Four Horsemen

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, January 31, 2018 0 comments

by David Odegard

There is a reason that the West is suffering under such despair and Darwin, Freud, Nietzsche, and Marx are the articulators of that suffering. Or as the youth pastor at our church has named them, the four horsemen. These four men are responsible not for causing the shift in thinking, but for justifying the shift philosophically.

Darwin’s theory of evolution was a way to expel God from His creation. It never was a theory to explain the origin of life, but rather to explain the diversity of creatures. Darwinism explains existing matter only, but it does not answer where matter came from originally. Furthermore, Darwin wanted to explain the natural world without reference to God; it has come to be known as naturalism or philosophical materialism.

Christianity recognizes that God made the world. The present fallen state is a reflection of sinful persons; it reflects a world that has gone astray from the love of God and way of life as intended by its Maker. The wreckage of humanity washes up on God’s pristine shore. He did not cause it, but He sends Jesus to clean it up.

Freud sought to apply naturalism to the human being. If we evolved slowly over time, that would mean our psychology was vastly different than the ancients knew. Rather than having a soul made in the image of God, human beings had a psychology which was animalistic and vicious. Freud’s explanation of humanity isn’t altogether unrecognizable. Human beings are savage sinners. Even though we know better, we still behave like animals. Freud’s answer is that we are animals. He then builds his psychological theory based on philosophical materialism.

Christianity recognizes that we may act like animals, but it is because we are out of sync with our identity as God’s image bearers. That sin has infected the human race and we are shivering with its fever still. The sickness is unto death, but God sends His son, Jesus, to heal the sick and raise the dead.

Marx sought to expel God from the state. In the absence of a God to order the world, people must turn to the next most powerful thing: the state. But a state that has no accountability to a good God morphs into a monster of the “vilest mien, to be hated needs but to be seen. But seen to oft, familiar with face, first we endure, then pity, then embrace.” Marxism has killed more people than anything. Marxism fueled the states of Chairman Mao, Lenin and Stalin, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, and filled the mass graves of those who disagreed with an all-powerful state. Marxism replaced God with the state and demanded worship. Babylon. Head of gold.

Christianity recognizes that power belongs rightfully to the good God. He alone can order and sustain the universe. Peace doesn’t come through force; it comes through transformation by the Son of God. All peoples of the earth gather together and take their stand against the Lord and against His only Son. They build in their own pride and shake their fists at God and say, “Never will you extract from us our pride—we will go down to the depths unsubmitted.” But God sends His Son, Jesus, as the stone that strikes down all the governments of the world—grinding them to powder. But He Himself is the stone not cut out by human hands which will fill all the world with God’s good governance. And all the righteous shall rejoice under His rule and reign.

Nietzsche rejoiced in the idea that God is dead. Not because he ever believed in God, but because he was glad the world was not engaged in a grand fiction. Now we could get on with real life—life in this life rather than the one to come. He advocated for expelling God from everything. But as I wrote last week, since Nietzsche believed there was no God for us to be an image of, he saw an opportunity to make ourselves into any image we pleased. He believed that the superman would assert himself in spite of what weaklings saw as moral. Hitler loved this idea.

Nietzsche believed that humans craved power and that they were free to grasp all of it they could swallow since God was dead. One must first kill the policeman living inside and then grasp power. Can you see Hitler? Can you see every strongman, every mafia boss? Might makes right. Power is its own reward. He sees the exploitation of others as the key to successful living. He says in On the Genealogy of Morality, “It is just as absurd to ask strength not to express itself as strength, not to be a desire to overthrow, crush, become master, [not] to be a thirst for enemies, resistance and triumphs, as it is to ask weakness to express itself as strength” (sec. 13, pg. 8). As one writer (Douglas Blount) put it, “by successfully exerting one’s will to power, one may for a time dominate one’s world, thus temporarily winning the cosmic equivalent of king of the hill. But to what end?”

But Christianity recognizes that there is a world after this one. One that makes right every wrong. One that balances every scale. One that rewards good and punishes evil. Jesus said, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

Christianity recognizes that we possess hideous strength to do harm and evil, but are weak to do good. We are fallen. Every monument that we have erected to the greatness of man has been built by forced labor, through manipulation or coercion. We are weak but our strongman, Jesus, comes to save us. It is because of God’s mercy, not our strength, that we are saved. By His gospel, not our virtue, we are saved. Heaven is only for those who admit their own weakness and receive the strength of Christ.


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