Ever walked into a beautiful church? I have, too. Georgia has some truly beautiful churches. Some are cruciform in design—in the shape of the cross of Christ from an aerial view. One of my favorites is a Presbyterian church in Hinesville, just south of Fort Stewart. The stained glass windows depict historical scenes from Scripture. The acoustic designs in the sanctuary carry the theological hymns to the ears of worshipers, week in and week out.
I remember when I was stationed in Europe and traveled often through Germany, but also to England, France, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland, among other places, partly to view the churches. Amazing! How one can stand in Notre Dame and not sense foretastes of heaven! We are designed to respond to beauty with gratitude.
Be we are living in a time that has rejected beauty. Secular culture prefers the crass. Why have acoustics, arches, and spires pointed to the heavens when you can have toilets? Do you know what the most visited piece of ‘art’ is at New York’s Guggenheim? It’s called America. Know what it is? It’s a toilet. No, I am not kidding. Research it for yourself. And it’s available for patrons to use. The reason? Obviously, to use scatological functions to demonstrate their views of America. This is what we have come to. From Christian Notre Dame in Paris to the golden toilet at the Guggenheim. Why? Because of secularism.
This is what rejection of God leads to—a rejection of the Author of beauty, the Author of goodness, the Author of truth. You are left with the scatological, with a golden toilet named for the nation whose theologians include massive influences like Jonathan Edwards, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, and Francis Schaeffer. Yet the secularists line up to use this ‘art’.
You see a culture given over to what the Bible calls a debased/reprobate mind. It is a culture that is upside down, in love with perversion, and enslaved to sin. Listen to what Scripture says. Hear how folly follows from the suppression of the truth of God’s revelation:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:18-32 ESV)
The Alternatives: I don’t know how much farther down the West will go. I do know history well enough to know that cannibalism and child sacrifice and bestiality are linked to Oneist paganism. I do know that I receive requests from service members claiming paganism as their religion. So don’t kid yourself; you need to be aware of the culture you are in, whether you want to admit it or not. When ‘art’ is now the scatological, when Christ is rejected, reprobation will reign. The fools are professing themselves wise. Loudly. And the evidence is present before you. How is secularism working out? No God, no objective standard, loss of civility, loss of critical thinking skills, etc.
And yet the biblical worldview calls out to all with ears to hear:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8-9 ESV)
The beautiful, the good, and the true—antidotes to chaos.