You shall love the Lord, you God, with your entire soul, heart, and mind
October 27, 2021 (Edward J. Barr) – The aggressive pace of atheistic modernity to replace the worship of God with the cult of Man has moved into high gear. Like the original Tower of Babel where Man tried to reach heaven and its eternity, modern scientists believe that they can remake Man into an immortal being. In this construct, man decides what he is his based on his own imagination. totally devoid of God’s design of Man. Religion, especially Christianity, has been relegated to a private practice increasingly excluded from any impact, or participation in the public square. Multiple polls show the rise of atheism and satanism at the expense of Christianity. Reality has not fared well in its battle against relativism.
In the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:2-6), which will be read at Mass this weekend (34th Sunday in Ordinary time), Israel was given the prescription for gaining eternal joy. By loving the Lord above all else, with every part of one’s being, man can fulfill who he truly is, a son or daughter of God. Jesus gave the perfect example of the selfless love that all should seek when he willingly offered himself on the cross. In his humanity he experienced many challenges that we all face, yet in the end emphasized “thy will be done” when praying to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. His kenosis, the selfless outpouring of love for mankind, is offered to all who faithfully follow Him.
The modernist Shema makes a mockery of the Deuteronomic guidance. Its mantra is “You shall love yourself with your entire heart and mind.” There is no recognition of the soul in a materialistic world, other than treating it as a heart-like feeling. As the Shema is turned upside down, so is the perception of the human person. Christians know that we are made in the image and likeness of God. We are granted an intellect through the generosity of our Creator. A similarity, infinitesimally weak in comparison, to the perfect intellect of God. The intellect allows us to inform our will, so that we will choose the good. If we have a properly formed conscience the will can guide our emotions. Intellect, will, then emotions is the order of rational man. Such order is in short supply today.
The modern world embraces concupiscence and places emotions at the pinnacle of human “reasoning.” Everything focuses on pleasure, power and possessions. The extent of this insanity is seen throughout society. Food is no longer something to provide nutrients and keep us alive. It is a pseudo-religion. Adherents of the faith center their lives on acquiring unique culinary experiences, spending on one meal enough money to feed a soup kitchen for a week. The raw power of Mixed Martial Arts fighting captivates consumers to spend over a billion dollars a year. That number is dwarfed by the power money provides the barons of Wall Street, where the phrase “the house always wins” rings true. Our consumer society bombards us with advertisements that try to convince us that material things are what brings happiness. The one who has the most toys, wins. Yet, what do they win?
Most every study of happiness demonstrates the bankruptcy of the modern message. Those most happy are those who go to religious services. They have lower incidents of mental illness and addictions. They are more optimistic and understanding. They face challenges with positive attitudes. Despite this the masters of deception seek to hide and/or ignore the evidence. Why would they do this? Follow the money is one potential reason. Yet, it alone is not sufficient. For example, the movie industry repeatedly sees the success of religious and morally focused films, yet continues to provide primarily violent, sex-filled content to its audiences. Something is more powerful than money.
The reason is that the modernist Shema has been successful in imprinting the superiority of human emotions into the culture. For modernity the heart means the emotions. They inform the mind. There is no will that seeks the good, only the mind directing the will to follow the emotions. The complete inversion of God’s design leads to the complete inversion of reality. Insanity rules! The “pleasures” of sex are injected into every element of society. No one can escape the overt and subtle message that sex is the most important element of the human person. From hard core pornography to glorification of sexual sin in movies and TV shows, to the creation of new genders and personal pronouns, the message is clear. Everything is about sex. So, if a youngster is having emotional problems, it must be because of a sexual issue. Therefore, the problems aren’t caused by personal and societal stresses, they are manifest because he is really a girl inside, or she is really a boy. Secular studies that show the damage of sex changes are ignored, though Sweden and Finland have ended youth sex change programs based on the overwhelming evidence of the damage it does to children. When biological reality is disputed, more than just medical and psychological problems occur. There have already been cases where police haven’t been able to find criminals since they were looking for males and all the suspects were female. Except they weren’t. The truth of DNA was hidden by the falsity of the “sex” change.
The societal mental block of sin is also a component of the false Shema. Since all that matters is a person’s emotional happiness, there can be no sin. If I believe something is true, it is! How many times have you heard, “that’s your truth, not mine?” Christians know that Jesus is the “way, the truth, and the life.” Modernity says it is the individual. Having worked in the intelligence and law enforcement communities I like to watch shows outlining criminal investigations. Nearly all the murder cases involve individuals who were living a life of sexual sin. Watch some of these shows and you will see the truth that, “the wages of sin are death.” Of course, there is no mention of sin, or even the dangers of risky behavior. There is no personal accountability for actions, if those actions made you “feel good”, oh well.”
It makes sense that our society is becoming increasingly insane. Rampant relativism has seeped into all parts of our culture. Even positive Christian teachings have been twisted to support the Culture of Death. “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” “turn the other cheek,” and “just love” have been appropriated by those who seek to justify sin and extinguish God from the public square. They have been quite successful. The numbers of Americans who attend services and affiliate with Christianity continues to fall. Even the modernist religion of Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism identified by theologian Christian Pinckers is being weakened. When mankind disputes reality, the only result can be insanity. So, modernists truly believe that a biological male is a female. They really believe that there is no sin. They really believe that the there is no hell. The only reality is what I believe is real, for me. No two modern realities are the same.
God will only be mocked for so long. For how long, no one knows. The history of Israel shows that whenever she fell into idolatry, a day of reckoning would follow. The Western world has certainly fell into idolatry. The day or reckoning may be upon us. The Tower of Babel built upon the false Shema cannot reach heaven, no matter how hard modern man believes it can. Embracing the miracles of modernity may lead to your demise. We can remain steadfast in the teachings of Christ and his Church, or we can bow down to the false gods of scientism. “As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
Edward J Barr is a Catechist, an attorney, an intelligence officer, and a Marine. He earned a Master of Theology degree from the Augustine Institute. Mr. Barr is a contributing writer for the Roma Locuta Est blog (www.RomaLocutaEst.com)