“Providence does not mean that we have no free will. God’s providence does not rule out human freedom. Providence is not opposed to cooperation with God. Providence does not mean we are off the hook or that we have no sense of responsibility when it comes to spiritual growth. Rather, we cooperate with God as we grow in our faith by practicing spiritual disciplines or the means of grace.”
We can’t run
from this. No matter how powerful, wealthy, famous, or holy we are, we are ashes. No matter how great of an influencer on social media we are, we are
ashes. No matter how big a church we are part of, we are ashes. We are ashes. We are broken. We are sinful.
This realization of brokenness is one of the greatest gifts we can ever receive.
What were the specific needs of our town, what were the specific passions and gifts of our church members, and how might they converge?
In Silence, Rodrigues’ romantic vision of Christianity is one that exists as if there are no cracks. Filled by lofty propositional truths, and a God on a high and mighty throne, Rodrigues does his best to muster up strength to remain faultless. Continuing up the path of the hero, he repeatedly fails to recognize the cracks in his armor.
On this island, no one else bears responsibility for another’s self-fulfillment. Where there is power for one’s own self-action, there is also absolution for any sin. I am not responsible to another if they have the power of self-creation. Any failure to thrive is the other’s burden. After all, they have the power to create their own context and I bear no responsibility to them.
According to Scripture, then, the post-deluge world is like Eden, but diminished; in contrast, the new heavens and new earth will be like Eden, but elevated.
Sisters, brothers, we all struggle with the pain of what it means to be flesh and blood in this world. Our bodies cause us frustration and suffering, whether we see our sex as a liability, foreign and unwanted, or whether we experience the pain of chronic illness or degeneration. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.”
Worm Theology is probably a good moniker for such belief. It imprisons humanity in this notion that our sin has made us worthless. It fetters us to the falsity that the evil within us has so completely broken us that we literally have no value.
It sounds pious. It sounds like a good understanding of the holy character of God lies behind it. It sounds like something Christians should say. But is this at all what the scriptures teach? Or is this just a leftover from the shame-laden sermons we heard in our youth?
Hozier believes that something in you dies when you give yourself in the human act of sex. Yet when there is a kind of relationship, this death must go both ways. The lover becomes not just the one who gives their life, but the one who takes the other’s life. This mutual deathless death is the closest you get to love and happiness on the sex-as-happiness path.