Monday, January 20, 2014

A Disenchanted World Needn't Be...

By John Sykes

Lately I have been too caught up in the secular world of government & politics. The erosion of our freedoms and our Constitution, the casting aside of the Bill of Rights have all led me to despair of their continued existence. Disenchantment slithered in to my life.

Thankfully, this Viewpoint posting, A Disenchanted World, popped up today.

In a disenchanted world nothing has any meaning, except that which our minds invent, and that meaning is radically and constantly susceptible to change. This is because there is nothing beyond our minds, nothing superior to our minds to make any sense out of the reality we encounter all around us, and human minds, in a highly relativistic and personal age, are nothing if not changeable. 
The important thing to get here is that the people around us who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ consider themselves right generous to be putting up with our silly religious convictions. They don’t mind doing so as long as we don’t take those beliefs seriously – that is, as long as we don’t try to impose on their everyday experience meanings derived from our religious convictions. If we want to go to church, pray, read our Bibles, and spend lots of time in Bible study groups, they’re fine with that. At worst, they’ll only talk about us with their other unsaved friends; mostly, they’re tolerant of us – if we live out our faith on their terms. 
But the minute we come along suggesting that the world is not a disenchanted place, that, in fact, there are spiritual realities with which we have to do, and that we have to do with them in every area of our lives – whenever we come talking that smack, that’s when the trouble begins. That’s when the hackles go up and cries of “religion is a personal matter”, “separation of church and state”, “cramming God down my throat”, and even “theocracy” come gurgling up from the deep recesses of their souls in a kind of spiritual anti-missile defense system which they keep on hair trigger for just such occasions. 
What are we supposed to do? Shall we simply keep the world of unseen things and spiritual realities to ourselves, even though we know these to be ultimately determinative of everything else? Hardly. We need to take up the challenge of re-enchanting our disenchanted world. And, as I think we’ll see, the task, though perhaps daunting, is not impossible – and the results can be truly significant.
I'll  take that challenge. I'll  teach " all that I have commanded you." But I'm not giving up on what I truly believe He expects of us - that we also are to be in this world but not of it, using His law to strengthen the will and freedoms He has given us!

But I do so reenchanted, thankful that He has the ability to put up with us!