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July 18, 2020 1:00 am
Where do we find our moral framework? Where do we turn to for absolutes? On this week's Let My People Think, RZIM's Founder, the late Ravi Zacharias, takes a deep look at these questions as he gives a talk entitled "Living in Critical Times."
Examining national ministry has comes from your generous donation. I know more about running the horizon having party and the other students in this nation because the nation talked about the fact that there were not only no lights given to us that these were self. All of these moral statements are very critical to understand in the light of a moralistic culture in our time. I want nothing to do with God wants to do away with the God and how do we get on that behind all moral frame whack hello and welcome to let my riot is right in God will bring my leaving time. He's probably the seams that we cover on campuses are oftentimes given to us by people who invited us to what would be relevant and every can't handle the subject on and we let them know.
I don't think it is questionable at all, but that we are living in very very critical times and I don't mean this to be a political statement.
Although it's a slanted comment on it when I go overseas as we cover a lot of countries within about 10 days I'll be doing a few campuses in India and I have absolutely no doubt, several of them are going to come up to me and say what is going on in the American political arena as they watch the debates as they watch the vitriol as they watch all kinds of strong language being used and personal attacks being made rather than ideas being questioned and challenged. We recognize well that this is a time of crises on the global scene many years ago I was in Syria and I was guest of the chief of intelligence in Damascus. They always called me and whenever I arrived to remind me not to get into the political turmoil of that part of the world. Always give them my word, but I look to the chief of intelligence alone surrounded by the military brass and I said to him I don't get into the politics of the region, sir, but it would be very helpful to me if you can briefly tell me what do you think is going on in this part of the world. I want to know this was before anything like ices any of the crises that interrupted before the Arab spring so long and is onset to me shock to me because it was made in a statement or two. He said Mr. Zacharias, if things do not change here within the next five years, this whole place is going to blow up if things don't change your within next five years or so this whole place is going to blow up and how do you come back with another question that the fact of the matter is that there is an incredible uncertainty as weapons of destruction pileup and those controlling some of those weapons come from backdrops and political structures where there are more demagogue equally controlled, then the will of the people or some ethical underpinning that that that drives their passions and someone to begin with two comments and then lead into a basic backdrop against which I want to address these issues. Of the four major questions of life. It was in the 1970s I believe that Malcolm Muggeridge, that prolific writer made this comment is that it is difficult to resist the conclusion that 20th-century man has decided to abolish himself, tired of the struggle to be himself. He has created boredom out of his own affluence importance out of his own erotomania, and vulnerability out of his own strength he himself blows the trumpet that brings the walls of his own cities crashing down until at last. Having educated himself into imbecility, having drugged and polluted himself in the stupefaction. He keels over a weary matador brontosaurus and becomes extinct. The fascinating thing about Muggeridge is that as a journalist and as one who described himself as being fatally fluent, lived an indulgent life was a latecomer to Christ. Also the chaplain of the University of Edinburgh resigned his position from the chaplaincy when he saw the friend of where education was going and on the basis of all of that talked about how we created boredom out of their own affluence importance on her own erotomania vulnerability out of our own strength and how this very little brontosaurus keels over and becomes extinct about a few years before he said that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel prize piece. And here was a man who was so articulate, and so precise in what he said and impassioned and what he believed.
Listen to these words in his speech.
I accept this award today with an audacious faith in the future of mankind.
I refuse to accept the idea that the business of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal darkness that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept that man is male flotsam and jetsam in a river of life.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war at the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I refuse to accept the cynical notion that a nation after nation must spiral down the militaristic stairway into the health of thermonuclear destruction is the line I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. So do you, as young bright minds in one of the finest universities of the world. I had this question to you. If our entire educational ethos is built on naturalism and the scientific single vision of ultimate reality which discipline in that framework gives to you the imperatives of truth and unconditional love. These are philosophical principles. This is not given to us by the exact sciences. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality what the exact sciences gives you this eternal darkness that forever confronts us, and so I say to you whatever world you will live and ended below and you're sitting down and somebody introduces you and says you know what next month is going to turn 70 is in my word I didn't know that myself, but it's true. The calendar does not live and we are reminded again and again of as each passing year comes and goes. The world is changing at a staggering pace I have no idea what kind of world will be yours in to 15 years from now, but I'm hoping it is a kind of world that Dr. King talked about the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood. What a glorious thing. It would be to have unarmed truth and unconditional love. Because truth is the most powerful weapon in the world and love is the most supreme ethic in the world. Where do we find these philosopher who lived between 8044 and 1900 was the German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche's father was a pastor. Both of his grandfathers were pastors, but somewhere he clenched his fist at God and philosophically believed it could no longer be sustained. And he wrote this parable you will recognize it. I will read it for you and extend so a few paragraphs because on this. I want to build my deduction. Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours ran to the marketplace and cried incessantly I'm looking for God, I'm looking for God, as many of those who did not believe in God were standing together, they excited considerable laughter. Have you lost him said 1 Did You Lose Is Way like a child, said another. Maybe God is hiding. Is he afraid of us has he gone on a Voyager emigrated so they shouted and shouted and laughed him to scorn the madman sprang into their midst and pierced them with his glances as God. He tried to tell you we have killed him.
