Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Damning the Culture

A hint to feminists out there:  The fact that places
like this are so common does not help your case for
women's rights.
Let's face it, we don't have the most glittering culture in human history.  We live in a society that frowns on cigarettes and gives a condoning nod to abortion, one in which pornography and contraception have made sex free and commonplace, and yet people complain about the role of women.  The list of stupidities goes on and on, but I think you get the picture.  Our culture is not very smart.

However, it must be asked:  Is our culture necessarily our enemy?  Must the Church treat culture as an enemy?  Many times, our language is one of complete rejection of the culture, which often times carries over to those immersed in the culture.

You see, the culture has its fair share of flaws, that's for sure.  But that doesn't necessarily make it evil.  Nor does it make it damnable.  Culture, you see, is merely a product of human society.  We, as Christians, are human, and social too, so we have a place in our own culture.

I do not condemn our culture.  Nor do I see it as our enemy.  No, on the great battle lines of the soul, the culture isn't opposing the Church, but rather, is hostage to the forces opposing the Church.  I must look at culture, and those inundated by it, as victims rather than antagonists.   People in the culture must be saved, not fought.

Now, granted, there is still a fight in it.  Christians, if we wish to free the captives, must fight the captors.  The struggle in this situation is that the captors are ideas, concepts, and falsehoods, and they are self-made prisons.

Jacob Marley, of no relation to
Bob Marley
Remember the Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol"?  When the ghost of Jacob Marley visits Ebeneezer Scrooge, he's wearing chains, explaining, "I wear the chain I forged in life! I made it link by link and yard by yard! I gartered it on of my own free will and by my own free will, I wore it!" 

Marley wears a chain he freely forged.  His was a chain of pride and greed, but there are many other chains which man can forge for himself (Lust, Anger, Sloth, Envy, Gluttony).  Our culture had ought to learn from Marley, as should the Christian.  Fighting Marley wouldn't have broken his chains, but only made him grasp them tighter.  No, the Christian has to strike at the chains, to make the prisoner aware of his captivity.  Our culture is oblivious to its predicament, but the Christian is not.  This is the challenge for the faithful:  We desire to set captives free, but they don't realize they are captives in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. Joe,I throughly enjoy your commentaries. May God continue to bless you with wonderful insight. Tell Andrew I said, "hi" and look forward to seeing him soon. Kim Hess