When people “stop believing in God they don't believe in nothing; they believe in anything” are the famous words of GK Chesterton that continue to speak volumes in our post-modern society today.
The ever-increasing socio-political division in our Western world is symptomatic of a wider deviation from our once strong cultural narrative that bound us together and offered us common good values.
Western civilisation has walked away from its Judeo-Christian heritage at our own peril, in denial of our very own metaphysical needs.
Our search for life’s meaning cannot be fulfilled through seeking intense experiences alone, we are in need of a higher degree of certainty and purpose.
Human beings have an undeniable yearning for God whether one chooses to recognise, ignore, or dismiss it; hence the consequences of the absence of God has led to disastrous consequences.
If we seek to stop the fracturing of our society, we must return to a unifying narrative based on Christianity as a universal faith open to all regardless of background.
Modern socio-political fault lines reflect the tribalism of the ancient world that we cannot overcome without the transformational nature of Christianity.
Reducing the authority of Christianity might be seen as virtuous and well received in contemporary society, but such systemic shifts come at the shaking of Western civilisation’s central pillar being that of universal human dignity.
While individuals that reject God may be able to do good works, it is not possible for a society to be centred around being beyond narcissistic self-focus without God.
Christianity has had many bad things carried out in its name and has perhaps focused too heavily on the do’s and do not’s in recent times, but our society today is still for the better having arisen from a Judeo-Christian heritage.
Human dignity arises from the belief in God exposed in practice for Christians being that we believe that your soul is of equivalent worth as my own, henceforth it is not right for me to lord over you.
To stand up against any form of totalitarianism, we need to truly recognise the individual dignity of our fellow human.
While Western civilisation now tends to enshrine itself purely as liberation and freedom without acknowledging underlying roots of Christianity, such has brought forth increasing licentiousness and calls for government to regulate our lives.
The decline of individual responsibility to neighbours and wider society comes with growing reliance on governmental authorities to act as moral arbitrator, leading to unintended consequences or often overlooked being that our pattern of thought becomes restrained.
Christians may not agree with every person or new idea put forward to explain the world, but unlike the secular world, true followers of Jesus Christ do not wilfully seek to destroy the lives of the dissenters.
The removal of God in contemporary Western civilisation is by far the furthest means of promoting inclusivity and building a resilient society.
We cannot escape the age of old question of why a good God allows suffering especially as the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
Around us is undoubtedly many disasters and unfortunate occurrences that speak to the need of God rather than the dissipation of God.
Suffering might be thought of as he absence of God, but when we reflect on the heart of Christianity, there is the very valid point in history that cannot be overlooked, that is God suffering Himself on the Cross.
Through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection from the Cross, we can see that God instead of removing or giving up on the suffering actually experienced human suffering Himself.
Often many will argue that suffering demonstrates that there is an absence of God, but in doing so and making such arguments actually further exacerbates the peril of those suffering.
Because Jesus Christ’s resurrection offers us great hope, joy, and a new life; those in doing away with God, is actually removing the hope that can alleviate suffering.
A secular world alone has nothing to say about suffering or coronavirus beyond government health advice, but on the other hand Christianity offers not an immediate cure but a sense of hope that surpasses the best medical care available.
With our society being remodelled daily especially as a result of coronavirus and the burdens associated with the sufferings and the growing prominence of death, God provides a new transcendence that can bridge socio-political division, daily hardships, and ultimately new life.
Roydon Ng is a Christian writer and Baptist seminary graduate from Western Sydney.
Roydon’s previous articles are available at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/roydon-ng.html