“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.” 1 Timothy 4:1-2
Today’s passage perfectly describes living in a post-Christian era. The decline of Christianity has given rise to secularism—a false doctrine that elevates human reasoning as the ultimate authority. This kind of thinking rejects absolute truth, which means the whims of culture determine what is good and evil. If believers focus more on what’s happening than on God’s Word, we’ll live in a state of shock and confusion. Thankfully, the Bible informs us so that it can also equip us. So what does the Bible say about secularism?
First, secularism inverts good and evil. It rejects God as the source of everything good and denies Satan as the author of evil. In fact, it denies his very existence. That’s why so few challenge his redefining of right and wrong. Isaiah warns, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
Next, secularism converts the merely religious. This new morality promotes unconditional love and acceptance. That’s why it appeals to so many who consider themselves spiritual or religious. But not everything that sounds good is biblically sound. Secularism demands the compassion of grace without the accountability of truth. So they are “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Timothy 3:5).
Finally, secularism perverts what God creates. Satan’s purpose is always to deceive. So he constructs counterfeits—alternatives to God’s plan that appeal to human reason and human nature. For instance, evolution perverts creation, abortion perverts the gift of life, and pornography perverts sex. Each perversion has willing participants who have “seared their own conscience” by repeatedly rejecting biblical truth. And 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us, “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
We, however, are not without hope. This post-Christian era has not caught God off guard. “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). So persevere, no matter how crazy the world gets. Be encouraged by what the Bible says, not dismayed by what culture does.