God is the Question
About a year ago I saw an English documentary about the history of Christianity. It described the development of the Church from its earliest time until today. The most interesting part was actually the one which concerned Christianity today. Where will the Church go from here? We live in a post-modern society where the Church has lost its authority. It used to be that the Church provided people with answers, but ever since the enlightenment the Church has been in retreat. In our post-modern society people no longer accepts answers as the definitive truth just because the Church says it is the truth. In people’s mind there is no longer such a thing as objective truth – everything is now relative. So has the Church lost its relevance? The journalist behind the documentary didn’t think so, even though he himself described himself as an agnostic. But the role of the Church has changed, and will probably change even more in the future. Modern people can ignore the answers given by the church, but they can’t ignore the existential questions that come with life – even if most people seem to try their best to do just that. In future, the role of the Church might be to remind people of these questions – to keep asking the eternal questions: Why am I here? What is the meaning of it all? What is wrong and what is right? What is my ultimate concern? Sure, the Church has the answers to these questions, but as long as people don’t ask the questions they won’t be interested in the answers that the Church has to give. As a monk was quoted to say in the program – to the modern agnostic man God isn’t first and foremost the answer, God is the annoying, ever-present question that won’t go away. So let’s begin by asking the questions!