Monday, February 10, 2014

Death and Your Worldview

I was brought up to believe that, for Christians, death is an escape hatch from this dark, terrible place of disease, poverty, and every manner of suffering imaginable. Eternal life with God is what matters. Life here on earth, at best, is an Intensive Care Unit where we wait for God to pull the plug on our life-support system. 

To those people who believe this way, there is our pre-death life on earth that is relatively meaningless, other than to prepare for death and the after life, and then there is their after-death existence, where they will find true meaning and eternal life with God.

These Christians strike out into the world advocating the reality of everlasting life with God, yet at the same time surrenders to the meaningless of this life and this world. All we can expect in our pre-death life is suffering and evil. Their fundamental message, then, is to worship the Creator of this world but reject His creation.

The unbeliever, however, defends this world, scoffing at any notion of eternal life. However, by rejecting God, whether consciously or unconsciously, their defense leaves them asserting that we humans are an accident, an insignificant mist that is here today and gone tomorrow. No matter what else they might say about finding meaning in this life and only in this life, it is all undone by the presupposition that all of this—the world, life, and death—are accidents.

The meaning you give to death determines your ideas, ideals, perceptions, evaluations, and judgments regarding your view of this world. Your relationship to death creates a framework of beliefs, ideas, and attitudes through which you interpret and interact with the world and the people within it, as well as determine how you will order your life.  

If death is an escape from this world of evil and suffering into eternal life with God, then what is the only possible and logically consistent worldview available to you?  

If this world, your life, and your death are all accidents, then what is the only possible and logically consistent worldview available to you?

“Okay, Wilson, what is the meaning of death, to you?” To begin with, I agree with St Paul’s writings: Death is an enemy we humans brought into God’s creation, an enemy that Christ came into the world to defeat.

Next Post Death: The Last Enemy To Be Destroyed

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2014

1 comment:

  1. I have, in the last decade or so begun to think that there are two sides to death. One is very positive and connected to the idea of transformation, and one is connected to the death of corruption because of sin.

    For transformation I often use the common idiom "death of the child" to mean entering the complexities and responsibilities (and we hope the wisdom) of being adults. The adult is the child transformed, matured but the child is no more. Another illustration is the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. The caterpillar ceases to "exist", it is transformed into something new, a butterfly. This, I believe is what God first meant when he said, "In the day that you eat of it, dying you shall die." In the eating, unfallen Adam would be transformed (die) losing the earthy, earthly body and attaining the heavenly, spiritual body that he and all men would require to dwell fully with God in the ages to come.

    Enter sin and now death takes on its bitter and adversarial nature - sin's corruption of soul and body require the casting off "the body of sin" in physical death to await its future transformation through the resurrection. The person goes through this unnatural tearing of soul from body until, in the future, a glorious new body is truimphantly bestowed.

    Just thinking....