November 6, 2007

Utopian Idolatry

Pastor Mason Beecroft has posted a profound, tear-down-the-idols sermon for All Saints. An excerpt:

Humans possess a utopian impulse, believing that heaven on earth is only a powerful leader or idea away. We suspect that we can achieve salvation through an ideology; a discovery; or a demigod. The Marxists slaughtered over 100 million people in their desire to create heaven on earth. The Fascists annihilated tens of millions, drawing the entire world into war, in their search of the perfect society. Even today, Communists, Jihadists, Zionists, Socialists, Scientists, Capitalists, Fundamentalists—right and left and everything in-between—believe their way is the way to establish heaven on earth. These utopian apostles call for the end of everything that opposes their concept and construct of heaven. And then, and only then, will humans enjoy true peace, freedom, equality, and true joy. We can abort babies or euthanize the incapacitated because they infringe on our utopian ideals. We can hate, demean or slaughter others because they do not align with our construct of heaven. It is alright, of course, because we know best. Unfortunately, human history is filled with one foolish attempt after the next to create heaven on earth.

At another level, our consumer culture promises a slice of heaven with its own set of beatitudes. Blessed are those who live where there is a Starbucks on every corner. Blessed are those who are proud for they will be pleased with themselves. Blessed are those who make it to the top for they will be satisfied. Blessed are those who fulfill their lusts for they will be content. Blessed are those who drive the right car or wear the cool jeans for they are hip. Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in your own heaven on earth. Salvation in America consists of such things: the actualized self, an abundance of stuff, and good health.

You can read the whole sermon here.

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