Forgiveness and other Cultural Craziness

I’m reading, or skimming, Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, once more. I am not sure how many times this makes. But I think it’s been quite a few years since the last time. One of the things that is striking me this time, and striking with pain, is how divorced our culture is from the one Lewis writes about.

He writes about natural law, for example, and says something like we know it is real because for the most post you might say to somebody ‘how could you do this, it’s not fair, would you do this to your brother?’ and he doesn’t respond by shrugging his shoulders and saying ‘so what?’ he responds by arguing why what he’s doing is acceptable, he’s not being unfair, he’s not doing something which would make him angry if somebody did it to him or to his brother. But this is increasingly untrue. We are growing up a crop of sociopaths who don’t really care about justice or what is fair, they only want what they want, and the fact that they want it is all the justification they need.

Right now in the U.S, of course, that population is largely in prison or politics, but I see signs of it in the population at large as well. And here is an area where all of us have imbibed at the fount of what can only be a form of mental illness:

Referring to Jesus’ claim that he can forgive sins, Lewis says:

“Now unless this speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic. We can all understand how a man forgives offences against himself. You tread on my toes and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men’s toes and stealing other men’s money? Asinine fatuity is the kindest description we should give of his conduct. Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sings had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offences. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. In the mouth of any speaker who is not God, these words would imply what I can only regard as a silliness and conceit unrivalled by any other character in history.”

And yet this is something people claiming Christ do every day in the news, not to mention politicians and college professors and Joe Blows in the street.

Unrivalled silliness and conceit, asinine fatuity- apt descriptions of our people, our culture, the world in which we live.

So demoralizing.

This entry was posted in Culture and Counterculture and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.