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The Alex McFarland Show-23 The Rise of the "isms" and What You Can Do About It

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
September 22, 2022 5:00 pm

The Alex McFarland Show-23 The Rise of the "isms" and What You Can Do About It

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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September 22, 2022 5:00 pm

We live in a time where there is an abundance of ideologies and philosophies. From secularism and marxism, to naturalism and nihilism, Alex dives into the basics of what several of these “isms” believe. He also emphasizes the importance of Christians having a clear understanding of what they believe and why. To conclude the show, Alex lists 5 things that Christians can do to stand unwavering in the face of the immense uncertainty and chaos of the hour. 

Alex McFarland

The Assault on America 

The 10 Issues That Divide Christians 

Faith and Family Retreat (August 6-11, 2023)

The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask about Christianity 

alex@alexmcfarland.com

booking@alexmcfarland.com



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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show.

In Genesis 1-1, the Word of God reads very famously, quote, In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. Hi, Alex McFarland here. And I want to title this program, The Rise of the Isms and What You Can Do About It. The Rise of the Isms. We're living in a time of so many isms, as in ideologies like socialism, and collectivism, and relativism. And what I'm going to do is point out some of these, give some of the backstory of the isms, and give what I believe are several things that wise, prepared people should be doing amidst the rise of the isms. Because we are at really a cultural inflection point. I'm a student of history. In fact, I teach some of the colonial history that gave way to the rise of the American Revolution and ultimately the U.S. Constitution. And, you know, really, Britain, Europe, America, we are facing cataclysm if we don't have a spiritual and moral revival.

And I do pray for that, and I hope you do as well. And we are going to descend further and further into cultural anarchy if we don't have a move of God's Holy Spirit. Now, as I was preparing for this program, I was reading Sir Walter Scott. He was a writer who lived 1771 to 1832. He wrote Ivanhoe. Now, Ivanhoe was a classic work about the struggles between the Saxons and the Normans in the 1200s, and ultimately it would give way to the Britain that we know. And while I'm working on this, Queen Elizabeth II passed away, and her funeral, of course, was given international coverage on Monday, September 19th, 2022.

In fact, a lot of people don't know this, but there were theaters, both in Britain and America, where the live-streamed coverage of her funeral was run on movie screens. But it's interesting that you and I are living in times of history. I mean, do you know Queen Elizabeth II was a relative of King James I, who both were descendants of Henry VII, who was the first Tudor king? And it was King James I, of course, who convened the committee that ultimately would translate the Bible and give us the King James Version of the Bible.

Well, this is Queen Elizabeth II's family. And so we're living in times of history, and I honestly think that there's been such vehement struggle about Europe and America, because as has often been the case, Britain and Europe was called Christendom. And ultimately, folks, the work of the Gospel in Europe through the Middle Ages up to the time of the, well, the first colony in England, that was in 1607, England permanently established a colony in the New World in what we now call Virginia, and it was called Jamestown in the King's honor.

You know, and this was a big step in the spread of the Great Commission. And of course, America, at least America at her best, was an absolute juggernaut for the spread of the Gospel. But look, so many people today loathe America. So many people today, even while the Queen's funeral was going on, I mean, there were pundits in the news just trashing her life and legacy because of colonialism and just the spread of Britain, you know.

It's a terrible thing in the eyes of the left, because one of the isms we might talk about is globalism, which stands vehemently against the sovereignty of individual nations. But look, folks, ultimately what we're witnessing today, yes, it is a struggle of right versus wrong, national sovereignty versus being subjugated under the U.N., but what we're witnessing is a struggle against the spread of the Gospel, really. And you know, the Queen's funeral, which was so overtly, explicitly Christian, it was really a blessing to watch. And my heart was moved as the clergy, you know, they read from Revelation, Behold, I make all things new, and they read from the Gospel of John, and they called her a daughter of the King by virtue of her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

What a witness it was to the world, and I thought, you know, that was her family. So many years ago, in 1604, that King James the first of England convened a conference that authorized a new translation of the Bible. The Bible would be put into English, and 47 scholars, highly skilled in the ancient languages, worked, and it was finished in 1611, just 85 years, by the way, after the first translation of the New Testament into English had appeared, the Tyndale New Testament in 1526. But folks, when we talk in terms of, you know, four or five hundred years, that might sound like a long time, but in world history, it's not that long. You and I are living in historic times, and we really, we really should be mindful of where we are. The pilgrims came over here, and they brought the Gospel. Columbus previously had come here with his stated mission, quote, to bear the light of Christ to previously unknown heathen coastlands, end of quote.

