“I have no chair, no church, no philosophy.”
— Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
You know who I pity most in the world? You might be surprised.
I pity the poor and the hungry, the impoverished and the afflicted, the diseased and the tempted, the believing and the unbelieving. I genuinely pity all victims of crimes which were undeserved, children who were executed before being born, casualties of horrid warfare, and many more tragedies that this world could offer. However, I’d be lying if I said those are the people I pity the most.
My greatest pity is reserved for those who are committing the worst possible mistake as human beings: the self-seekers, the agnostics, the lost intellectuals, the meandering minds, the new agers, and the faithless.
Why are they the ones I most pity?
The heretic stands contrary to the teachings of the word of God, but he or she still has the possibility of being saved by grace or at least being corrected by a believer.
The heathens, those who practice any faith other than Christianity, are lost and follow paths that are against the will of God, but most are still able to live among Christians and even share certain morals that are beneficial for a society.
The atheist commits blasphemy by proclaiming that there is no God, and that is an inexcusable and grave sin, but a true atheist (not to be confused with an anti-theist who I have little to no pity for) will at least strive for what he believes to be important and cares about the search for truth.
All of these people are contrary however to the self-seekers and the faithless, who not only refuse to worship God, but they go as far as to say that they have no need for politics, religion, and philosophy. They believe that what they know, experience, and sense is good enough and that it is better to live than to deal with “trivial things” and “petty discussions” on issues concerning worldview.
What makes the latter so bad? Isn’t it good to avoid unnecessary debates and trivial issues? Yes! Absolutely… but politics, religion, and philosophy are not trivial or unnecessary.
The quote I used was from the author Walt Whitman, a transcendentalist poet, who while being a skilled writer, had a harmful worldview. He believed that people would be better off believing in themselves than having a “chair… church… philosophy.” He believed, like many transcendentalists, that God is not a person or a being, but a force that moves through nature and mankind, making mankind not only part of the divine but actually divine.
At the heart of all who deny the importance of the three most controversial issues of all time is a rebellious attitude that recognizes oneself as the highest authority. By proclaiming that they have no need for the most important subjects, they proclaim themselves to be either all-knowing and fulfilled or that they believe themselves to be of highest importance, dethroning God in the process from their hearts and minds. It’s Descartes on steroids: Cogito, ergo sum Deus. “I think, therefore I am God.”
Only God has no need to know or discuss these three things:
1) The Chair: Power that a person would be given, whether by a council, a country’s citizens, or God Himself. Whatever position of power it may be, whether it is yours or a stranger’s, such will determine the effects a region would have from being ruled over.
2) The Church: Practicing faiths and creeds that would formulate a basis upon which a man will be able to search for God and live out life for the pursuit of good works and sanctification.
3) The Philosophy: Ideologies that would formulate a worldview in which you will have a basis for your morality and your actions, all presupposed by how much God has a role in your life.
It is God who created, as well as currently governs, these things. It is He who sovereignly chooses who will govern, it is He who has provided salvation and the sacrifice to atone for sins, and it is He who guides men to truth or causes them to have delusions. God is the One who is above these things, not men. For any man to claim that chair, church and philosophy don’t matter is not only sinful and blasphemous but foolish. They have little chance of ever finding the truth or being objective.
I pity the ones who allow the invaluable to be dismissed by their fear of being offensive, their ignorance, their sinfulness, their foolishness and their inability to comprehend the simple things. I believe God has given us an opportunity to be curious, observant and disputative of the matters of what is true.
In my opinion, God wouldn’t side with any human political affiliation as they are all imperfect, but people should still be concerned about who governs them and what policies they want to impose on a nation. One would have to be vain to not be concerned.
All should be concerned about salvation from their own sins and the consequences that are being withheld for a time in order for all to be given a chance for repentance. One would have to be a fool to not be worried about their sinful condition.
Thought and reason should be prevalent in an individual, and one should question their worldview and their logic. One would have to be conceited to think that truth, not just reality, was of great value.
Perhaps I am mistaken. Perhaps my pity should not be for those people, but I can’t help but be burdened with sadness when I see people who don’t care for the things that are most important, the things that will shape not only a whole life but also an individual’s legacy.
When I die, I know that people will not remember me for my favorite band, movies, hobbies, or Chick-fil-A menu item. People will not speak about my clothes, my car, or my college degrees at my funeral. People will remember me for what I stand for in policies, who I had complete devotion to, and what my worldview was.
Many people my age don’t care about the things I discuss. I truly pity them, but that will never stop me from chasing the things that are most important in life. I will not let my legacy be halted or ruined by my youthful passions, rather I will pursue the treasures and wealth of truth and faith.
Soli Deo Gloria.