Tuesday, October 11, 2011

May the Force Be With You

“Therefore, remember that at one time you…were at that time without Christ, alienated from the community…and strangers to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were far off have become near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2: 11-13

There are a lot of people in the world, in the United States, maybe in your community or school, who are atheists or agnostics. They do not believe in any kind of God or “higher power”. Most of them subscribe to one form of communism or secular humanism—the belief that this world is all there is, science tells us what is real and truth is really whatever you want it to be. The belief that this life is all that there is, there are no angels, or demons, or any kind of “unseen” powers in the universe and that ultimately when we die, that is the end. So this life is about making utopia for real for now, or else to simply try to live life obtaining as much pleasure as possible.

On the other hand, a lot of other people are “spiritual”. Ancient Greeks were spiritual. American Indians are spiritual. Tribes and peoples in Africa and Central America are spiritual. Eastern mysticism from the Far East is spiritual. Yoga is spiritual. Heck, astrology is kind of spiritual too. At this point in the United States the majority of people would say that they believe in God or a “higher power”. In other words, they are spiritual.  But is just “spiritual” enough?

Perhaps atheists and spiritualists are really the opposite sides of the same coin. Despite their differences in beliefs about the existence of unseen powers, they both want to live lives according to themselves, without any interference from anything or anyone, be it seen or unseen. In other words, they do not want to be held accountable to any standards not set by their own minds or emotions. Atheists want to advance their lives through science and spiritualists want to manipulate the spiritual world for their own benefit. Both are disconnected from “religion” or a personal, intimate God. Neither recognizes Jesus Christ as our Savior and neither feels compelled to live according to an objective moral standard or worship anything outside of themselves.

Living by either of these philosophies can be dangerous. The secular humanists offer little hope and the spiritualists offer too much. What the worlds needs is Jesus. We need to become so intimate with Him that others cannot dismiss Him. Our words need to be His words, our thoughts His thoughts: our deeds, His deeds. Without an intimate relationship with Christ grounded in a joyful, obedient presence in the Church, we offer the world nothing different than secular humanists or spiritualists.

I think it is very easy to see that world is not devoid of spiritual powers and beings. I think it is easy to see that these spiritual powers and beings must be more than some impersonal “ying-yang” force. And yet, so many people miss this reality and settle for believing only that which can be understood or manipulated by either the mind or the heart. May we have the humble courage to show them another way, a way of authentic hope and true freedom.

Dear Jesus, help me to reflect You in all I think, say and do today. May my relationship with You expose the reality of the spiritual world to those who do not believe and may my presence in the Church expose those who believe in anything to be grounded in the Truth. Amen.

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