“Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.
Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
Round about the caldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw…….
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. …..
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble….”
—William Shakespeare, (“Macbeth”)
“To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” (1 Samuel 15:22-23)
Author, Craig Hawkins once observed that, “Like a drunkard who continually returns to the bottle, so mankind’s bent toward self-deification and creation worship has been irrepressible.”
Of course, we moderns would prefer not to think of ourselves as irrepressibly proud and disobedient “drunks”, stubbornly drawn to destructive spiritual addiction. After all, we sincerely believe that we are far more culturally advanced and enlightened and surely much more highly “evolved” than our unsophisticated, pre-scientific idolatrous predecessors. But, alas…the Bible apparently teaches otherwise.
Despite our advancing knowledge about the world , we today continue to chase after ‘other gods’ just as blindly and tenaciously as any people in any generation or age before us. Rejection and denial of God is still all the rage… just as it has always been. Sinai’s bookend Commandments (i.e., numbers one and ten) are just as relevant and convicting today as ever. And wisdom is still just as elusive.
Today, humankind’s spiritual chariot is being pulled along by the same snorting team of idols that has always drawn the heart of man. The Romans, The Greeks, the Egyptians, the Canaanites and the Babylonians have nothing on us. And sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight to our desert-chariot wandering,…. our wildly misdirected wilderness-chase. The Bible calls this rebellious spiritual condition “iniquity”, the inevitable consequence of our fallen, Adamic sin- nature.
Our chief idol today is “Enlightened Human Reason”, the by-product of the persistent “Imperial Self”. Our Tower of Babel is science (or, more accurately, “Scientism”). Our Creation Myths are propagated, propped up and promoted by the twin philosophical steeds of metaphysical Naturalism and mindless Materialism*. Our proud and relentless Quest, as it has always been throughout recorded human history, is the acquisition of Power and Control, Pleasure, and Immortality through the subjugation and manipulation of nature, the Magnum Opus….the alchemist’s prized “philosopher’s stone”.
Today, the chattering Idol of contemporary Scientism has ventured so far into the Wilderness of Delusion that many of its followers have begun to dismiss even the concept of transcendent Love, Truth, Morality, Beauty and Justice. The cauldron of Naturalism is still being actively stirred…..and it’s metaphysical, magic brew is still being swallowed......
In his book Reason in the Balance, Phillip Johnson writes:
“….humans saw the glory of God in the things that were created but chose to turn their own way and fashion idols of their own making—the latest fashion in idols being the grand metaphysical story of science.”
The apostle Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, put it this way in his letter to the fledgling church in Rome:
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools….” (Romans 1:20-22).
“Stir That Brew of Naturalism”
(Eye of Newt and Piltdown Jaw)
“Love” we’ve learned is just illusion…
Data’s in!....…It’s now complete!
There’s no Reason for Love’s being;
It’s just chemicals in heat!
Sub-atomic quarks ‘n’ gluons,
In some random acts of greed.
Mindless proteins folding over…
Scientism’s Magik Rede.
Double, double toil and Hubble,
Magnum Opus cults agree…
”Meme”’s the Word, man… Keep evolving!
Progress!.... New Age alchemies!
Worship in this Idol moment,
Climb atop this Babel Tow’r!
Rise above the God of Jacob…
Divination’s finest hour!
Earth and Air ‘n’ Fire and Water,
Stir those elements, my friend!
Soon we’ll have The Pow’r we’re after,
Then the fun, Man, can begin!
Stir that brew of Naturalism!
Eye of newt and Piltdown jaw
Add some tiny tissue masses…
Rebel forces, flaunting Law
Stir the Cauldron faster…FASTER!
Don’t give up!…The end’s in sight!
We’ll soon have that Magik Potion…
Scientism’s sweet delight!
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are… those who practice magic arts,…the idolaters….” (Revelation 22:13-15)
Nighttime magic arts engulf us,
Lord, this witchcraft still lives on;
Overturn the Desert Cauldron,
Help us see the breaking dawn.
Guide us to Your cleansing fountain…
Father, give us eyes to see.
Wash us, heal us,…. free the pris’ners,
Take us, Lord, to Calvary!
* For more thoughts about "mindless Materialism" click here