Then America was birthed, and it was really, you know, during one of the great awakenings, the 1730s through 1760s under Jonathan Edwards, and revival came, and ultimately the colonists would be emboldened to carry out the revolution, and churches sprung up, and the Gospel spread across this continent, and then the Gospel was taken very often with American personnel and American resources, the Gospel has been taken to the very ends of the earth. So we're living in a time, though, when there are a lot of isms. And listen, folks, from liberal scholarship to secular humanism, believing not that God is the ultimate standard by which we see reality, but man is the measure, like Protagoras, the ancient Greek secular philosopher would believe that man is the measure of all things. And we're living in a time when it is the armies of man and the world and a secular humanistic philosophy versus the revelation of God.

These are the isms currently at clash with each other, and we humans stand in the years. So let's talk about another ism that characterizes the noise of the times in which we live, and that's really reductionism. Now what am I talking about, the word reductionism?

To reduce or minimize or really caricature something. When somebody says, well, you know, Christians are nothing but dreamers with some pie-in-the-sky sugar daddy. Well, no, Christians believe in God, the God who has revealed himself, the God who gave the Bible, the God who sent his son and raised him from the dead. Reductionism disregards the facts, and reductionism is a caricature of a position. Now, reductionism may be accurate, actually.

You know, so I said, politicians are nothing but people who lie to get elected, and then they live off of the public dole. Well, in some cases that's true. But for those of us that love God and country, sometimes we are the victims of reductionistic fallacies and accusations, and sometimes these accusations even come from Christians and clergy.

For instance, let me give you an example. If you talk about loving America, we need to stand up for America. Well, there are accusations of nationalism, Christian nationalism. And they'll say, oh, if you supported President Donald Trump, you're a Christian nationalist. And you know what's so sad is even liberal preachers accuse those of us who are patriotic of being Christian nationalists, as if in caring about the future of the United States, you've somehow betrayed your fidelity to the Savior. Well, that's not accurate at all.

Now, is it possible to make the state an idol? Yes, that's precisely what liberals do. But when those of us who care about moral truth, and we care about our Judeo-Christian constitution that has given us a free, safe, prosperous, stable America, by which, yes, money can be earned, people that are gainfully employed can tithe, we can support the Great Commission. It's not helpful at all when left-leaning preachers, many preachers are left-leaning and they don't even know it because they're just not exceptionally precise thinkers.

And they accuse people of being nationalistic or exclusivistic or capitalistic. Well, look, the gospel is free, but it takes resources to deliver that free message of salvation. Now, when we come back, we've got to take a brief break. We're going to talk about some more isms, how Genesis 1.1 refutes all of the world's major isms and what you and I might do, and in fact, I would say must do to be prepared for the days ahead.

Don't go away. We're coming back right after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years, our nation has suffered greatly and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, how to defend our nation before it's too late.

You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed and they've got a vested interest in power and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country that they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America. We can stand up for our great nation and defend America before it's too late.

It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is alexmcfarland.com. Read the book, The Assault on America, how to defend our nation before it's too late. It's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.

Alex McFarland here. So honored that you're listening to the program. By the way, if some of this, you know, kind of the worldview, insight and understanding into the battles of worldview that we currently face, let me refer you to a couple of my books, if I may. One is called The Assault on America, how to defend our nation before it's too late. It came out a little over a year ago, published by Harrison House Publishers of Pennsylvania. It's a really good book to give some backstory about the battles that we face. And really, if you listen to this program much, you've heard me talk about the most important subject no one is talking about, which is natural law. The other book that I want to recommend that the Lord has allowed me to write is called Ten Issues that Divide Christians.

Ten Issues that Divide Christians. It's published by Bethany House. And there are more than 200 footnotes. It's probably my most meticulously referenced book. I talk about what is American exceptionalism, morality, why you ought to care about these things.

