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No Sympathy For The Devil

i-df02b342033198fb027c2376798aaf6c-Harvard-Seal-Nice*

And they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Tim. 4:4

Today’s headlines sensationally announce a planned “Satanic Black Mass” to be held tonight at Harvard University. It is being co-sponsored by the Satanic Temple (of New York) and Harvard’s own Extension School’s Cultural Studies Club.[1] Predictably, an outcry has arisen from the surrounding community with the Roman Catholic Church being especially vocal in their opposition. The University President Drew Faust struck a modern mealy-mouthed tone by first pronouncing it “deeply regrettable” that the organizers are proceeding with the nefarious ceremony, and subsequently affirming the organizer’s right to hold it on campus in this statement: “Nevertheless, consistent with the university’s commitment to free expression, including expression that may deeply offend us, the decision to proceed is and will remain theirs. At the same time, we will vigorously protect the right of others to respond — and to address offensive expression with expression of their own.”[2] One wonders if it were a group opposing cherished liberal causes like homosexual rights if Harvard would take such a hands-off approach. But the incident touches on a deeper issue: it demonstrates what happens when the truth of Christ’s gospel is rejected in favor of lies.

Bible Schools Gone Wild

America’s oldest college, Harvard was founded to train Christian ministers and was named in honor of a local pastor and benefactor, John Harvard.[3] A pamphlet of that era details the student rules; two will suffice to give the Christian origins of the college:

“2. Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, John 17:3, and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him Prov. 2, 3.

3. Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day, that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in theoretical observations of the language, and logic, and in practical and spiritual truths, as his tutor shall require, according to his ability; seeing the entrance of the word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple, Psalm. 119. 130.

4. That they eschewing all profanation of God’s name, attributes, word, ordinance, and times of worship, do study with good conscience, carefully to retain God, and the love of his truth in their minds else let them know, that (notwithstanding their learning) God may give them up to strong delusions, and in the end to a reprobate mind, 2 Thes. 2. 11, 12. Rom. 1. 28.”[4]

After confessing his excessive love of learning in his youth, Harvard’s second President Henry Dunster advised the students: “Take heed of this lest desiring to be as gods ye become devils.”[5] All of this demonstrates the early spiritual climate at Harvard in the seventeenth century, and is a marked contrast from the contemporary secular attitude that thrives there.

Sadly, successive administrations gradually abandoned biblical truth under the influence of Unitarianism, Rationalism, and other false man-made theories. The true Gospel of salvation by faith in Christ alone was jettisoned long ago, and with it the belief in the Bible as God’s Word. Ironically, the school’s original motto was “Veritas pro Christo et ecclesia” (“Truth for Christ & the Church.”)[6] Today it is just “Veritas” in the mistaken belief that truth is lastingly attainable outside of the One who is “the Truth” (Jn. 14:6.) Therefore, it is not surprising that the campus would currently be the site of the celebration of a demonic sacrament.[7]

Enter The Father Of Lies

The Scriptures at the beginning of this post reveal the folly of rejecting the truth, for it always leads to deception. In 2 Timothy 4:4 Paul details the coming time when people would incessantly shop for preachers who appealed to their fancies and predilections rather than proclaiming the truth. In turning from the genuine article, they inevitably are turned to “fables.” People do not exist in a vacuum; if they reject God’s Word, they throw themselves open to multitudinous errors of all types. Satan is always ready to blind human minds (2 Cor. 4:4.) The Lord Jesus rightly called him “a liar, and the father of it” (Jn. 8:44.)

One day the devil’s deceit will culminate in a global humanistic empire, headed by the Man of Sin – who shares the ignominious moniker “son of perdition” with the arch-traitor Judas Iscariot (cf. Jn. 17:12 & 2 Thes. 2:3.) The Bible explains the climate of deception that surrounds his regime: “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thes. 2:9-12.) By intentionally rejecting the truth and preferring error, people will be deluded by Satan. Having chosen his wicked pseudo-Messiah – a true “Anti-Christ” – God confirms them in their decision by sending them “strong delusion”; this results in their eternal rejection and punishment in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15.)

Truth Must Be Learned And Obeyed

Of course, no one needs to be deceived. Proverbs 8:7-13, 35-36 personifies “Wisdom” and has her say: “For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; Nothing crooked or perverse is in them. They are all plain to him who understands, And right to those who find knowledge. Receive my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choice gold; For wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her. ‘I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And find out knowledge and discretion. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.…For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the Lord; But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.’” Colossians 2:3 reminds us that the Lord Jesus is the repository of all wisdom. As He said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6.)

If one turns from their sins and receives Christ as their Lord and Savior, trusting that His death paid the penalty for their sinful being and actions and knowing that He rose to freely give them eternal life, they will be saved (read these chapters: John 3; Rom. 3-4.) The Lord transforms them through His Holy Spirit coming to live inside them. The transformation is so radical, the Bible calls it “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17, ESV.) As the Lord said: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:32.) Free from delusion; free from an empty life of sin; free to serve God and enjoy Him in the age to come; free to begin a relationship with God through His Son that never ends (Jn. 17:3.)[8]

*Image: http://scienceblogs.com/webeasties/wp-content/blogs.dir/368/files/2012/04/i-df02b342033198fb027c2376798aaf6c-Harvard-Seal-Nice.jpg

[1] Daniel Halper, “’Satanic Black Mass’ will take place tonight at Harvard,” Weekly Standard Blog, electronic ed. accessed on 5/12/14 here: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/satanic-black-mass-take-place-tonight-harvard_791269.html

[2] Quoted in Joshua Rhett Miller, “Harvard’s satanic black mass to be held despite growing outrage,” electronic ed. accessed on 5/12/14 here: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/05/12/harvard-satanic-black-mass-remains-scheduled-despite-growing-outrage/

[3] Likewise, other early universities were founded with religious intentions, e.g. Yale, Princeton, Brown, & Oberlin.

[4]“Rules, and precepts that are observed in the college” in New England’s First Fruits. (London: 1643), 26; modern English version accessed on 5/12/14 here: http://education.byu.edu/edlf/archives/prophets/founding_fathers.html ; the original is here: https://archive.org/stream/NewEnglandsFirstFruitsInRespectFirstOfTheCounversionOfSome/New_Englands_First_Fruits#page/n0/mode/2up

[5] Henry Dunster, quoted in Samuel Eliot Morison, The Founding of Harvard College, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1935),  251; electronic ed. accessed on 5/12/14 here: http://books.google.com/books?id=PQMdzhnfaSwC&pg=PA193&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false

[6] Anna K. Kendrick, “Harvard’s Secularization: How a college lost its faith,” The Harvard Crimson, 3/8/06; electronic ed. accessed on 5/12/14 here: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2006/3/8/harvards-secularization-harvard-has-never-been/

[7] For a better event held at Harvard, see this talk by Dr. John Lennox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Kz4OgXsN1w

[8] The Bible teaches that there is only one God and that He exists as a triunity of three persons (“Trinity” is the traditional term describing this doctrine.) Mt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14.