But Where Is the Soul?
“But what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and
lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Are atom, molecules, elements, and physical energy all there is?
True evolution and modern science so-called have in common basic materialistic
presuppositions. Materialism is simply the idea that the “Cosmos is all there is,
all there ever was, and all there will be.” (Carl Sagan) The siren of materialism,
which was supposed to explain everything, seduced the world in the twentieth
century, especially during the social revolution of the 1960’s. Even before the
revolution of the 1960's, materialism had dominated the thought of modern
science, and men had wildly dreamed of being able to explain all phenomenon
on the earth in terms of it. Consciousness itself would be explained in terms of
electrical and chemical impulses. The sober editors of Time Books wondered in
the 70's whether or not the elementary beginnings of consciousness were even then
lurking in the circuits of computer mainframes. Materialism had gained control of
the universities and the legal institutions of America and elsewhere, but the full
implication of that control had not yet been felt. In the generation following the
60's that impact would be felt with a vengeance.
Evolution: the Gift of Materialism
Materialism not only gives us evolution (Man is formed by impersonal forces
acting on material over long periods of time without any design or purpose, but
only by chance), destruction of morals (Material knows no right or wrong. Where
there is no purpose there can be no morality); relativism in law (People are
genetically disposed to behave in a certain way); and irrationalism and
subjectivity in religion (Rationality disappears when purpose is denied, but
you can believe in God if you want to, if it makes you feel good and causes
you to be subservient to all-wise government). Thus are fulfilled the words
of our Lord Jesus quoted above. Although there have been tremendous material
benefits reaped by some because of materialistic philosophy, the result has been
devastating to the souls of men.
Is Matter All There Is?
Man is not just a hunk of matter, a machine operating according to physical
processes determined by chance. People know this instinctively. This is the reason
that 91% of the American people reject true evolutionary premises. There are some
things about man that just cannot be explained by physical processes. Materialism
cannot explain the difference between Shakespeare and pornography. We have
wrestled with the problem since censorship laws were repealed in the 60's and 70's,
and filth flooded our cities. If matter is all there is, then a book is something made
out of paper and ink, and all books are the same. All movies are thus the same, and
all messages on the internet are the same. You as an individual may choose to follow
your religious delusions in terms of values, but your values cannot be imposed on
anyone else, because values cannot be determined by materialistic presuppositions.
If the Cosmos is all there is, values are simply individual choices, and at the most
give private pleasure. What gives you pleasure might be quite different from what
pleasures someone else. Only the individual can decide.
Do Genetics Determine Morals?
The same is true of morals, for materialism knows no difference between lifestyles.
If a man is simply the product of his genes, then he is programmed by them to
behave a certain way. The sodomite is so programmed, as in the drunkard, the thief,
and the saint. Who is to say that one lifestyle is superior to another?
How Can They Be Different?
This writer is the father of identical twin sons. They are genetically the same. When
they were babies, only the most experienced could tell them apart. But how different
they are! I dearly love them both, but anyone who knows them realizes that the person
who lives in one body is not the same as the person who lives in the other body. Yet
they grew up in the same home, ate the same food, were disciplined alike, and read
the same books, listened to the same music, and had the same friends. How do you
explain their differences on materialistic ground? I would not want them to be the
same, even though they are genetic equals.
What is the Soul of a Man?
What is it in a man that enables him to discern between the beautiful and the ugly?
Since the materialist revolution, the ugly prevails. The grotesque, the weird, the ugly
gets equal time with the beautiful. Who are you to say that your preferences are
better than someone else? There is no soul in the world of materialism. Materialism
gave us the sexual revolution, for materialism knows nothing of love, commitment,
faithfulness, and honor. “Laugh In” and other comedy shows routinely made fun
of such things, of culture, of decency. Love was defined downward in terms of
momentary physical contact. In the materialistic jungle, there is no difference
between the mating of humans and the mating of fruit flies.
What is Freedom?
Materialism destroyed patriotism and love of country. In a materialistic world there
is no difference between freedom and slavery, and wars for freedom become the
equal of wars of totalitarianism. Hitler and Churchill become equal. Wars to
maintain liberty were re-defined as efforts to impose our culture on others. In
a materialistic world, such things as liberty and freedom cannot be defined, and
therefore do not exist. Freedom became redefined in terms of materialistic pre-
suppositions: the right to do as you please, certainly not the right to think, to
worship, to love beauty and truth. It became the right to utter vulgarities, defy
convention, to mock and honor and decency. Television programs such as
“Mash” carried forward the revolution. All men were equal, for to fight for
one cause is as meaningless in a materialistic world as to fight for another.
