March 22 – 2012 4th week in Lent
Todays Scripture: Exodus 1:6 – 22, 1 Cor 12:12 – 26, Mark 8:27 – 9:1
I realize that I’m from a secular (as in: not concerned with spiritual or eternal things but concerned with things seen) perspective probably look a bit radical. I do not mind this because it confirms that my life is not secular to the same extent. But people wonder why you “have to go to church” 3 – 4 times a week? Why one is concerned with fasting and prayer? Why do you wear a collar? and so on. On the other hand people seem to be fine with the humanitarian efforts my church is involved with in central Africa. This people seem to understand. But, as I said when it comes to “religious activities” the secular mind, and this is a very natural consequence of secularism, do not understand.
Where is the proof that prayer works? Is not religion and religious practices responsible for like, 80% of the worlds conflicts and wars? Have we not, by our scientific achievements taken the way beyond religion and “things unseen”? Those are the secular questions. But if you look closely, those secular questions springs from a non secular source. If there was “nothing unseen” in reality we would not be concerned with questions like this at all.. After all science moves forward by moving the border of revealed reality forward. By looking closer or further, at reality, we realize that there will always be more things unseen that we can explore.
No, what kills a persons “spirit” or rather what stops a person from being a true person (persehone, a face) is not asking questions like this. Asking questions is a humble action, it allows for us to grow. It shows to others that we do not have “all the answers”. We still want to learn. No, it is when we stop to ask questions that we shrink from our potential to reach true humanity. When we say that we have landed in this “doctrine”, “truth” or “rule”. When we say this, then we stop to grow. Then we stop to see new horizons. Then we stop our journey towards new life and we start to shrink and die.
Now, this approach of remaining “open” to new thoughts, facts and truths is something that most well renowned universities claim that they encourage. Religions on the other hand, monotheistic ones in particular, is being accused of locking in on one truth, one law or unchangeable doctrines. So we see this conflict arise between the secular (universities, science) and the theocratic (church, religion) but I just wonder if this is really the case? We have been led to believe that science and religion are “at war” with each other. That they are separated forever by their emphases on different “realities”. But I started to see similar patterns in both those spheres.
A scientist who looks upon a pattern in nature he or she hasn’t seen before looks a lot like a Christian who sees a pattern in the human soul he or she hasn’t seen before. An astronomic that strives to learn the mysteries of the stars looks a lot like a believer that draws closer to divine mysteries. A person that tries to figure out the age of the earth looks a lot like a person that seeks to move beyond time. And all ends up with the question that the secular reality can not (because it lies beyond the scope of secularism) answer; What was before?
So once again we realize that our pursuit in the revealed side of reality (science) to find answers pushes us into the unrevealed side of reality. We can only go so far in the physical side of things. At the border of revelation (11 billion years according to some) we need to stop and when we do, the question remains. What was before? Why are we here? And these questions are not secular, they are philosophical, theological and theocratic questions.
I see science (the physical world) as a springboard into the religious (spiritual world). I see the spiritual world (The Spirit, our questions, our person, our being) as a revealer of the physical world. They are in co-relation. No scientist would have discovered what they discovered without these questions (which are spiritual or non-secular by nature). It was the church that founded the universities of the world and the church had good reason to do so. By seeing reality for what it truly is, a synergy between the seen and the unseen, it came to discover a larger reality.
So, am I radical when I go to church or when I pray? I don’t think so. Not more radical the one who attends university. It is just me paying attention to at least “half” (I realize this is very dualistic language) of what our reality consists of, and really, who that has an open mind can shut the door for a larger reality? Galilei, Descartes, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Pasteur and Lennox (and many more) all kept this open mind towards the unseen, the divine, the spiritual. They went to church and they prayed and things were revealed for them.