Darrow Miller and Friends

The Wilderness

  1. Understanding the Times and Seasons
  2. Gothic Images from Today’s Culture
  3. The Three Worlds of Evangelicalism
  4. The Need for Symbols
  5. The Wilderness
  6. Evil Dwells in the Wilderness
  7. The Habitation of the Demonic (includes audio and video links)
  8. Christ the Knight

Normally, when we consider the environment in which we live, we think of our physical surroundings. Some of us live in urban centers, some in suburbs, some in the countryside. Those who live in middle and upper-class situations may think their environment is quite pleasant. But our environment comprises not only our physical surroundings but also the moral and spiritual climate in which we live as well.

When I was younger, I read that Mother Teresa flew from Calcutta, one of the most materially impoverished cities in the world, to New York City with all its glamor and material wealth. After her visit to New York, she was heard saying she had never seen such poverty in all her life. It took me a moment to realize what she was saying. Mother Teresa saw beneath the material riches into the culture and saw moral and spiritual poverty. For those of us steeped in materialism, we tend to focus on material wealth and poverty. Those who can see beyond the physical can see poverty of the soul.

In his article “What It Says About Us That Abortions Increased After Roe Was Reversed,” Nathan Stone writes that the first important symbol for us to understand is The Wilderness. Stone writes of the change from when Christianity was in Renn’s “positive world” (emphasis mine):

. . . the classical Christian civilization that grew here from 1620 onwards has been brutally burned, with only a few green vestiges and cloisters left, leaving most of us with a smoldering wasteland.

He continues to briefly describe that the wasteland is marked by “. . . the fervent exporting of gender ideology, child mutilation, and civilizational rot to the nation’s heartland and the rest of the world.”

The physical wasteland in Eastern Ukraine (pictured above) symbolizes the moral and spiritual wasteland created in Western societies today. Two clear examples of the current wasteland are the rise of pagan sexuality and the brutalizing or dehumanizing of society.

Saint John, NB, Canada - June 5, 2022: A drag king reads children's stories at the Drag Story Hour in Market Square.

We watch in apathy or horror as pagan religion produces pagan sexuality right in front of our very eyes. Since the beginning of time, people have known that there are two sexes, male and female. As pagan sexuality has spread, so has the number of “sexual identities.” As of 2022 there were 81 different “socially accepted” sexual identities. The sexual perversions that come with these identities were once recognized as immoral but are now considered mainstream and are even celebrated.

At the recent New York City Drag March, people were heard chanting, “We’re here! We’re Queer! And we’re coming for your kids.” Drag queens read to young children in libraries and grammar schools. While a few years ago pedophilia was considered pure evil, it is now being normalized. Promoted under the euphemism “Minor Attracted People” – MAP, there are academic and legal movements to legalize pedophilia in the US (Darrow Miller, The Grand Design, 51).

In 2024, UNICEF announced there were over 230 million cases of Female Genital Mutilation – FGM – globally. That which is still considered barbaric and fought against in developing countries has now become legal in the United States. A multi-billion-dollar industry is growing in this country promoting gender identity and the mutilation of children by the removal of perfectly healthy body parts under the gross misnomer of “gender-affirming care.”

We celebrate the objectification and abuse of women, and the killing of millions of babies in the womb. We call this barbarity “enlightened.” We have even come to the point of practicing “post-birth abortion,” A.K.A. infanticide, killing babies outside the womb.

Increasingly the destruction of the family is growing. In addition to increased divorce rates, there is the delay or swearing off of family formation. Birth rates are declining in industrialized countries and beyond. There is a growing crisis of fatherlessness as men act like stray dogs, impregnating women with no commitment to the mother or baby.

We are also witnessing the brutalizing and dehumanizing of society. We see the rise of the tyrannical state, global companies and institutions that seek to control our lives through algorithms and manipulation.

There is a global movement that assumes that children belong to the state and not the family. State-sponsored education is more concerned about indoctrination than educating children. They now promote transgenderism and LGBTQ+ ideology to children as young as five. Increasingly they teach children what to think rather than how to think. For more on the issue of education, see my books Don’t Let Schooling Stand In the Way of Education and Wisdom: The Way To Human Flourishing.

We also see the rise of tyrannical legacy media, social media and the use of algorithms establishing what Franklin Foer calls a “world without mind.”

We are reduced to an impersonal number. Names are replaced by numbers. Algorithms track us and identify us. We are transformed from consumers of products to a “consumer product.” While we think that our electronic devices serve us, it is the other way around. Our devices track us and sell us.

In the United States police are de-funded, borders are opened, hardened criminals are seen as the victims, while basic law-abiding citizens are seen as criminals. The tyrannical government has identified new “terrorists:” parents who want to take responsibility for their children’s education, people praying quietly in public, and those practicing freedom of religion and speech.

We live in what might be deemed a post-world! A post world is void of the virtues that make life worth living. We live in a post-truth, post-moral, post-beauty, post-maternal, post-family world.

Take a moment and reflect on where you see this in your own nation or community. What is the impact of these missing virtues on your world today?

In addition to pagan sexuality, we are witnessing the breakdown of civil order with the lawlessness of young people beating up older people on the streets, police shootings, flash mobs robbing stores without consequences, growing drug addiction and homelessness.

What were once beautiful downtowns of many major cities are now almost unlivable. The violent riots and burning down of stores, the tearing down of historic statues, the shuttering of businesses and people fleeing from the cities to the suburbs are all signs of chaos and societal breakdown. There is a loss of freedom to speak and assemble and people are being cancelled for what they say.

The world that we have known and loved is dying before our very eyes. Rather, it is being destroyed, being turned into a wasteland by evil actors and real evil.

What might turn this around? Stone writes that it will not be a virtuous government, it must be “we the people.” He writes:

In this scenario, we cannot wait for knights to ride up and save the day. Instead, just like the pioneers of the 19th century, we have to rely on ourselves and what bonds we make in our own spheres.

It also means that our main concern has to be our towns, counties, and states. The pioneers did not come West to save the world but to build new homesteads. Planting small seeds, nurturing them, and planting new ones (good city councils, school boards, library boards, strong churches, etc.) will lead to large victories.”

In the next post we will explore Stone’s second symbol: The Evil that inhabits the wilderness.

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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).