Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. Colossians 2:8 NLT
Most of us don’t consider ourselves philosophers. I certainly don’t. It was the most difficult, abstract, abstruse (I learned that word in philosophy 101), and unintelligible classes that I suffered through in seminary.
Some of that was because I had a head that was not yet prepared with the proper openings to understand it. I will also lay some blame at the feet of professors who were more concerned to speak to each other and to the “elite 8” of 97 students who might have understood what in the world they were saying!
But in recent years, I finally got it. Philosophy drives things. It drives how education is done in our culture and how textbooks get written that support it. It drives legislation. It drives our entertainment culture. It determines whether a young man from an underdeveloped village in North Africa will detonate a suicide vest, blowing himself into the presence of “Allah;” or so he believes. You have a philosophy. Your CHILDREN have a philosophy.
Now don’t misunderstand. You don’t have to be smart to be a philosopher. I’ve learned many aren’t. You don’t even have to be literate, much less a connoisseur of fine art.
You just have to be alive. Your philosophy seeps into your thinking, your decision-making capabilities and your very soul from the world around you.
For many people in the 21st century, naturalism is the soup of the day. It is worldwide, one of the most dominant of modern philosophical positions. It says in essence, that nothing is real that you can’t see, touch, or experience with your senses or measure in a scientific process. Imagine we live life in a box and nothing outside the box matters or is real. The material world is all that’s real and all that really matters. This by default eliminates the possibility of miracles, a resurrection or any intervention by “God.”
And this philosophical naturalism has impacted the viewpoint on two ends of an important spectrum: where do we come from (origins) and where are we going (destiny)? We have basically burnt the bridge at both ends and stranded ourselves in the middle… not knowing where we came from or where we are going.
Here’s what I believe: you cannot begin to live life as you should unless you can confidently answer both of those questions. We have given our young people the proposition that life began at random, with a “bang” or an ooze or a random shot of radiation… but not with an intention and purpose set forth by a Creator God.
And we have confused them on where they are going when life is over. There is no afterlife, no eternity… we tell them. Just nothing. And then we wonder why adolescent suicides are the leading cause of death in our young people.
We have not only blocked off the access and exit points but we’ve set the bridge on fire and told them “good luck.”
I realize I run the risk with this column of doing exactly what I said my profs did to me… and fear I have written an “abstruse” article. But it goes to a point: why is it important that we drill into our children and young people the reality that there is an eternal home waiting? And why is it important that we tell them that they came from a loving Father’s purpose and intention when He created them?
Because, not only is life not worth living if we don’t know these things…
…it can’t be lived at all.
FOR MEMORIZATION: “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2
FOR REFLECTION: Think through and become aware of your own understandings of where we came from and where we’re going. Are your thoughts more informed by “earthly philosophies” or by the truth of the Word of God?