We are awash in goodness, truth, and beauty. All we need do is raise our heads from the muck and see the glory of the Heavens.
You, with every human being on the planet, are created in the image of God and so essentially good and worthy of love. The brokenness in us, in me at least, does not take away from the truth. Things are not as they should be, but the good God came to heal and give us hope for eternity. The essential goodness of creation is compatible with brokenness, but that is hard to see.
If we go to a beautiful beach and pollute that beach with trash, haven’t we spoiled the beauty? If we choose to hate, don’t we ruin our humanity. Isn’t the image of God marred by our choices? How could we then call this present creation good?
Yet the fathers and mothers of Christendom do assert the fundamental goodness of creation. God, being free, did not have to save us, but being good and loving us, God did. This is very good news. If we are imperfect, even very broken, but capable of repair by the good God, then any human is priceless, nobody can be dismissed, ignored, or forgotten.
This is Orthodoxy.
Yet does orthodoxy make sense? Here is one recent critic commenting on my brief post on belief*:
I’m confusion. You’re own holy book say that world was polluted with evil by sin. Your god made everything good, but then humanity corrupted if for not listening to him. So how do Christians think the world is good place? And your statement about being a ‘creationist’ is rather childish. You like being one because it affirm to your faith, not because it the truth or even have any backing from the natural world. That sound less like you’re using reason and using your emotions to back up that statement.
Humanity does not, I do not, merely not listen to God. We do wrong that we know to be wrong. This introduces something into our highly complex, interconnected cosmos that should not be there. Like spilling water on the keyboard of a laptop, the cosmic system, even the parts not soaked in sin, may cease to work as it should. Anyone can look at the world and see that what “is” does not always equal “ought.” The two should be the same, but they are not these same.
The Christian thinks the beach is good and beautiful. We examine history, philosophy, and our hearts and see that God has come and given us the ability to clean the beach. We can be redeemed.
As for being a creationist, that is not due to childishness, but an intuition so basic to humanity that even a child has the impulse. Beauty is more fundamental than ugliness. We can pollute the sky with our light, but the stars are still there. We can fill the sea with plastic, but we are ruining a great good, not adding ugliness to ugliness. This fundamental beauty points to a Creator.
We see beauty in regions, even weird regions, that no human before our time has seen. Go to the deepest depths of the oceans and we see beauty. Gaze out beyond the stars visible to our unaided eyes and we see beauty. Journey above the clouds and find beauty. We mar, but what is marred can be mended. This is very hopeful and part of the good news of Christianity.
God came in the person of Jesus Christ to make that mending possible. The time is coming, by God’s grace, when all will be made whole.
As for reason and emotions, the two must always go together. To pretend they do not is to fall into one of two traps. If one embraces emotion, live by what you wish, without the check of hard reason, then we end up hitting the hard rocks of reality. If we live by logic, the dictates of reason, but ignore the tugs of our hearts, then we discover an inability to choose between equally reasonable starting points. We do not know whether to choose hope or despair as the starting point of our metaphysic.
See a human: know hope.
*Spend enough time on social media, even in a season where you are trying to practice kindness, and you get comments. Some are kind, some not so kind, but all wonderfully interesting. A person can learn, as King David found, from critics as well as friends. The comment is unedited, but as a guy who does not see so well, and has arthritic thumbs, I would suggest not being hard on errors made by someone commenting on the little boxes much of social media gives us.
As one forgiven many a typo, I would extend mercy!