Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cheerful despair

Jesus said that men's hearts would be failing them for fear of the things that are coming on the earth.  Even though they're saying "Peace and safety"! people will be clearly seeing impending calamity and be terrified by it.

So how can people's hearts be failing them for fear while they're cheerfully and complacently saying, "Peace and safety?"  That's how despair works, and how people's hearts fail them for fear.  The symptom of this kind of heart failure is not despondency, in which at least you're facing the bad news.  Real despair is expressed in denial.  The heart truly fails, losing the power to face and think about the real problems despaired of.  

Thus Christians are told not to grieve as those do that have no hope.  And how do such people grieve?  They cheerfully affirm that the one who died is in a better place, looking down on us from heaven, and all sorts of other happy dreck like that, even when there is no ground at all for such optimism.

This kind of cheerful despair is especially prevalent in supposedly Christian churches.  So-called "positive thinking" is actually taught, the same positive thinking taught by the false prophets when the armies of Babylon were laying siege to Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah - and we know how that positive thinking worked out.

For real faith, the issue is not positive or negative thinking.  It's about receiving the love of the truth, and about being damned if you don't receive it, which is in fact the only way anybody is damned (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

So the denial of climate change, and people kidding themselves that the US is about to become energy-independent through things like oil shale, and that we can have an ever-expanding economy in a finite world - the pursuit of such fairy tales is despair.  Their denial is simply their hearts failing, unable even to think about these things that need to be thought about - and prayed about too.  Their unbelief shows up as brazen professions of "faith."  I don't know how to cure this sickness, but I know that naming it is a start.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Curt said...

There is a man. A man who calls himself a Christian, a Christian of the Methodist sort. He has said that real Christians are not winners.
He believes that Jesus calls upon on to lose. I guess that he see it like this, it is the fate of the Christian to fight the forces of unjust power in this world even though the struggle is one in which the Christian can never expect to win.
Ok to put this in to football terms so a dumb American like me can understand it a real Christian is going to have an 0 and 16 season year after year after year. I think that is asking to much of a human being.
I can undertand an 0-16 season every now and then but not frequently.
Imagine the Detroit Lions for example. Over a ten year period they might be 0 and 16, then 6 and 10 then, 3 and 13, then 7 and 9,
then 6 and 10, then 9 and 7, then 8 and 8, then 5 and 11, then 2 and 14, then 4 and 12.
With such a performance one could hope to make it to the playoffs perhaps once a decade and to the superbowl perhaps once a century.
One might never be a champion but some measure of success would not be unknown.
Would it not be an awfully cruel ruler or judge would would not grant some modest level of success?
Your last paragraph certainly seems to be a hard hitting tackle of the opposing teams running back.
But victory is not achieved in a game by making one good play. In fact many teams outplay their opponets but lose the game becasue the team makes mistakes a crucial times.
The citizenery of the USA seems to be in denial about so many things it seems to me that my team has had 0 and 16 seasons going on almost 50 years now. Fortunately I am not a player only a fan in the Stands. For the real players on the team especially those who have been at it a long time I wonder it they are being asked to give more than they can take.

10/03/2012 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Curt said...

I can understand why one thing has gone very wrong. The very foundation of human society for a very long time has been that most of the businesses in scoiety are privately owned and operated for the benifit of the few (stockholders and top management, often overlapping groups).
This mode of decision making offers a clear and decisive advantage over socialist operation of business.
That advantage is simplicity. It is very clear who is in charge and how they got to be in charge.
Socilaist operation of business would be very fuzzy. The workers in a business are not the only ones how have contributed to the operation and success of a business. A society is a team.
Even the people of California are part of the team that contributed to the operation and success of the Ammana washing machince factory in central Iowa. They should have some say in how things are done in Ammana. Of course there is the obvious problem of how much and who will speak for them. Why even the people of Saudi Arabia have had some responsibilty (contribution) for the operations of the Ammana factory. Where should one draw the line on who should be allowed to have a say in how things are done in the Ammana factory?
We live in a one world economy. Yet a world with out borders does not make any more sense than a world with borders.
Awarding management responsiblity to those who pay for it is an extraordinarily simple way to untie the knot. A simple way that has many kinds of megative side effects.

10/04/2012 1:18 AM  
Anonymous shot in Wisconsin Dells said...

So here we sit on this tilt a whirl
and as citizens we have to chose between a simple economic system that does not work very well for huge numbers of people or an economic system that does not seem to have worked in the past and does not inspire much confidence in the future because it seems to be to complex for humans to manage.
Either system might work better if people were generally more interested in the welfare of others and less interested in their own welfare. Religions in the USA have not had much success
in inoculating a spirit of solidarity, niether have philosophers, niether have politcal leaders. Milidiotry leaders on the other hand inocluate a spirit of "local" unselfishness to be able to protect and advance the intrests of a society of selfishness.

10/08/2012 3:08 PM  

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