The Beauty of Life (part 3)

Christian people wish to experience love, grace, and beauty. St. Paul urged the Philippians to allow their minds to dwell on those things as well as other admirable attributes. Conversely, we do not wish to experience exploitation, destruction, and death.

The world as it is seeks “justice” as the primary virtue of an established order. And so a system of laws are put into place to enforce or impose order on society at large. The understanding demonstrated here is that law and order establish justice. John Adams’ assertion that “we are a government of laws and not men,” perfectly describes the illusion involved in this world. If human beings are sinful, frail, and weak who would wish to be ruled by them? Laws become perfect gods. And yet, it is neatly forgotten that humans must be the enforcers of the laws. Humans as we have just said are not Angels. Justice based on law is ultimately unrighteous because this kind of order leads to exploitation, destruction, and death which we hope to avoid.

How then can we live in an industrial/information driven society and minimize harm? There are those who reply that it cannot be done. Solutions – or rather illusions of solutions – are offered. One is that Jesus will return before bad humans can destroy everything. Jesus will come to make everything right.

The Christian hope for the final revealing of Jesus and the restoration of all things is used to argue against doing anything. Apostolic preaching does not support this view. The return of Jesus does not occur without repentance and times of refreshing come first.

Another offered answer involves being or becoming primitive. Should Christians give up industrialization and informational technology to imitate Adam and Eve? Western culture includes romanticized primitivism with either grace-filled pastoralism or noble savagery. The Maya people never had the wheel. Yet, they found ways to practice exploitation, destruction, and death until they ruined the living landscapes of their cities and destroyed their culture.

The only solution for Christian people is found in the virtue of Simplicity and the practice of Community. These attributes fulfill the apostolic command for repentance and times of refreshing for the restoration of all things. In these virtuous practices we find justice formed out of love for the neighbor. This love or loving kindness allows for all things to be reconciled to one another and to God.

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