Wednesday 25 May 2022

In what ways might Men better serve God's purposes in these times, than ever before in history?

As a baseline assumption, I believe that God has (overall) designed this world well; and that it is (in some essential way) 'fit for purpose'. 

If this world was not fit-for-purpose, or if it becomes unfit at any time; then presumably God will bring it to an end! The fact that this has not yet happened, tells me that it remains fit-for-purpose - despite everything...

Considering that the world is so much worse for Christianity in 2022, in So Many ways; implies to me that the world must be much better for Christianity in other, and less obvious, ways. 

Starting from here; I can speculate in what kind of ways this world - here-and-now - might serve God's purposes better than before. 

In broad terms I assume that God has two main purposes for our mortal incarnation: 

The first is salvation of as many souls as possible - which I understand to mean that Men will choose to follow Jesus Christ to eternal resurrected life in Heaven; and also that this choice happens and becomes effectual after biological death. 

The final post-mortal choice of Heaven also entails the permanent (and irreversible) choice to live by Love, which also means to live eternally in harmony with God's will and purposes. 

(Mortal Christians are, obviously, those who have made this choice while still alive biologically - but the decision only becomes irrevocable after death, at resurrection.) 

With respect to this purpose of salvation; it certainly seems to me that the world is worse 'designed' than it used to be - a worse place than it used to be!

Serious Christianity has declined strongly over many recent decades (in terms of age-adjusted numbers and devoutness); and the Christian churches were devastated by the birdemic-excused events of 2020. 

Or rather, the major churches revealed by their behaviour that their leadership, and many of their laity, were not serious about Christianity - and that the churches had (substantially) become 'just another' institutional 'front' for Satanically-allied mainstream totalitarian leftism. 

So, from the quantitative point of view - the number of souls who are likely to be saved (that is, who will choose to follow Jesus); the world obviously seems to be a bad place, and getting worse. 

Yet the world continues... So what may be the respects in which this is a better world in which to be Christian (i.e. 'better' from God's point of view)

Salvation is not God's only purpose for this mortal life across all the humans that have ever lived. 

The divine function of this mortal life is also theosis, sanctification, divination, becoming more -like Jesus... or, as I understand it: our mortal lives are intended to be for learning lessons that will be of value in resurrected Heavenly life

In a sense, this developmental process through mortal life can be understood as some combination of growing-up spiritually, and becoming more distinctively ourselves. And it is in these respects that modern Western life in 2022 offers significant advantages. 

I believe that God desires for the inhabitants of Heaven each to be unique; each to make an unique contribution to ongoing creation. 

And God also desires that at least some Men will choose to follow the path pioneered by Jesus Christ - the path to attaining the same level or degree of divinity as God the prime creator (which entails salvation - that is, the Man must, like Jesus, make an eternal commitment to live-by-Love in full creative harmony with God). 

I think, in broad terms, that we can infer that Men of the past were able to achieve salvation in larger numbers, or a much higher proportion, than nowadays; but this was at the cost of each man being less individuated, less distinctive. 

Earlier Christianity (and some forms nowadays) implicitly aim at a standard-Christian - there is a 'template' of the Christian life (or a few such templates, in a hierarchy), into which it is intended that each person shall strive to fit. This can most clearly be seen (and is best documented) for the 'Byzantium' of the eastern Roman Empire and the Catholicism of Medieval Europe. 

There was a 'system of salvation' - which was probably very effective at bringing men to salvation; but I would regard this as, to a significant extent, also a system that prevented Men from attaining their highest possible levels of uniqueness. 

The potential for individual learning and theosis was sacrificed to the group: quantitative salvation was maximized, but at the expense of making Christian 'clones' who were sub-optimally distinctive, under-developed in their uniqueness.

If this is accepted; I think we can see that someone who lives in 2022, And Yet becomes and remains a Christian; is likely to do so as a consequence of individual struggle against The System...

This including struggle against the standard 'Christian Church Systems' (which are now largely corrupted, and corrupting).  

Therefore, I believe that while The World Today is worse at saving many souls; it is also better than any previous era at producing the kind of maximally grown-up and individually-distinctive Resurrected men that God wishes to be inhabitants of Heaven... 

Individuals that perhaps have more to contribute to Heaven's creativity than was possible before?

It is in such a direction of grown-up-ness and unique-ness that I would look-for the Christian excellence of this modern life - and an explanation of why this world continues despite the apparent collapse of societies that support salvation in large numbers. 


John Venlet said...

While I understand your reasonings in support of your position, I am not necessarily in alignment with the thinking that men today may better be able to serve God's purposes than in times past. When The Messiah was incarnate, the world was pagan, with the exception being the Israelites. And though the Israelites, the Hebrews, insulated themselves religiously from the pagan world, they too were involved in the world, just as Christians are today. Nascent Christianity had, I think, a more difficult challenge in producing men and women who truly desired to live Christian lives in a world that had been pagan for ages, the exception of being the Hebrews. And though the early church, once codified and made official by Constantine, did produce sort of cutout, cardboard Christians of one mold, I think the same thing could be said about some denominational Christians today.

At times I too think that today it is more challenging to be a Christian, but I think that this view is influenced by the speed of communications and the control of the messaging many individuals absorb through mainstream media.

There is no doubt that this world we live in is good, The Creator Himself has told us so, but he also told us that evil powers and principalities are hard at work in this world tempting us to reject, or misunderstand, the message of The Scriptures and the power of God's love. His burden is light, it's the world's burden which is heavy.

Francis Berger said...

I have thought about this before, but through the more simplified perspective of quality versus quantity in terms of the development of consciousness. I did not develop the line of thinking as thoroughly well as you have done here.

Quantity is comforting from a social and cultural perspective, but our current society and culture truly is fit-for-the-purpose of quality rather than quantity. I think this unsettles most Christians, but it shouldn't.

The world in general is experiencing a prolonged decrease in geniuses. Quantity is definitely winning over quality there. Perhaps this quality over quantity aspect in Christianity will lead to an increase in spiritual geniuses? Goodness knows we could use more of those.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JV - To agree with my interpretation entails accepting as an assumption the development of human consciousness - the way Men think and relate to the world, through history.

@Frank - As for genius; I would say that there is certainly a reduction (or loss of) in 'world-historical' genius - which requires people of extremely high intelligence/ ability And a society that will take notice and be influenced by genius - both of which are largely absent.

But that is mostly a different matter; except in a general understanding of genius-type creativity; which is that it happens whenever someone thinks from his real/divine-self - at that point he contributes to divine creation (but, maybe in a much smaller way that a genius may have done in the past and in some particular places).

By 'quality' I don't mean in the same way as the past - I don't mean great and wonder-working Saints, for instance. I simply mean that those Christians who attain salvation (who make the choice to follow Jesus) are more grown-up, more autonomous, and more free in their agency - than in the past.

In essence, to become and stay a Christian Now, means to have 'done it for oneself' and to have accepted personal responsibility for this choice - much more so than in the past.

And I would also say that this is what God most wants people to do (as can be read in the Fourth Gospel)- to make this active choice "for" Heaven from a situation of detachment from the spiritual and experiential knowledge that God *can* be disbelieved and His agenda rejected - rather than passively, unconsciously, to absorb the Christian choice from a Christian society.