Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Christian Worldview: How Did We Get Here? Part II

As established in Part 1, seeing life through Jesus eyes entails seeing the world and the life in it as created by God. None of us is an accident of chance (not even the lowly amoeba is); instead, all life is the result of God actively creating life at some point in the past and then ceasing thereafter from creating life. Furthermore, this perspective is one that actually comports with reality, whereas any viewpoint excluding the existence of a creator and relying upon random chance and processes that could be active today does not.

That, however, leaves us with the questions of why life is what it is and why humans are what they are. What of suffering, and death, and evil? What kind of Creator must we have when there is such misery in the creation that creator has made? The texts of Genesis 3:14-24 and Romans 1:18-32 yield an answer, which is really quite robust and needs to be braided into any Christian worldview.

Simply put, the reason that conditions are what they are is that God is angry. The word used to describe God’s attitude toward life, particularly human life (Romans 1) is wrath [Koine: orge]. Literally, the word refers to a swelling up, figuratively it refers to the state of being teeming in opposition. In other words, the wrath (orge) God feels towards humanity moves him to stand up and fight against them. That might seem a quaint idea to modern sensibilities, but it is biblical and it lines up with reality!

But why is God so wrathful? According to Romans 1, it is because mankind has endeavored, from the beginning, to marginalize and dismiss God in order to do whatever they have wanted to do. Whether we look at the story of Adam and Eve, or at the generations leading up to Noah, or at those who built a tower in opposition to God’s right to rule over and judge us, or anything since, the biblical history of mankind is played on one note: resistance to God. His counterpoint is wrath.

In this day and age, is that an idea that has any merit, any truth value to it? Look for yourself. Are people willful while they put their Creator on a bookshelf or ignore that Creator altogether? Does dismissing or neglecting the Creator allow them to pursue whatever course of action they see fit? Do they project upon God what they want him to be or what conveniences their willful agenda? That certainly jibes with my observations.

Even good people, the very best people, don’t take God seriously.

If they're not projecting their wishes and excuses upon God in one way, then they're dismissing and neglecting him on another. No one in the natural is truly unselfish or unwillful or God-seeking, and it has always been so.

God’s reaction to such was to pull the plug. Pull the plug on perfection, pull the plug on life, pull the plug on health, pull the plug on relationship, and leave us to our own devices since that’s what we wanted. The plug pulled, God removed himself from our realtime perception of him and left humankind to themselves, given over to a mind without God in it. As a result humankind lives flawed lives in a flawed world until death comes and each faces ultimate judgment.

Philosophers worry about theodicy, the justification of a perfectly good God given all the suffering and death here on earth. It’s not a thing a person looking at the world through Jesus eyes needs to worry about, for the fault lies not in God, but in humankind. The question is not how can God be all-good in the midst of so much evil, but why, since God is only good, it’s not a whole lot worse! At some point in time, given God's perfections, it will have to be.

So we wonder, “How did we get here?” and we see the Bible has an answer. In the beginning, God made everything, including life, and then he rested. He made humans in his image with divine-like powers of will, choice, creativity, etc. and placed them in a perfectly made world. But humans, in their god-like abilities, opted to trust their own judgment and do their own will rather than God’s. They rebelled and triggered the judgment of a perfectly just God.

Death and all the misery, weakness and suffering that comes with it is the price humans pay in the here and now for wanting God as he truly is out of the picture. Not only in themselves was the penalty inflicted but also upon the world around them God made for them. As it was for Adam and Eve, so it is for the rest of us. We have been given over to ourselves, separated from God, and the result is a depraved mind in a world broken beyond repair, leading to death.

But there is an antidote. God has a plan for fallen humankind, lost in isolation, brokenness and death--a redemptive plan. If we turn from our rebellion, from our rejection of God, and embrace him in our lives and living, he will welcome us into fellowship with himself and give us his very own breath so we can live in soundness of mind and fellowship with him now and forever. This is the message of Christ, this is what his death and resurrection secured for all who repent and accept the gospel.

A Christian worldview perceives that we are not accidents of chance but the creations of purpose--the purpose of God. A Christian worldview sees everything as a creation made by God but broken by sin, wrecked by death, and thankfully, redeemed in Christ. A Christian worldview sees that God has put us in this broken place so we would see the folly of our rebellion, repent, and put our trust in him.

A Christian worldview sees God in the face of Christ and realizes he is the only way out of the here we've gotten to.

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