And So What About God?
First of all, it is not about God. Man is not so much rejecting God as he is rejecting his own self. Mankind is like the child that will hold its breath in order to get its way with the parent, but at some point the child has to accept the fact that breathing is an absolute part of its existence. Have you ever noticed that children only hold their breath as a maneuver with their parents? Do you actually believe it would work on one’s peers? Think about that. But, of course, having merely held its breath, the child considers that a milestone to be reckoned with, and an advancement to its cause of independence and authority. “Don’t mess with me.”
In the same way as the parent, God is pleased to permit you the free will to attempt to live without breathing; comfortable in the truth that the self-asserting attitude of man can never replace the natural laws that define man’s physical nature. And why do I say this?
C.S. Lewis, in his work, The Abolition of Man, addresses the deception that the secular mind falls prey to in its quest to overcome what it sees as Nature’s failings. Mr. Lewis makes the logical argument that with each new technology, with each new medical advance, and with each dictum of relative, behavioral policy, mankind believes they move forward in the subjugation of Nature to man’s purposes. It does appear that man rises with each new step he takes, but what is really happening here, and who is really being subjugated? Perhaps Mr. Lewis’ example of the airplane is a good way to present the deception that resides hidden in man’s mind:
The airplane has permitted man to travel significant distances in minimal time. This expansion of territory, through which he may travel and forage without loss to his ability to retain his primal home and family, has expanded the amount of resources he may procure for his own existence. Beyond the obvious advancement in his ability for commerce and communications, the airplane has also become a prime tool for man’s pleasures and rest; giving people the opportunity to travel to exotic locations for vacationing, and to attend events around the world and come home again in the seemingly “blink of an eye”. It’s a marvelous symbol of man’s ingenious character, and a weapon for his insidious nature, for it permits him to direct missiles and bombs to those he either hates or wishes to dominate for his own gain. In his quest for ever-widened territory he may claim for himself and nation, he must compete with those who claim territory also. Conflict that would otherwise never happen – as man’s appetite is always greater than his ability to consume that which he procures – leads to injury and death on a scale not seen before in mankind’s history. In other words, man’s short-term greed and self-worship emboldens his genocidal inclinations on an ever increasing scale. It is not that any tool is in itself evil; it cannot be such, but what is evil is the intent of the tool’s use by one for his own advancement and the subjugation of another.
In other words, the airplane subjugates man as much as it frees him, even more, because it goes well beyond missiles and bombs. In traveling by airplane, those who are many must subjugate their schedules to the few, their monies to the few, and their relationships to the few. To travel in an airplane requires that man subjugates more of himself than that which he receives, and beyond that, mankind imprisons the future generations of mankind to this technology of his today. A man in a chariot, pulled by valiant steeds, can kill many. A man in an airplane can kill legions. And a train engineer, heeding the call of his desires, can bring destruction and death to the unexpected.
Man seeks to overcome Nature, but how can he; he is part of Nature. In his attempt to do so, he only overcomes himself. In order to use his sciences he must objectify those things under inspection and manipulate them to his purpose. This is subjugation. So when he performs heart surgery he require a patient, or one who has been objectified and dealt with as a natural object. And through submission of the body to chemical manipulation, as in contraception, man can impede his own future and affect the type of man to be born in that future. In essence and truth, today’s man, through contraception, imprisons and limits the abilities of future man to be independent from his past; the exact opposite of what the secular, modern man seeks in his own quest. The more he attempts to gain power over nature, the more he must objectify and subject those around him and in front of him to nature’s control and influence. In the end, only Nature will win and man will lose; the cause of his own extinction through his own obsessive self-interest.
“In reality, of course, if any one age really attains, by eugenics and scientific education, the power to make its descendants what it pleases, all men who live after it are the patients of that power. They are weaker, not stronger: for though we may have put wonderful machines in their hands we have pre-ordained how they are to use them.” C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
As for God as a presence in the secular world? Well, for those I have just described, I’ve just buried Him in this discourse. DOA. He’s buried in one of the two coffins that bear the tombstone with its simple message – a scarlet letter “A” – and beside Him are the good intentions of man, destroyed by pride and an insistence of perfection due to a fear of public recognition of man’s “hidden conscience”. What I am directly referring to is a story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and published in 1850, The Scarlet Letter. Read it. It’s a fascinating mirror of today’s society for it recounts the inevitable failure of man’s attempt to avoid God’s will, and then distance himself too far from God’s reliable grace.
