Friday, July 14, 2023

A Working Theology

While the world boldly (and often, powerfully) tells the church that it is wrong about, well, nearly everything, its biggest criticism is that actually, faith doesn't "work." The things you believe about God don't work. The way that you think God has told you to live your life doesn't work. It doesn't lead to a productive and successful existence. 

You cannot, this world says, keep turning the other cheek and expect anything but to get beaten severely.

The world chides the church for having created a generation of mal-adapted individuals who hold to tenets that are unrealistic in a "pluralistic" society, where they will encounter all kinds of ideas that are very different from the ones that they hold. The better way, the world says, is to raise free-thinking individuals with no boundaries, those who can encounter literally anything and find a way to embrace it in the name of tolerance and "love" (a word the world uses only because they know this word means something to Christians; the world never means it the way that we do).

If you save sex for marriage, you'll never be ready for your husband. You won't know what you like and don't like because you'll be a stranger to your own body. You'll hate your own body and your sexuality because you will have built such a fence around it that it will become impenetrable even to you, and you'll spend your life at odds with even yourself. 

If you insist that there is a real, objective, legitimate truth, you will never understand the experiences of others in this world. You will never know how to connect with anyone else because they have a different idea of truth than you do. Therefore, you will always be a judgmental, bigoted, whatever-phobic individual who does not contribute to society, but hinders it. 

If you believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God, you will never understand how anything in this world actually works. You will throw away even the best of science and forfeit understanding for this thing that you call faith, and you will navigate this world naively, not able to tell one thing from another or take an active role in moving the human species forward in any meaningful way. 

If you contend that there is a complementary relationship between males and females, or that humans can even be categorized in this way in the first place, you neglect all of the very real benefits of relationships that are formed outside of the marriage bond, and you will never reap the rewards these relationships can offer. 

If you believe that God has all of the answers, you'll never go chasing the questions and thus, never encounter the information that could change your mind and open your eyes and revolutionize your worldview. (In other words, if you keep believing in God, you'll never come to think the way that the world thinks.) 

Thus, you will always be mal-adapted. You will be the problem with society as we know it. You will be forever holding the human race back. 

But, friends, let's not forget that the Christian worldview, the Christian faith, is the one thing that hasn't failed this world. It's the one thing that hasn't fallen apart. And, in fact, it's the Christian faith that has most often, overwhelmingly, been the thing that has moved this world - and the human race - forward. 

It's Christians who started the first hospitals. Christians who started the first schools. Christians who started the first charities. It is Christians who stepped up to care for the widows, the orphans, the sick, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the defeated. It is Christians who led the way in science, initiating the explorations that led us to believe that we even can. And it is the Christian worldview that creates the framework for knowing that we can - because we have a knowable God who has put His fingerprints all over His creation, and that is all that science is ever really discovering. 

The world tells us that our theology doesn't "work," but the truth is...our theology is the only thing that ever has. 

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