Regarding my previous post “Paganism in the Church” one of our readers raised this question:
What do you mean by “paganistic worldviews”, and in what specific ways are these worldviews embraced by “many” Midwesterners?
I think it’s a good question and I want to reply it here since this can benefit everyone. First of all, to borrow the words of Paul, paganistic worldviews are simply the “imaginations and every lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Hence any view that is contrary to clear teachings of Scripture is considered pagan. Although I can say much on this, due to time I’ll stop here.
Secondly, though I wasn’t thinking of any specific sin or specific ways, my point is that everyone whether someone lives in Midwest or not, all share fundamental problem in the worship of self. Self-worship and pride are the root of all paganism. “I did it my way” is iconic American cultural value that is so steeped, unfortunately, even in our churches. Typical American Protestant churches today embrace tenets of Arminianism that were considered as heresy by the Synod of Dort, and they are seldom questioned in our generation. I wonder how many that are reading this post have even heard of Dortian theology? That’s another whole issue for another time.
We often equate paganism to primitive occultic practices that of the third-world nations, hence many Americans today hardly think of paganism exists in America. However, paganism cannot be viewed merely by checklist of specific sins or ways, meaning, because I don’t do this or that thus I’m not a pagan. No. As I’ve stated before, whether people live in primitive jungles of Amazon or modern penthouses in New York, everyone is born with paganistic worldviews. Although there are different colors and leafs of paganism, they all come from the same root, namely, exalting and enthroning of self. The only solution to this detrimental problem is the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why the gospel needs to be preached to all peoples and all nations, even to the religious folks here in Midwest, many who think they’re Christians just because they were confirmed and/or go to church.
Due to time, let me just leave you with the words of Alan Redpath:
If we pray for revival and plead with God to bless, and yet in our lives refuse to submit to His will, we are hypocrites. Before revival comes, perhaps God will either have to remove some of us or break us. Both the outward and the inward look reveal that the will of God is not being done. Because it is not being done in the Christian, there is no blessing in the church. And because there is no blessing in the church, the world is unreached, untouched, going to hell, lost for time and eternity. May He have mercy upon us and help us to see this awful sin in the church of Christ today! We say we care about lost souls; we say we are burdened for the need of men who have never heard the gospel; we say we long to see our cities reached for Christ. Yet all the time in our hearts there is a big capital “I” which has never been broken and is standing in the way [Victorious Praying: Studies in the Lord’s Prayer (Grand Rapids: Revell, 1993), 54].