TITLE: Utopian Hope Robbers
By Glenn A. Hascall
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Utopian Hope Robbers
Glenn A. Hascall
Sometimes you come across a philosophy so intriguing you just have to go on a long journey to uncover its meaning and foundation. Such is the case with the belief system of hylotheism, a phillospohy that says God does not exist apart from matter. Matter becomes divine to a hylotheist.
Matter is a term applied to anything that occupies space and contains the elements of gravity. In recent scientific history, matter and energy have become parallel concepts because scientists have effectively demonstrated the ability of matter to become energy and for energy to become matter.
Ludwig Feuerbach, in the 19th century, stated that the existence of religion is justifiable only in that it satisfies a psychological need; a person's essential preoccupation is with self, and the worship of God is actually the worship of an idealized self.
Why? Because we are matter and energy. If this is true, we must -- by default -- assume that we are God or, at the very least, a part of some cosmic life force that defines divinity. Feuebach’s thinking paved the way for socialism to come center stage. Part of his conclusion was that people and their material needs should be the foundation of social and political thought.
Socialism demands state ownership and control of the fundamental and primary means of production and distribution of wealth. If you could redistribute wealth and provide jobs for the masses then the existing matter and energy might have greater effect. If used to its full ability, then God is powerful.
If we can subjugate God and instill the idea that collectively we are God, then the groundwork is laid for either a utopian dream or anarchy from those who do not subscribe to this grand enlightenment.
Let’s look at it this again: Hylotheism is a philosophy that propagates the notion that all matter is divine, this matter and/or energy is to be honored and revered, and to facilitate the best use of this matter we must work to manipulate circumstances so that all mankind receives equal benefits.
The motivation for doing good is not always to better mankind, but to guard matter and energy for either divine purposes or to extend political power for a select few who subscribe to the socialist model.
There, of course, is no mention of how one communicates with this god who only seems to exist by our efforts to protect matter and energy. I suppose if we are all divine, we should be able to access the god within us.
The most telling part of this philosophy is that it relies exclusively on mankind’s ability to provide the divine with an outlet, as if God is powerless without us. Isn’t this a classic case of the created asking the Creator to pay them homage?
As Christians, we have been taught that God alone deserves our praise and honor. He alone created everything our senses enjoy. He doesn’t ask us for permission to send the sun out each morning, He doesn’t ask us what ingredients to use to make dust, He doesn’t ask permission to give oranges their own unique taste, yet learned men and women find ways to deny that God exists or to twist the truth to the point where it is mankind, not a Creator, that is responsible for all that we enjoy.
Is it any wonder that evolution is the theory of choice when it comes to the origins of our earth? If matter and energy are God, then it stands to reason that this god would discard flaws and failings in favor of new and improved features. Right? I do wonder, however, why God would take so many millions of years, as the scientists claim, to make those changes.
The rampant pace with which we see subjective truth overtaking the world's thinking seems fully compatible with hylotheistic thought as well. If we are God, then how can we be wrong?
If we adopt a line of thinking that removes the stigma of man as a fallen race and say that there is no penalty for our sin, then we have robbed ourselves of hope.
Matter, in the form of humanity, has always returned to dust. How, then, can a being subject to a law of limited physical existence be considered divine? This question holds even greater merit when placed against a nature bent toward disobedience.
If we can take a hard look at ourselves, we can see that all of our best efforts will fail in the end. We need something from outside of us to connect us to the Divine. That connection was made possible through Jesus Christ. In Him we find all a hylotheist merely hopes to be true.
Hylotheism is just one of many philosophies that seek to deny God or elevate man to the status of God. In the end, He is not surprised by their guesses. We are told in Romans, “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man… who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…" (Romans 1:22,23,25 – NKJV)
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