Saturday, June 6, 2015

Facebook and Popular Morality

One of the benefits of Facebook is that it gives a window into popular culture and morality. Looking at some of the things that are posted it is clear that we have raised several generations who have little intrinsic understanding of morality, other than that if it feels good, it must be good.

The Jesus of popular culture is more sweet and loving than Jesus Himself actually is, very simply because Western culture fails to understand that without truth, there can be no actual love. Love and truth can very easily upset those warm, sentimental feelings that people sometimes misconstrue as love.

Something is true not because it feels right, because feelings will justify any number of things; and many of those things are not always beneficial to society as a whole. In doing so we have placed the “rights” and “feelings” of individuals over against what is right and wholesome. Our culture places a high value on self-affirmation without any consideration of how that might affect others. People being what they are, self-affirmation is sometimes little different from self-centeredness.

Jesus not only offered love to all whom he met, but he also offered healing transformation. Jesus never said to people that they should become what they really at heart want to be; He said, “take up your cross and follow me,” and that’s quite a different thing.

“To ask that God’s love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God: because He is what He is, His love must, in the nature of things, be impeded and repelled by certain stains in our present character, and because He already loves us He must labour to make us lovable.”  - [C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain].

C. S. Lewis often quotes George MacDonald, and published an anthology of Macdonald’s sayings.  The following is his second entry titled “Inexorable Love.”

Nothing is inexorable but love. Love which will yield to prayer is imperfect and poor. Nor is it then the love that yields, but its alloy. . . . For love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. Where loveliness is incomplete, and love cannot love its fill of loving, it spends itself to make more lovely, that it may love more; it strives for perfection, even that itself may be perfected--not in itself, but in the object. . . . Therefore all that is not beautiful in the beloved, all that comes between and is not of love's kind, must be destroyed. And our God is a consuming fire. [C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald an Anthology, (New York: Macmillan). p.1].

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