You and I we are all his murderers, but how have we done this. How were we able to drink up to see who give us a sponge to wipe away the entire horizon. What did we do when we unchain this earth from its son with her is it moving now with her. Are we moving now away from all sons. Maybe I we not perpetually falling forward, backward, sight words in all directions. You notice the metaphors he's using here the up poignant, are we not perpetually falling backwards, forwards, sight words, is there any down the left of me not strength to an infinite nothing do not feel the breath of empty space has not suddenly become colder is not more and more night coming on us all the time was not a lantern does not have to be lit in the morning hours do not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers burying God do we not smell anything yet of God's decomposition, God's decompose to you know when he's dead, he remains dead. And we killed him. Now, how shall be the murderer of all murderers compose ourselves because that which was holiest and mightiest of all the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives who will wipe this blood from us with what water should we purify ourselves, what festivals of atonement, what sacred games will we need to invent is this not the greatest of deeds too great for us to handle must not we now ourselves becoming God simply to seem worthy of it. There's never been a greater deed you know and over shall be borne off trust for the sake of this deed shall be part of a different history than all history hitherto. This tremendous event is still on its way. Still traveling and is not to preach the years of men. The madman fell silent and regarded his listeners. They too were silent. They stared at him in astonishment. He threw his lantern to the ground and it broke and he went out I come too early, maybe my time has not yet come. Is been related further on the same day of the madman enter diverse churches and they sang the Requiem eternal Dale let out and quieted.
He's said to have retorted each time one of these churches. Now if they are not the tombs on the sepulchers of God.
God is dead. We have killed our member defamed on Cupid who was professor at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, he was an Anglican priest turned atheist in our member on more than one occasion, he would walk up to the window and point to the school opposite in the spires of the church and he said this was all our heritage at one time it's gone. We no longer can believe any of this.
Ironically, a few miles down the road was John poking on one of the leading quantum physicists who was a late coming to Christ in whose lectures he would be arguing for the rationality in the defense of God's existence and so the worldviews collide, you take Nietzsche's words that I have for unanswered questions that will bring coherence to your life and mine.
The first is this where do we find our moral framework. Where do we find a moral law. If naturalism is completely in control and materialism is all there is and there is no absolute member what Nietzsche said there is no and down. There is no up-and-down and so you listen to politics. It's right or left. There is no up-and-down they don't believe in the vertical a transcendent notion anymore. We lanterns have to be lit in the morning hours. What sacred games will we need to invent how we not perpetually falling. As Chesterton said, there's only one angle at which you can stand straight and many many angles at which you can call Chesterton went on to say, the tragedy of disbelieving in God is not that you end up believing in nothing. Alas, it is much worse. You may end up believing in anything and retesting the angles.
Now where is there a moral law.
The irony of this is as follows Adm. Hector took the Nietzsche and phrase of a higher history to the writings of Nietzsche personally presented Nietzsche's writings to Stalin and Marceline E. And between these three created a kind of a hell in this world and I've given the illustration so many times but I never tire of it because we are always not far away from being forced to repeat the same mistakes.
It was in the 1980s during the Cold War when I happened to be visiting Poland and Russia. I never been to those parts of the world before and my host in Warsaw took me one day to visit the concentration camp of Auschwitz. I had been to Buchenwald and Dachau and some of the other camps but they were not death camps so emotionally.
I was not prepared for it and when you walk into Auschwitz. The only thing you hear in those confines. I kid you not. His silence on hear anything probably fine being brutally specific with it. The one thing I did hear was a young gal storming out of their and then bursting into sobs and going outside to sit in the front veranda of that building and when we walked out. I still saw her sitting there holding her face in her head. She was a young woman, she saw what happened.
You see at Auschwitz alone.
They were obliterating them at 12,000 every day and Eichmann's comment was that the first time he saw what happened and got the report of a whole lot of them being herded into the gas ovens denuded shaven the head shape shaving off and leaning flesh against flesh, already emaciated, they were told they were going into the showers and when they would be taken into that room and the gas spigots would be turned on, it would only be able to hear one or two people screaming out gas and that's all they would hear and the bodies were literally shoveled out, Eichmann said, as painful as it was the first time I learned we were now able to disperse of many many bodies at the same time and do it in the quickest possible way. He said one death is a tragedy. A million debts is a statistic just outside the gas ovens were the words of Hitler. I want to raise a generation of young people devoid of a conscience Imperial relentless control what they did with kids there.
What they did with women kind. There as many people were dragged into this onslaught who didn't want to be Dragon who never realized what they were going into when I wrote a book called Jesus talks to Hitler in a great conversation series. I went to Nuremberg with one of my colleagues whose others authority on that to help me in my research.
