This post first appeared in the Christianity for Life blog
The ancient philosopher Aristotle said, “Nature abhors a vacuum,” the idea being that nature requires every space to be filled with something, even if that something is just air. In more modern times we’ve observed that this is also true on a different level. For example, if you go down to the farm and fire up your Dyson upright, the sheep will scatter in all directions, the trees will empty of birds and the sheepdog will bark at you in a frenzy. Clearly nature does abhor a vacuum, and humans, as the only species not afraid of the vacuum, are allowed a clear advantage in the grand scheme of things.
On a more serious note, it is within our nature to be spiritually fulfilled. We were created by God in His own image and we know that God is spirit. In John 4:24 Jesus tells us that, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
If we’re not in full communion with God through the work of Jesus Christ and the influence of the Holy Spirit, we are missing something in the very heart of our being. There is a hole in our spirit, a God-shaped hole as the old cliche puts it. And this hole, or vacuum, leaves us with a sense of longing and lack of fulfillment that we just can’t put our finger on until we realize that we must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Only then are we be able to properly worship our God. Spirit to Spirit, and be filled until our ‘cups runneth over’.
So we’re always seeking. Searching for enlightenment and meaning. Our very nature abhors the vacuum in our heart and drives us to fill it with something.
Unfortunately, we limit our search to areas that are deemed acceptable to the world and to our humanistic society. For example, if we pursue spiritual fulfillment through yoga and meditation, hands together saying, “Namaste,” which in translation means “the Divine in my heart salutes the Divine in yours”, we might feel a bit more relaxed in mind and body. And no one will laugh at us on our way to yoga class, mat in tow.
If, in our search, we sport a Sikh turban, Indian Sari, or Muslim Hijab, Niqāb or Burqa, we might get some odd looks, but people will generally go out of their way to be polite, tolerant and accepting of our attempts at spirituality. Depending on where we live, the necessary accommodations might even occur at the workplace and at school so as to support our respective searches for truth. In my own country, Canada, the ancient Hindu festival of Diwali, or “festival of lights” is acknowledged and to a great extent observed in many of our classrooms each fall, especially in south-western British Columbia where I live. (But the very mention of Christmas in schools is forbidden).
During my travels in India and Nepal last year I roughly followed the route known as the Hippie Trail where, for decades, thousands of young seekers from western countries have sought fulfillment through Hinduism, Buddhism, hashish, and free love. Still a big draw. And not frowned upon at all. The late Steve Jobs cut his spiritual teeth on the Hippie Trail before founding Apple, and he pursued Zen Buddhism throughout his life.
In recent years, the new atheism is attracting an alarming number of adherents. Seekers claim fulfillment from their new faith in science, knowledge and so-called reason. In their misguided blind faith, they accept pseudo-scientific claims that there is no God (see All About Science). The priests and bishops of atheism, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and their kind, have become very wealthy promoting rejection of religion in general and Christianity in particular. A growing industry.
While acceptance for many different forms of spiritual pursuit is common, followers of Jesus Christ are becoming a laughing stock. As Christianity fades into the recesses of western culture and is ridiculed, forbidden and otherwise hidden as a viable option for seekers of fulfillment, a dangerous vacuum has emerged within society itself.
And nature abhors a vacuum.
The gap must be filled. And Satan, opportunist that he is, has just the thing to fill it. We know it as Islam – the fastest growing religion in the world.
Here is a system of belief that easily resonates with our desire for spiritual fulfillment. It doesn’t quite fit the God-shaped hole in our hearts, but it can be hammered in there with the help of spiritual half-truths and a complete lack of a viable competing ideology such as Christianity.
Let’s face it, western society, when viewed through the lens of Islam, has indeed become the Great Satan. During the past 2000 years, despite frequent setbacks when Satan pushed back, we have grown a just and free society where people have gradually prospered and progressed in an environment of morality and faith-based law and order. For centuries we have influenced the world from a position of indisputable moral high ground. But as our Judeo-Christian foundation has become eclipsed by humanistic relative morality and the new atheism, we have become corrupt. We are obsessed with fame and possessions. Our new royalty are drug-addicted, foul-mouthed atheistic movie stars and musicians who have been the role models of our children for decades. Their sentimentalist feel-good liberal activism gives them a false moral legitimacy that obscures the danger of their influence. Our media is filled with profane, pornographic material as sodomy, promiscuity and adultery are celebrated and the sacrament of marriage is reduced to irrelevance.
Islam looks upon this western world and cringes with righteous indignation.
Islam is a religion that holds traditional family values inviolable. For example, women who choose to raise children at home are revered in Islam. In the west such women are looked down upon. Our one-income families are unable to cope financially in a society that measures success by wealth and possessions, unlike Islam.
Islam teaches that lustful temptation must be avoided. This is achieved by strict rules governing how men and women must interact and how they must dress. Women, in particular are taught to be modest in dress and demure in personality. So when Muslims look at our society and see women walking around practically naked compared to their own standard of dress, and when they observe our complete abandonment of traditional moral standards, they are understandably shocked and repulsed. This gives rise to radical Islamist terrorists such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab who claim moral superiority as justification for the acts of barbarism they deem necessary to rid the world of infidels.
Westerners who are also troubled by our moral decline have nowhere to turn. They long for the old days but have been brainwashed to believe that the Christ-based morality of the past was somehow wrong and oppressive. Just ask Richard Dawkins.
So where do they turn? They’re flocking to Islam because nature abhors a vacuum.
Those who would eliminate Christian influence from our society have no idea of the evil that awaits in the sidelines, ready to refill a spiritual gap that simply cannot remain empty.
You think Christianity is bad? Just wait and see what’s next, because nature abhors a vacuum and your dream of a Utopian religion-free society is just that.
A vacuous dream.
If you liked this article, you can support Steve's work with a small donation.