

Thomas Paine had his reasons for condemning the shortcomings of the Christian religion of his day along with the entire Establishment Order of monarchy, nobility, and Church.

Today, Christians have reason to condemn the world which has resulted from Enlightenment thinking two centuries later. And not just to condemn, but like Paine, to advocate a moral alternative.

Paine himself ostensibly acknowledged a Creator of this world. His reasoning reflects the progessive fashion for Deism at that time. Deism says that God created the world, rather like a clock maker. Having set the world in motion, God stands back and has nothing more to do with his creation.

That was a very attractive concept for people who wanted to deny God but would not do so explicitly given the prevailing climate of their day. While attractive, Deism proves to be false when examined, as is the case for Thomas Paine’s entire philosophy.

As explained in this website, God by definition is “I AM”. God is ever present, everywhere; ever knowing of all things; and ever powerful.

Deism is therefore a deception. Its conception of God does not meet the criteria for the definition of God. By taking away aspects of the truth in its notion of God, it provides a false framework of thinking – or paradigm – by which to view our existence.

Thomas Paine reasoned similarly when he reviewed the world in the two famous texts cited above. Paine dispenses with inconvenient realities and paints a picture of a Society perfected by virtue of ‘Reason’ and ‘Rights’. But ‘Reason’ and ‘Rights’ fail to answer the range of realities in this existence.