Finding Meaning and Unity in a Post-Christian World.
Even at the most basic level, we are people of diversity. If I were to ask a group of ten people what their favourite operating system in a computer is, there would be disagreements. However, this would not cause disunity because it is a trivial thing. With confidence, I know that we can live in a world where not everyone uses Apple or Windows computers. Does the same thing work when it comes to people that disagree based on worldview?
In an article titled Highway to Heaven by Robin King. Several people, that live on the same street, from different world viewsm, get together over a cup of coffee to discuss parking on their street and a Canada day parade float. Scenarios like this lead some to think that we truly coexist in harmony, but in the search for perfect unity, we need to look much deeper than this. When it comes to the core ideas of who we are and our purpose for living, unity is much harder to make happen. We live in a Post-Christian world where everything is focused around the individual and this idea of speaking your own truth. The problem with this is that defining truth on one’s own terms leads to an unrooted life that will constantly change based on the circumstances. People outside of organized religion find it hard to cope with the search for meaning.
Secular people have tried to remove everything out of their lives that has to do with religion. However, they still feel the need for ritual to feel some sort of fullness in life or to process the emotions from an unfortunate event, such as death. There are many rituals that the modern person does almost religiously. The act of getting coffee every morning could be considered a ritual. The coffee ritual does not provide much meaning besides the caffeine rush that is caused. Most of these rituals are meaningless, but to the person doing the ritual, the act of doing it helps them in some way. There is a design lab in Silicon Valley that makes rituals for any purpose. The act of doing something helps people to cope with the way that they are feeling. In the end even these rituals are quite meaningless. Why might this be? In James Sire’s book, The Universe Next Door He talks about how nihilists remove the idea of God by denying him. In the end, these people run out of things to deny. Then they realize the gap that has been left by what has been removed.
As a society the removal of God has led to us experiencing this feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness. For the people in Robin King’s article, they deal with this sense of loneliness by trying to coexist with one another. As for the people that are trying to bring back rituals without the religion behind the ritual, there is an element of chaos. We are not capable of creating meaning on our own because meaning comes from a place that is outside of ourselves. The meaning of life comes from God. As a Christian, our meaning comes from being in Christ and letting him define how we see ourselves and the world around us. This is a place of found meaning and intense unity. We are made in the image of God and are satisfied in him alone.