The first thing that struck me in the judgment hall at Nuremberg.
Just about the tribunal with the 10 Commandments and as you leave the hall above the door are forget above or beside it was the garden of Eden. And the temptation you shall be as God's, knowing good and evil, meaning defining good and evil. So here was the challenge whether going to let God be God over there going to become definer's of good and evil are the important thing to stay tear is to understand what I am not saying I am not saying for a moment that an atheist, by definition, is an evil person. A mama's murderer this and that that's not what I'm saying at all. I'm just wanting to point out that once you do away with the absolute once you do away with the existence of God.
Where do you turn for your absolutes. Where do you turn, how do we get an answer.
Probably the most recent work of Sam Harris made a noble effort at trying to talk about the moral landscape and of course he transposed physicians from talking about morality to well-being and then he himself concedes towards the end that yes we have a lot of psychopaths in the country about 3 million of them, and the person can be a mass murderer and still be extremely happy and in the sling conclusion then ends up not really with an absolute, but some kind of a continuum and so the man today who stands in front of the lens of a camera and uses a sword without even having the courage for his sorrow face to be seen to be had somebody can also say to you and to me he is doing this for geopolitical well-being to exactly what they believe. I have sat across tables and discuss dialogue and ask such questions and I say the discussion even amongst philosophers is a divided house, Guy Nielsen, the renowned atheist from Calgary. We have not been able to show that reason requires the moral point of view or that really rational persons hoodwinked by Midsummer ideology need not be individual egoism of classical anymore. The marvelous reason doesn't decide here the picture I have painted for you is really not a pleasant one. Reflection on this actually depresses me pure practical reason. Even with a good knowledge of the facts will not take you to morality. This is very outspoken atheists.
He says this even with a good knowledge of the facts will not take you to morality Richard rorty's moral imperatives are not commanded by God's will and of their note, in some sense absolute than what we wish to be is a matter simply of what men and women decide should be. There is no other source of judgment to renowned atheist Bertrand Russell says you know what I cannot live as though it's ethical values was simply a matter of personal taste, but I find my own views. Incredible. I do not know what the real solution is that has to be a rational justification about all of our differences and this is especially important for America at this time in her history where pluralism is a design and it is a good design. I happen to be a privileged one who was born in one part of the world.
At the age of 20 moved to the other part of the world and because the doors of these nations were open with a legitimate pluralism.
People like me could come here on a living raise our families, but the absolutes that built this nation are now in serious jeopardy. And we had better realize the absolutes that built this nation because the nation talked about the fact that there were naturally endowed rights given to us that these truths were self evident. All of these moral statements are very critical to understand in the light of our pluralistic culture in our time.
I know by going to places in the world right now. People look at me and will ask the question what is going on in the West. What is going on was not out of Eichmann, who finally when he was tried in Israel and was sentenced to the death penalty.
I was there when they were dealing with all of the evidence and was given several pages and pages of the trial, which I was able to get back before I wrote my book. But, here's Hannah Arrington describing Eichmann's last moment.
This is critical and I moved to my next torture out of Eichmann went to the gallows with great dignity. It asked for a bottle of red wine and drank half of it. He refused the help of a Protestant minister, the Rev. William Hall who offered to read the Bible with him can only two more hours to live. And therefore, he said good quote. I have no time to waste. He walked 50 yards from his cell to the execution chamber, and direct with his hands bound behind them.
When the guards died, his ankles and knees. He asked them to loosen the bonds so that he could stand straight.
I don't need that. He said when the Blackwood was offered to him. He was in complete command of himself. May he was more than that he was completely himself.
Nothing could have demonstrated this more convincingly than the grotesque silliness of his last words he began by stating emphatically that he was a public or to express in Nazi fashion that he was no Christian and did not believe in the life after death. He then proceeded quote after a short while gentlemen, we shall meet again such as the fate of all men. Long-lived Germany long-lived Argentina long-lived Austria. I shall not forget them in the face of death he had found the cliché used in funeral oratory under the gallows.
His memory played in the last trick he was elated and he forgot that this was really his own funeral. It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson on here is not. It was as though in those last and it's he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness starters. The lesson of the fearsome word and thought define banality of evil had become trivial, even listening to a message from Bobby Zechariah is titled living in critical time.
If you would like to practice the complete copy of this message: 1-800-448-6766. You can also order firstname.lastname@example.org or in email@example.com. The goal of the IMF to touch base. The heart and intellect at the think is the influences in our society is accomplished by combining evangelism and apologetics. We aim to help reach students on college campuses and universities encourage taxes and also questions from Christians and skeptics. This is Ravi Zacharias and I just wanted to take a minute to share this verse with you today. Matthew 1128 and 29 says this come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. No matter what you're going through today. I hope you will take time to reflect on these beautiful words and find rest in the Lord Jesus Christ to find out more about our ministry today and eight suited kulaks to visit our website. Thank you for your private and financial support. Let my people thing is… And maybe ministry mismanaged by bodies Akamai international ministry in Atlanta