God’s Nature – What Man Resists
God’s nature is love in the full, self-sacrificial form. To experience Him is to feel at first an impulse to the kindness one should show to others, and given good soil to grow in, it becomes a devotion to the demotion of one’s personal desires for the good of all, knowing that in turn one receives the highest quality of humanity; happiness, contentment, and peace. It is a virtue of humanity that cannot be replicated through man’s own endeavors.
Anyone who would contend that their engagement and successful navigation through life is due to their singular force is selfishly ignoring the backs of others upon which they climbed or the receiving nourishment of one order or another from others. No matter how hard one may try, the inevitable truth of God’s work in one’s life is unmeasurable. While the atheist can deny He exists, the atheist cannot deny the assistance of others in his or her life. There, the potential of God always resides and the atheist cannot shake it off. There, the self-sacrificial nature of God and His call for mankind to demonstrate a similar nature resides to lift man away from his inclinations to himself to the aspirations of man in God’s form; a society for the benefit of all.
The first paragraph in the Prologue of the Catechism of the Catholic Church reads:
“God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church.”
I know of no constitution of a government of man that reads so eloquently and lovingly of the hopes for man in his society. The inclusive nature of such a truth goes far beyond any statement that secular man can assert, for it recognizes man’s capacity for evil and yet forgives it in the hope that all mankind would realize the truth of self-sacrifice, of love. Secular man likewise recognizes man’s capacity for evil, yet there are few provisions for forgiveness; preferring conditioning to whatever temporal, relative thought that is brought about by power. Secular society builds prisons, so as to not have to deal with its own short-comings. God builds His Church, so as to deal with man’s short-comings. The first seeks to exclude, the second seeks to include.
We see the nature of God best expressed in our arts. Man knows what art is naturally, and with a unified voice. He knows what art is not when there is no such unity of voice. We see this played out consistently in our society to the point where we force feed our society with those inventions of corrupted art that assault the dignity of man rather than praise it. Obscenity is an absolute and we know it. We can dish it out in vast quantities, but we can never stomach it as that spiritual nourishment by which we may live.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in Chapter I, reads:
“The human person: With his openness to truth and beauty, his sense of moral goodness, his freedom and the voice of his conscience, with his longings for the infinite and for happiness, man questions himself about God’s existence. In all this he discerns signs of his spiritual soul.”
This is our longing for what man calls his arts. He hopes for God with each stroke of the brush, each chisel bite into stone, each note choreographed on a sheet of music. Man hopes for the vision of God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and perfectly good character in his artistic endeavors. God is the supreme artist. The arts of man are therefore the display of God’s nature, and so when man imposes a corrupted form of art upon society, the society rebels and debates. It’s not because of varying, valid opinions by critically-acclaimed experts that man debates such, it is because man knows innately what art is; the valid expression of God’s nature. As secular man moves away from God’s form of love to a form that advantages only the person, then the visible obligations and responsibilities of true love, expressed by man through his arts, become intolerable to him. We see this movement towards the abdication of our artistic responsibilities to common good in the compositions of painters and sculptors and in the performances of singers and musicians who employ obscenity for obscenity sake. We see it in the clothing manufacturers who weave, sew, and sell clothing that promotes violence through its emulation of criminal gangs of youth caught in the grips of secular society’s own failures. It is vampirism by its very nature.
But God can lift man from his fallen nature and take man into God’s own. God, in His love for mankind, hopes for man to use his own choice, his free will, to seek He who resides within him. God calls man to the service of man, and not to himself, and in so doing to be in right relationship with Him; that right relationship being coined perhaps most simply in the question, “What would Jesus do?”
God’s Covenant with Man
God, in showing Himself to the world, has shown one singular characteristic that is the greatest cause for love; His perseverance to mankind. God’s promise to love us is eternal and a guide for man’s hopes. No constituency of mankind can make this claim. No body of mankind can demonstrate a respect for all humanity; not only in the present and on into the future, but of most importance, those of the past. Lacking respect for present man, we take from one to give to another according to relative notions. Lacking respect for future man, we kill future man for the choice of pleasures by the present man. Lacking respect for past man, those who once carried the hopes of mankind forward and now take rest from their work, we ignore their work, then disregard their work, then decry their work, and finally condemn them for their work. We live in revisionist times.
