Sat | Sep 23, 2017

The destruction of morality

Published:Friday | June 12, 2015 | 6:00 AM

"Don't preach to me!" That's the cry of the modern age.

I remember my days of lecturing at the University of the West Indies. I was told that it was not right to talk about God, right and wrong, good and evil. What mattered in literature was style, form, language. Morality was for the Church; spirituality for the pulpit.

Of course I disagreed but understood that there was falsehood involved. No great writer, no matter how clever he is, can be honest about truth and reality without questioning and seeking, battling with himself/ herself, struggling to find out about the origin and meaning of life.

However, we live in an age when it is in vogue to say there is no God. Atheism is rampant in our times. It is almost presumed among young people in the West that if you are an enlightened person that you do not believe in God. If you are not an atheist, you are considered unenlightened or even cowardly. But as the Psalmist says, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God'," (Psalm 14:1).

God is inconvenient in the minds of this generation. He gets in the way of what we want to do as people of the world. Prohibitions against worldly behaviour, greed, love of the world, love of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life get in the way of our appetites. 1 John 2:15 says, "Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father, but is from the world."

If we disregard God, or reject or scorn Him, He will ignore us. Nothing is sweeter and more fruitful than the love of God, and nothing is more terrible than to be separated from Him.

By nature, in the depths of our souls, there is a yearning for God. Nothing, no one, no object or quantity of objects can satisfy that longing within us. Everything is emptiness and pain without God.

Not the richest man, nor the most popular, nor the most accomplished of scientists, not the most powerful of men can be satisfied with who he is or what he has done. Finally, we are nothing before God, and everything is passing, including our lives and those around us.

Atheism gives way to materialism, whether it is practical atheism or theoretical atheism. Grab what you can; get what you can. Nothing is permanent; nothing lasts. All that matters is the moment, this transitory world and its pleasures.

In such a world there is individualism. All that matters is me, myself and I. There is nothing that is worth living for but my very self.

When everyone seeks only for himself or herself, truly "hell is other people," as Jean Paul Sartre says, the father of modern existentialism. Every man and everything is for the use and pleasure of the other.

In his book, The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis describes a population in London that is totally separated from one another, and in fact, everybody is an obstruction to one another. Everyone is waiting for a train to go somewhere, and that somewhere is hell.

 

a great divorce

 

What a terrible vision of today's world! No one is committed to anyone. There really is a great divorce: marriage is temporary; children are going their own way; culture is fractured; and we are also separated from God.

In our times, sex and sexual sensation is the sine qua non, next to water and food. You cannot do without it. It has replaced love - sacrificial love and service. Sex is the only intense sensation that is worthwhile and what humanity is capable of.

Live for that! There is nothing else. No wonder there is an increase in suicide. If you read the papers, watch TV or the Internet, that's what is to be expected and presumed for everybody - including the innocent children and the chaste man or woman. Take a look at the standard dress of women in images and photos.

Even today, the "rights people" are talking about children's rights to sex, let alone homosexual rights, lesbian and even sexual activity with animals. Well, it is back to Sodom and Gomorrah!

I pray for this evil and adulterous generation. "By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, who will repay everyone according to his works" (Romans 2:5-6a).