The fundamental reference for all I write is the strategic truth that our existence is spiritual and God centred. Deus ergo sumus. That worldview challenges today’s western Materialist mindset.
In the once Christian western world, we now witness the triumph of the fallacy that man can himself be god. A more perverse view of our existence I cannot imagine. Have the atheistic, man exalting totalitarian regimes of the 20th century not yet taught us how evil the Man-god really is ?
In today’s human centred, materialist conception of our world, we are losing both perspective and a sense of appropriate proportion.
We are beguiled by the sophisticated, technological society we have created. Our paradigm, priorities and psychology are determined by technology, comfort and emotional stimulation.
But, if each of us lived by the simple moral code of the Christian faith, we would eliminate war and hunger. We would defeat fear, hatred, manipulation and exploitation. Such evils arise from the self-centred human heart we all have, and that explains why we continually fail to resolve the world’s problems.
The critical, radical issue of our age is not the environment, nor technology, nor human rights, nor inequality, nor any other concern of man-centred man – as radically important as they are. The fundamental issue is our failure philosophically, psychology, and practically to see our Creator as the central fact of our existence. To do so would necessarily engage us to a mindset of personal and social accountability – a responsible and a moral lifestyle.
Firstly, that would focus attention on the critical and essential issue: – defeating individual selfcentredness – the root cause of our problems.
Secondly, that would simplify the complexity of this existence to what our feeble hearts can cope with.
Mutual edification would displace appalling global exploitation.
Materialistic man, however, worships his own image and appetites. He exacerbates the problem. Christ centred living, however, challenges us to give, not take. To sacrifice, not accumulate. To honour others as equals made in the image of God.
The crusade for human rights will not achieve this because Rights evoke the wrong mindset, the wrong perspective. Rights reference self, not others. Rights speak the language of expectation, not responsibility. Rights focus partially, obscuring the broader context. In short, Rights talk distorts and even denies.
If we all behave responsibly, others are necessarily respected. But if we all insist on our own Rights, then others inevitably lose out. The history of Rights implementation demonstrates this reality.
The psychology is wrong. Psychology is the key to unlock the answer. Attitude; preconceptions; self justification; pride, fear, etc.
Perversely, however, we live in an age which promotes every form of self indulgence, disdaining self discipline and duty. Indeed deceit is often prized !
Religious Materialism is destroying us. True religion however challenges us to civilise ourselves and to play our part in society.
Jesus Christ addressed the essential, simple, psychological issue in his doctrine, summarised as:
Graham R. Catlin MA (Oxon) MSc