Todays Scriptures: Gen 44:18 – 34, 1 Cor 7:25 – 31, Mark 5:21 – 43
This blog is not really geared towards the “non – believer”. In its intent and purpose it is geared towards the “believer”. However I realize that the believer also has a responsibility towards the non – believer. The honest believer has this desire to share what he or she can see with others. They wish for others to see the beauty that reality offers up when you put the “glasses of faith” on. Because beauty grows when you share it. The Orthodox Church has ignored this “sharing of beauty and truth” on many occasions. In its desire to keep the faith true, it sometimes went into seclusion and exclusivity. It is easier to build up your army if you’re not in war all the time. But Christianity calls for “a war”. If the Church hides from battle, She has already lost. This is one of the reasons for the Evangelical orthodox Church to be, to enter into the battle. To share the beauty of orthodox theology with the evangelical churches and secular circumstance as well.
This is why this blog post is geared towards the one who does not believe. Now, everybody does believe in something whether it is other persons, things, experience or themselves. The big claim of relativism is that “we can not know anything for certain, there is no absolute truth”. The observant reader will realize quickly that this statement does not make any sense because it contradicts itself. (No absolute truth, except the absolute truth that there is no absolute truth…) No, everybody believe in someone or something. Maybe this “something” is labeled “nothing” but this “nothing” becomes “something” when you believe in it… And this “believing” is hard-wired to our being. We are believing creatures.
In approaching the secular or the post – secular mind (maybe that’s you?) I must find some common ground. And what does the believing mind have in common with the secular you may wonder? More than you think. We probably both like going on vacation for instance. We both probably have wondered what the purpose of being here is. Whether we have come to the conclusion that there is no purpose or that there is. We have both raised the question. We have been birthed, we will both die. We both have a sense of moral even if the values does look a bit different according to what social circumstance we have grown up in. But we both have a sense of right and wrong.
Take this desire to go on vacation for instance, to leave the mundane behind. To experience new environments and personalities. To leave the routine and see new horizons. This sense of adventure. The travel industry and the “shrinking” of the globe testifies and lends evidence to this desire to see new places and people. The secular mind would take this observation of “vacations” and file it into a category that fits somewhere in between “modern human behaviour” and “anthropology”. It ends there, kind of. The believing mind would file it in the same way but also ask the question “Why?”. Whythis desire for vacation? Why this longing for new horizons? Why this sense of adventure? I believe (!) that the secular mind can answer the questions “How?”, “When?” and “Where?” pretty good. But as for the questions “Why?” and “Who?” we need another dimension or rather enlargement of our comprehension of reality. The believing mind would not be satisfied until those questions at least has been allowed to be raised and struggled with. Matter of fact the believing mind is never satisfied… We may say that “Does it matter, really?”. Maybe not, but the interesting observation to make is not if it matters but that the questions are real. The questions are there. The humble and open mind would then ask the ultimate anthropological (proper) question, why do we ask why? And this is why (!) philosophy started.
From a believing persons perspective I think our desire for vacation or to “get away”, has its origin in that we know that this place here, this earth is not like it was supposed to be. We know deep down that something is wrong with the world. We know deep down that there is a better reality “out there” to be in and we long to be there. So our desire for vacation reflects our core desire to “leave this place”. To find peace, to find wholeness. Just as our sense of right and wrong is in us because Someone outside of us, “put it there”. How can we from a subjective level (because we are subjects) claim that we invented this objective sense of right and wrong without the help from Someone outside of our subject?
I believe that both the secular and the believing mind sees patterns in this world. Patterns that are telling us something. I believe, however, that the believing mind is open for places, horizons and a reality where the secular mind can not go because it ignores the “aircraft of Why?” It refuses to believe that the soul can truly fly.
If you desire another place, to be somewhere else. Why not take the leap of faith and believe that Someone will carry you? Why let your pride and stubbornness hinder you? You have probably tried a lot of other “airplanes” that has crashed and burned. Take the true flight to the real destination, you will not be disappointed. You will find peace, you will be healed.