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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in vastation (1)

Friday
Jun062014

“Things fall apart”: Vastation, Profanation, and New Life

Everything has a cycle: new, growing, old, and dying. The seasons, the plants, and people. What about churches? What would that look like and what would that mean? Does it matter? This week Joel discusses these thought provoking questions. -Editor.

What is wrong with the world today? This is a question that people ask in every age because we live in an imperfect world. There are always challenges, natural and spiritual, which we face while we are living here. But in some ages the questions become more pressing, and even more particular. During wars and revolutions people wonder where all the hate comes from and what we are fighting over. What is worth dying for? During famines and natural disasters people wonder about how they will survive and why these tragedies bring out both the best and the worst in people. During the Vietnam War, the Great Depression, World War I, the French Revolution, and the Black Death, to name a few dire eras, people could no longer simply distract themselves with natural life, all that “getting and spending,” worldly pleasures and worldly joys. Something far more important comes to the surface in times of trial: existential questions, questions of basic meaning, questions, ultimately of life and death. And though we all wrestle with these deeper issues at times of personal tragedy, the death of a loved one, an illness, the loss of a job, it is during these collective times of tumult that the world itself seems to stop and ask collectively some very biblical questions: “How long O Lord will we suffer?” or “My God My God why have you forsaken me?” It is true that some people don’t frame the questions in biblical or theological language. But whether you address these questions to God or the universe or some wise old man, the deepest questions in life are all the same. Why this suffering? When will it end? What does it mean to be human?

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