by: Rev. Doug Leaman
Project Soli Deo Gloria in Recife, Brazil
the Missions Banner, October 2022: Print edition
The project Soli Deo Gloria has a specific task and goal; to train young men to be deliberately God centered in everything. Of course, this must be the goal of everyone who seeks to live Soli Deo Gloria. We hope to conscientiously bring every thought captive to the Lord Jesus Christ.
According to the Apostle Paul, there are two clear options—we will either worship God or the creature (Rom 1:25). There is no neutrality in the most basic component of human life—we are worshipers. These two ultimate religious starting points bear fruit in opposite directions in every area of life and thought. Unbelief or idolatry are not neutral. These basic starting points are like gravity. These commitments spiral out into all the other issues of life and thought. This ground motive is always religious in nature and involves faith. Either we place our faith in God or in the creature.
The first humans tragically rebelled against the God-centered and God-created world. Tempted by the darkness, they started the revolt to make themselves like God (Gen 3). They prioritized their reason and wisdom above the word of God. This tendency towards self-worship or “egolatria” (egoism) has been the basic human problem ever since. This total depravity starts as a religious and worship problem, but then this self-deification provides a central hub around which all of life will be impacted. The worshiping heart must be guarded (Prov 4:23) because it controls and impacts every other area of thought and life.
After the fall there is only reform or revolt. Humans will be either reforming back to the authority of God and His Word or they will be revolting against the Creator and King (Rev 14:17). They will either be for revelation, or they will be dangerous revolutionaries even if dressed in sheep’s clothing. This religious revolt expresses itself in many ways down through history. The French revolution, or more recently, the communist action in the 20th century are modern examples of how this revolt works its way out into large social issues.
Those who wrongly put their faith in the autonomy and authority of human reason believe that the good fruit of equality and justice come from autonomous reason alone. The Christian believes that true freedom, blessing, and opportunity comes from humbly submitting to God’s revealed will. All of life is subsumed under these controlling principles which seek control.
Today, with our so called “neutral state,” the revolutionary ideas of autonomous human reason reign in many important modern institutions. Public policy and education are almost completely revolutionary in emphasis. There are those fighting within those institutions, but the majority push for autonomy against God and His revealed Word. The great masses, however, are ignorant of these basic controlling realities and therefore, they do not see the danger. Few things are more perilous than a supposed “neutrality” because unbelief has no standards or check on its supposed right to control all things. The brutal killing of millions this past century exemplifies the horror of unbelief in positions of power.
God’s people can’t be silent or ignorant. Our nations are battling an intense enemy. Will God’s people be the prophetic voice they are called to be? Pray for Brazil as well as the US. Pray for our little project in Brazil that is training men in the gospel as well as attempting to teach these students how religious commitment spirals out into every area of thought and life.
(Pictured above: Students at the SDG Institute, with their chaplain and the seminary student intern.)