"So, God is dead for now?" This was a question posed to me because of an observation that people hardly post religious messages these days on social media. One possible reason I see is because chur...
"So, God is dead for now?"
This was a question posed to me because of an observation that people hardly post religious messages these days on social media.
One possible reason I see is because churches are closed due to the quarantine restrictions that are in place as a result of this pandemic. For a large number of people, the church is their sanctuary. It is a source of solace, of strength and of peace. It is a place to be inspired to become better individuals. And it is where the Word of God can be heard. Our current lack of exposure to guidance from our church leaders has perhaps made us focus more on temporal and secular concerns.
But this phenomenon may also be due to the fact that many of us are reeling from the economic impact and the day-to-day uncertainty that we face. Many of us have lost our source of livelihood. Survival is now foremost on most people‚Äôs minds. And when people are hungry they cannot see God.
Hunger is among the most fundamental of human drives. When we feel hunger, we are unable to think of anything else. And the fear of not having food the next day can be maddening. The constant worrying about survival can consume our thoughts that we forget the spiritual aspect of our existence entirely.
We can recall how the Gospel mentions that when Jesus is about to preach to a multitude, he would perform a miracle so that he is able to feed them first. Even our Lord appears to recognize that people‚Äôs hunger must be addressed beforehand.
The question I was asked reminds me of what German philosopher Nietzsche said that the Age of Enlightenment had ushered in the death of God. It was his position that science and reason would disprove the existence of God once and for all. But faith has been demonstrated time and again to be beyond the reach of reason. And it was Nietzsche who was himself disproven by the persistence of people‚Äôs piety.
But now our spirituality faces a very different threat. Is this pandemic accomplishing what the Enlightenment did not? This pandemic has for months prevented countless individuals from gathering in houses of worship. Will this now become part of the new normal?
Whenever the world faces a catastrophe of global proportions, people‚Äôs faith is tested. History is replete with accounts of plagues and wars that brought untold suffering and death. And in each instance, people questioned the existence of God.
Suffering should not push us farther away from what we believe in. Instead, we should seek God in the suffering that we are enduring at present. Our actions should not be guided by our fear of an uncertain future. This can only lead to desperation. Instead, we must rise above our fears and be assured that no matter what happens, even if we do not see or hear God, He is there with us always.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frederick Edward Fabella, PhD is a research director, dean and graduate school professor in the Philippines. Download his self-help ebook for free here Authentic Self free ebook