And all of my books are available online. But let's go back to the opening verse, Genesis 1-1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Now think about some of the big isms that characterize our times. Atheism says there is no God. Agnosticism says that we can't know God. Polytheism says there are many gods. Pantheism says that nature is God.

You know, God is all and all that you see around is God. Genesis 1-1 refutes these things. Materialism says that matter is eternal. Naturalism says there's no supernatural origin in the universe.

Relativism, there's no ultimate truth. Well, Genesis 1-1 refutes all of these things. Now it's little wonder that the skeptics and the liberals have done so much to fight against the literal truth of Genesis. And by the way, for the record, I want to say that I believe the book of Genesis.

I believe what God said, that in six days He created the heavens and the earth, He rested on the seventh day. You know, because the movement of the solar system is so integral to reality. And by the way, how we record time.

Chronos is the Greek word from which we get our word chronology. The solar system moves and we mark time. I'm 58 years old and sometimes people ask me, they'll say, you know, does it bother you that you're nearing 60? No, it doesn't, because really age is only a measurement of how many times you've ridden around the sun. You know, I agree with Augustine. Augustine said the soul doesn't age.

So I've taken 58 rides around the sun, you know, big deal. The real you, the soul most properly said the spirit doesn't age. You are in the eternal now, but we live in this world. And you know, when God spoke reality into existence, you know, time, space, matter, it's all woven together. And Genesis, yes, I believe it. God created in six days, rested on the seventh.

I believe the flood of Noah and everything that the word of God says about our origin, purpose and destiny. You know, God was an eyewitness to the creation moment. Charles Darwin was not. The atheists, the evolutionists were not. So I take God's word for what is the creation account, our cosmology.

I believe what God says. And you look at all these major isms, atheism, agnosticism, polytheism, pantheism. And by the way, there's another ism while we're drilling down deeply into philosophy, if we indeed are. Panentheism. Now pan, P-A-N-T-H-E-I-S-M, pantheism says that everything is God and we are not pantheists. We are theists.

We believe in God and we believe that there's a creation and a creator. You know, there's another ism. Only unbelieving academics can come up with so many nuances about their unbelief. But P-A-N-E-N-T-H-E-I-S-M, panentheism.

You don't hear too much about this anymore, but you probably would be wise to be aware of it. Panentheism says that God is becoming. God has a potential pole and an actual pole.

Sometimes it's called bipolar theism. That it's not so much that God is, but that God will be. Now we know this is completely not the presentation of the living God that we find in the Bible. But it says that God is in matter, but God is becoming what he's ultimately going to be.

We reject that. And so when we read Genesis 1-1, that in the beginning God created. Well, there's a beginning, there's a point where the physical world was called into existence.

There's a cause of the physical world. God the creator, the Almighty. He created. That speaks of will and intentionality that God chose to create.

He didn't have to. And part of that creation ultimately would involve you. And you can know this God who created the heavens and the earth. So many isms are shut down right there in the first verse of the Bible. Now you and I are living in a time of ideologies and philosophies. Inclusivism. Now we are very often accused of being exclusive and exclusionary. And inclusivism basically, you know, is a card that's played whenever those of us who believe in truth and morality, whenever we try to affirm something is right and critique something else is wrong. Well, you're not being inclusive.

That's right. Because some things are moral. Some things are immoral. Some things are true.

Conversely, some things are false. Some things are morally right. Some things are morally wrong.

So what is morality? Well, as Augustine said, who live 354 to 430, the things that are moral and just are things that comport with the nature and character of God. For instance, Augustine would say that a law is just when it comports with the existence of God and the revealed nature of God's character.

Now he would say that the characteristics of a just ruler is that they make laws that harmonize with God's nature and God's real truth. But also things are just when they are done in the best interest of the citizen, especially the citizens who pay the taxes and elect the leaders. Therefore, some of the great thinkers of time, not the least of whom is Saint Augustine, would say that we're currently living under unjust laws, open borders, allowing known terrorists in, confiscating people's earnings and redistributing wealth. And the people's voice is not heard and there is no recourse. And the citizen is not cared for by the government.

