Supernatural Religion a Superstition?
WHY is the world in such confusion? Why are forces of destruction seemingly at work? According to one of America’s foremost clergymen, Dr. John Haynes Holmes, “At the moment, all is confusion; the forces about us seem to be forces of destruction. But this is because superstition, the old religion of the supernatural, is in the way and must be removed, as the mouldering walls of some old building must be removed and carted off, before the new structure, already conceived and chartered, can rise in the soaring structure of steel and stone.”—New Outlook, May 1953.
What, actually, is Dr. Holmes here saying? Is it not that all supernatural religion, including therefore also the revealed supernatural religion of the Bible, is superstition; that natural religion is to take its place, and that it will be as superior to the supernatural religion as a modern structure of steel and stone is superior to old moldering walls?
But what could be more conducive to confusion than “natural” religion, than religion without supernatural aid, where men develop their own rules of conduct and beliefs on the basis of their own research and experiences? Based as it is on different environment, differing experiences, associations, sources of information, mental capacities, not to say anything about degrees of selfishness, what could natural religion result in but confusion?
Can a religion not supernatural explain the mystery of life, how it got its start and what keeps it going? how this wonderful natural world with all its variety in earth, sea and sky came into existence? why man seems to struggle so futilely against sin and imperfection? Can natural religion tell us if there is life after death? if there are invisible personalities, perhaps superior to man, and whether or not man could protect himself against them?
The supernatural religion of the Bible can answer these questions and therefore it is not a superstition but recommends itself to all sober-thinking men and women.
Natural religion in modern times is but the worship of science. Has science brought East and West together in peace, or merely made their differences more costly? Has it solved the problems of crime and corruption, or has it merely made these more widespread and dangerous? But the true supernatural religion does have the key: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength,” and, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”—Mark 12:30, 31, NW.
The world is in confusion, not because the supernatural religion is in the way, but because men have discarded the true supernatural religion.