These thoughts are a continuation from my recent post, The Secret. I feel as if I have been reading/watching content that is so related to this idea…
Our society has taken God out of the equation.
Maybe in an effort to be more “accepting” of everyone who has different beliefs. Sometimes I feel like even Christians do it, too. Like they are afraid to stand up for what they believe because they are afraid they will offend people or appear unaccepting or unloving. I know I’ve been guilty of it on some level in the past.
But we are called to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
Instead of doing so, we are taking God out of the equation. And replacing Him with… Humanism?
James Woods is running for Congress on a platform he called “Humanist.” Here is his statement:
“Humanism requires that we treat everyone with dignity and respect. That we stand up for equality. That we govern compassionately. That we listen to what people need. We need to shift toward progressive Humanist value to address human suffering.”
Aren’t all of these “humanist” principles exactly what Jesus Christ himself stood for, lived for, and died for?
Jesus fought for all of these things. And Jesus was accepting of everyone. He hung out with the prostitutes and tax collectors. He loved those that were the hardest to love. Even if they didn’t believe in him, he accepted and loved them just the same.
Jesus is God in the human form. And we are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) which means we are inherently eternal beings who were created to have a relationship with the Creator and live our lives with hope of eternity.
Yet it seems more and more people are attempting to deny this deep rooted need within themselves. And to deny that is to deny one’s true self.
Maybe that’s why this world is so lost.
In his book Simply Christian, N.T. Wright tells a very interesting story about a powerful dictator who took all the natural springs of water in the land and covered them with concrete and created these organized holes where the water could come out, a system of sorts – “The System” he calls it – that he could control.
The people were able to get water, but they always longed for the days of when it sprang forth in its purest form. Yet they praised this dictator anyway for his “forward-looking wisdom.” They were all fine and well until one day the pressure of the water underneath this concrete city built up so much that it burst open. Muddy water sprang forth and destroyed roads, homes, etc.
Some people were delighted: at last they could get water again without depending on The System. But the people who ran the official waterpipes were at a loss: suddenly everyone had more than enough water, but it wasn’t pure and couldn’t be controlled…
We in the Western world are the citizens of that country. The dictator is the philosophy that has shaped our world for the past two or more centuries, making most people materialists by default. And the water is what we today call “spirituality,” the hidden spring that bubbles up within human hearts and human societies.
Many people today hear the very word “spirituality” like travelers in a desert hearing news of an oasis. This isn’t surprising. The skepticism that we’ve been taught for the last two hundred years has paved our world with concrete, making people ashamed to admit that they have had profound and powerful “religious” experiences. Where before they would have gone to church, said their prayers, worshipping in this way or that, and understood what they were doing as part of the warp and wood of the rest of life, the mood of the Western world from roughly the 1780s through to the 1980s was very different.
We will pipe you (said the prevailing philosophy) the water you need, we will arrange for “religion” to become a small subdepartment of ordinary life; it will be quite safe – harmless, in fact – with church life carefully separated off from everything else in the world, whether politics, art, sex, economics, or whatever. Those who don’t want their life, and their way of life, disrupted by anything “religious” can enjoy driving along concrete roads, visiting concrete-based shopping malls, living in concrete-floored houses. Live as if the rumor of God had never existed! We are, after all, in charge of our own fate! That is the philosophy which has dominated our culture. From this point of view, spirituality is a private hobby, an up-market version of daydreaming for those who like that king of thing.
My prayer for the world is that one day – and one day soon – we will spread the gospel to the ends of the earth, that we will unite as one under the one true God, and that we will fight for all things “humanist” under the name of God and under the example given by his perfect son, our savior, Jesus Christ.
We may not be able to ever get back to that pure, untainted natural source of water this side of heaven. But I do believe we can find our own portion of that source, our own glimpse of that perfect, flowing stream through our own personal relationship with Jesus Christ who is our living water.
“Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:14
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of this heart will flow rivers of living water.'” – John 7:38