Challenging Our Secular Theocracies

Nov 28, 2017 by

by Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch:

Hmm, a contradiction here? An oxymoron? We know that the word ‘secular’ is synonymous with terms like non-religious, non-spiritual, non-church, temporal, worldly, etc. Secular is the opposite of sacred. ‘Sacred’ has to do with God, religion, spirituality, etc.

The word ‘theocracy’ is a compound of two Greek terms: God and rule. Ancient Israel was a theocracy in many respects (although there was some separation of powers, with prophet, priest and king), and Islam is a theocracy, with no division between sacred and secular.

So the two terms would seem to exclude each other. However, there ARE such things as secular theocracies. That is because at bottom everyone is a theist. Sure, they may not be Hindus or Jews or Christians or Muslims. They may be secular to the core. But they are still theists.

That is because everyone has a god that they worship. If it is not the one true God, it is a god of their own choosing. It may be fame or fortune that they worship. It may be themselves – that may be the most common god being served today. And plenty of ‘secular’ political and ideological isms can become objects of worship as well.

Thus societies and cultures are all at bottom religious. One of the great lines from Douglas Wilson (and he has many) came from an essay he penned a decade ago. He was responding to another believer who said “I sure don’t want to live in a theocracy.” Wilson replied:

But if we are talking about lifestyle, and if lifestyle refers to something more than a personal consumption item, at some point we are going to have to enact laws. Culture is impossible without them. But cultures differ because they serve different gods, and different gods require different things. This means the laws are different. Every society is a theocracy. The only question is, “Who’s Theo?”

Yep, every culture is a theocracy and we need to ask who is god in that culture. In the West the primary god of this age can be called by various names: secular leftism, secular liberalism, secular humanism. This is the reigning worldview amongst the intelligentsia, the media, the academy, and so on.

Those who dare to stand against it are branded as heretics and apostates. And it has its own sacred texts, priests and prophets. Secular humanism was long considered to be a religion, with many secular humanists proudly affirming this. For example, John Dewey, in his 1934 book, A Common Faith, spoke of a “humanistic religion”. He wrote:

Read here


Related Posts


Share This