Evil’s definition, presence, and relative level of damage it brings to humanity is in direct proportion to man’s justification of his addictions to those things that only serve his individual purpose and not that of the whole society of man. It makes no difference whether it is the use of a phone camera to intimidate a classmate or the abuse of a person’s body for the sexual perversion of another; when it’s for the self, it is evil. Whether its public rebellion or incremental, personal infractions of one’s own beliefs, society ends up losing vision midst the falling ash of evil’s carnage. And for evil to find victory in the demoralization and ultimate destruction of humanity it must separate man from those absolute values by which humanity achieved fruition, and isolate man from those second-person experiences that would reveal the harm that evil causes.
Have you ever noticed how prevalent in secular families it is to banish any discussion of religion and politics? These two subjects, more so than any others, are the very linchpins to man’s success as a species. A linchpin is that pin or rod that affixes the wheel to the axle. Without them, well, the wheels come off as the axle turns and the cart moves forward. The Freemasons understood this and thus banned any form of discourse on these two subjects while meeting in their Masonic lodges. They banned such discourse knowing that to discuss these topics is to draw lines between the poly-religious nature of the Freemasons. For religion is the understanding that man has of his absolute world; the one he is not in charge of, nor ever will be. Politics is the discipline of social behavior and man’s interaction with the relative world; that world which man has the ability to use for the good and for the evil. Whether man’s politics is good or evil is based upon the purpose of its use. If it is in service to the absolute, then it is good. If it is in service to the relative, then it is evil. The secular family hopes to dismiss any discourse of these two subjects, for to engage in any meaningful conversation would invoke the inevitable admission of the family members failure to love one another fully, and to man’s failure in his religion and politics to serve the greater good of the absolute, and thus it would lead one by the nose to the admission the absolute trumps the relative. It is as I said before: “man sees that place – with God – as something he must resist with all of the force that continued evil can bring.”
So what is mankind resisting with all of the force of evil? God has been defined in many ways throughout the span of man’s existence and ability to think coherently. As the definitions pile up into heaps of man’s corroded thinking, it has become increasingly harder to attain a clear vision of God, and in that fog, man’s focus can be little more than just the hand in front of his face. I can easily state that it were these very heaps of debris that alienated me from God as a teenager. I was assessing man and his hypocrisy for whether there was any truth in God as that sentient force that gave and continues to give all life. Amazingly stupid of me, I might say. I now understand a little better, and I can look at the complexities and formalities of Christianity as perhaps confusing at times, but with good purpose. So I focus not on my judgment of them, but rather upon He who has given rise of my very life, and as the only possible relationship I can have that will provide the greatest good for my life. Only in my successful relationship with God, may I achieve successful relationships with my wife, my son, my parents, my brother and sister, my friends, acquaintances, the general community of mankind, and my enemies. This is the greatest truth I have found since I became a practicing Christian, and there is no way to get around it, despite my desires to do so.
Let’s Get Real
I want to make a few things clear before I wade deep into an argument that supports the belief that God and Christian values are superior to secularist philosophy in promoting the success of humanity and its goals to achieve happiness, contentment and peace.
First, most disciplines are simply ideologies. Whether it be training as an athlete, campaigning for environmental causes, or following the teachings of Jesus Christ, no one is going to attain the perfection of methodology in reaching the goal. Humans are too complex, and that complexity too little understood, for anyone to hold to the ideological path that a discipline infers. The athlete is going to fall prey to a Twinkie, the environmentalist is going to enjoy a log fire on a cold night, and the Christian is always going to end up in Confession. No one is immune to one’s inability to hold fast to a truth. Yet, in the verbal debate on the existence of God, too many with too little minds always take the tack that since so-and-so Christian sinned, that Christianity must be false. Well if that were the standard, then sports should be banned and environmental causes should be ignored. If that were the case, mankind could not believe in, support, or engage in any thought, word, or action of any discipline for mankind corrupts them all. We couldn’t even just sit on a rock properly and rot. Christianity as a theology, over all of man’s philosophies, recognizes this better than all other disciplines; especially secularism.
