Thursday, November 8, 2012

We Cannot Get There From Here: A blog post about hope

We cannot get there from here. There is no earthly hope for humanity or human hope for Earth.  You cannot save humanity by fixing the earth.  You cannot save the earth by fixing humanity.  We are inescapably divided in America. If you do not know that, you're head has been on a scuba-diving expedition in the Sahara Desert.  The extremists of the left half of us, want to fix the earth and keep people fed and safe.  These are physical things.  The extremists of the right half of us, want to save the world by fixing people.  These are morality things.  We Cannot Get There from here.

The earth must die, sorry liberals.  You cannot fix her and you will not be able to keep people safe and full no matter how hard you try.  Why?  Because condoms, free food and healthcare only postpones the empty feeling for a little while.  The gaping wound is still there and unpacked.

People will not be good, sorry conservatives.  You cannot make society function through the promotion of truth, justice and the American way.  Why? Because external righteous deeds only postpone the feeling of insufficiency for a little while.  The gaping wound is still there an unpacked.

Humanity must sink.  Do you not know this yet, Christian?  It was the end of every man from the day we said, yes to our own morality, oh conservative. It was the end of every man from the day we said no to God's morality, oh liberal.  You cannot hate God into a better earth and a safer humanity and you cannot right yourself into a better one either.  We must sink. As surely as every man must die individually, we must expire as a people.

Democracy was a great idea.  It really was. Utopia is also a good idea.  The problem is, everyone does democracy and utopia wrongly. The problem is sin.  Any government where God is King and people are sinless would be a good one, no matter the experiment.  But all eventually fall, where each individual part is already fallen.

Can't you hear the groaning?  Take time to listen. You will join them. The liberals groan about the terrible state we're in, temporary problems need immediate attention.  Conservatives groan about the future and how the irresponsible left doesn't think about tomorrow.  It's true! But they do not shut up long enough to hear that the deepest tones of their groaning are bellowing not against the now and not for tomorrow but because of an eternal hell that will not be reformed, erased or placated.  Everyone knows we're shot, they just don't know how bad the bleeding is.

The Gospel silences the groaning, stops the bleeding.  Brings the fever down. It cools the brow, quiets and speaks the comforting words to the sick and wailing man, "Rest now."

Don't you see? Jesus' earthly fixes were not just temporary, but metaphorical glimpses into eternity.  Jesus feeds the poor, heals the sick, raises the dead to show that he commands the things that ail our bodies.  Then he saves sinners, transforms their minds, builds in them true character to show that he commands the things that ail our souls.  He will rebuild the planet and he will be King and sin and death will be no more.  We cannot get there from here, we get there from Him. He is the only hope, everyone's.

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