And yet the citizen is forced to pay for the government that jeopardizes their security and their livelihood. They would say, Christian and non-Christian thinkers would say that is unjust. So many of the isms that we find ourselves subjected to not only are not in step with what we know is real and true and good, but are in fact false, inaccurate, unjust, and evil.

Revisionism, collectivism, socialism, not true, not beneficial, not just. Now when we come back we're going to conclude, we're going to talk about what we can do, what I think we should do, in a world of isms, and we'll talk about some of the things that really are good and true and real, and how we can amend our lives accordingly when we come back. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Christian author and speaker Alex McFarland is an advocate for Christian apologetics. Working in more than 2,200 churches around the world, schools, and college campuses, Alex is driven by a desire to help people grow in relationship with God. He arms his audiences with the tools they need to defend their faith, while also empowering the unchurched to find out the truth for themselves. In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex is a sound voice who speaks timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way.

With 18 published books to his name, it's no surprise that CNN, Fox, the Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets have described Alex as a religion and culture expert. To learn more about Alex and to book him as a speaker at your next event, visit alexmcfarland.com or you can contact us directly by emailing booking at alexmcfarland.com. What are you doing next summer?

Hey, how about this? I want to invite you to join me in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, August 6th through 11th, 2023, for the Faith and Family Retreat. It's going to be awesome. We'll talk about foundational things. What does it mean to be a disciple?

How can you defend your faith? Family time, concerts, a renewal of wedding vows. It's going to be great. Then fun, a trip to Dollywood.

Who wouldn't like that? And then faith in action. There'll be a mission outreach, talking to people about Christ. So again, August 6th through 11th, 2023, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Go to faithandfamilyretreat.com. I hope to see you there. Welcome back to the program.

Alex McFarland here. We're talking about the isms overtaking our times and what you can do about them. In this closing segment, I'm going to give you five things to keep in mind as we live in the battle of ideologies. We've talked about history and how the pilgrims came over here for religious freedom, and then America really became a gospel light to the world because we were based on gospel principles from our founding. The 1776 Declaration of Independence says we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

Creation, not evolution, endowed by their creator, and that's a capital C, with certain inalienable rights. Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. Our rights come from God, and the role of government was to guard the rights given by God. You know, Mark Twain even talked about the need for Christian ethics in politics. Mark Twain once said, quote, the American Christian is a straight and clean and honest man. And he talks about Christian private morals, but how in politics and in the lives of our elected officials, said Mark Twain, we need Christian public morals.

And Mark Twain was certainly no believer. But Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson, prime writer of the Declaration of Independence, and even the late Christopher Hitchens, who I knew in his biography of Thomas Jefferson, Hitchens noted that Jefferson believed in Christian principles being infused in our government and our public life. And Jefferson asked the rhetorical question, God who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation remain secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?

And of course the answer is no, they can't. So we've lived in the time of isms, secularism, naturalism, globalism, collectivism, which really is code speak for socialism, Marxism, and ultimately communism. We lived in a time of our history undergoing revisionism, and people living as hedonist, hedonism.

That's just the pursuit of pleasure. You know, some years ago, there was a book called The Closing of the American Mind, very famous book. And in The Closing of the American Mind, the writer says, what's wrong with American higher education is that it departed from quote, absolute truth, absolute morals, and the Bible as God's revelation.

And that's completely true. Now, Anthony Cronman wrote in 2007, education's end, end. And the subtitle is why our colleges and universities have given up on the meaning of life. And the philosophy, and I know because I'm in front of young people virtually every weekend of the year, and there's this hopelessness and this directionlessness. And what's so sad is so many of the woke youth pastors and preachers, they love to slam on America. I'm talking Christians in ministry. And our youth more than ever, oh my goodness, they need to know Jesus.

They need to know the proof and the compelling evidences for God and Christianity. But they also need patriotism. They should love this country. No nation in world history has done more to liberate people and bless people and give the opportunity for success and even the creation of wealth. No nation has so blessed our planet technologically.

