The Concerns of a Generation

I have been writing the script for the documentary, and was thinking about what some of our modern concerns are.

Some are obvious – climate change, globalization, overpopulation, poverty, hunger.  The energy crisis. 

earth at night

Some are psychological – detachment from nature, from experience and spirituality.

Others are more subtle – paranoia from being sardined into ever bulging cities, loss of individuality, loneliness, lack of kinship groups.  A rift between art and our modern concerns and the “media.”  The constant changing economic landscape where the old ways continue to be squeezed.  

Of course there is the universal human question of  – why are we here?

I feel that somewhere at the bottom of this is something crucial, and that can be worded simply, and can’t quite put my finger on it.

Please anyone with any ideas please share!

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24 Responses to The Concerns of a Generation

  1. Rebecca says:

    To me, it’s simple, but some would call me an idiot.
    God is the Creator of all things, and we humans are created to worship and bring glory to Him. Those who are His children and who believe in Him are called Lights to the world. That is a spiritual term meaning that we have the Light of the gospel and are to bring that Light to those whose lives are spiritually dark. However, I believe it also ends up being a physical statement as well. America is the country (or one of the countries) that has the Light of the gospel spread thickly throughout the country. Not everyone may have it right, but you can find it nearly every where you go. Then, look at the picture you just posted. The United States is brilliantly lit up, and you can see practically the whole country, just from the lights. Then look at places like Africa that have little to no gospel at all. It’s almost totally dark, and if you didn’t know what the continent looked like from seeing it on maps, you would never know what it was supposed to look like now.
    So, all that to say, the “something crucial” is God. He is the Center of all that goes on, and without Him, everything collapses.

  2. deadondres says:

    I disagree.

    In earlier posts I decried the tendencies of many atheists to be confused by generalities and trapped by a group identity. You seem to have the same confusions. Most contentions regarding God would not be denied by anybody. Instead you are using your belief to create fictitious us vs. them situations and then applying moral superiority and judgment on others with different values and terminology – which goes against one of Jesus’ main tenants.

    As it says in James 1:22-25: “But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: for he beholds himself, and goes away, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But he that looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continues, being not a hearer that forgets but a doer that works, this man shall be blessed in his doing.”

    What does it mean to believe in God? To use the word God? To believe that we were created? Or that something created everything? In this sense God and the word “creation” are synonmyous and few would deny that creation exists on a common sense level. What you seem to be dancing around is that all people must accept your book, your church, your temple. It is close-minded to an extreme.

    Next you are using light in a variety of interchangable concepts to the point that you think that light = belief in God. And that for some reason Africa is less Christian than the lighted areas.

    But look at Japan, one of the brighest points on the map. They are 84-96% Buddhist.

    It is clear you haven’t quite done your research when you say Africa has little to no gospel at all. That is unfortunately racist and an assumption of stereotypes, not facts. Africa is 40% Christian, far more than Japan or India which contain much more “light” in the Earth at night graphic.

    We all ought strive to be doers, not hearers, study and consider deeply, not afraid to question even our most firm beliefs and that will broaden our understanding and compassion.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I definitely question what I believe and accept questioning. If what you can believe is truth, it can’t be shaken, and your belief will be proved all the stronger.

    Btw, I found this blog on accident by looking for “The earth at night” on Google Images, so I haven’t read any other posts besides this one. Seems interesting, though!

    (Btw, I’m not at all racist. I have nothing against Africa or black people at all.)

  4. deadondres says:

    Thanks for the response.

    I’m sorry if you thought I was calling you racist. I meant to point out that the assumption that Africa lacked Gospel was race-based and untrue. We all do these sort of things from time to time – so I would be very hesitant to call someone racist outright.

    If we all questioned what we believe we would turn out so much more the stronger. The greatest discoveries and achievements of humankind stem from questioning convention.

    One question I have…how do we proceed from the gospel? What does this belief suggest for the future of humanity? Faith can be very benificial individually but what are some solutions it suggests for the burgeoning problems of today?

    Thank you for stopping through!

  5. KaijuLu says:

    This ‘something crucial’ you speak of is found within ourselves. Each person must find it on their own, but it leads to the same thing, an almost euphoric panorama of everything. The world, lives, grass, lights, anything at all, it’s all connected. And it just is. Just simply being as it is. Everything is.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Just to say again, the claim that Africa is unreached in the gospel is not race based in the least. I don’t say it because of the black people who live there, I say it because Africa has had very little gospel outreach. 🙂

    Our pastor just preached on Sunday about God being the only thing that can satisfy. People can have everything they would ever want in life and have trillions of dollars and commit suicide because they felt empty and wanted more. God is all that can satisfy. God is all we need.

  7. deadondres says:

    KaijuLu: I like that.