Materialism changes the concept of law. Instead of holding men responsible for
their actions (for who can be responsible for materialist phenomenon?), law
became incessant tinkering with the environment and other materialistic meddling
in people's affairs, in an attempt to program them to behavior that is desired by a
self-appointed elite. Men become obsessed with food, water, air, medical care for
the body, economic equality. Why not, if we are the product of what we eat and
drink? The brave new world comes with government regulation of material. But
the regulations themselves are the product of programmed responses in terms of
evolution, and must be constantly changed and adapted and repealed, for the
regulations themselves are the result of impersonal causes. No one is responsible
for anything. The buck never stops anywhere.
There is no sin in a materialistic world. Adultery is not a sin, because human
mating is the equivalent of the mating of any other animals, and is reduced to
biology. Blasphemy is not sin, for who can define God in a material world?
Murder and rape are not sins, but are simply the result of male aggression, and
natural tendency that is seen in all the beasts. It is politic to try to restrain such
things, but we understand and are sympathetic. Sodomy is no sin, for the body
rules all in a materialistic world. The morality of the apostle Paul, `I keep under
my body, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should be come a castaway,”
has no meaning in materialism: the body is all, there is no soul to keep it down and
restrain it. Sodomy and other perversions are the natural result, for where there is
no soul, there is no restraint of bodily sins. Drunkenness, sexual perversions, drug
abuse, murder, violence, hatred, are the end result of the soul being lost.
If man is defined as the product of chance materialist processes, then the control of
the processes becomes a matter of great concern to him. His mind becomes occupied
with what he shall eat, what he shall drink, what he shall put on. He knows nothing
of the kingdom of God and the righteousness of God, because these concepts have
no value to him. This leads him to conflict after conflict. The twentieth century has
seen some of the most devastating wars in history—as materialist denominations
(fascism, Nazism, communism, socialism) threatened the very fabric of the world's
It is a source of immense satisfaction to this writer to belong to a great nation that
contended with these evil powers in terms of the values of the soul of man: liberty,
freedom, and faith. God bless America! and may God preserve her from those very
evils she so valiantly opposed in arms and wealth during the 20th century! By God's
grace, America was the bulwark against the utter darkness of consistent materialism.
All is not well in America, but her record in the 20th century has been glorious.
Where is Equity?
A well-known story is told about Chief Justice Earl Warren when the segregation of
blacks in our school system was under debate in the Supreme Court. After hearing
the legal arguments about precedent and custom, he is said to have asked, “But is it
fair?” It was on this basis that ultimately the degrading laws of school segregation
were overturned. It was the most famous decision in equity in the history of the
United States, and it was decided on fairness--the sense of justice that every man
feels in his soul. I do not know what other motives Justice Warren may have had,
but I do know that a great deal of abuse was heaped upon him for his part in that
Those who said the segregation battle was for the soul of America were right. Only
by materialist presuppositions can a man be treated as chattel, bought and sold, and
relegated to servitude because of the color of his skin. Where is the soul of a church
or a nation that relegates human beings to second-class citizenship and holds them
in perpetual servitude, without regard to their choices, but only on the basis of the
What Remains of Quality and Beauty?
Beauty, truth, love, justice, freedom, morality, worship, and kindness: such things are
lost in the world fabricated by true evolutionists, based upon materialistic ideas. If any
of these remain, it is because they have been “borrowed” from somewhere else, not
from the ideas of materialism. How profound are the words of Jesus, the Son of God!
How very profound was His very presence in this world of ours! His very presence
among us underscored what Moses told Israel in the wilderness, explaining why God
had given them manna for all those years: “Man does not live by bread alone, but by
every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Truth from the mouth of God has no meaning in a materialistic world. Words are just
a vibration in the air and mean only what I think they mean. Gibberish and nonsense,
or the beat of drums and the whine of the electric guitar, are as meaningful, and perhaps
even more meaningful if they make me feel good. So the church dies in irrationalism and
lawlessness, for it has lost its soul also. Instead of the ideas of Scripture expressing the
mind of the Spirit, even He is reduced to incomprehensible blather.
“Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?” the Son of God
asked (Matt. 6:25). Not in a materialistic world. If the life of man is only animal life,
then all he needs is food. If the body is not the temple of the soul, then perhaps its most
useful purpose is its adornment with gold, silver, and fine raiment.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” Jesus said (Matt. 6:35), a
most nonmaterialistic statement. It is the kingdom of God in Jesus Christ through the
righteousness of God revealed in the Gospel, which is the power of God unto the salvation
of the soul (Romans 1:16,17).
Wise men still seek Him.
Pastor C. W. Powell
Trinity Covenant Church RCUS
6050 Del Paz Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918