Trap 1: Post-Structuralism
June 6th 2017
A snare is defined as “a trap used for catching animals or birds.” Snares are said to be one of the simplest traps and are also looked upon as being very effective. They are cheap to produce and easy to set in large numbers. That sure sounds like a good description of Satan’s tactics…
They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
The only reason snares (a.k.a. traps) are effective is because the person or animal does not recognize what they are. Once you train a person to recognize various traps, they will be better equipped to defend themselves and to avoid the traps that are set in front of them.
The following four “traps” are prevalent in academia, media, politics, government, and policy-making. Each of these four can be thought of as worldview traps:
- Academic Collectivism
Post-Structuralism (a.k.a. Post-Modernism):
Post-Structuralism falsely states that there are no transcendent values in history or in government. It teaches that each individual must interpret values for himself according to the standards that he makes for himself. Post-Structuralism basically says “I will determine my values and since I am in a position of authority, you are all going to have to live with my values.”
We see a number of examples within American society when it comes to the worldview trap of Post-Structuralism. Within the Judiciary we see the notion of a “Living Constitution” – the swearing of an oath by a politician to defend the constitution, but then that politician using judges to reinterpret what the constitution says. Another example involves the protection of gay marriage with courts “discovering rights that were hitherto unknown within our Constitution.”
One particularly deceptive aspect of Post-Structuralism is found in the fact that it teaches that persons have value not on the basis of who they are individually, but rather on the basis of the groups with which they identify. The group, therefore, becomes more important than the individual. Post-Structuralism emphasizes the group and thus group rights rather than individuals and a person’s individual rights.
This “group think” eventually leads to Identity Politics, the uncommunicated but eventual thought process that states “I don’t know what to think about you until I can identify what group you are from.” Are you a Republican, Democrat, or Independent? Are you Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, a Feminist, a Chicano, LGBT, in a Labor Union, an Environmentalist, a Senior Citizen, or a Black Panther? Identity Politics teaches that we can’t believe anything about you because you are an individual, but rather, we have to know what group it is in which you belong. Since we have to know the group that it is in which you belong, we have to make laws that are based upon the group by which you belong. This leads to laws such as “Hate Crime” laws. “We have to protect certain groups” is the dominant mentality. Ironically, however, if you treated everyone like an individual, especially and individual created in the image of God, then everyone would be naturally protected from hate crimes.
The out-working of Identity Politics is separate from the concept of Nationalism. We hear much in the news now days, especially during the 2016 Presidential election, of the topic of Globalism vs. Nationalism. The Globalist believes that you are not part of a nation – that you are much bigger than a nation. The Globalist no longer cares about your national identity - they care about what group you identify with. In order for this worldview to flourish, Globalism must push Nationalism aside and treat everyone as a “global citizen”. E Pluribus Unum has now become E Unum Pluribus. What we must recognize, however, is that Identity Politics inherently leads to division, jealousy, covetousness, and ultimately hatred, rather than unity.
So how is the Christian to treat this worldview trap? Living in a world that is increasingly promoting Group Think, Identity Politics and Globalism, what should the Christian be thinking and how should the Christian strive to conduct themselves in the face of this mounting pressure from all facets of society surrounding them? Well the following is a list of Christian worldview positions, provided purposefully without elaboration, that I submit for your consideration and further exploration:
- Jesus died for the individual and not for the group.
- Understand that there is only “individual salvation,” not “group salvation.”
- Christianity is not a team-sport – it only becomes a team-sport after one is saved and placed is in the Body of Christ.
- …it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Heb 9:27)
- For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Cor 5:10)
- Recognize that the story of America’s success for over two centuries has been one of Individualism and not one of Collectivism.
- Don’t think “group,” think “individual.”
- Ignore labels at every opportunity - judge a tree by its fruits and not by its labels.
- For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. [Lk 6:43-45]
- The Christian must understand the thinking behind Post-Structuralism if we are to communicate effectively to and with our culture. That includes sharing the Gospel...
- The Christian needs to understand Post-Structuralism in order to protect their families and their churches.
Interested in additional thoughts on this subject? The following contains some VERY GOOD commentary on Post-Modernism and its harmful effects on society:
Next up, we’ll take a look at the topic of “Modernism” and how this too is used as an effective snare by our adversary.