- Religion and Philosophy
Christianity: where a supernatural world meets the natural world
Where does Christianity fit in?
There can be no doubt that the two worlds are in fact worlds apart. The characteristics of this world are obvious to see as we look around us. Violence, greed and abuse seems to show itself around every corner. We as humans seem to be driven by baser, lower desires and feelings. Politics seems to be based on keeping power and position rather than seeking the good of everyone. The commercial world is driven by making the best profit, no matter how it hurts the environment or other people. What can I get, take, make and gain, often at the cost of others, is all that is important. So there is no doubt that in this world where dog eats dog the principle that we live by are at best very low. Its effects can be seen in the family, in marriage, and in life in general.
Into this world come a different world view that threatens to turn everything upside down. Here a whole lot of new principles are brought into play. Service, giving, self-sacrifice, love and forgiveness contrast strongly with this worlds, worldly values. Where we are taught to win at all costs this other world invites us to win by giving. In a world that seeks to look after its own interests the invitation comes to put others ahead of ourselves. Where we are taught to fight for our rights the challenge comes to turn the other cheek. And we cannot even begin to understand it. Our world that we grow up in and live in is so different
No wonder they put Jesus to death! His principles were so different to those that we function by, that his world functioned by. When his disciples failed to understand his teaching and began to bicker and fight for positions of honour he takes on the slave’s apron and washes their feet (Jn. 13). When asked to summarise the law he teaches the parable of the Good Samaritan that emphasises helping those who are in need, rather than in religious observance.
So we take another look around us and we see a person who selflessly works in the slums areas of a major city to help children who are starving to death. We see a person dedicating their life to helping abused women or children to find a place of safety. We see someone who works in rural areas providing water and food to people who are without both. And suddenly we see where the supernatural meets the natural. Here is evidence of another better world impacting on the natural world. The supernatural meeting the natural world and proving to be a much better place to be in. It then also has the potential to change this dark place with all its greed, violence, hate and selfishness into a better place. Person by person. Action by action. No wonder Jesus described it as letting your light shine. (Mt. 5:16)
How does one enter into that better world? It needs supernatural power and that is offered to his followers by Jesus. When that light comes on in a life then Christianity has entered into the world. This is the victory that overcomes the world. When faith sees the supernatural and connects a person with the challenges and promises of a better world, then and only then do we see Christianity in action, and the natural world becomes a better place.