The philosopher Aristotle asserted that, “Nature abhors a vacuum.”
Interestingly, even though science refutes this theory, and rightly so for reasons that will be superfluous for me to delve into within the context of this piece; philosophically, it holds true.
For example, the impact of the institutionalisation of Christianity by Constantine meant that a faith that stood for peace and equality, now had an army and was involved in slavery and colonialism.
Moving further in history, French Materialism and The Enlightenment provided counter arguments with science, history, anthropology, and philosophy to phenomena that the Church avoided, or provided shoddy answers to for years. Some true, others not so true, nevertheless, they caused severe damage to the authority of the Church.
As predicted by Aristotle, the void left by this seismic shift led to distrust and apathy. The crater caused by their impact was filled by counter ideas like humanism and atheism. Overtime leading to Nationalism, The World Wars (most people still can’t comprehend how the Church supported Nazism), Individualism, and other Political and Economic ideologies upon us today.
Now, If the theory of Historic Recurrence (simply put: history repeats itself), which is widely known in political and economic circles holds true, then the Bible becomes even more crucial in interpreting trends, and predicting future events.
For example, before the Exile prophets like Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Hosea; warned both Kingdoms of an impending doom if they fail to reform. Sadly their appeal fell on deaf ears, some were even executed for treason, others for heresy. Even John The Baptist, our Lord Jesus Christ, not to mention Paul and the other disciples were voices of reform. In fact the disciples continued in the synagogues until they were persecuted, killed, and banned from preaching and worshiping; hence the drive to start meeting in houses and other safe spaces.
In the same vein, I believe these counter ideas are similar to the Exile imposed on ancient Israel and Judah. I believe they are means of forcing the Church to rethink its position, and change.
They serve as catalysts in stirring the church to seek God afresh for answers in an ever changing World. Compelling the Church to come out of its towers, and immerse itself into the pain and suffering of the masses. Forcing the Church to become a living organism, one that keeps growing, thereby, not stunted by mediocrity. One that is always relevant in-spite of the changes in our World.
A lack of foresight and an inability to see the need for reform by the Church Fathers, led to the tides of science and reason becoming counter arguments against the Church.
“from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;” – 1 Chronicles 12:32
Reachout | Revive | Recover