Living in a Paradoxical World

06 Jan

I was thinking yesterday about how insanely self-contradictory people are. For example the group who prides themselves in being logical are the most illogical, the group who claims the highest virtue is tolerance is comprised of the most intolerant people. A paradox is a truly self-contradictory statement or an apparent self-contradictory statement that is true in reality (this is not to be confused with oxymoron, which is a phrase such as I already used “Truly self-contradictory”… for a thing that is self-contradictory cannot be true also), and the world we are in fills both definitions to the brim! The truly self-contradictory aspect can be seen in the groups I mentioned above and Christianity fills the second definition of apparent contradiction.
The issue is that those who comprise the self-contradictory group wish to point at Christianity and yell that it is a bundle of self-contradiction. They take issue with Christian doctrine. Things like: “one must lose his life to find it”, “cast your bread on the waters and you’ll find it after many days”, the philosophy that the path to the fullest life is to give it away, self-denial is the path to happiness, free-thinking is thinking within the guidelines of God’s revelation, and more. Because it doesn’t make sense to them it must be self-contradictory.
However, I can’t help but wonder how much creditability these nay-sayers of Christianity imagine they have, and why we Christians tend to lend them so much. If they are incapable of beholding the self-contradiction closest to them, why think them capable of discernment when it comes to other issues? Jesus condemned those who were so worried about the splinter they see in their opponent’s eye, and looked right past the massive beam in their own eye saying they couldn’t see clearly to help the other man due to the massive obstruction they had.  The problem is that we are all sinful, which is the same as saying we are all insane. Peter Kreeft stated it well, “All sin is insanity: preferring self without God to God. All sin is a little souvenir from hell. It is crazy. But it’s real.” We are all naturally in the same predicament, for we all naturally see things upside down. Due to having an overturned perspective on reality, up seems to be down and down seems to be up – contradiction is mistaken for consistency and consistency is labeled as contradiction. And incase you didn’t catch it the first time – we are all born this way.
To complicate matters even more – as people begin to see things right side up, those who are standing on their heads scream that the others are turning the world upside down. This is what was said of the early Christians (see Acts 17:6), and it hasn’t changed. Isn’t that what we would expect from one who is accustomed to calling his upside down view right side up? I mean if one begins to see a thing right side up, the same way the creator of that thing sees that thing, then all those who think the upside down view is the right side up view will call the right side up view the upside down view. Follow me? It’s like Henry Ford walking onto a car lot where all the cars are flipped onto their roofs. He tells everyone from the owner of the car lot to the boy who cleans the floor mats that all the cars are upside down, and they all argue with him that the vehicles are parked just as they are supposed to be parked. Who do you think knows what they’re talking about?
This is why things seem to be so paradoxical when it comes to Christianity. The only man that has always had both feet firmly planted on the ground is Jesus the Messiah. The One who created the world and all it contains. He came showing us how to live, He came bringing us the Kingdom of God, and fallen humanity despised Him. Fallen humanity called Him demon possessed, hated His way of life, hated the reality He revealed, and murdered Him. Now fallen humanity tries to find inconsistencies in Jesus’ teaching (like those mentioned above), deny He was real, or somehow accuse Him of anything and everything evil in order to discredit Him. He came telling fallen humanity to stop standing on its head – AKA repent – and fallen humanity told Him, and still tells Him, that He is the queer, upside down one who is out of touch with reality. Fallen humanity even accuses His followers of being delusional at best and dangerous at worst.
Our life-long headstand has drained all the blood from our feet to our heads, rendering our minds muddled and our feet useless. It’s no wonder when we see Jesus, clear headed and walking on His feet, we call Him odd. And odd He is when the norm is said to be fallen humanity. We must remember that we must view an object from the perspective of its maker if we are to see it properly.
How we were changed from blind, numb-footed lunatics into seeing, sure footed, sane human beings is a matter of grace (another topic for another post perhaps). The point to be made here is an accusation of lunacy, in the world in which we live, is an accusation of sanity. Sound paradoxical? Well, we’re living in a paradoxical world.

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Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Culture


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