This is My Life, I Want No Other!” Can We Be “Cynics” and Live The Christian Way of Life?

Andy Mcllvain

Christ in You, The Hope of Glory

Are you a cynic?

A cynic is someone who believes that people are motivated only by self-interest and that, as a result, no one can be trusted or believed. Inevitably cynicism shows contempt for human nature in general and will trust no one. Cynical people are full of disdain and ill will for their fellow man, Christians then should not be known as cynics.

Yet today cynicism has filled the minds and souls of most Christians and I don’t think that is an exaggeration.

Why?

For one Americans are unhappy I believe by and large, even many Christians have bought into the culture of the moment that beckons us to be more, to be different than what God has made us to be.

Following our “passion” is a secular mantra and short circuits God’s will for us. How? As we begin chasing our dreams which are often ill suited for our actual skills and abilities God has placed us in a place and time to do mission for him. When we put ourselves outside God’s geographical will for us He has to spend more time getting us back to a missional moment. We will also suffer physically, mentally and spiritually because of our sin and our wrong minded choices.

How many of you can or will say, “This is my life, I want no other”?

Have you through your relationship with Christ come to a point of maturity in faith by which you can view your life as a whole?

Christ looks down upon history and time, he views our lives from beginning to end. yet within that view we make choices, we grow (or not) in our relationship with our Lord. We are very limited in our perspective as we are finite, YET, we are made in God’s image. Being image bearers involves a certain responsibility in our intentional seeking of our Lord through a daily relationship, through prayer etc.

If we continually fail in this, if we let our sin nature be that which guides us we become more like the world and not set apart from it.

We have become angry Americans looking for someone to be angry with. Trump has seized the moment to become the hero of many when he directs our anger to the elites and the other, the immigrants etc. when in reality we are the ones we should be angry with! We have allowed as Christians pornography to become a major industry while it feeds our lusts. We have become ok with dishonesty and cheating and lying. We argue over masks and vaccines yet infidelity, fornication, child abuse not to mention abortion are allowed to run rampant.

The Church in America has failed in showing people how to live a whole life immersed in God. We often make fun of the Amish or Mennonites for their isolation and strange ways but they have avoided many of the sins that consume us. They are sinners like we are but they are wiser. Even the Chinese government, whom we know by and large to be Atheist and pagan is smart enough to know if they make their youth put away social media and gaming online that their lives will be better. We cant even do that!

Living a life we understand to be the life God intended us to live even if we don’t like it requires us to repent of our pride and acknowledge that WE ALL desperately need Christ. We are broken and not really very smart. Being selfless requires that dying daily that we so avoid.

“If my account of our moral condition is correct, we ought also to conclude that for some time now we too have reached that turning point. What matters at this stage is the construction of local forms of community within which civility and the intellectual and moral life can be sustained through the new dark ages which are already upon us.”

― Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, Third Edition

As Alasdair MacIntyre says we have reached a turning point or are long past it.

“What this brings out is that modern politics cannot be a matter of genuine moral consensus. And it is not. Modern politics is civil war carried on by other means,”

― Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, Third Edition

As Christians our life cannot be bound up with politics, liberalism or conservatism. It does not take long for them to become our masters and not Christ. If we are working to live a life immersed in Christ, a Gospel centered life it will be Christ we run to and not anyone else.

You and I should be self-reflecting everyday about where our hearts are in relation to our Lord. Are we being selfless, are we honoring our Lord by what we say and do?

“To be a Christian in America is to assume that there is a form of political organization that is not only compatible with our fundamental Christian convictions but is the expression of those convictions. The name for that political reality is democracy. The discipline I represent, Christian ethics, is a discipline built on the assumption that American democracy is the form of Christian politics…The issues surrounding the relation of Christianity and democracy will not and should not go away.

The Trump presidency has raised them with new urgency. In particular, Trump has alerted us again to the worry that there is finally no check on the tyranny of the majority in democracy as we know it. Tocqueville’s worry that individualism would undermine American democracy is back on the table. Tocqueville saw clearly that democratic citizens pursuing their own interest without regard for the commonwealth would result in the loss of associational forms of life on which democracy depends.

Andrew Sullivan, drawing on Plato’s critique of democracy, argued in an article in New York magazine that democracy depends on elites to protect democracies from “the will of the people.” Sullivan’s position has been countered by Jedediah Purdy, who argues that it is not majoritarian democracy that is the problem but the growing economic power of a small group of capitalists who have the power to undermine the kind of rule Trump says he is for.”

from the article: The Good Life If liberalism failed to deliver it, what can? By Stanley Hauerwas

I through God’s mercy and grace at the age of 65 have learned that “This is my life, I want no other.” All of my sin and my suffering has through my Lord’s death on the cross lead me to know death is coming and also an eternity that I so look forward to. How about you?

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