Saturday, June 24, 2006

History does not always move forward

Okay, in time yes, but in a progression of human well-being and advancement, certainly not.  I think this myth is deeply ingrained in us, and highly unhelpful.  It makes us overly proud of who we are, what we think, and overly confident in what we have.  The good news is that who we are, what we think, and what we have is all very vulnerable to the changes of time  This is good news because we are unable to save ourselves, and any efforts we make in that direction are better deflected.  If we hold this false hope in progress, it can only hurt us.  However, our confidence may rest safely in the one who formed The Orien and the Pleades, who came as a babe, taught with divine wisdom, healed with divine compassion, challenged with divine concern, died with divine faithful love, and rose again with divine hope and promise.  Sadly, Americans are so convinced that the empire they have built is based on sure and certain gains that they cannot see the base of the empire crumbling before their very eyes.  Growing poverty, increased pollution, declining wages, poorer schools, ineffective political institutions, growing debt, unneccessary wars, heightened governmental intrusion in our private lives, the break down of public discourse, the isolation of intellectuals, the litany could go on, all betray our impending demise.  American faith in human progress has undermined any reasonable sense of vulnerability, and the false belief that we are safe has blinded us not only to our deep need for God, but even for God's relevence.  We retreat into cliche statements about God on the right and the left.  And these diseases are firmly entrenched in large swaths of the church, both left and right.  We are not at the zenith of the American age, I am convinced we are in its last five to ten years.  The Christian faith teaches that empires rise and fall, and this is the only reasonable Christian opinion of our Empire.  Our faith is not in Empire; Jesus himself was the challenge to Empire.  Unless we recognize this, and put it into practice in our lives, we are living a fool's dream, from which we will eventually be rudely, but thankfuly, awoken.
Pace e Bene,

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