And all of the conveniences of modern life that we so take for granted, they came out of America. And as I've said so many times, Pulitzer nominated sociologist and historian Rodney Stark says all of this came about because of, quote, the iron Protestant work ethic. And yet, like Anthony Cronman said in Education's End, that we are in the age of nihilism. And he says it means this, quote, the rejection of all distinctions in moral or religious value and a willingness to repudiate all previous theories of morality or religious belief. Okay, repudiate, in other words, religious values, bad. Belief, moral boundaries, bad. And we reject any distinctions. There's no good or bad. There's no right or wrong. There's just nothingness.

From the Latin word for nothing, nihilism is a philosophy of nothingness. And so it's little wonder that people feel aimless and lost. Now the response, what do we do? What do we do? How do we prepare for this battle of isms? I want to give you five words.

Three, start with the letter S and two with the letter C. Now they all sound the same phonically, but they're different. But here are the words to keep in mind. Salvation, stewardship, solvency, churchmanship, and citizenship. Okay, salvation. In these perilous times, know that you have the Lord in your life. And if you need help with that, we can help you as we've done tens of thousands of people.

Go to my website, alexmcfarland.com, and look at the tab, What Does God Say About My Relationship With Him? And if you need the Lord, we can help you know where you stand with Jesus Christ. And so salvation, know that you're saved. And then stewardship. Understand, Christian, that life is a proposition of not ownership, but stewardship. And really, under that heading, I would put sanctification.

Hopefully that you're living for Christ and understand as a believer that He is the Lord of all. And then solvency. Let me say, brothers and sisters, get out of debt.

Look, we don't know, even as I record this, they've just raised interest rates again, they're talking about a severe recession. As much as you can, you need to live within your means and save your money. And let me say, and this might sound counterintuitive, but you need to be a tither. More than ever, you need to honor God with your substance, tithes, and offerings. And that is a stewardship issue in itself. So salvation, stewardship, solvency.

And then finally, I would say these things. Churchmanship. More than ever, with storm clouds on the horizon, the body of Christ needs to band together. You need to be a part of a church so that you can give. Maybe you at some point might find yourself in need to receive, but there is power in the corporate prayers of God's people. We are to be a part of a church.

That's Hebrews 10.25. And then finally, citizenship. You need to vote. You need to influence others to vote.

You need to speak about politics from a Christian perspective. Now I mentioned Sir Walter Scott, who famously wrote in Lay of the Last Minstrel, you know, those famous words, breathe there a man so dead, who never to himself have said, this is my own, my native land, whose heart within him hath burned as his footsteps homeward turned. Listen, we need to within ourselves let that pulse beat out. Yeah, this is my own, my native land.

You're right. I love America. This is home. We pray for it. We'll fight for it.

We'll be patriotic. And let me say, pastors and Christian leaders, get some conviction and courage and tell your people to love America. Look, I've traveled to much of this world.

I can tell you this is the greatest place in the world. And we were built, nurtured, and righted by people who believed that first verse of the Bible, in the beginning God created the heavens and earth. Now the militant secularists, they've done a lot to try to undermine and damage this country, and we see the results of that all around us.

But we understand what our nation is about, where we came from, and you may ask yourself, how can we get it back? By prayer, by living for Christ, by interceding, by being a voice and a force, salvation, stewardship, solvency, citizenship, churchmanship. Let these values be the priority in your life. And I'm praying for you. I thank you for your prayers and support for what we're doing.

You can find us online at alexmcfarland.com. Our campus clubs are growing, viral truth clubs, events, publishing, and broadcasting. Folks, we're in it to win it. We've got to save a nation. Let's link arms and let's do that.

Thank you for standing with us and for God and country, we'll stand together. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at alexmcfarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, PO Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404, or by calling 1-877-Yes-God-1.

That's 1-877-Yes-God-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show. Over the last several decades, it's been my joy to travel the world talking with children, teens, adults, people of all ages about the questions they have related to God, the Bible, Christianity, and how to know Jesus personally.

Hi, Alex McFarland. I want to make you aware of my book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity. You know, we interviewed hundreds of children and parents and families to find out the questions that children and people of all ages are longing to find answers for. In the book, we've got practical, biblical, real-life answers that they have about how to be a Christian in this modern world. My book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask, you can find it wherever you buy books or at resources.afa.net.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-11 11:41:46 / 2022-11-11 11:54:36 / 13

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