Friday, April 13, 2007

Christianity in Society

I have been doing some reflecting lately on the role of Christianity in Society.

I have been wondering what it is that is the fundamental thing that people have problems with in Christianity. Is it the morality? Is it how we feel about the role of faith and reason? Is it our view of the dignity of the value of the human person?

I think Pope Benedict gives us a good hint in Deus Caritas Est. He states

Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.

People love attaching themselves to Christianity in a fuzzy sort of way. People have no problems with lofty ideas or value systems in essence really. The reason why that is is because it falls into the realm of tolerance and relativism. A value system is fine when there is no motivation for it to convince others, it is good for you, and people appreciate that. People feel nice when they have something to guide their life and their actions. It is the same with the lofty ideas. Prayer is fine when it doesn't intrude on others, when it is only personal and internal, where you and God can relate in a way that is appropriate to you only and not to others. Prayer, of course, is certainly very personal, but we know from our Christian experience that this is not the case.

You see, it is the second line of what Pope Benedict says that makes Christianity unique and unpopular. Christianity is not about values, lofty ideas, mystical experiences, at least not in and of themselves. In and of themselves they do not bring meaning to life. Instead, they just give direction, but direction and meaning are two totally different things.

What Pope Benedict is suggestion is that we have faith in a person, in Jesus Christ, in that faith, the reason for our humanity will be made clear. Our life will be given direction and meaning and purpose.

So, there is a reason why Christians get sick to their stomachs when they see books about Christianity, but only go so far as to say that Christ was a good man, but He wasn't God, and He didn't resurrect from the dead. It is simple, without the resurrection, then our faith is a dead faith, with nice ideas, but nothing convincing to it.

People have no problem saying "I like Christianity, but I can't claim Christ to be my Lord and God because He isn't, that is just too much for me". It is the truth.

I came to realize this past Triduum the true awesomeness of the Resurrection. He is not dead, He is indeed risen. Christians who are convinced of that see that Christianity is meant to inform and change their lives. It is part of their very being because they encounter the risen Christ in everything.

People don't like Christianity because they can't come to believe that Christ is truly present in the world. But He is, He is a reality to the world. And that is why people shy away from it. If one takes Christianity seriously, they have to accept the fact that Christ is alive and well and His love is being poured out to those who accept it. Christ becomes a part of their life and they come to discover Christ in their life on a day to day basis for the rest of their lives.

Those who like Christianity as an idea or a way to encounter God whom they feel transcends religion and is the same for all don't go to the extent that a Christian does. They can't get past the idea that Christ is truly risen.

Without the resurrection, our faith is dead. Thanks be to God that He is truly risen!



David said...

Keep it up man...

John said...

Hi, Its John again.
The fact of the matter is that organised churchianity has always been, and still is a divisive influence on the world stage.

It is also inherently inclined to a world conquering totalitarianism with its completely obnoxious and heretical claim to be the "one true" faith/way/revelation and its entirely false claim on all of the the world family.

This set of essays explains why churchianity has inevitably been a baneful influence on the world stage.


This essay titled "The Taboo Against The Superior Man" also explains why churchianity is a negative influence in the world---it points out how we are "educated" to be incapable of True Responsibility for our presence in the world.


Plus a talk/essay re who owns The Holy Brightness.