To live is, ya know, whatever.

In past cultures, no topic captured human fascination more often than the question “what is life?” What does living mean, what should we live for, why do we live? Today postmodernists laugh at this perennial question and most Americans join in the jeering. We make ironic comments about people who think they know the ultimate truth. If you do care about these questions, most people assume you’re either a stuck up philosophy major or a former home school kid.

For postmodernists there are more important material questions: how can I pay the next bill, should I date that person, and can I buy that iPad? They presume that the answers to life’s big questions simply do not matter during our short stint on earth. For them, to live is, ya know, whatever you want. Just do what makes you happy.

Today too many Christians laugh alongside postmodern culture. We congratulate and encourage our friends who casually answer life’s big questions with short term gimmicks, like good grades, social justice, feminism, eastern spirituality and hot boyfriends. Our mantra is, “I’m not judging you! I’m just glad you’re happy.”

Unfortunately, God is a judge, and he declared the meaning of life long ago. Paul puts it this way in Philippians: “To live is Christ.” Do you understand the existential significance of Paul’s words? Anything apart from Christ is death, but all things in Christ are life. All things were created by him, through him and for him. If we ironically shrug off the meaning of life, Jesus Christ, then we pass on life itself.

Postmodernism deceives us into believing that our ethical and spiritual view of the world should only serve to facilitate our personal happiness. Such views cannot be grounded in material reality, so they cannot be objective. Therefore, the subjective person must choose for him or herself the spirituality which most satisfies him or herself personally. Yet, if our spiritual views only serve our personal happiness, we must accept that our spiritual views are in fact fictional.  Postmodernism, then, aims to induce everyone with a personally selected lie and then declare it freedom, merely because we chose it.

Choosing between lies is not freedom; it is oppression, and suppression of truth.

If you trust the postmodern lie, you come to love death. You give kudos to your friends because their idolatry makes them happy, and you soothe your own guilt for the sake of self-fulfillment. You put shackles on your community.

As christians we are called to weep over deception and heartache. The psalmist puts it this way: “My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law,” and “I hate and abhor all evil.” Do you weep over the destruction wrought by sin and idolatry?

Only when we trust in Jesus Christ, who himself is life, can we love life and live vibrantly. When we make Christ our life, he makes his glory to shine upon our faces, as his light shines into the darkness, and reveals the ugliness of all sinful desire.

Do your friends and yourself a favor: be a beacon of Christ’s shining life.

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About Patrick K. Miller

Currently I am living in Columbia serving at the University of Missouri with Veritas, The Crossing's campus ministry. In December 2010 I graduated from Mizzou with a degree in English Literature. My beautiful wife, Emily, works is an Interior Designer with a local firm. I like espresso, 30 Rock, and books. My favorite old dead guys are John Owen, Augustine and Francis Schaeffer. You should read something by them.
This entry was posted in Engaging Worldviews, Postmodernism. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to To live is, ya know, whatever.

  1. Brad says:

    Hi Patrick,

    This is a deeply convicting post, but stuffed with good stuff.

    “Unfortunately, God is a judge, and he declared the meaning of life long ago. Paul puts it this way in Philippians: “To live is Christ.” Do you understand the existential significance of Paul’s words? Anything apart from Christ is death, but all things in Christ are life. All things were created by him, through him and for him. If we ironically shrug off the meaning of life, Jesus Christ, then we pass on life itself.”

    Yes, yes and yes. Christ is our ark from the coming flood waters. To embrace the bliss of ignorance that the world advances is to close our ears to the warnings about the heavy rain in the long rage forecast…or is tomorrow’s? Great post.

    Brad

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