Tuesday, March 16, 2004

There is nothing that sinful man fears more than reality — the world that really exists. In every area of life man seeks to shield himself from this world. Man fears this world because it is a world where God is present throughout, a world that is open to Him in its entirety. Man has sought to create his own world around him — a world in which the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob does not exist. Within this world man is god. This world is not merely a world of ideas; it is a world of stories, praxis, symbols, relationships and feelings. This world is governed by man’s providence and is designed to be an expression of man’s self-possession. In every area of life sinful man seeks to live out of this world. In many cases this world is so effective that men are almost blissfully unaware of the fact that they are not living out of the real world. From their childhood men are moulded by this world; they adopt its practices, they think in its categories, they share its stories. However, every now and again something occurs to shake man from his slumber. There is an inescapable friction between the world that man wants to inhabit and the world that really is. Deep down every man has some sense of the fact that the world he is seeking to inhabit is ultimately a façade. Man is made in the image of God and he cannot truly deny the God who is without denying himself. The disharmony that exists between the real world that man truly belongs to and the world that man seeks to hide in is inescapable. Man is constantly made aware of it. At some times it is more obvious than at others. When man faces death, for example, he becomes acutely aware of the fact that there is something unnatural about the world he inhabits. Consequently, man fears death more than anything else for it threatens his world. As Christians we are to be those who live out of the real world. We are the only people who are truly living in touch with the reality that everyone else seeks to deny and flee from. In the Church we live in reality and each week we embody this reality amidst the shadows of this world — the myth in which man seeks to lose himself. The world will always hate the Church, because the Church exposes the world for what it is — an illusory fiction. Where the Church is the friction and disharmony between man’s world and reality is radically intensified. Man finds it harder and harder to deny the truth when he sees the world he has built in the light of the world that really is. This is why men will always persecute the Church. Christians can often forget that the real world is the one that they inhabit. If we really want to change things we must do so out of the real world — that is, the Church. The weapons that we use should not be those of the world. We should seek to change the world by means of worship. If man is to be saved he has to learn to live out of the real world, the world where God is God and man is His image. I fear that many Christians fail to understand that the existence of God is not so much a truth that we arrive at as a result of logical argumentation; the existence of God is a truth that reality forces upon us. Man seeks to escape reality because he wants to escape this truth. Every aspect of reality sings of the existence of God and man wants to escape or drown out its sound. As Christians our most powerful apologetic is that of living real lives in a world of unreality. This world is the great Fiction perpetrated by the father of lies; real lives reveal the deceit and press the truth of God upon people. The Church is the great Apologetic.

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