Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.

 

In Focus

In times of crisis

Monday, July 27, 2020

In times of crisis what holds your world together? Perhaps some diagnostic questions would help. What is your worldview? Do you even have one? If you do, what are the limits of its capacity to sustain you through crisis?

At least four things are crucial to every worldview: origin, meaning, morality and destiny. Miss one of these and you will have a worldview that cannot sustain you in a crisis.

If your origin is unexplained or accidental then whatever meaning you may claim for yourself is subjective. Of course, your subjective view of self is often impacted by the subjective view of others and to survive we become enslaved to the trends or worldviews of the time. That subjectivity determines your morality.  Of course, to argue the pre-eminence of your moral perspective will only see you in conflict with the subjective moral supremacy of others. Such an ill-conceived world view does not establish loving community but gives rise to a tribal approach to survival. Unsurprisingly, clashes of authority will ensue, with anarchy or control of the masses by despotic oppressors. An ill-defined origin with its implications reduces one’s destiny to wishful thinking. With such a world view you must try to eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow you will die. Now there’s a world view that Jesus Christ encourages people not to invest their whole life in. 

If your origin is God then the implications are far reaching. God by virtue of our creation has instilled in us meaning. There is a God given significance to our lives simply by virtue of God putting his creative mind to our existence. If then God made us in His image, as the monotheistic religions of the world believe, each of us is infused with a dignity that has enormous implications for morality. If then our origin is God, our lives meaningful and the moral care of each other is important then we have a certain destiny with God for eternal acceptance or eternal judgement.

Two common world views. Neither of them is new and both are well practiced.

Humanity has always loved living in a splendid self-isolation from God where “I” claims to be the most important person in the world. Strangely, the COVID realities of recent times have revealed that the “I” actually hates being in isolation, not from God, but from other. So the “I” breaks the curfews in arrogant “I” protests without a care ultimately for those we hate being in isolated from. So even in our gatherings, in our refusals to isolate, we identify the root cause of all human problems and why we can’t hold our world together. The problem is “I” without God.  The problem is a life that is perversely addicted to self for which others are little more than the drug to help us survive.

Of the two world views one has given birth to a rampant individualism where the “I” rules. It is where the “I” of such individualism ignores its origin, diminishes the meaningfulness of self and others, lives in a world of moral confusion and dies without an assured destiny.

The other world view submits to the authority of our creator and lives in obedience to God’s rule. You would be mistaken to think that this worldview sees no marching protests. The Gospel history of Jesus Christ is of the one who protested evil wherever he saw it, and he saw it in all of us. He was not frightened to stand against every demagogue and damn our treachery. But it’s the march to, and protest of, his crucifixion and death that is most enlightening. He protested in defence of the honour of God the Father in whom is our origin. He protested every moral failure and the sin that diminished our meaning and dignity. In his death on the cross he protested against life in opposition to God and the hell without God by the offer of forgiveness. In his resurrection he protested against death and offered us our destiny.  Now there’s a protest march I would be willing to participate in.

In times of crisis what holds your world together?

Rick Lewers