Almost weekly, I take the time to read some news and blog sites to keep abreast of current events and current theological and ministerial perspectives. I often come across material that is curious, controversial, or just down right concerning. This week was no exception as I encountered an article entitled “3 Keys to Living the Life You Want” by Dr. Jean Houston, a “researcher in human capacities.” In the article, she contends that we live in an unprecedented time where there is a “surging of the human spirit, a virtual global awakening, at a scale that no one has ever seen before,” and each of us must therefore seize the opportunity to feel fully alive and fulfill our unique purpose in life.
She continues by enumerating six shifts in our time that we must understand and embrace in order to live our higher purpose: (1) Our understanding of who and what we are and what we need to become in order to be able to deal with the complexity of our time is evolving.
(2) Human societies are in the process of re-patterning. Social constructs are dissolving and whole new stories are trying to emerge, such as the rise of women to a full partnership with men across the globe, and many others.
(3) How we conduct business and governance is shifting in the midst of vast ecological and financial changes. This is perhaps the most important social event of the last 5,000 years, because these issues impact almost everything in our lives.
(4) The rise and fusion of different cultures — we are swiftly moving toward a planetary civilization that accentuates the uniqueness of each culture while blending them together. Think of the great fusions of food, of music and of beliefs.
(5) Whole new orders of spirituality are emerging that are not about religion. The new cosmologies are giving us a view of ourselves that we never had before. For the first time ever, we find that we don’t just live in the universe, but that the universe lives in us.
(6) This journey begins by letting go of old beliefs and patterns to make room for the new beliefs and capacities that will empower you to awaken to and live your higher purpose.
I believe that Houston has accurately delineated the current “shifts” in our world, and she has given a secularist’s perspective on how to ride this wave of human advancement. However, these shifts are cause for alarm among biblical Christians. There are dozens of biblical pitfalls with her perspective of these “shifts,” but here are some immediate thoughts.
(1) Every human being was created by God, created in the image of God, created to be in relationship with God, and created to serve God by multiplying and exercising dominion over creation. (Gen 1-2, Isa 43:7, Col 1:16) If humanity at any point in its history aspires to attain greater personal fulfillment and purpose, then we must return to these basic truths of our origins. Furthermore, the single greatest hindrance to feeling “fully alive” and “fulfilling our purpose” is our sin. Our rebellion against God has literally ruined our ability to fulfill our true purpose, which is living with God for His glory. This purpose is preprogrammed into every human being by our Creator; whether we want to acknowledge it or not, He is what we miss and need most.
(2) The dissolution and re-patterning of social constructs and human societies is not a rising tide of societal advancement as much as it is a spiritual reversion being driven by our most basic impulses. The societal construct of responsible freedom under a moral law that originates with God’s divine law is the most just system that provides the greatest opportunity for human development. The familial construct of monogamous heterosexual marriage is the best environment for nurturing real love and producing well-adjusted offspring. Human history has proved over and over again that the abandonment of these original constructs leads to societal ruin rather than advancement.
(3) There are two times in human history where there was only one “planetary civilization.” In Genesis 6, there was only one world culture, and because of man’s sinfulness, the entirety of that culture was wicked and wholly corrupt (Gen 6:5). So, with the exception of Noah’s family, God destroyed every single human being on the planet with the great flood. The second instance was in Genesis 11, where a unified humanity decided to build a monument to its own ingenuity and independence — the tower of Babel. God’s judgment also came upon them as their language was confused and they were scattered abroad. One planetary civilization, however enticing it may sound, is a recipe for judgment, because the unavoidable tendency of sinful humanity is to be unified in asserting itself against the governance of God.
(4) The whole idea of new orders of spirituality and the universe within and “letting go of old beliefs” is not new at all. Israel had the same idea thousands of years ago, and it led to debauchery and idolatry. Through Jeremiah, the Lord said, “For My people have forgotten me, they burn incense to worthless gods and they have stumbled from their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths, not on a highway, to make their land a desolation. . .” (Jer 18:15-16) Secularists like Houston want us to think that we are our own god, and that biblical faith holds us back from reaching our human potential. In reality, biblical faith is all that holds us back from death and destruction.
Brothers and sisters, the only purpose we have and the only empowerment we need is revealed to us through the regenerating Spirit of God. The path of repentance and faith in Christ is the only true path of spiritual enlightenment and fulfillment. All else is darkness. I love you all dearly!