Sunday, 3 May 2009

A Desperate Need for Reality. 1: The Problem

Watching the Narnia Code recently reminded me of the truth that as human beings we are constantly about the business of defining our universe and having it defined for us, wittingly or unwittingly by the influences around us.  

The programme highlighted the nature of light pollution in towns and cities and specifically how it obscures you from seeing the night sky and the stars in all their splendour. The point being that had most of us, (and especially those studying C S Lewis' writings) not lived in a light polluted reality all our lives, we might have stumbled the unifying theme of Lewis' Narnia Chronicles - the seven stars - a lot quicker.

When I was on the cusp of going to university, (I did a joint honours in French and Religious Studies) I remember well-meaning Christians warning me about doing R.S. and that it could shipwreck my faith in Jesus.  (They weren't wrong too, I have seen people throw away their confidence in Christ in doing those courses.)

To be honest, I can't remember coming out of a single R.S. lecture or seminar in those three years sensing a crisis of confidence in the good truth of Jesus.  But the novels that explored Existentialism, which I read in my French courses were a different matter. Why? I can only think it is because they appealed to my desire.  My desire to be master of my own universe and lord of my own destiny - to shape my own reality according to how I would chose, with no reference to Christ, let alone any glad submission to him.


The attempts of the human race to suppress the truth about Jesus, that have been going on since the Fall are not limited to the realm of the thinking disciplines like philosophy, but in all of life - whether it's art, music, literature, science and technology, work, language, relationships, hobbies - the lot.  You name it - we've found some way of cutting Jesus out of it and running away from him.

Whether it's in our dreaming or our thinking,  whether we actively deceive ourselves by deliberately reconstructing our lives so that we can ignore him, or whether it's that we just cover our ears and close our eyes and refuse to listen to the obvious message that the cosmos proclaims to the point where we actually become deaf and blind, (in truth these two interact with each other in a vicious cycle) we have all played our part in suppressing the truth.

The condom - a modern idol of ours - is a most powerful example of this deliberate reconstruction of reality.  God created sex as a picture of his own trinitarian life-giving and life-spreading love.  In divorcing the pleasure of sex from its life-giving power, we actively deny something about the nature and character of God to ourselves.  That self-deception is completed when we spawn subsequent generations who then grow up not knowing what real love is at all.  

We invented the condom because we wanted to be masters of our own destinies - to define life on our own terms and in so doing have hijacked the testimony of creation to serve our own deluded and self-centred ends. Ironically we have become less human and less humane as a result.

Only when Jesus breaks in directly can we be unplugged from this matrix of self-perpetuated and culpable lunacy.


No comments: