Post Mortem

The Emergence of Postmodern Ethos in a Church

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/23/2019 11:02:03 AM IST

 Gradually from the 1960s and 1970s, the western world has moved philosophically from Modernism to postmodernism. For about two centuries thinking has been shaped by the Enlightenment with its emphasis on human reason and its optimism about human ability and human achievement under postmodern conditions, the question of God is simply irrelevant to so much of what we on a daily basis that it eventually drops out of mind and heart. God is simply forgotten. Bearing in mind Jesus’ enigmatic reply to the question of whether taxes should be paid to Caesar or not, we find that after all those things that belong to postmodern society and culture have been rendered to them, there simply is not very much left to render to God, even if we still believe in Him. This arrogance has by-passed God and His revelation and led to the collapse of morality.

Postmodernism is fiercely antinomian. It is admitted that people make mistake, but the word ‘sin’ is seldom mentioned and the idea that we sin against God is avoided. Right and wrong are judged according to human feelings. The idea that has an unchangeable, holy, moral law by which He will Judge every person is unpopular. In an age of postmodernism  the very idea of truth is being scorned and attacked even within the Church, where people ought to revere the truth most highly, king Solomon’s wise advice has never been more timely: “Buy the truth, and do not sell it” (Prov.23:23). Postmodernism suggests that if objective truth exists, it cannot be known objectively or with any degree of certainty. God and the truth are inseparable. Every thought about the essence of truth what makes it “True”, and how we can possibly know anything for sure, quickly moves us back to God. (John 14:6)

Which is also why it is not particularly surprising when someone who repudiates God rejects His truth as well. If a person can’t tolerate the thought of God, there is simply no comfortable place for the concept of truth in that person’s worldview, either. So the consistent atheist, agnostic, or idolater might as well hate the very idea of truth. After all, to reject God is to reject the giver of all truth, the final Judge of what really is true, and the very essence and embodiment of truth itself. 

Who would have thought that people claiming to be Christians, even Church leaders would attack the notion of truth? No wonder: the emerging church began as a self-conscious effort to make Christianity more suitable to a postmodern culture. Emerging Christians are determined to adapt the Christian faith, the structure of the church, the language of faith, and even the gospel message itself to the ideas and rhetoric of postmodernism. Postmodern influences have come into the evangelical movement through other avenues.

The idea that Christian message should be kept pliable ambiguous seems especially attractive to young people who are in tune with the culture and in love with the spirit of the age and can’t stand to have authoritative biblical truth applied with precision as a corrective to worldly-lifestyles, unholy minds, and ungodly behavior. And the poison of this perspective is being increasingly injected into the evangelical church body. The church has grown lazy, worldly, and self-satisfied. Church leaders are obsessed with style and methodology, losing interest in the glory of God and becoming grossly apathetic about truth and sound Doctrine.

Postmodernism says that there is no real truth. It says that knowledge is always made or invented and not discovered because knowledge is made by people, a person cannot know something with certainty-all ideas and facts are believed instead of known people believe that they know what the truth is, but they will think that the truth is something different later, this is the opposite of “objectivity” when says that the one truth is always there and people have to discover it. Postmodernism says that one person should not try to make another person believe what he believe, because it means nothings to say that one belief is right and the other is wrong.

Starting with the 18th century Enlightenment and into the early 20th century, many people believed that science and new knowledge would make the world better. They believed than whatever scientists or Philosophers discovered something new, it would inevitably make society a little bit better. This seemed obvious with of the new technology that had come about in the Industrial Revolution, allowing people to have things from cars to washing machines. Postmodernism holds that there is no real “social progress” because different people have different ideas about what social progress is. The Industrial Revolution helped many. But harmed many too. Postmodernism holds that while some things about the world change, people only want to believe that the world is better than it was. It changes but does not get better, better there is no “better”. Postmodernism says that art, music, and literature, for example, can be anything that its maker says that it is. Postmodernism art and literature commonly talks about itself and makes fun of itself. It makes fun serious art and even the very idea of art. Postmodernism has influenced many culture fields, including of literary criticism, philosophy, sociology, linguistic, architecture, visual arts, and music and Christians literatures. 

Postmodernism also led people e to think differently about love, marriage popular culture and the change in much of the western world from an industrial. Postmodern are remarkably nonchalant about the meaninglessness that they experience in life. Reading the works of an earlier generation of writers, existentialist authors like Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, one almost develops a sense of vertigo, the kind of apprehension that one sets when standing too near the edge of a terrifying precipice, so bleak, empty, and life-threatening was their vision. That sense, however, has now completely gone. Postmodern live on the surface, not in the depths, and theirs is a despair to be tossed off lightly and which might even be alleviated by nothing more serious than a sitcom. There are today few of the convulsions that once happened in the depths of the human spirit. These are different responses to the same sense of meaninglessness, which is one of the threads that weaves its way from the modern past into the postmodern present. What changes is simply how those afflicted with the drift and emptiness of postmodern life copes with it.

(To be concluded)

Vikiho  Kiba, Pastor, NCRC Sumi, Doyapur Road, 


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