    Rebecca: Africa is about 40% Christian. It is the second biggest religion on the continent. The gospel outreach has been certainly significant.

    As for God being all that can satisfy, I think there is something to that. You and KaijuLu are saying pretty much the same thing. I think when people get frustrated with followers of God it is less the concept of religion than the group identity. Don’t get too caught up in the word God – the notion itself is universal and found throughout the world in many forms.

  8. Rebecca says:

    It is true that the word and name “God” is used universally, but there is only One True God. Many religions have many gods, but there is only one who really exists, and it is He alone who can satisfy.

  9. deadondres says:

    What do you mean by really exists? What differentiates this One True God from others? What is the difference between your God and the Jewish or Muslim monotheistic God – all of whom derive from the Zoroastrian and even earlier the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten’s cult.

    And what is the difference between this One True God and the Tao, or the scientist’s “Universe”, or the Philosopher’s “World”. All of these Gods are entirely the same.

    Is knowing this God a constant process? As Decartes said if something had to be thought of constantly to be clear and distinct, then no thought could be clear and distinct. How could anyone be sure that others, or even themselves, knew God? It seems like a wordless phenomenon.

    I have a feeling that your conviction of a unique God that only a select few humans understand has a lot to do with what your particular sect believes uniquely and how it cuts itself off as “saved” just like every other religion in history, but am interested in your response.

  10. KaijuLu says:

    I agree with deadondres wholeheartedly, except that it actually is the concept of religion that frustrates me. When you systematize something, the rules inevitably become confused with the original message or intent, and the system eventually destroys that which it was created for.

  11. Rebecca says:

    I don’t have time right now for a longer answer to the previous question, but I just want to say that Christianity isn’t about rules and “do this” and “don’t do that.” Granted, there are things you should and shouldn’t do, but once you come to Christ, He takes care of that and you aren’t left to follow a strict rigid system. True Christianity is the most freeing and liberating “religion” because it’s not about rules and regulations, it’s about God.

    • Martin says:

      I’m late with this comment, but how do you know that Christianity is the most freeing and liberating religion? How much do you know of all other religions? I’m not a Buddhist but i’ve read about it. Buddhist’s don’t have rules or regulations, they have guidelines. Christianity have rules… for example “You shall not kill” this is a good rule, but it is still a rule. And how do you know only “God” can satisfy? Buddhist’s have no “God” but i think that it’s more probable that a Buddhist is satisfied then a Christian. I’m not saying that christianity is bad, i’m just saying that it isn’t like you say.

      I’m sorry if you didn’t really understand what i wrote but i’m from Sweden so my first language isn’t english.

  12. deadondres says:

    I can dig it!

    Thank you both for your thoughtful responses.

  13. Rebecca says:

    You know, Martin, I didn’t know English wasn’t your first language until you said so. 😀 I would never have guessed. You speak really good English.
    I don’t really know much in depth about other religions, (there are too many to study! :D) but I do know about Christianity. I believe it to be absolute truth, and when you know what the truth is and something doesn’t match up to it, then that something has to be false.
    When I say that Christianity it liberating, I don’t mean that it doesn’t have rules. Being free doesn’t mean that you have absolutely zero rules to follow. If you had no rules, how would you know what is good and bad?
    But in all honesty, I can’t convince someone that Christianity is true; only God can do that.

  14. Psijic says:

    The others have been far too kind as of yet, Rebecca I myself am not sorry to say that your constant perpetuation of your beliefs is really quite annoying, in every response you seem to refuse to accept that logic has been put out in front of you. So possibly another party adding to the wordsome may have an effect on you. You’re thoughts are egocentric to the point of ridiculousness; breaking off into a more specific tangent, I ask. If this being that you’ve put on this pedestal is as great as time has said then why would this being create animate meat to worship it? Does this all mighty all knowing creature of creation need to have an ego (that by definition it would of had to create) that requires it to be fed by the fantastical wishes of these “lesser” beings. I understand the sense of warmth and comfort such a belief can make but what i have trouble grasping is how a creature of logic can indulge itself in such delusion.

    To beliefs then, how can you be so sure that what preaching men and old books have said is the ultimate truth to existance? In opinion i think the major monotheistic religions of the world are inherently flawed in belief, having been controlled by despots throughout time to their own benefit, So more of a money and power gathering system than a reason to be.

    Such a doomed process to stumble upon an actual sense of what truth might be.

  15. Rebecca says:

    I can definitely see how my point could seem illogical to those who are not believers in God, but that’s understood. If you look up 1 Corinthians 2:14, you’ll see the explanation for that.
    Actually, true Christianity is not a money-making religion. If you are totally based on God and doing things for His glory, then you’re not going to be concerned with how rich you are. If you contentedly belong to God, then you can be poor as anything and be happier than most.

