As Europe and America have become post Christian, they have turned to Modernism – Secularism. As they have come to experience the spiritual void of Atheistic-Materialism, they become Post-Modern. And what is Post-Modernism?
Unfortunately, there has not been a return to Christ and the powerful Judeo-Christian worldview that was at the root of European and American freedom. There is a growing faith in Neo-Animism or Neo-Paganism to fill the moral and spiritual vacuum created by the license of Atheism.
As the author of Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “There is nothing new under the sun!”
While there may be thousands of philosophies and hundreds of religions to answer life’s persistent questions, these can all be boiled down to just a few answers. As an illustration, what do the beverages milk, wine, and soda have in common? They are all liquids. Yet with this profound commonality, they are very different. What makes milk different than wine and wine different than soda? While there are hundreds of different kinds of soda, it is the distinct non-alcoholic carbonation of the soda that separates it from the wine and the milk. Each beverage has a multitude of manifestations, but all of these are distilled down to that which distinguishes one type of beverage from another.
It seems that almost daily new philosophies and religions are popping up around the world. The sheer numbers are overwhelming and there is no way to study them all individually. But if we can distill them down to their essence, we will find that there is nothing new under the sun.
Might I suggest that there are three main categories: Atheism, Animism, and Theism.
Atheism is the belief that there is no spiritual reality. There is no God. Nature is the only reality. This is the worldview of the Modern Western world. It has many names: Naturalism, Determinism, Atheism, Secularism, Materialism in the West, Confucianism in the East, etc. But distill them all down and you end up with the “all is one” – monism – of matter.
Animism begins from the opposite assumption of Atheism. The universe is ultimately spirit. The natural world either does not exist (Hinduism) or is unimportant. The spiritual realm is all that matters. Likewise, this has many manifestations: Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism from the East , the African Traditional religions and Voodoo from Africa, the ancient and neo-pagan deities of Europe, and the American Indian Traditional religions. Boil all the varieties down and you get the monism of spirit.
Theism, or more accurately monotheism, understands that there is one, transcendent God who created the universe. In this worldview, both the spiritual realm and the natural realm are real. This is the worldview of the three great monotheist faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
There is not much new under the sun. As Atheism dies, there are only two options for the people of Europe and North America to turn too: Animism and Theism. The fight for the soul of the West is raging between the Neo-Paganism of Animism and the Theistic Islam. Unfortunately, Christians in the West have largely privatized their faith and disengaged from culture, or they have dabbled in the ranks of Secularism or Neo-Paganism.
Because ideas have consequences, if Europe and North America turn increasingly to Neo-Paganism, then they only need to look at the corruption, poverty, and ill treatment of women in much of Africa and India to see what awaits us.
It is time for Christians to engage in the fight for the soul of the West. This will entail a conscious return to the person and work of Christ and to living within the framework of the powerful Biblical worldview.
-Darrow L. Miller