Friday, July 30, 2010

Why Grace?

Do we like God or hate God? It is really not that important. What is much more important is whether we need God. That we understand our hopelessness without God as an individual and as a society. Atheist and secularists have very different attitude towards God. Or do they? They both think of man as progressing socially, economically, politically, etc. They see religion as having played a role in that progress. Atheists would say that role is done. That at some point religion became a negative force in the road towards progress and therefore it should be discarded. Secularists will say religion continues to be a positive force towards progress and it should be retained. But both see it as a tool in the hands of man. One loves the tool and one hates the tool but neither sees it as more than a tool.

Christianity starts with the notion that we are powerless without God. That our sin is very deep and very serious and it effects every area of life. We simply cannot hope to make any progress without God's grace. Not in our personal lives and not as a society. Nominal Christianity doesn't make any sense if we understand that. That sin makes us incapable of pursuing truth, beauty, and goodness. Our intellect is darkened. We cannot recognize progress so we take more steps backwards than we forwards. It is a humiliating truth to contemplate. But if we don't truly internalize it we will go back to thinking in the flesh when things get hard.

We have tried to make our society agnostic. That all the institutions and education should not assume anything about he reality of God. Is that a bog deal? If you understand how fallen sinful man truly is then is you will see it as a big deal. It is not just that a few atheist societies have gone badly wrong. In theory we could learn from their mistakes and get a better result. But we can't. We cannot solve the problem of sin without God. We keep thinking we have advanced beyond our history. We are educated now. Our society cannot possibly be consumed with hatred.

Societies choice to go into functional agnosticism really mirrors the choice of many individuals. People have gotten excited about technology. Life is changing fast and the church does not seem to get it. It is so easy to just set aside questions of faith and just go by whatever makes sense to you. But for all the problems technology can solve it cannot do anything about the problem of sin. But am I such a bad guy? Is my sin really that bad that I should reorder my whole life around that issue? I will go to church on Sunday ... most of the time ... when I am not too busy ... just not to one of those services that makes me feel guilty. Then I will get on with what really matters in life.

The scary part is that the problem is completely invisible. You mind is darkened but you don't know it. You think you are thinking clearly and making good decisions. We see it in others. When you talk to addicts it is striking. Their reasoning is so warped but they don't see it. I will just have a few drinks to clear my mind. How can somebody who has experienced so much devastation in his life from alcohol think that way? They don't know that the addiction has effected their thinking. Or they do and they don't quite realize the significance of that fact.

But we all do it. We have millions of children dying from abortions.Why are people not morally outraged by that? Sin effects our minds. We not only have disasters happen but we can't even see them as disasters. But how do we get passed our own mind? We need grace.

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