What the Hellen?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, July 11, 2015 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

Alexander the Great is supposed to have said, “Give me the schools, the arenas, and the arts, and I will change the world.”  Whether that is a direct quote or a paraphrase, there is substantial evidence that Alexander targeted these social centers and built his own wherever they did not exist.  His conquests were not just militaristic; they were religious.  His goal?  It was to spread an idea that would infect and affect every culture he sought to conquer.

Alexander sought to present an ideology where humanity is the center of the universe, and where reason, knowledge, moderation, and the arts were the highest moral objectives.  He knew if he controlled education, art, and entertainment, he could present these ideals and people would fall in love with them.  His aim was for all cultures to get rid of their 'backward,' God-centered, religions and embrace Greek ideology. It's called Hellenism, and it still defines much of Western culture.  Today, following Alexander's example, many others continue to use education, arts, and entertainment to shift culture and indoctrinate people with new ideologies.

This relentless manipulation creates significant turmoil in regard to what people believe and how they live. And I would argue this human-centered ideology, coupled with endless propaganda of other ideologies, is a major cause in the confusion and destruction we see in the world.  The root is still selfish, fleshly desire.  It is then integrated into all kinds of religious, mystical, rational, scientific, organizational, and political outlooks where it tumbles into a continuously fracturing set of ideas and opinions.  The world is left believing that we are somehow wrestling toward clarity and truth, and that our struggles have the hope of human evolution and determination to help us prevail.  Our perspectives have become more radically singular and manipulative.  They rise and fall with whomever has hold of the centers of culture, and humanity is spiraling downward, hoping and believing we are making progress.

Read Romans 8:18-25.  Consider for a moment where your struggles come from.  Are they from your desires? The desires of others?  From having made poor choices?  Perhaps from just trying to do the right thing consistently? Whatever the cause, our motivation to persevere comes from our hope in the goal, the payoff, the outcome - rather than being overwhelmed by the challenge.

So what is it we are hoping for?  Is it short-term survival?  A feel good moment?  Some achievement, award, or recognition?  A long-term dream of retirement, or some legacy left behind in our name?  Social justice or change? Or just that everything will be ok?

I encourage you - be ruthless in how you examine what you hope for.  What you hope for has probably been shaped by the messages used in the media, news, movies, sports, schooling, and advertising, more so than you realize.

In this passage in Romans, Paul shares that all of creation, including us, has been longing for God's plans to come to pass - for the decay from sin and the brokenness brought about by our rebellion to be overturned.  For those who follow Jesus, believing and living according to His Spirit are the first sign of God's promises coming true.  And if we tune into His Spirit we will hope for something far greater than temporary earthly gains or rewards.  This isn't just altruism; it is getting ahold of the Truth that there is a much bigger plan in play, and tuning out the chatter and the background noise from those who are trying to manipulate us to a lesser hope.

What good is a radical and manipulative fight for equality under the law, when the results will only propagate further ignorance and further brokenness?  We have become a society that prefers to radically medicate the symptoms while ignoring or refusing to treat the cause.

It's a sad place for us to go.  We will crash into the consequences of this ideology. Like Hellenism, we will know realistically that we are not the center of the universe and that we have no divine power in ourselves, but we will do everything we can to rationally explain and enjoy the delusion.

Followers of Christ must set aside the belief systems and teachings of the world.  We must know God's Word in context and with proper interpretation.  And we must place our hope in Him for life and for the redemption of our bodies. The integrity of what we do, the freedom in how we live, and the creativity in how we share the story will invite the world to a greater hope than any that can be invented.

So, what are you really hoping for? Is it a lesser hope than God's plans and promises? What messages and ideologies have you believed that you need to purge from the way you think and live? What promises and teachings from God need to replace them?

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.