Imagine receiving $1.2 million in your brokerage account as the result of a clerical error. What would you do?
Here’s what Kelyn Spadoni of suburban New Orleans allegedly did: she refused to return the funds, moving them instead into a different account so the bank could not reclaim them, then used some of the money to buy a new car and a house. She has been taken into custody and was fired from her job as a dispatcher for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. So far, about 75 percent of the money has been recovered.
Her story is a parable for a secular society that is spending the cultural “funds” we received from our Judeo-Christian heritage but refuses to acknowledge our debt. This refusal is growing more serious and damaging by the day.
For example, the Supreme Court ruled last Friday that California cannot bar meetings of more than three families from worshipping in a private home. According to The Wall Street Journal, “the decision is the fifth time the Court has overruled the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on pandemic orders against worship, as an exasperated majority points out.” The Journal editorial adds: “The willfulness of the lower courts in defying the High Court underscores how much religious liberty needs protecting against the militant secular values that now dominate American public life.”
Many secularists think religious liberty is about the right to be wrong, an appeal to an outdated constitutional mandate that protected what educated people now know to be superstition at best and dangerous prejudice at worse. As New York Times columnist Ross Douthat notes, many cultural elites are “committed to a moral vision that regards emancipated, self-directed choice as essential to human freedom and the good life.”
But we should ask: Does this “moral vision” work? Does it deliver what it promises? A fascinating article by a religious skeptic offers a perceptive answer.
'Life without fellowship and shared meaning'
John Harris is a columnist with the Guardian, a British publication, and a nonbeliever. He is also brutally honest about the results of his skepticism during the pandemic: “Like millions of other faithless people, I have not even the flimsiest of narratives to project on to what has happened, nor any real vocabulary with which to talk about the profundities of life and death.”
As an irreligious person, he believes that the value of religious community lies in community rather than religion, focusing on the way religious people sing, pray, and eat together. He asserts that “rediscovering things need not be a matter of finding God,” claiming that secular society can provide similar structures for dealing with society’s problems.
This is an understandable position for someone who does not know God, but it’s completely wrong. Harris doesn’t understand that Christians gather and serve in community because we know God and thus find unity in him and fellowship with each other. Our Savior empowers us to forgive each other, love each other, and serve with each other.
Imagine people standing along the walls of a room with a chair in the center. The closer they draw to the chair, the closer they draw to each other.
Harris concludes honestly: “For many of us, life without God has turned out to be life without fellowship and shared meaning—and in the midst of the most disorienting, debilitating crisis most of us have ever known, that social tragedy now cries out for action.”
Read more at the Denison Forum
Adapted from Dr. Jim Denison’s daily cultural commentary at www.denisonforum.org. Jim Denison, Ph.D., is a cultural apologist, building a bridge between faith and culture by engaging contemporary issues with biblical truth. He founded the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture in February 2009 and is the author of seven books, including “Radical Islam: What You Need to Know.” For more information on the Denison Forum, visit www.denisonforum.org. To connect with Dr. Denison in social media, visit www.twitter.com/jimdenison or www.facebook.com/denisonforum. Original source: www.denisonforum.org.