Monday, March 16, 2009

What are you looking for?

Lately I've been spending more time surfing websites representative of various world views. One cannot help but notice how so many are thriving on enmity against others while simultaneously striving for unity amongst the like-minded. Each group at bottom presents in various ways one common desire: unity. As to what that unity is, who it includes, how it is achieved, why it is necessary, etc. is of widespread opinion; however, a closer look at each cause reveals that unity is not really the goal, but reconciliation.

Mankind is ultimately hard at work in the context of discord, stress, anxiety. Relationships are strained inidividually, ethnically, nationally, politically, religiously; yet, people are invariably desiring to reach a resolution, bridge a gap, inaugurate change, repair the breach, compose harmony. But what is the adversary? Man and (blank) are at odds.

What is the (blank)?

The Epicureans (in their various forms today) teach that which brings the most pleasure is that which is good. Hedonism is an end in itself. The individual is free to do as he or she pleases, as long as nobody else gets hurt. There is nothing to fear, and subsequently, nothing to hope for. Whatever happens happens by chance, luck.

Stoics, on the other hand, hold to the idea that nature is directed by an impersonal force. All is god (pantheism). One must simply accept circumstances as they are. We are at the mercy of blind chance.

Briefly put, there seems to be only two options for mankind:
1) The Universe is fluke, nobody loves you, have a nice life;
2) Impersonal forces at work, accept your fate. It is your destiny, young Skywalker.

Truth be told, both systems have not explained why they seek deliverance from pain, from the futility of life. Why else would one seek to work on his karma? Why else would one hope that he did enough right to be reincarnated on a higher plane?

One might conclude that reconciliation must occur on another level--man must be reconciled to life itself. As one lives he spends his time and energy making adjustments to find peace. Do men really desire to be at peace with cold, stress-filled, brief, hard, disaster-ridden life? If this were the case, then what was done against "life" that men should seek peace with it?

Perhaps one might conclude that reconciliation must occur with things, The Universe (all things seen and unseen, known and unknown in contrast against "the universe" which is all we currently know). To master The Universe, one must gain control over sources. One must harness and direct and to do this requires absolute knowledge. Has science ever triumphed over nature? Only if we have finished playing the "oh, THAT's how it works," game. If man is to be reconciled to the Universe, what was done against the Universe that man should seek peace with it?

How can one bridge a gap with the intangible? Is life tangible?
How can one repair what is broken between an individual and the Universe?

Reconciliation is more than repairing what is broken. Reconciliation requires something that never ends--a relationship, for better or worse. Impersonal relationships have never begun, so there is nothing that needs be reconciled; however, reconciliation leads to true life and it is there one finds all creation groaning, waiting for man's redemption to be complete through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

God and man are at enmity because of sin. The moral law-giver has been offended by individual lack of love for Him, by individual reshaping of who He is into one's own image, by misrepresentation of His name, by failure to worship, by disregarding instruction, by hatred which amounts to murder, by lust, by theft and mismanagment of all we do not own, by mishandling truth, by downright selfishness. Man is separated from God, the Creator, by sin. God has repaired the breach, if only one will admit how God sees his or her heart. If His work in Christ Jesus is rejected, then God must let justice take its course and one is left with eternal punishment.

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