Two likely Jersey answers to two major questions. The Questions? - “Why are things as they are? What is the matter with our world?”
The likely answers? – T1 and T2. (T=theory)
T1 “Mankind has evolved from apes and from dogs and from fish and from a primeval slime. Mankind is making progress. We haven’t arrived but things are better than they were and will get better yet as mankind learns that he depends on others.”
T2 “Mankind was created perfect by a holy LORD God and placed in an earth and a universe that, when completed, could be called “paradise”. But mankind chose its own way rather than fellowship with its creator. And the rest is history....”
Both T1 and T2 fit the facts. When T1 says “we haven’t arrived” it acknowledges that there are real and painful problems in Jersey and the world today. When T2 says “mankind chose its own way” it also acknowledges the same real and painful problems.
But T2 adds something. It identifies the cause of the problems – every human being is hell bent towards having its own way...
Look again at T1. T1 says the same. “Mankind is making progress.” Within that statement is a confidence that mankind can hack it, that we know what’s good for us and can achieve whatever we want. We can go it alone. We want to go it alone.
The difference between T1 and T2 is therefore very simple – but very profound. T1 is confident to go it alone in the midst of real and painful problems. T2 knows that going it alone in these circumstances is disastrous – because the real and painful problems have arisen through going it alone.
So, which is it? T1 or T2?
It’s T1, isn’t it? T1 is the most attractive option – combined, of course, with every effort to promote morality and care in others. Religion helps here. Let’s endorse all religions that contribute to a morally good society, morally upright mankind. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater by saying that mankind cannot be autonomous – that I’m not allowed my right of self-determination (one of my human rights, after all).
But what if that right of self-determination is what causes the global real and painful problems. My right to eat well gives rise to the starvation of others. My right to happiness allows me to leave my husband and children for another lover. My right to have my way gives rise to violence.
It’s still T1, isn’t it? The fact that I have my way doesn’t mean that others really suffer – because there’s plenty for everybody. If I cause real and painful problems by “doing it my way” it’s up to my former husband to “get a life”. It’s up to those who starve to do some work. There are plenty opportunities. This is the “survival of the fittest.” Everyone agrees with Darwin.
There is one problem darkening the skies and coming towards Jersey. When, by and large, there’s enough for all, “my way” doesn’t seem to be terribly harmful. But when there isn’t enough........ I shall still want my way, and get it at all costs, even at the hellish costs that others will bear.
What a contrast the Son of Man, the crucified criminal of Calvary. T1 is the way of the strong. But some of us love the way of Jesus the Messiah – his way of self-denial and a cross. We’re overpowered by it.
Especially because this Lord Jesus came to take upon himself the wrath of Almighty God towards all the followers of Jesus who, unlike God the Giver Himself, used to hold on to T1 but now live for their creator and redeemer.