Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Day after Yom Kippur

10/5/2014—Yesterday was Yom Kippur. I keenly feel the absence of a day like that on my now secular calendar. Yom Kippur reminds us of just how far we fall from perfection – – and just how unacceptable that is.

In secularism, one day is like another and there is nothing particularly dramatic about anything. Secularism lacks any great narrative. When you grow up in Judaism, you hear how Abraham was called by God out of the land of his fathers to go to a land he did not know. In Christianity, you hear how God sent his only son so that human beings could be saved.

These are great themes, whatever you think of their supernatural aspects. A great deal is at stake. In secularism, in contrast, nothing is really at stake.

As for sin, the secularist thinks that he or she is okay. But are not okay. We lie, we cheat, we disappoint. We don’t appreciate and love those around us. We don’t sacrifice even our minor interests for the needs of others. And we certainly do not meet the world in sacrificial love, as Jesus taught and lived.

I really do not know how one can live a life of depth in secularism. I hear all the time that a person does not need to believe in God to be good. It might be more accurate to say that human beings are not good, whether they believe in God or not.

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