One of the tragically humorous things about the human mind is its capacity to forget as much information as it retains. The more we advance, the more we seem to look around just to find ourselves where we've already been.
The distracted might not notice, having all their energy invested in "progress," but the reality is that we are not "avant-garde," we are ignorant. This includes, perhaps especially, many in the church.
The phenomena our culture faces, the loss of truth (where a man can be a woman, the Islamic State is not Islamic and the church is the problem that must be driven out the fabric of society) is not new. Isaiah wrote about it between 701 and 681 B.C.:
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20)
Calling evil good doesn't make it good. Calling what is false true does not make it true. For something to be true, it must be true. Aristotle said it this way:
"To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true; so that he who says of anything that it is, or that it is not, will say either what is true or what is false; but neither what is nor what is not is said to be or not to be."
Within the church, the same assertion can be made of the Bible. To say of what is repugnant to God that it is not, does not make it so. When we do so, we only set ourselves, like those of old, on a course to prove God right at the cost of much pain in our lives.
We are erecting an idol while Moses is on the mountain; we are refusing to take the Promised Land for "there are giants in the land." Painful lessons usually follow such actions. We will discover truth again, but it will be costly.
Many progressive Christians are on that journey today, and if sincere, they will rediscover the new heresy they so desperately seek; only to join Chesterton in the farce so many others have starred in. Here is how he put it:
"I am the man who with the utmost daring discovered what had been discovered before … I did, like all other solemn little boys, try to be in advance of the age. Like them I tried to be some ten minutes in advance of the truth. And I found that I was eighteen hundred years behind it. I did strain my voice with a painfully juvenile exaggeration in uttering my truths. And I was punished in the fittest and funniest way, for I have kept my truths: but I have discovered, not that they were not truths, but simply that they were not mine. When I fancied that I stood alone I was really in the ridiculous position of being backed up by all Christendom. It may be, Heaven forgive me, that I did try to be original; but I only succeeded in inventing all by myself an inferior copy of the existing traditions of civilized religion … I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
My fellow reader, if we would only heed God's call to humility in thought and action, clinging to His every word with passion, we would be able to regain our composure in a much shorter period of time, while avoiding the enemy's pitfalls.
His trick, the enemy's that is, is today as it was in the beginning: "Did God really say …?" (Genesis 3:1). How many times will we fall for it?
The lessons of the desert can be learned by wisdom instead of experience. But it looks like we have chosen the latter.