Thursday, January 22, 2009

Man or Rabbit

I really enjoyed this essay! Lewis uses such genius analogies, and this piece contains some of my favorites. They make understanding his points so much easier.

"Can't you lead a good life without believing in Christianity?" Lewis starts by asking this question, and his answer is basically no. If you are asking this question, you have most likely heard of Christianity and thus are rejecting God on dishonest terms. What it really means is that you do not want to know whether it is true or false but just if you should bother with Christianity or if being good is fine enough. Lewis says this person is like the man who won't look at his bank account because he's afraid of what he'll see or the man who refuses to see a doctor for the pain he's feeling because the doctor may reveal some terrible answers. Some of us are so afraid to really dive into Christianity and study it, because we know it will uncover truths in our lives that we aren't ready to face.

"You may not be certain yet whether or not you ought to be a Christian, but you do know you ought to be a man, not an ostrich hiding its head in the sand." This analogy is wonderful. So many of us choose to hide under the sand of our lies because we know we are only lying to ourselves; we refuse to acknowledge the truth and end up living in denial.

I will not doubt that there are honest, moral, just people out there who are not Christians. They may lead "good" lives, but that is only good according to their definitions. Nonetheless, the question of living a good life is not really the question. If people knew what life was truly about, they would know that "a decent life is mere machinery compared with the things we men are really made for." The divine life is not indispensable like morality is; living a good life does not allow you to be re-made. As Christians we are given the chance for the rabbit in us to disappear. The cowardly, sensual, ethical, intellectual parts of us will go away, only for us to find something we have never yet imagined: "a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy."
This goes back to our discussion of the difference between happiness and joy. We can live decent lives, filled with happiness, but we do not experience joy without the love of God. The point of our existence is not to live a 'good life' but to live a life that pleases God and follows His plans for us.

As far as our discussion in class today goes, I just want to confess that I am struggling with becoming jaded and cynical. I did not grow up in a Christian home, and my friends were not Christians. Scripture and doctrine were not embedded in me throughout all of my education, yet God still showed His face to me. It has been hard for me to come in from the outside and listen to so many Christians who are very judgmental.
I do not think we can judge those who do not live in places like West Michigan where most of the population is Dutch and Reformed. It is very hard for me to believe that God would not make His existence known to every man. Lewis discusses an honest error of simply living a good life due to not ever knowing God; I am not sure if that is possible. Salvation is a mystery, and who are to try to pinpoint it down to a science? Just because we see people who may be "evil" in our eyes doesn't mean that God isn't using them somehow, and just because someone was immersed in a different culture doesn't mean they won't find their way to Christianity.

No comments:

Post a Comment