Humanity Longing for Purpose
Man Continues to Search for the Meaning to Life
Many Religions Claim to Know the Meaning of Life
To ask, “What is the purpose of life?”, is to presume upon the possibility that life’s purpose does not vary from person to person. The purpose for living is the same for a child as an adult. There is no variance in regards to socio-economic backgrounds. This supposition posed by the query is supported by the Westminster Shorter Catechism. This catechism was written over three hundred years ago and is a compilation of one hundred plus questions and answers on Bible/Christian doctrine. The first question being, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer, “ To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Radical answer. In fact, it is the only answer that makes sense given the presupposition of the question. If there is but one purpose for man certainly it stands to reason there is one commonality. That commonality being the Almighty Creator of man. The one to Whom glorification is due.
The argument can be made that this doctrinal statement constructed three and a half centuries ago is passé. Trendy for the time in which it was written, but no more. And yet man continues to formulate the same inquiry. We are gripped by the idea of life’s meaning. The question is continually lurking in the shadows of the human psyche. “What is the purpose to life?” There is a longing for a tangible reason for existence. The groping for more is portrayed in books, and played out even on the big screen. How many times have you heard, “There must be more than this…, is this all there is” ? Regardless of one’s spiritual leanings it is hard to deny the sheer truth. Man searches for meaning.
The writers of the catechism believed man was created by God , and wired with an innate desire to know Him. That is to say, every person has a natural proclivity towards his Creator. The assembly which penned this catechism was convinced of it’s authority, because it was based on scripture. These men were equally convinced of mankind’s ultimate responsibility, also based on scripture. The chief end, or purpose of man is to ‘glorify God’ and ‘enjoy Him forever’. This statement encompasses a definite belief system. It is as follows: One greater than man exist, more pointedly man’s creator. This being so, He is worthy of man’s undying praise and exultation. Secondly, mankind is to enjoy Him. This God of Whom the catechism teaches, though just, is not desirous of man’s annihilation. He made it possible to enjoy Him forever.
Fanciful as it sounds, the book on which the Westminster Catechism was based, teaches the possibility of a relationship and companionship with the creator God. The fellowship with God, through His Son, provides the means for deep enjoyment, and purposeful living.
Society craves to know the meaning of life. The Assembly of 1647 powered by the strength of their convictions, penned a solution to humanity’s quest. Was their conviction valid? Is the question of purpose clunking around in the recesses of your heart and mind? Are you discontented? In the wee and quiet hours Do you have a yearning inclination toward something or Someone, greater than yourself? ‘Put it to the test’. It is worth the assessment.
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Westminster Shorter Catechism and Proof Texts
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