Everyone seems to acknowledge that the world around us is changing. People are embracing `postmodernism’ – everything is relative and nothing has any real meaning.
And I think Christians are mssing out on some good stuff…
Modern society is bad, right? We believe in Absolute Truth and we’re against Apathy and Individualism, yeah?
Well, I’ll leave you to make a list of things we don’t like about our society. I’m interested in stuff we’re scared of that is actually really cool.
Here’s my best example:
Lots of people now are happy with ambiguity – realising it could be one thing or another, or another maybe. In fact, when I talk to people about the meaning of life, people seem to be very comforted when they find uncertainties.
In contrast, we Christians are terrified of ambiguity. We write whole books on why things aren’t ambiguous. We join one camp or another to avoid having to hold two possibilities in our heads. Or we just say it’s too hard and ignore it, hoping someone else will figure it out.
But we should be happy with ambiguity too. Why?
- God is incomprehensible. We are just too small.
- The Bible is ambiguous on loads of stuff. Hebrew particularly is a very ambiguous language, I’m told.
- Sometimes we just don’t know. This is even true of ministers. We should embrace the mysterious nature of God.
Actually, on this particular issue, the Catholic church has it down much better than us evangelicals. They have these things called Mysteries (for example Jesus is both God and man) that they basically say are beyond our understanding.
Here’s another example just to make the point:
People are genuinely looking for authentic spiritual experience. Personally, if I’m honest, I’m scared of authentic spiritual experience and relieved when it becomes a routine.
Modern culture is actually quite good for some stuff. Why are we so scared of it?
`In the world, not of it’ doesn’t mean it’s ok so long as we’re `of’ a world from 50 years ago.
What do you think?
I think there are MANY good things about modern society, and how the world is changing. Perhaps this is a simplification, but I think that nowadays (jn western European society, anyway) people are able to think more for themselves about their beliefs – they are not stigmatised if they do not go to church or do not believe in God. Because we are given more freedom, I think that it makes our faith more valuable, if you see what I mean. There are other incredibly good things too, like gender equality. Women are now more able to use the talents and gifts God gave them instead of being restricted to the home and family. I know this doesn’t really have much to do with what Andy was saying, but it does annoy me when people go on about how the world is changing for the worse, when I believe it is, in many respects, a lot better than it was 50 or so years ago.
Thanks for agreeing, Alice 😉
Leave a comment