The Apostle Paul stood in Athens, on Mars Hill, and told them how he perceived in all things they were very superstitious. Passing through, he even found an altar inscribed “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.”
Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” So Paul departed from among them.
The word “superstitious” is also translated from the original Greek as “religious.” The word is δεισιδαίμων, ον, or “deisidaimonesteros” in an English transliteration. The word does not mean an adherent to an organized religion, or God-fearing in the sense of how Israel worshipped the God of Abraham. It means a sincerely held belief in a force, or deity–a superstitious fear.
Superstitious fears have no rational basis in fact supporting them. They don’t comport with current reality. Today, we see this superstitious fear all over America, but especially in the remarkable statements and attitudes proceeding from the political left–the antipode to the Christian right–whose particular superstition holds that anything Christians do or think must be evil.
Therefore, regardless of the particular facts of what actually happens in the world, the superstitious left believes that Christians are on the wrong side of it. When a radical Muslim, who likely never attended a single church service in his life, never mind studied the New Testament or evangelical Christian doctrine, murdered 49 at a gay night club, this cannot be worse than Christians opposing the LGBT lifestyle.
So when San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor prayed for victims of the Orlando shooting, she was booed. Not because her prayers were insincere, but because she was a Christian praying for people whose lifestyles are considered unBiblical. They held signs reading “You can’t use your religion to oppress us and then your your prayers to console us.”
Those who booed fail to recognize the distinction that a Christian can hold an activity or lifestyle as counter to Biblical teaching, and in fact leading to eternal punishment, but also lament the loss of those very people’s lives and pray for the comfort of their families and friends.
This kind of sentiment, brashly put by Jonah Goldberg, represents a failure of intelligence to “recognize and acknowledge [emphasis his] such meaningful distinctions. Idiots, knaves, fools, liars, activists, and a wide variety of narcissists ignore or deny such distinctions.” What Goldberg called “narcissism,” borrowing from Orwell, the Apostle Paul called superstition.
It’s notable that both Orwell, who was skeptical of Christianity yet considered himself outwardly pious (“It seems rather mean to go to Holy Communion when one doesn’t believe, but I have passed myself off for pious & there is nothing for it but to keep up with the deception.”), and Paul, the most prolific and learned of the Apostles, would arrive at the same point. Ignoring the distinction that Christians, and especially Christian leaders (minus a few jackasses who gain disproportionate attention) do not call for the systematic murder of gays, while Muslim leaders in fact do, is pure superstition.
Therefore these people, who fear the unknown god, and subscribe to one of many others that elevate various human traits and life experiences above others (beauty, virility, sexual prowess, youth, power, money, pleasure, strength, speed, alcohol, and sublimity being just a few), must attribute the failure of those gods as the fault of Christians (or Jews). When gay youth commit suicide, it must be the fault of Christians telling them their desires are wrong.
When gay youth in Israel, which has one of the most welcoming cultures for LGBT (certainly light years apart from all of its neighbors within 500 miles), have a suicide attempt rate 112 percent higher than the general population, it must be the fault of Jews and Christians. The superstitious focus on the fact that religious youths have an even higher suicide rate.
Is there mere existence of Christianity and Judaism the cause of their despair? If that’s true, then the mere existence of Islam would be a million times more devastating. Goldberg wrote:
Because of the internal fantasy-logic of this story, Muslims must be considered equal partners in the Coalition of the Oppressed. This is why the “pinkwashing” of Israel makes so many leftists angry; it arouses the agony of cognitive dissonance.
There is no logic in superstition. The same people who accuse Christians of believing in “myths and fairy tales” because of the cross, and the doctrine that Jesus rose from the dead, harbor their own religious, and inviolable beliefs.
Yet Christianity alone is rooted firmly in today’s human experience by one stunning and irrefutable principle which transcends mere superstition and belief in arbitrary rules and penetrates the heart.
Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
There is no other worldview in which those caught directly in prohibited behavior, in which no tolerance is allowed, can escape inevitable judgment. While liberal superstition must boo Christians who pray for gays, because there is no possible way in their construct that intelligence can sanction what is forbidden, Jesus offered the ultimate social justice. “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
Christ followers cannot throw stones and condemn anyone for their own sin. Those who claim the name of Christ and take up stones are liars (1 John 1:8). The logic is perfect and inviolable. It fits the facts and serves as witness in the world.
When faced with death and murderers, as I wrote before, the LGBT community will find no greater friend than true Christians. When the gods of this world fail; and when darkness falls; when light does not penetrate; when love grows cold, there is only One who offers the light of life. There is only One whose followers gladly suffer their own murder all over the world for the cause of love–not wearing a suicide vest, because He hears our prayers.
Even if many on the left don’t believe in Jesus Christ (in favor of their own superstitions), they should at least take those who do seriously, not for their own words, but for the words of the One they follow.