The Nowhere Man
Nihilism (pronounced nee-hill-ism) is a mindset that is plaguing our culture and has infected the church. As a philosophy it says that there is no objective basis of truth. In religious circles it denies moral principles and obligations. This is because everything is relative and based on the feelings of man, not on the Law of God. Nothing is really true because truth keeps changing to suit our diverse culture and morals. Christianity is a belief that the Truth is always absolute — never changing.
If you subscribe to this sort of relativism, it will affect life on every level. What is true or right will not matter — only how you feel about it matters. So yesterday is meaningless, today is in vain, and there is no tomorrow. The Truth is unknowable and has no source.
Nihilism is an attempt to trade the restraints of having a conviction of truth, for leaning as the wind blows. Life becomes a meaningless — adrift on a sea of darkness. In the sixties the Beatles had an ominous, nihilistic song called the "Nowhere Man" that is very much alive in today's world: "The nowhere man sits in his nowhere land making his nowhere plans for nobody. He doesn't have a point of view, he knows not where he's going." The song concludes, "Isn't he a bit like you and me?"
I hope that we have not bitten into that apple. Once you toss aside the concept of seeking the Truth alone, the danger is not that you will believe nothing, but that you will believe anything. Even many Christians have become chameleons — blending into our surroundings instead of really standing out and making a difference in our faith and life.
Nihilism sounds progressive and intellectual, but it is a dead-end. Philosophy tries to answer basic questions like, 'Where did I come from? Why am I here? And where am I going?' Nihilism discounts the questions by saying the only thing we know for sure is that we don't know and it doesn't matter. The outright disregard and disrespect for human life today should not surprise us in our society, since there is no true meaning to life. The highway of nihilism is littered with destroyed lives.
I guess we all remember the joke about the airline pilot who came over the loudspeaker to say, 'I've got good news and I've got bad news. The good news is we are making terrific time. The bad news is that we're lost.' There are just too many people going full speed ahead with life, without knowing the destination. This happens when there is no conviction that God's Word is absolute Truth — based on His eternal decrees and perfect knowledge.
Many today don't make an effort to refute the truth, they just deny its existence. In discussions of differences in biblical doctrine, we feel the pressure to say, 'Here's where we differ,' instead of 'Here's where you're wrong; let me tell you what's right.' Most people are embarrassed to say this today. Maybe they are not sure of what is true. Some feel that simple faith is too simplistic or parochial. Maybe they think they are being more loving by not correcting errors. Maybe they confuse certainty with arrogance. Whatever the reason, nobody is being helped, and God is being denied his honor.
The liberal church has created a Nowhere Man going nowhere. Where adherence to biblical doctrines and the regulative principle of worship is abandoned to satisfy the cravings of man, then it is obvious that the Bible is no longer the basis for truth. Nihilism has won.
2 Corinthians 13:8 says, "for we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth." Paul does not mean that there is no truth or that men cannot violate the truth, but that neither he nor anyone else can destroy the truth. Denying what is true does not make it go away. According to the truth of the Gospel, God will judge us (John 12:48, 49).
What a blessing it is to have the illumination of the Holy Spirit to see God's Truth to show us where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. Thank a faithful, covenant God that neither He nor His Word ever changes.
In the end, nihilism, true to its name, is nothing. Anyone who falls into the pit of nihilism will not only have lost the truth, but salvation as well. They will become "a nowhere man making plans for nobody."