Identity Crisis: Competing Worldviews and the Christian Self (An Introduction)

Identity Crisis: Competing Worldviews and the Christian Self (An Introduction) December 30, 2022

Have you ever considered the question: “Who am I?” 

The foundation of this question, perhaps, is a desire for affiliation. We desire to be able to see a world with our place in it. Whether we pursue the art of academia as a student and hopefully attain the title “College Graduate”, or we pursue our desire to become a world-class athlete, or even if we chase after the ability to raise a family. What we find our identity in ultimately defines us.

I think titles are important for this reason. If you call someone remarkable long enough, they’ll believe it. If you bully someone into despair, calling them stupid, or unworthy… then they too will believe it. We complete an extra 14 years of schooling after our grade school for a title: Doctor. Athletes train their bodies, sometimes into destruction, for the title: Champion.

Our identity markers are sacred to us. But dare I say that not all identity markers are equal. What we believe about the world and about ourselves has the utmost of consequences for us and our neighbors. Dare I say that the foundation for where our identity rests is one that is bankrupt?

Is it a coincidence that a world that tells us to be our true selves in the form of sexual promiscuity, debauchery, fleeting feelings and emotions, and to rage against the traditions that have upheld our society for so long is at the same time experiencing the largest mental health crisis in the history of mankind? I do not believe so. And in a culture (Our Western Culture that is) that says that your identity is simply that which you desire the most, I’m afraid it will only be getting worse.

Competing Worldviews

The You-Do-You culture has won. We are now in a world where we are challenged to be who we want to be with no consequences warned against. We have been given the keys to our own ruin, of which we chase as a rabbit does a carrot to its destined trap. But perhaps it is not too late. Maybe finding our identity in ourselves is a bankrupt ideology. Perhaps becoming god to ourselves isn’t what we are built for. Maybe the answer is a wisdom that has predated us for a couple thousand years. Perhaps there is a way out of this mess.

Our identity, we are told, is simply the limit of our base desires. We must shake off our oppressors, our Christian roots, our sacred callings, our religious exhortations, in order to be the best humans we can be. We must live our best life because this is the only one we’ll get. It sounds good doesn’t it? Until someone’s best self is dangerous to you or others, what then?

The Christian Foundation of the Self – Summarized

The Christian Idea of the Self finds its foundation within the order of creation. God created mankind in His image (Gen 1:26). What this means is that we are created with a purpose. God gave us the job to rule over and steward the Earth. We aren’t just another animal to be numbered alongside fish, birds, and beasts. We are above them. Humanity has the special stamp of approval by Yahweh. From this fact alone comes a foundation for the sanctity of life, the goodness of work, the joy we find when discovering more about God’s creation, and what we call “human rights” . Without this foundational piece, we are left to do what our hearts content and dive headlong into our own destruction.

Dare I say that the Judeo-Christian Worldview is the only one of which gives a coherent, impenetrable foundation for the idea of Self. The New Self that we see in our modern culture in the West is throwing this foundation away, thus creating for itself a hole to only be filled by the whims of the sick human heart, with rotting desires, and selfish goals. Instead of a foundation of self that is ultimately other-focused and other-serving, we have traded it in for a foundation that is as sand crumbling away at a splash of water.

In future articles, we will do a deep dive into what the Christian idea of the “Self” is. I do not want to give too much for us to chew.

For the time being, know that the Christian Self finds its foundation in a God who called mankind very good, thus achieving a crowned status above the rest of creation, and bearing the image of its own creator. No other worldview can adequately claim this. This I assure you.

 

 

 


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