I believe the world is a certain way. I have a certain way of seeing things. This is my worldview, the filter by which I interpret, and catalog, the world I see around me.
This also encompasses those things which are unseen. The spirit world. Yes, Virginia, I believe there is a spirit world. Else how I explain the evil in the world? I believe of all the faiths, religions, theologies, and philosophies in the world, the Judeo Christian worldview best fits the facts. It makes sense.
And it makes sense of the world. “Christianity,” said C.S. Lewis, “is like the sun. I not only see it, but by it see everything else.” It illuminates the darkness around us, indeed explains the dark rivers of our own hearts. It tells the truth about who we are, why we are here, how the world is in the state it is, and what’s to be done about it.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that the presence of evil not only suggests that there is also a good, it proves it. (Scripture relates cases of possession, of Jesus and his disciples casting out demons. Because I believe Scripture to be true, I believe these things happened. I believe they can happen. I also believe they are rare. Why are they rare? Because the devil, at least here in the rational West, has worked very hard to make us forget he exists. If possession was a common occurrence the cat would be out of the bag: we would infer from the existence of Satan to that of God. And that wouldn’t be, as they say, good for business). Else how would we know, have categories for, good and evil? From whence do these objective standards come?
The Bible says from the Fall. Before then, we knew only the good; the great temptation was to be as God–knowing good and evil. And it was, as some say, no felix culpa, no fortunate fall. Knowing the good, walking with God, was not enough for our forebears.
No, they wanted more. More than the good God had promised. They wanted to be like him.
And evil entered the world.
But what do we mean when we call one thing evil and another good? In his seminal work, Mere Christianity, the late, great C.S. Lewis inferred from the presence of a universal moral code, which seemed to be common to disparate, far-flung civilizations, the existence of a lawgiver. He argued that this common morality pointed to an origin outside of humanity.
Else how had these peoples, without discourse or intercourse, come by common values? It wasn’t evolution. Anyone who is a parent knows that children do not have to taught how to lie; rather they must needs be instructed in the ideals. This points to two things:
1) There is a objective standard most people groups ascribe to;
2) We are born falling woefully short of it, and must be taught.
This holds true if one is an atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, etc. Most of us, by-and-large, hold a common ethic which values life, hard work, eschews evil, etc. Yet we must be taught to do what is right.
As I indicated above, I believe the Judeo Christian tradition gives the best explanation as to why this is: we were created in perfection, walked with God, and then chose our own way.
We have been trying to find our way back ever since. God, our Father, not oblivious to our struggles, launched an assault into enemy-occupied territory: he sent Jesus to storm the beaches of our Normandy, to free us from the oppressive occupation we chose all those years ago.
My question to you is:
Do you know him?
Are you tired of taking a break, having it your way, keeping up with the Joneses? Are you ready to reckon with the unseen hand of love which, despite your waywardness, has held you your whole life through?
What are you waiting for?
(Come back tomorrow for a post on how the existence of evil, and hence a devil, proves there is a God).