We affirm life.
I don’t think anyone would argue that statement (depending on their definition of “life”…as unsettling as that may be.) Even the most morally bankrupt individual would affirm his/her own life. Whether or not we verbally state or make the pronouncement, we mentally ascent and act “as-if” life were a noble virtue. You show me a person who does not, and I will show you someone who has lost his or her grip on reality. Why? The issue is not that we actually affirm life. The issue is that it can only be affirmed within the reality of a Theistic universe/multi-verse/etc… which causes immediate rebuttals from those who take issue with that premise.
Consider your worldview… your view of life and the existential reality you exist in… and apply it to the four following areas: origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. I’m sure it can account for each one individually. I’m sure your worldview can provide a sensible explanation of each on its own merits. The real dilemma is whether or not your worldview can consistently, coherently, and cohesively apply to ALL four, cumulatively. That’s a little more difficult, but not impossible. No… maybe that’s not the real dilemma. Maybe your worldview makes sense when applied across all four. So what’s the real dilemma?
Live. It. Out.
Try to, at least… in a manner consistent with how you applied it to the four areas above.
Might I submit that this can ONLY be done within a Judeo-Christian framework? And it’s the ONLY worldview that will actually square with your common sensibilities and observation of reality. When Christians act in unsavory ways, it is going AGAINST the tenants of the faith, which the outside world rightly recognizes. Any other worldview must borrow from Christianity to establish its foundation in affirming life. I love the quote from Ravi Zacharias that addresses a realization in our individual search for “meaning”…
“The loneliest moment in life is when you have just experienced that which you thought would deliver the ultimate, and it has just let you down.”
In light of this, here are some questions to ponder…
If the origins of EVERYTHING that exists came from NOTHING and by NOTHING, how is objective meaning established? How about morality? Is not everything then predetermined, including your thoughts, emotions, and actions? And if so, does accountability for those thoughts, emotions, and actions vanish in a sea of determinism?
If meaning and morality are person-relative/subjective, how does any one thing’s existence have any objective worth? And… what is justice? Is this concept not borne out of an innate sense of “wrong”, which could only occur if an individual’s worth has been devalued? How is justice ever attained in the fullest intent as we define it, if all value is subject to individual interpretation? Even if we pretend to believe that seeking justice is good for the herd or community or society or family… on whose standard is it ultimately grounded? Majority? Personal? Those in power? And how do any of those determinations not undermine ultimate meaning by stripping outsiders of it? The slope is getting slippery…
If our “destiny” is that this life and all that we experience ceases to exist upon our physical death, how is anything meaningful? How is anything moral? And is living “as-if” anything in this life is meaningful or moral just a fanciful delusion? Can we fully grasp and come to terms with this delusion and still live with any hope? If so, is that not inconsistent with a predetermined, meaningless world? We would still opt to pretend, though… Why?
We need to wrestle with these questions. If only for the fact that we answer them daily whether or not we ponder them… through thought, word, and deed.
ONLY a Christian worldview can be lived consistently with the application of its reality across the four areas.
A timeless, spaceless, immaterial, personal entity that creates every thing out of no thing (spaces for emphasis)… out of its own love, with intrinsic value. Sentient humans, fashioned in the creator’s image, whose objective is to care for this creation, and who find their meaning only while in relationship with their creator… with morals grounded in the creator’s eternal character and ultimately framed for the flourishing of creation. These same humans who, only if created out of love, could be gifted with free will… to choose relationship with their creator (life) or separation (death)… and whose separation chosen freely could only be mended by the sacrifice of another… leading to certain and irrefutable separation unless the creator of all became ultimate fulfillment. That fulfillment being a faultless human, who freely chose sacrifice in order to bring flawed creation back into right relationship with himself… for all eternity. Destiny fulfilled in the light of creation for those who so freely choose and accept.
Only by the cross of Christ do all four converge. And ONLY by the cross is there any hope for our lives to live consistently in the reality of all four, by restored relationship with God. Origin. Meaning. Morality. Destiny.
Otherwise… what is life? And why do we still affirm it?