Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Remembering the Fall

In these times, part of the world, mostly those who were locked within, are celebrating the destruction of the Berlin Wall. It is no accident that those who would do the locking up behind new walls are the ones who stay away from commemorating the destruction of the old.

But I was drawn to another Fall, one that is even more ignored by much of mankind to its eternal detriment. Man sinned and death resulted. Not even the most modern science of man has been able to undo the curse of God. Man is frail, and after almost a hundred years of “modern” medicine the life span of man is the same as it has always been. Moses, in Psalm 90, comments that 70 years hath the life of a man and 80 years if due to strength.

Today we realize that someone reaching 80 with good health to be as remarkable as it was in Benjamin Franklin’s day. Soon, with the kind help of our national government, we may look forward to living to 70—as long as we senior citizens do not impinge our poor health on the rest of the system.

It is abhorrent to me that society built on human dignity and rights would so cavalierly discard both that dignity and those rights. But may I add that I am not surprised? Disappointed but not surprised. You see, my religion teaches that men are intrinsically evil, unable even with utmost effort to effect salvation upon themselves. Even when we manage to create, in the words of Winston Churchill, the worst form of government ever devised by mankind, saving all others. The problems of our society are growing faster than we are able to reason our way toward morality and rationality—if indeed we are ever able to get there at all.

I used to call this the pull of evil and in my mind, fancied it as sort of a 20:1 ratio. That is for every problem attempted to be addressed and eradicated, twenty others would spring up to pull society down again. Sort of like Jason fighting the perennial soldiers that sprang from the earth. It seems to me that this is one of the rare points where I do find agreement between conservatives and liberals is in the decay of society. Neither group seems to have much hope for the redemption of mankind and see an ongoing, seemingly unstoppable, degradation of our society. They might disagree about the points of society’s fall, but both groups would not expect to see another generation of Americans grow old.

Which leads me to my point of these feeble comments: the redemption of mankind. Christ said that He would return, that his return would be visible and manifest to all. He also said that if He did not return mankind would destroy all. The elements themselves will be burned with fervent heat, He declares, and that does sound to me like a nuclear holocaust. He told us to not count Him slack concerning His promise, but also asked the rhetorical question if He would find any faith when He returned. It is to rescue us from the Fall that He came the first time; it seems that He is coming the second time to stop the total Fall of civilization itself.

That time, that day, will be like no other. Those who are waiting believing in God’s Son, and in his redemption will be made forever holy, separate unto Him, a cherished people. But life on earth will continue with a peace that knows not conflict, where swords will be beaten into plowshears, where a child who dies at 100 will be thought to be cursed.

Even so, come Lord Jesus.