Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Clash of Two Different Realities. . .

Over and over again the Church is called to get real by those who insist the world is passing the Church by.  We must reform our view of women and the pastoral office because, get real, women are here to stay and they will not stay down on the farm any longer...  We must reform our view of sexuality because, get real, the genie is out of the bottle and marriage and abstinence are antiquated concepts that no one is paying any attention to any longer...  We must reform our view of truth because, get real, science had trumped the Scripture card on the origins of the universe and is not all that reliable on other things as well...  We must reform our view of worship because, get real, people have myriad of choices out there and liturgy, even good liturgy, cannot compete in the entertainment marketplace our people live with day in and day out...

This point is thrust at me and so many of us that such things as a created order and vocation,  sexuality which does not define us but which is the living out of love within the unique parameters of husband and wife, Scripture is true for you but not for everyone and each person sits on the bench to decide how much and what of it will be true for them, and worship needs to be happy and person centered or no one will come...   Under it all is the presumption that the things of the faith are mythology -- as opposed to the social, personal, and cultural facts that are real.  Your mortgage is real but stewardship is a certain mythology of things... Your desires are real but self-control is a mythology that the freed self cannot accept...  It is not only the mantra of the world against the Church but such challenges come from those supposedly within the Church, who love the Lord, and who believe that the Church risks extinction if it does not get real about things, modernize, and change.

There is no war of mythology against reality.  But there is a war of two radically different realities -- one rooted in self and perception and preference and the other rooted in God, His self-disclosure, and the means of grace through which He works.  The Church is not burying its head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich but making a conscious choice of one reality over another.  In the end, the Church is even insisting that the things we think are most real are not eternal and the things we think are the least real of all endure through all eternity.

The Church being faithful is not living in some imaginary world where the highest and noblest of callings are as husband to wife, wife to husband, and parent to child.  This is the reality that God has designed.  The Church being faithful is not living in some imaginary world where people actually restrain their desires and control their lusts.  This is the reality that God designed for us.  The Church being faithful is not living in some imaginary world in which creation was by God's design.  This is the reality that Scripture reveals.  I could go on and on.  Christian faith does not offer a mythology to soothe the savage beast.  Christian faith proclaims a different, a transcendent, and an eternal reality that God Himself has revealed, delivered to us, and incorporated us into (in baptism).  The so-called culture wars and worship wars and marriage wars and evolution wars are fought over competing realities -- one that death claims and one that life claims.  Christians do not choose to ignore reality in favor of an imaginary mythology.  We choose one reality (God's self-revelation) over another reality (the sinful world known to us by our reason and senses).

No comments: