Every philosophy, or belief system, has a person or a people, who have introduced it to the world--I call those people the Founding Fathers (or Mothers). Liberalism is a complex philosophy which has both Founding Fathers and Mothers. It is vital that Christians understand that liberalism does not originate with God(1Tim4:1), which is why the Holy Spirit has charged me to expose its evil(Eph5:11). Jesus said, “…when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Lu18:8). Liberalism is one of the primary philosophies(Col2:8) destroying the faith of Christians!
Last week I introduced Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 -1527). My second Founding Father is Rene Descartes(1596-1650), affectionately known as the father of modern philosophy. My first recollection of Mr Descartes was in a philosophy class as a freshman at Georgetown University. My professor had a terrible foreign accent, and the class was horribly boring, for I had no interest in he, nor philosophy! But….I certainly have an interest now!!
In ‘Discourse of the Method’, Descartes writes, “I thought it necessary that I reject as absolutely false everything in which I could imagine the least doubt, so as to see whether, after this process, anything in my set of beliefs remains that is entirely indubitable.” What does all this mean? Very simply, Descartes encourages us to “doubt everything”. In other words, if you can imagine doubt about a thing, reject it!
First, the “doubt everything” philosophy serves-up a real problem for the Christian*. The Greek word for ‘faith’ is pistus, and simply means ‘belief’. Jesus said, “Have faith in God!”(Mk11:22). The same Bible also says, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom14:23). Therefore, doubt leads directly to the sin of unbelief—the very opposite of faith. I repeat, doubt is the opposite of faith. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Therefore, it is not possible to follow Descartes’ philosophy, and retain the Word of God!
Second, Descartes’ philosophy not only leads to a rejection of the Biblical text, it also leads to a rejection of the laws of nature. For example, Descartes encourages a rejection of anything one can “imagine the least doubt”. Well, I certainly can “imagine” at least a ‘little’ doubt in nature’s law of gravity. Yet, to jump off a 50-story building, does not make gravity false. On the contrary, the one who doubts, and then rejects gravity, and then tries the jump, will quickly find-out the false ‘reality’ of Descartes’ philosophy!
To extrapolate Descartes’ philosophy to its logical conclusion, one becomes a god, self-determining good and evil! In other words, because ‘I’ have doubt about a thing, it must not be true! Or, because ‘I’ have a certainty about a thing, it must be true? Sounds familiar(Gen3)? At its core, Descartes’ philosophy is nothing more than relativism! Remember, relativism, along with liberalism, are both doctrines of atheism.
Finally, Descartes most famous doctrine, and what made him the father of modern philosophy, is “I think, therefore I am.” Just think about that statement for a moment. Basic knowledge of the English language informs us that “am” is the verb of being, or existence. Therefore, just the opposite of Descartes statement is true--one must exist, before one can think! Or, I am, therefore I think is more appropriate.
All kinds of things exist that do not think! For example, bacteria. There is much more bacterium on earth than people, yet they have no mind, they are not self-aware! Furthermore, is a tree alive? Yes. Does a plant exist? Yes. Do they think? No!! Probably, the greatest example of existence without thinking, and contrary to Descartes….is humans! We humans are known for acting without thinking—yet we still exist (Excuse my sarcasm)!! Roman philosopher, Cicero said, “There is nothing so absurd that it can’t be said by a philosopher.” An appropriate addition to Cicero’s statement would be “a liberal philosopher”.
Some of you familiar with Descartes will disagree with my conclusions because he created a famous proof for the existence of God! Descartes says because he can think of a being more perfect than himself—than God exists. Therefore, you argue—he is not an atheist!
Of course, Descartes’ argument for the existence of God is absurd. In reality, it is the babbling of an egotist--which is actually the doctrine of atheism, not the God of the Bible, who is the only God(Is43:10,11). How, you may ask? If Descartes can imagine God to be, than he (or another) can also imagine Him not to be—which is what atheists (and liberals) do, and the reason Descartes’ supposed proof for the existence of God is actually cloaked atheism…and not Bible! In other words, like Descartes, atheism (and liberalism) determines god according to their feelings. In even better words, God cannot be caused by our thinking, nor our will; nor can He be made non-existent by our thinking, nor our will! Simply, God is self-existent(Ex3:14), Who is only known to man because He sovereignly chooses to reveal Himself!
In conclusion, thinking occurs along two paths. First, revelation. God reveals thoughts to man about Himself (Eph1:17,18). Second, man thinks according to reality**, also known as the creation. Therefore, ‘rational’ thinking must conform to either what God says(Bible), or to what we experience in reality(creation). Thinking according to reality is used in what scientists refer to as the scientific method: observation and experimentation.
What does all this mean…for TODAY? One example of Descartes philosophy in contemporary society is the liberal invention ‘sexual orientation’. Today, a man can simply decide to be a woman by saying it. Yet, this is a clear violation of thinking according to reality! Or, it is a clear violation of thinking according to the creation! Gender is sovereignly determined…even down to the cell level: men are xy chromosomes; and woman are xx…no human can simply decide that! As a matter of fact, science can’t even change that fact through operations…much less a person by saying it! On the contrary, to believe man can simply decide to change reality, is to replace God with man…also known as idolatry and blasphemy!! Yet, these sins are exactly the intent of atheism through its doctrines of liberalism and relativism!
I urge you to stand on God’s word…it cannot fail: “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven (Ps119:89).
*And for all human beings, for that matter---‘faith’ is foundational to humanity!
**Thinking according to reality was originally designed to exist through God’s revelation too. However, after the fall, man can also receive understanding of reality from either self or Satan.
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. – Sir Winston Churchill