Second, as to the matter of God, I would hope to be able to define God in some secularist, scientific form, over that of some deity of spiritual form that has a conscious existence, has created something from nothing, lives outside of time, and is absolutely omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good, and is never, ever, wrong about anything. That’s just who I was for the first fifty-seven years of my life; a good secularist and atheist, and a member of a generation of baby-boomers who welcomed relative reality as superior to absolute reality, and saw it as a beacon for man’s future. I admit, the concept of God confounds me with every breath I take. I also admit that for anyone to believe that God does not exist, confounds me even greater. I have seen too much, learned too much, experienced too much, seen the proof-of-the-pudding too much to believe that God is anything other than who He has shown Himself to be; first with the Jewish people, and then with the Jews and gentiles who embraced the teaching and divinity of Jesus Christ. Beyond my own rise of consciousness to God’s presence, I am also truly blessed to have had the life-changing event in my life of when God personally interceded into my life, revealed Himself unto me, and call me into His service; all within a two-hour period in the middle of the night. I had no choice in this matter. Think of it this way:
You live in a room with two doors. On door leads into the world, and through this door you leave and enter your room as you please in order to engage the world. The other door is on the opposite wall, and it is a door you have never opened. Now beyond that unopened door, and unknown to you, are the gifts of your sincerest hopes. The mere gazing upon these gifts would banish forever your anxieties and fears of life. To touch these gifts is to bring a sacrificial joy into your heart that propels you forward into loving relationships with those in your family and the world community. And to use these gifts for the good of the world community is to bring any everlasting quality of life that gives you eternal peace.
You contemplate the door; is it locked or unlocked? What would the knob feel like should you place your hand upon it? Would the door be light or heavy? Is the world beyond this door the same as that other world you walk in or is it different? You ponder what might come to you should you attempt to open the door, and if unlocked and you do open it, what will you find beyond that door? You sense something and it makes you unsure of yourself, so you try to think of other things, and your aid to do so lies with your experience to what you do know; that what is beyond the other door is a sense of the freedom and exercise of your own will to your own purpose.
I was presented with that door the night God came to me, and I had that freedom of my own will to choose to go with Him or stay where I sat. There was no choice though in my mind and soul. It was immaterially and materially obvious, and automatic. To stay behind would mute the possible. To go with God was to voice the unequivocal. To give up on my synthetic matrix of free will for that of the assurance of a loving grace that would show me how to love, was a choice not necessary to contemplate. Think of it as the knowledge of arsenic as a deadly poison. Would you really drink it if you wanted to live? I really wanted to live. I gazed upon the gifts beyond the door that God had opened for me, and I have found peace of heart. I have touched those gifts and have found love. I have used those gifts to achieve my promised rewards, and I now understand that free will is but a narrow illusion of man’s own quest to own himself; something he will never be able to do.
And so, walking past all of the proselytism in my life that inculcated a belief that God was nothing more than man’s ignorance of nature, I have come to the true reality that God is not a product of nature but rather the producer of nature. There is no secularist, scientific definition of God because God is that deity that created what we know to be all things scientific and real. God is the supreme scientist. Therefore, having stated such, I apologize to those readers who wish for a scientific explanation for things unknown and unseen; something to ease their anxiety of inferiority. When scientists finally pass on the truth of God’s presence to me, I’ll pass it onto you. In the meantime, when it is obviously of God, I will use God as my truth to any claim I assert.
Third, I am not here to argue that secularists are evil. They are no more so than one of any philosophical or theological persuasion that strives to lift man rather than degrade man. Furthermore, I can attest that few secular people bear real ill will towards those of any faith. On the contrary, the secular goals are of the same nature as that of all good faiths. I have not met the man or woman, with a sane mind, who seeks not a society of man that lives in peace, which delivers prosperity to all, and views equal opportunity to happiness as foundational goals for humanity.
So, now it’s time to wade chest deep into God’s world and His promises that manifest themselves in the real things about us.
PART 6 – To come.
God Bless and Buen Camino – Reese