Darrow Miller and Friends

Pagan Beliefs Produce Pagan Behaviors

  1. Humans Reject the Truth
  2. God Put the Invisible in Plain Sight
  3. Moral Creator, Moral Creation: Why Atheists Deny God
  4. To Reject God is to Dismiss Your Humanity
  5. Our Strange New World of Foolishness
  6. Worship God or Creation: The Great Exchange
  7. Life Brings Its Own Rewards
  8. Pagan Beliefs Produce Pagan Behaviors
  9. All Sexual Behavior Has Consequences
  10. The Defiance of Evil: Human Behavior Hits Bottom

Some believe that modern pagans reappropriate the term “pagan” to honor the cultural achievements of Europe’s pre-Christian societies. Photo by Steve Swayne.

In the West, we are witnessing the rise of the new barbarism – the collapse of civilization and reversion to animal instincts (a description that may be too generous for what we are witnessing).

In the previous post we unpacked Paul’s commentary on the growing depravity that stems from the suppression of truth and the rejection of God. Here is the pattern:

  1. A categorical statement: they degraded their own bodies, v. 24
  2. Specific description of sexual perversion, vv. 26-27
  • Lesbianism
  • Homosexuality
  1. A lifestyle of depravity, vv. 28b-31
  • Doing what ought not to be done
  • Inventing ways of doing evil

As we have written earlier, people deny God for moral reasons, not metaphysical reasons. They do not want God telling them what to do. In fact, they generally do not want anyone to tell them what to do. They do not want to be under anyone’s authority. The bottom line: they want license to do whatever they feel like doing, without responsibility for their actions.

Michael NovakMoral economist Michael Novak makes a distinction between license and liberty:  “License is the freedom to follow one’s instincts and do as one desires, as naturally as cats and dogs do. Liberty is the duty to do what … one knows that one ought to do.”

Freedom is the opportunity to do good. People who are truly free govern themselves within the framework of God’s laws and ordinances. License is the “right” to do the wrong thing. Little thought is given to others, or to the consequences. Feeling good is the standard of behavior. The focus is on indulging the self. There is no moral order, no authority outside one’s own will.

Modern libertines want to “liberate” humankind from traditional institutions, like marriage and church, and moral absolutes. Their goal is to return people to a state of nature where basic natural instincts are allowed with no moral restraints. They want to follow their nose.

Libertines push the envelope in three critical areas:

  • Truth: They suppress the truth. They replace truth with lies and illusions.
  • Morals: The tolerance of the immoral is a virtue, defending the moral is a vice.
  • Beauty: Darkness is considered light, the vulgar is beautiful.

Truth, goodness and beauty have been the foundations of Western culture. This is no longer the case. They have become relative, their influence in society has receded to the point of disappearing.

As we have written elsewhere, as the cult (worship) changes, culture changes. As neo-pagan idolatry grows, so does wickedness and barbarism. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines barbarian as, ”A man in his rude, savage state; an uncivilized person.” As we slide further and further from the conviction of that Judeo-Christian theism that refined Europe, North America and elsewhere, we are witnessing the rise of a new barbarism.

At this writing several major trends evidence a descent into barbarism:

Judeo-Christianity created Western civilization from the impoverished, often enslaved, corrupt, coarse, uncultivated, underdeveloped cultures that predated it.

As Dennis Prager has argued, it was biblical theism that created a new form of “deviancy.” That is, a biblical worldview defied pagan licentiousness in all its forms and led to the freedom of a moral framework. Today, this framework is fading. In its place, a new paganism is producing a new barbarism, the practice and promotion of evil.

Weep with me to consider some real and current examples of unspeakable wickedness. These stories issue from three societies—the USA, England, and Germany—all of which shared a Judeo-Christian heritage.

This is the behavioral product of a pagan worldview. While these things need to be dealt with on the behavioral level, change will come ultimately from a return to the Judeo-Christian worldview. Rather than suppressing the truth, we need to recognize the truth and acknowledge, worship, and serve the living God.

  • Darrow Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).