I find this denial of the work of past man to be of a most horrendous nature. It is through the countless of centuries that man has walked this earth that we are now able to step on his memory in order to rise to our own gains. We celebrate our ingenuity when all along we have done nothing more that stolen what is not ours. We educate ourselves to sophistication through the employment of sophistry. Secular man is particularly of this sordid nature as he knows that past man has universally acknowledged the supernatural, the spiritual as in dominion over that which man is or could ever become by his own means. For secular man to achieve his goals, he must sever his dependency on God, and to do so means he must first ignore, then disregard, then decry, and then condemn all of the spiritual influence upon his shadowy dominion in a continuing act of despotism. It is in man’s nature to betray, not in God’s nature.
Now, man makes little attempt to resist God’s covenant like he does God’s nature. Rather, man wallows in God’s covenant, taking full opportunity of God’s steady love to advance himself while giving little to God in return for His gifts. But as man distances himself from acknowledging the One who has brought him this far, and will continue to carry him forward, he slowly moves away from the dynamic character and force of centricity and democracy to the malaise and lethargy of dissolution; leaving the door open to a distilled, secular despotism.
GK Chesterton in, The Everlasting Man, reinforces the nature of man’s consistent failure to guard against denial of those absolute truths that have always have brought man to the pinnacles of his culture.
“If there is one fact we really can prove, from the history that we really do know, it is that despotism can be a development, often a late development and very often indeed the end of societies that have been highly democratic. A despotism may almost be defined as a tired democracy. As fatigue falls on a community, the citizens are less inclined for that eternal vigilance which has truly been called the price of liberty; and they prefer to arm only one single sentinel to watch the city while they sleep.”
Towards False Humanity
It is important to put man’s construct of Christianity and all other religions into its proper place so as to understand how to use them. When we observe how Christianity is spreading into new regions of the world, like China, Russia, and Africa, it is not Christianity that is the catalyst, but rather it is humanity as God had created it in the beginning.
Christianity is the reflection of God’s good nature in man. Christianity is the result of God’s creation of a creature that is sentient in nature so it can acknowledge that foundational, behavioral trait that God has gifted to it for its success as shepherd of the world; love. And what better form of love is there than the monogamous, family structure. Rare the anthropologist or sociologist they would be who would take any position against the family structure of biological parents and children as the very necessity for man’s ascent to the biological pinnacle of all creatures in the known universe. The family is the essential element of God’s creative plan that takes mankind successfully forward in the service of God. The family is that crucial element that, in its delineation and delegation of authority through love and dependency, tampers down those thoughts, words and deeds that attempt to destabilize the family and resultant society.
Christianity and other religions are but the philosophical outlay of God’s plan for mankind and we call it theology. In man’s ability to acknowledge – to be conscious of – those things that lead him along the path of life, he by nature, God’s nature, takes measure of his process. To sell Christianity though as man’s sole guide, and not humanity, is to put the cart in front of the horse, and to analyze humanity through Christianity only creates division. Christianity is in service to man, and man is in service to God, and evidence of what I say here is borne out in the fact that for a few hundred years now, Christianity in Western civilization has failed to inspire mankind to a state of self-sacrificing love over that of a state of erotic love and self-flagellation.
Instead, what we see is secular man selling a deception he calls humanity, and this is why he is successful in this empowered world. He claims to be selling the very thing that God gave breath to and the very hope that gave rise to Christianity as the new covenant. In the meantime, the religious man has placed that which is in service to all men – Christianity itself – above all men, and holds its iconic form out in front of itself like Constantine’s army held their marked shields before them as they went into battle against Maxentius. We see this acted out in the countless denominations of Christianity that view the egalitarian ethic as in authority over God’s Word. True humanity predates Christianity, and in so selling the deception of humanity, the secular man hopes to sweep aside all religions and God, for that which God created; the world and humanity. The son seeks to murder the Father.
Secular liberalism is a deception and a deformity of man’s good nature, as God created it. Secularism hopes to replace the authority of the family with a broader view of society as the family, and thus a new authority is being created for the provision of that which God had planned for man; divine happiness, contentment, and peace through self-sacrificial love. It is a bold claim for secularism to make and there is little argument against such a claim by those who have been lifted in material success by a force that provides for desires over hopes. Here is the deformity; desires over hopes.
Man’s desires – played out through his technology – is advanced in the service of increased communications between living individuals and groups. We strive to what appears to be a good model for an equal society; the ability to freely communicate over great distances and through even greater diversities in order to freely distribute information. We believe that this free and immediate distribution of information will lead mankind to a global cohesion of thought, word and deed that will attain universal satisfaction for all. In itself it is good, however we fail to understand there are two, vital components missing that are genetic and God created: The Biological Family as created by God, and the Second-Person Relationship as created by God. I will tackle these two components in my next two posts.
PART 7 – To come.
God Bless and Buen Camino – Reese