123 Handout 1 Millet

123 Handout 1 Millet - Divine Deterrent to Creeping...

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Divine Deterrent to Creeping Relativism Robert L. Millet, Dean of Religious Education The Apostle Paul prophesied of our day, and many of the elements of that prophecy are pathetically present in today = s newspaper. A This know also, @ he wrote, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness; but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. Perhaps as an indication of the source of the problem in our day, Paul concluded that such souls would be A ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth @ (2 Timothy 3:1-7). We live in the day of an information explosion, a time when raw knowledge is being processed and disseminated far faster than we can incorporate or inculcate. But we also live in a time of moral erosion, indicating clearly that our decency has not kept pace with our discoveries. As a world, and more particularly as a nation, we have drifted from our moral moorings, strayed from the faith of our fathers. That the decline in society is due to a moral decay is perhaps obvious to most of us. I desire, however, to take a step beyond that premise. I suggest that the lack of scriptural or theological literacy and the subsequent lack of doctrinal depth are at the heart of our problem. Very often what we believe and know affect what we do. I suggest that when men and women comprehend the great plan of happiness B the plan of salvation, the gospel B many begin to see themselves within that plan as a vital part of God = s program. They then begin to govern their actions accordingly. The Erosion I would like now to discuss some key factors that have contributed to our doctrinal desensitization and thereby our moral decline. We could choose any number of things that have hacked away at the roots of our religious heritage, but I will focus on four: (1) the trivialization of religion; (2) the loss of a moral sense; (3) a denial of personal responsibility; and (4) stressing ethics over doctrine. In subsequent sections we will consider some solutions to our problem. 1. The Trivialization of Religion . Whereas a hundred years ago religion was central to the outlook of most Americans, we have in the last three decades become prey to a growing secularism, a worldview that seeks to make sense of life without reference to God or the divine. If there is no real purpose to life, no God, no system of salvation, no hope of a life beyond the grave, and no divine parameters by which to distinguish right from wrong B in short, if anything goes, then eventually everything goes. In the early 1960
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2011 for the course REL C 234 taught by Professor Dorius during the Winter '11 term at BYU.

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123 Handout 1 Millet - Divine Deterrent to Creeping...

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