    (Part of the reason that we have all been trying to be nice is that none of us want to discredit our own side)

  16. deadondres says:

    I see what you are saying Psijic and you have some strong points that merit consideration for anyone who insists upon an active creating deity. It is important to keep in mind that oftentimes God is evoked in order to secure the treasures of man and manipulate others to actions that debase the very religion they purport to follow.

    That said I think it is quite a burden to expect Rebecca to answer for all the monotheistic religions in history…

    Just because someone believes in God does not mean that they are responsible for all the oppression human beings have inflicted in the name of religion, although we would expect them to be a conscious of history.

    Most of what I have been trying, poorly, to challenge is the notion that use of the word God draws a line in the sand and requires that we as humans stand on one side or the other…to me it is merely an arguement in semantics. While I think that logic is useful, I also wonder if it is in its own fashion as limited as religion for unearthing “ultimate truth.”

    Rebecca has some good ideas, and has been cordial. She has mantained that her belief is a more personal pursuit, framed within the teachings of Christianity. I applaud anyone who makes life and our purpose on this world a point of concern; of course we will see things through the lenses of difference cultures and viewpoints. Most important of all is an honest dialog between people of myriad backgrounds and I give her credit for inspiring good discussion.

    Do I agree with everything she says? If I make the attempt to see where she is coming from, mostly. I can also raise certain objections if I take a different perspective. My goal is to reveal common threads. We are woven in a grand loom and there are multitudinous ways to describe the harmony of existence in terms we can digest as thinking beings. As long as we are open minded…

    After all, it is easy to dismiss religion, but we forget that certain words and concepts can trick us into a misleading picture of reality in an everyday secular manner as well. And if people found that religion was necessary to help them survive, through thousands of years, it cannot be so easily dismissed.

  17. jroeder90007 says:

    Wow. I’m impressed. This has been a very productive, and positive debate of thoughts. I agree completely, and object fervently. The only point I would like to add, is that lunacy is a very valid escape as well. I prefer to let my mind go wild (rather than focusing) when I need escape or support. Although it may seem off topic, this entire line of conversation has been on focused and controlled thinking. I hate that kind of stuff when I need to relax. So I would like to add, although religion and philosophy are very useful tools for understanding the world, anarchy (I can’t think of a better word right now) is also an acceptable avenue for personal discovery.

  18. Psijic says:

    I was a bit too rash in my earlier post, i do apologize for any offense i might of caused. It just leaves me in a sore place to hear speak of truths and knowings when we as people only dwindle on the precipice of attaining any knowledge regarding reasons, only physical theory’s do we prevail in.

    You’re quite right deodondres, i can’t expect rebecca to be held accountable for the actions of the religions in the past and the present, my qualm is in the neglect of the pain and tears that these have created. I wish not to side with anyone, just the human offenses done trouble me. If an equilibrium could be reached through the good and bad done i would have no issues with the matter but for me i see it as much more bad that has been done, in the past people were guided and needed it, even to this day. Through religiousness man has given himself purpose and reason, happiness and perspective. If only he didn’t try to put their guide on others and shun those who see it not as the same.

  19. Rebecca says:

    I actually might add that those who are Christians today and are truly loving God and following the Bible do not shun those who do not believe. If they force religion on others and shun those who don’t agree, they are disobeying the Bible and not living lives that are truly God-glorifying.

  20. Psijic says:

    Ideally yes, but i’ve seen great many an example of the contrary.

  21. Rebecca says:

    Oh I wasn’t saying that those kind of people didn’t exist. I’ve met some of them. 🙂 I’m saying that someone who is truly living according to the Bible and following God won’t be like that. (And I’ve met some of them too.)

  22. Nettuno Rayne says:

    And didn’t you do nothing to stop these “bad” christians to perpetuate their actions?
    Beeing blind to these actions isn’t an excuse
    And to me all religons believers should study more astronomy , geology , biology and science in general ; on the other hand when you feel lonely or someone dies u feel he/she are somewhere else, so there are still some kind of unexplainable things but come on actual religions arent the answer to our doubts there must be something universal and being stupid about it isn’t very intelligent. Just read one of your last sentences Rebecca
    “Oh I wasn’t saying that those kind of people didn’t exist. I’ve met some of them” and then you put a smile ? oh my gosh that’s people get angry at your religion you look stupid as a milking cow , ops sorry they far more intelligent than some humans …

  23. Thomas S says:

    This article and comments that followed have been very helpful and will greatly help me in writing my book. I just wanted to say kudos to all of you for a meaningful and worthy debate, that this has been promptly bookmarked.

    I also wanted to say to Rebecca that you need to get off your high horse and treat other worldviews with respect. You may not agree with them, but you must show tolerance for the differences we all have. Well, except for Nazism. That shit’s evil.

    Once again thank you all.

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