COPING WITH NIHILISM

We live in some wild times, don’t we? One little look back in history shows that people of all ages have lived in wild times of their own…

Ghengis Kahn slaughtered his thousands many centuries ago, as did the Roman legions, the Persian empire, and many, many others. On the individual level, from the beginning of humanity men and women struggled in their daily lives, just to earn a living, to deal with sickness and cold and hunger, and to deal with the failings and evils of human nature. In the nitty gritty detail of life, not much has changed. I often wonder how people have coped, emotionally, with what was happening all around them, and I wonder how people cope in our time.

We in the West have it pretty good, for now. We’re well fed and relatively safe. However, those in control of our world, and the media which supports them (yes, they do) are taking us down a dangerous path. They’re intentionally dismantling what made our world prosperous and relatively safe and ordered, even to the point of removing the restraint which law and order has provided. They’re destroying our social cohesion. “Unity”, they claim, while they work to divide us in numerous ways. Like wrenching a leg from someone’s body in order to make a new person in their image: it won’t work.

I must confess that while I believe firmly in the Day when the Son of God will appear and assume His Lordship over all, I sometimes despair when I see the wicked prospering, truth being thrown to the ground, babies being thrown away, men rejecting their masculinity, and media so-called “news reporters”-lying in order to eject one elected man from office and to hide and disguise the lies and corruption of others.

I can cope with what I see, despite the groaning inside me. I know that the Day is coming, eventually. I know that we were created by an incredible mind: a loving mind who will not leave the world to fester forever. I am convinced that I have been redeemed by the shepherd of my soul, Jesus Christ. And as Job said, I know that even if worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I will see God (Job 19:26).

How do others, with no real assurance of faith, cope with their mortality and ultimate aimlessness? The mood of the day is to ignore such questions. We “evolved”, after nothing expanded and became our universe-all on its own-and after a multitude of incredible and fortuitous circumstances gave rise to life on one little tiny rock in space. So, as we came from nothing and go to nothing-the greatest nihilistic nonsense of our time-let’s eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Let’s get what we can out of life while we can.

That’s what our current culture is built on. I really have no qualms with making life as rich and meaningful and enjoyable as possible-within bounds. God made the world to be enjoyed, and gave us five senses and an inner sense of His presense to enjoy it with. But that sense of mortality, and the feeling that there has to be more to life than this, can’t be removed: it can only be hidden or ignored, to an extent. As Blaise Pascal noted (though he didn’t quite put it this way) we have a “God-shaped vacuum” inside us, one which can never be filled by anything, or anyone else.

“He has put eternity in their hearts” (Ecclesiates 3:11).

Among the many offering to hide those feelings for us, and to give us good vibrations for short periods of time instead, is Disney. What a great man Disney was, and what a great idea he had. However, now the powerful and super-rich corporation works to destroy your child’s satisfaction with his or her God-given gender, and with the family, marriage, home, society and culture that they may have otherwise had. God has promised to bring judgment for good reason, and I say “bring it on Lord”.

All around you can see people attempting to fill in that vacuum in a multitude of ways, along with those enriching themselves, or getting meaning for themselves, by providing those things. They’re creating ways for you to spend time and money burying, ignoring, rejecting and despising those deep feelings: the feelings that tell you that there HAS to be more to life, the universe, and everything, than you’ve been told there is. Paul, speaking to some in Athens who were busily gaining knowledge without meaning, said:

From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring’ (Acts 17:26-28).

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