With the advent of the primacy of postmodernism in the university curricula, there has been a growing loss of meaning and purpose among generations of students. By postmodernism, I am referring to the assertion that there is no meta-narrative or absolute truth that we can hang our hats on.
Of course, this is nothing new. We observe this in the Gospel of John when Jesus told Pontius Pilate that He came to bear witness of the truth. Pilate responded by saying, "What is truth"? (John 18:38).
The preponderance of postmodernism has resulted in a devaluation of religious narrative, truth, morals, and boundaries; along with a deconstruction of language, structure, and categories (such as male and female) — leaving in its wake a rise of suicide, depression, and hopelessness (all the fruit of its nihilistic philosophy).
By Nihilism, I am referring to the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often believing that life is meaningless. (Thus, Nihilism involves stripping humanity of the grand narrative of Christianity and all the other major religions.) Nihilism also maintains that nothing in the world order is real, leading to a post-structural order of extreme anti-establishment, anarchy, and rebellion against all institutional authority. (This is why Buddhism and the Eastern New Age philosophies are popularized in college campuses, since one of their primary mantras is "maya," which asserts that all distinctions, in reality, are a delusion).
Consequently, students who are fed and embrace any form of Nihilism are often filled with negativity, cynicism, pessimism and can become anti-social and suicidal.
Of course, doubting the essence and reality of the concept of absolute truth have been going on for millennia, which is a result of original sin (Genesis 3). The "fall" not only separated humankind from God, resulting in spiritual and physical death (Romans 5:12-19) but also darkened (and limited) our rational understanding (Ephesians 4:17-19; 2 Corinthians 4:4).
Hence, when Jesus claimed to be the "Truth," He was revolutionary, and countered the negative (rational) effects of the fall in more ways than one. His resurrection power enables the eyes of the believing heart to be opened, and minds can be transformed to, once again, love and serve God and humanity with the heart, mind, soul, and strength (Ephesians 1:18, Romans 12:1-2, Matthew 22:37-40).
Unfortunately, the embrace of postmodernism has been catastrophic in the following ways:
It robs people of faith and hope
The grand narrative of Christianity simplifies life, gives believers a handle on reality, and enables them to rest in the fact that their Creator designed them for an eternal purpose. Conversely, the contemporary popularization of postmodernism and its expressions of Nihilism has resulted in a dire increase in youth suicides and depression. (Any honest social scientist will have to admit that the increase in dehumanizing behavior amongst grade and high school students corresponds to our nation going from the sacred to the secular worldview.)
It dehumanizes humanity
If there is no grand narrative, there is no Creator; if there is no Creator, there is no distinction between human and animal, living and non-living, male and female, good and evil. All of this confusion takes away from the sanctity of human life. Its devaluation leads to murder, abortion, maltreatment of people, including slavery, abuse, violence, and objectification.
It removes all boundaries and distinctions
If there is no God and no transcendent purpose, there is no concept of good versus evil. This leads to a world of subjective morality based on the opinions of those in power. This can eventually lead to totalitarian governments that usurp the rights of individual human freedom.
Hence, the power and success of American exceptionalism are based on our unique philosophy of governance in which the foundation of our constitution is the Declaration of Independence. It declares that we have unalienable rights given to us by God and not by men or earthly elites.
This is one reason why progressive liberals operate with humanistic mindsets like intersectionality. They are attempting to discard our nation's founding documents to deconstruct the U.S. and reconstruct it as a nation without borders, religious boundaries and morals.
The folly of postmodernism and its nihilistic outcomes will eventually collapse upon itself to the dismay of the far-left university elites and the progressive culture at large.
The general population of God-fearing people is getting fed-up with the irrational conclusions of the post-structural secularist who, in the name of human enlightenment, embraces and pronounces things today that would be unheard of only a decade ago.
The only hope for the next generation is for the church to equip, prepare and send young people to school. They must be given a robust biblical worldview so that they can effectively release their potential and be the bright lights the world has been waiting for (Romans 8:19-21).
Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally-known author, consultant, and theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence culture. He is the founding pastor of Resurrection Church, and leads several organizations, including The U.S. Coalition of Apostolic Leaders and Christ Covenant Coalition