Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Descent of Paganism

We live in a pagan society. Oh! There are vestiges of the Christian culture that flourished in the earlier half of the last century. But for most people, God, if He ever existed, is irrelevant to 21st century life. While on the surface, life seems the same, a very different attitude to it festers below.

Christianity calls us to recognize our waywardness, our need for forgiveness, and a life of self denial. Hardly a recipe for success in any culture; especially when pagan belief in natural human goodness inflates our ego, and aspires to self-satisfaction.

In fact, self-actualization, self-determination, self-seeking of one sort or another constitutes the fodder of most self-help books, characterized by Oprah philosophy. Very attractive to the lower instincts of arrogant human nature.

It makes us wonder why Christianity exists at all, and holds sway over so many people of the earth. The answer is really quite simple. Attempts at self-fulfillment are self-defeating, eventually leaving a trail of broken lives, which only the transcendent love of Christ can repair.

Pursuing happiness by fulfilling personal desires is like trying to hold the morning mist in our hands. It is an illusion that evaporates under the weight of our demand for it; attainment of those desires is insufficient to answer the deepest longings of our hearts.

Further attempts of the same draw us into the danger of addiction, or excess and exploitation, using people and things to further our desires. It is the recognition of this brokenness that draws us to Christ’s sacrificial love for us, that can transform our lives.

Only His direction for life created by Him, can bring the lasting fulfillment our souls crave. This transformation of our lives from barrenness to significance, keeps us seeking Christ.

How far will our current culture need to sink before realizing its need?