Sunday, February 25, 2007

How Firm is Your Foundation? Part One.

In school, how often did (do) you get problems wrong? Even if you were (are) an A-student, you probably got (or will get) hundreds or even thousands incorrect over the course of your schooling.
What about gameshows? When you watch one, you probably answer wrongly at least a couple times each show, right? Then, there are sports, political, and other predictions. How many of those of yours fail to come to pass? How many beliefs and opinions have you adamantly held, only to later be convinced otherwise, realizing how "off-base" you really were?
How often are you surprised, perplexed, confused, lost? How many philosophical questions have you not been able to answer satisfactorily?

Then, how many times have you done something wrong, as in, morally? How many times have your thoughts wandered where you wish they wouldn't have? How many times, despite your better judgment, did you "just do it," whatever that "it" was? How many times have you done or said something wrong--even evil--that was beyond your control to control yourself, or you just didn't know better--or think better--at the time?

My point is, both the human mind and human heart are frequently untrustworthy with their errs and evils. Even groups of so-called experts can be--and often are--in error. For instance, it was once accepted as fact--or close to it, anyways--that the earth is flat, and that the sun and planets revolved around the earth. Bloodletting was a common, accepted medical practice.

Civilizations collapse and crumble, usually because of a mistake in military judgment, economics, morality, or by other means. These mess-ups are oftentimes done by the hands of the leaders, and the collapses are sometimes caused by the evil of the leaders. Perhaps the selfish pursuit of power causes the collapse.

In any case, leaders and experts cannot be depended upon.

Neither can the crowd always be trusted. Anarchy brings chaos, putting power into the hands of a mindless mob. A million people can be wrong. Peer pressure does not mean "good pressure." If a bunch of experts and leaders can be wrong--and reprehensible--then a bunch of non-experts--who often follow what the experts and leaders say regardless--can certainly be off-the-mark as well. And it's not just the corruption of society causing the corruption of persons. Primitive folk can be just as morally and factually screwed up as the sophisticated folk.

Even one's self can't be relied upon. Can you really say that you can be trusted, when everyone else can't? I'm reminded of the Lord of the Rings. When Frodo cowers away from Aragorn towards the end of the first movie in the trilogy, Aragorn reassures him, "I swore to protect you." Frodo replies, "Can you protect me from yourself?" We can barely--if at all--control our lusts, appetites, and other thoughts, as well as actions to a certain extent. Self-control is not a commonplace virtue. Neither is wisdom (In fact, those virtues cannot be fully attained in a purely secular way.). You cannot always trust yourself, if for no other reason than you cannot trust the majority, the leaders, or the experts. Clearly, you cannot even put your complete allegiance into the scientific process. Errors occur, results can come slowly, scientists can be biased, and, then, of course, there are so many questions science cannot answer.

So where does that leave us? What do we do?

Well, you can do one of three things. You can go ahead and trust yourself, the majority, and the (intellectual and political) elite. In this case, the Bible would say that you have built yourself a house on a foundation of sand. (Matthew 7:24-27) Sure, you and your cohorts may be right--and even morally sound on the surface--some of the time (perhaps by randomly or indirectly and incompletely following biblical principles), but the "tide" will methodically "pull the rug" out from under you, and in the storm of spiritual matters--the most important matters--you will utterly fail and be failed, being "tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine." (Ephesians 4:14) As worldly wisdom and reasoning pervades your consciousness, you will not realize that only Jesus is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life," (John 14:6) and that "no other name under heaven...has been given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
You may temporarily be "reasoned" to Christianity--maybe perverted Christianity--by someone, or by a flitting of your whims, but only until someone can reason you away.
This option includes of most of the religions of the world.

Option number two is to trust no one and nothing. In other words, truth is relative. This is like building a castle in the sky, which is really no foundation, or castle, at all. You will have no foundation to build upon. It's an option that leads to a pointless, purposeless, nihilistic life. In terms of spiritual and moral convictions, the hottest you could ever get is lukewarm. You could not please God, because you could not have true faith. (Hebrews 11:6) You could not be saved, because you could not have true faith. (Ephesians 2:8) You could not avoid perishing without truly believing. (John 3:16) You would constantly be sinning, acting not in faith. (
In all aspects of life, you would have uncertainty--a shaky foundation, at best--if not apathy. You too would be tossed "to and fro," only you wouldn't believe anything for certain.

Then, there's Door Number Three.

To Be Continued...

~ Kingdom Advancer

1 comment:

Moriah said...

Very good post, Kingdom Advancer! Can't wait to read part 2.
By the way I clarified what I meant by my last blog post if you want to check it out. Thanks for your comments!