Winds of change and winds of the spirit
9/24/16 at 09:23 PM 0 Comments

Have we lost our roots?

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Western civilisation has its roots in the Judaeo-Christian thought and way of life from which faith, reason and science came, but only in leaps and bounds after it was dislodged from the tyranny of kings and governments. This took place over a period of time between 16-1700 AD. The new theory of the solar system, held by Kepler and Galileo was slow in taking hold but when it did the world was seen objectively for the first time. The sun did not circle the earth but the earth orbited the sun. Night and day was due to the rotation of the earth facing the sun during the day and the moon during the night. That discovery broke open the hold kings and parliaments had on learning and authority.
Along with physics, philosophy and politics underwent scrutiny and change. This was because the bible was no longer a closed book to those outside the Vatican, the cardinals and the priests. It was written only in Latin but that changed when copies of the bible were printed in English based on the original translations. Anyone who could read, read the bible for themselves and their conclusions differed with those of the established church. Nonconformity was born and flourished in opposition to the crown and the church. Hence, the bible that had long been the property of the crown and the church became the property of the people. But whilst nonconformity was a movement against the authority of the church to rule over conscience and the Scriptures, it was disunited in doctrines and forms of worship and since the 17th century has remained so.

Hence faith no longer had the force of law, nor the unity of the church. The unity of faith, reason and natural science broke down, and in the 18th and 19th century virtually became adversaries in the pursuit of knowledge and truth. This was further enhanced by the first and second world wars that demoralised the western world and fermented agnosticism and unbelief in God. The theory of evolution gained acceptance in people minds, education appeared to be the modus operandi of society and the future, together with medical progress and control over infectious diseases, longer life and material prosperity: these seemed to matter more than anything else. Permissiveness, democracy and free speech became the norms of society. Hence, theologians and philosophers claim we are in the post Christian era, a time to put the idea of God on one side and believe in ourselves, believe in a new morality and a new era of self determination.
Have we forgotten our roots? The Christ reality remains the same; the self reality has lost its compass and hence its direction. Jesus stated the truth: 'I am the way, the truth and the life.' He told his disciples, 'He who follows me will not walk in darkness but have the light of life.' This is God's gift but we also need to learn what this means.

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