"My heart I give Thee, Lord, eagerly and earnestly." - John Calvin
Monday, December 19, 2016
Jesus versus the Religion of Humanism
There is a myth that claims that the American government is, and is supposed to be, neutral regarding religion. The reason that is a myth is that the government doesn't play hands-off in religious matters. Rather, it actively promotes the religion of humanism. That is, government is actively hostile to religious people and their beliefs. "Hate speech" is the legal name for blasphemy against the doctrines of humanism.
Most people in America are somewhat familiar with the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, described in the second chapter of Daniel. It is described by the prophet in Daniel 2:31-35. It is a figure of a man, with a head of gold, torso and arms of silver, thighs of bronze, shins of iron, and feet of blended iron and clay. Then a stone smashes into the feet of the man, shattering the figure. Then the stone grows into a mountain that fills the entire earth. The dream is then interpreted in Daniel 2:36-45. That interpretation tells us that the head is Nebuchadnezzar himself, the king of Babylon. The other kingdoms have been variously identified, but I think that the probable succession is that the Medo-Persian empire is the kingdom of silver, the Alexandrian empire the kingdom of bronze, and the Romans were the kingdom of iron. Notice that the kingdoms descend in value, from gold to iron, while ascending in power, from hard iron to soft gold.
The stone that smashes the figure is identified as the kingdom of God in verse 44.
The statue is identified as an "image." What is the significance of that term? The Second Commandment (Exodus 20:4-5) says, "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of
anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or
that is in the water under the earth.
5You shall not bow down to them or serve them." That is to say, an "image" is not a piece of art, but rather an object of devotion. This particular image is of a man, thus representing the religious devotion to man as the standard of sovereignty. that is, the image represents, not a deity, but the religion of humanism.
What happens to the image? It is destroyed by a great stone, an asteroid, if you will, which is identified as the kingdom of God. And then the stone grows into a huge mountain which fills the whole world. Such a mountain is often used as an image of the kingdom of God, beginning with Mount Sinai and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. it is also used as the image of the triumphant kingdom of God in the other prophets, such as Isaiah 2:2-3, 25:6, Micah 4:1-2, and Zechariah 8:3.
This vision is a prophecy of the coming of the kingdom in Jesus Christ during the time of the Roman Empire. Though all of the humanist power of Rome, with the cooperation of the apostate Jews, was devoted to destroying the kingdom, it was Rome, instead, that was destroyed. And, ever since, the kingdom of God has been growing around the world, literally filling the earth. This is a prophecy of the victory of Jesus Christ over the humanist idol of sovereign Man.
My name is Chris Cole. I have lived in the Charlotte, NC, area for over thirty years, and have been an active Presbyterian during most of that time. I love the Westminster Confession of Faith as a beautiful expression of my own personal beliefs.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I prefer the English Standard Version of the Bible, and all quotations are from the ESV, unless otherwise stated.
I have a number of reviews of Reformed books on Amazon. There is a link to them in the Reformed links below.
"Seeing [that] the Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus, is so ready (never was there king so ready to hear a subject as Jesus is), [even] if thou wert the vilest body that goes, a thief, a harlot, etc., yet if thou wilt say this, 'Lord, remember on me, and give me a part of thy kingdom'; - if thou prayest to him from a penitent heart, with confidence and assurance, I promise unto thee, heaven and earth shall go [fall] together ere thou wantest [lack] thine asking. Seeing [that] our Lord Jesus is so liberal [free-giving], then seek more than enough, more than a kingdom, and thou shalt get more. The only cause why we want [lack] is in us: we have no hearts to seek it." - Rev. Robert Rollock, Scottish Presbyterian minister, about 1590, in a commentary on Luke 23:42-43