V. Quake Four: Replacement Ideology

It has been just over a year since the last post in this series. Over the last year, many things have highlighted the fact that we are living in the Negative World. Among many of the signposts is the expression “Happy Holidays!” Each year, little by little, Christmas is replaced with a generic holiday. This has even reached government schools in Texas. A friend recently received an email from the principal of his children’s elementary school apologizing for a student who passed out books that contained Christian undertones during their class “holiday” party. These are symptoms of a much deeper problem that Prof. Denison identified as the fourth quake as a replacement ideology. Christians understand that man’s chief end is to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31; Rom. 11:36; Ps. 73:25-28, ESV).[1] We were made for worship, and we will either worship God, or we will worship something else. Our hearts are deceitful, therefore the Lord commanded that we only worship Him and not idols (Exod. 20:3-4). Yet, we are living in a society that has rejected its Creator and replaced the one true God with the religion of self.

Replacement Ideology

Replacing God in our hearts is not new. The Old Testament is replete with Israel’s failure to guard their hearts against idolatry, they worshiped the golden calf, sacrificed their children to Baal, and worship the gods of their neighbors. We are not special, just as Israel failed, we have failed too. As we previously examined, the spirit of our age is Expressive Individualism. Our culture worships the “self,” replacing God with the desire of our sinful hearts.

Yet, Christians speak with the authority of Truth which threatens the false reality of expressive individualism. The Church is the hands and feet of Christ in the world reminding the lost that they are not God, and the Lord has standards for His creation. In an age of expressive individualism, Christians challenge the idea that each person is the author of their own truth.

No, we are told that we must die and be born again, raised with Christ as a new creation (John 3:3). We are to put to death our sinful desires and love the Lord our God with all our heart, strength, and mind. Which will lead us to love our neighbor as ourselves. However, many of our neighbors do not want our love. Because of their worldview, our Christian love is viewed as hateful, bigoted, oppressive, and dangerous (John 3:19-21).

An ideology, or a worldview, is a comprehensive way of understanding the world. It is the lens a person uses to interpret reality.

According to Dr. Nash, a worldview consists of 1) Theology, 2) Metaphysics, 3) Epistemology, 4) Ethics, and 5) Anthropology.[2] Each component is built upon the other, i.e., your theology is the foundation, and out of your theology grows your metaphysics, which in turn shapes your understanding of knowledge (epistemology) and so on.

The new pagan orthodoxy of Expressive Individualism that is becoming the dominant belief system in the U.S. may be broken down as we see in the table. While I run the danger of oversimplifying what we are facing, I think the table provides a succinct view of the two major worldviews within the U.S. Often we find syncretism or the merging of both Christianity and pieces of other false ideologies. One thing to take away from this, however, is that these ways of viewing and understanding reality are at odds with each other and will continually lead to conflict. One is grounded in Truth while the other is grounded in lies.

 ChristianityExpressive Individualism
TheologyTriune God of the BibleMan is god
MetaphysicsEarth, Heaven, & HellBring heaven to earth
EpistemologyGeneral & Special RevelationTruth is relative to the individual
EthicsGod’s Moral LawPersonal & subjective
AnthropologyCreated in God’s ImageSeeking to control evolution—transhumanism
Table: Worldview Comparison (Tennies, 2023)

Challenges to Pagan Orthodoxy

Our love is a light, but they enjoy the darkness, and when we wield God’s sword, His word, it cuts deeper than any two-edge sword. This is why the new Pagan Orthodoxy seeks to remove Jesus from the public square. Christianity is dangerous to the religion of self, and they want us to put a shade over our lamps (Matt. 5:14-16).

This is evident in the reaction to the Supreme Court decision Dobbs vs. Casey overturning the worst case of judicial legislation, Row vs. Wade. Prior to the decision being finalized, it was leaked sparking protests outside of Supreme Court Justice homes. There was also a string of violence, with 81 crisis pregnancy centers firebombed and vandalized and over 130 churches attacked.[3] There was even the attempted murder of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh when an individual was caught with weapons outside the Justice’s home, threatening his life and his family’s.[4] However, this view of Christianity as dangerous extends to our own government. Since the Dobbs decision, 34 individuals have been arrested for peaceful activity outside abortion clinics,[5] and within the last month, a memo from the FBI targeting traditional Catholics as extremists was uncovered.[6]

The resulting backlash from Dobbs led many in the new Pagan Orthodoxy to warn of a rise of Christian Nationalism. Justice Clarence Thomas, for many, became the example of a Christian Nationalist and warned that based on his opinion in Dobbs he was seeking to turn back the clock on interracial marriage and homosexual “marriage.”[7]

Now with the latest so-called “Respect for Marriage Act,” we are living in a nation where the individuals that view Christians as dangerous have the legal power to start attacking the church and believers. The argument of when life begins, the nature of human life, marriage, the nature of a sex binary is deeply theological—this is spiritual not simply political.


This is a battle over ideas. It’s a battle for Truth. As Pastor John MacArthur encouraged, “Our task as ambassadors is to bring good news to people. Our mission as soldiers is to overthrow false ideas. We must keep those objectives straight; we are not entitled to wage warfare against people or to enter diplomatic relations with anti-Christian ideas.”[8] This is spiritual warfare, we must “live not by lies” speaking the Truth as the core of our resistance.[9]

See all posts in The Coming Cultural Tsunami series here.


*Featured Image, L.Filipe C.Sousa on Unsplash

[1] Unless otherwise noted all references to Scripture are from the English Standard Version (Wheaton: Crossway, 2001).

[2] Ronald Nash, Faith and Reason: Searching for A Rational Faith (Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 1988), 21.

[3] Tyler O’Neil, “Garland Suggests Justice Department Can’t Arrest Pro-Abortion Vandals Because They Firebomb Pregnancy Centers at Night,” Daily Signal, March 1, 2023, https://www.dailysignal.com/2023/03/01/garland-gives-reason-justice-department-prosecutes-pro-life-protesters-abortion-attacks-pregnancy-centers/.

[4] Michael Dougherty, “The Planned Attack on Justice Kavanaugh,” National Review, June 9, 2022, https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-planned-attack-on-justice-kavanaugh/.

[5] O’Neil, “Garland Suggests Justice Department Can’t Arrest Pro-Abortion Vandals.”

[6] Tyler O’Neil, “Hawley Presses Garland on FBI Memo Targeting Catholics: “How Many Informants Do You Have in Catholic Churches?” Daily Signal, March 1, 2023, https://www.dailysignal.com/2023/03/01/hawley-presses-garland-fbi-memo-targeting-catholics-many-informants-have-catholic-churches/

[7] Juan Williams, “The GOP’s sad embrace of Christian nationalism,” The Hill, August 15, 2022, https://thehill.com/opinion/3602231-juan-williams-the-gops-sad-embrace-of-christian-nationalism/;

[8] John MacArthur, The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 25.

[9] Rod Dreher, Live Not By Lies: A Manuel for Christian Dissidents (New York: Sentinel, 2020), 97.

Published by Tyler Tennies

Finding Life in the Word is my place to share thoughts on life. I write every day and my page is a good outlet to write about topics I’m interested in.

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