Limits of human efficiency and self-sufficiency | The Guardian Nigeria News
The cult of human well-being, rational efficiency, and self-sufficiency analyzes the culture of diminishing gratitude, which is stressful instead of grateful. Due to the severe socio-economic challenges accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic and its ramifications, material progress measures the success of nations families and families in absolute terms. Regardless of the fact that economic, technological and scientific progress alone is insufficient since it must be integral for development to be properly human, there are more and more discourses in favor of material salvation and anti-Christian religion. . However, humanity forgets that any development anchored on an insufficient knowledge of man exacerbates its penchant for false emancipation, leading it to absolutize its efficiency, which continues to fail it. Naturally, humans are dependent on God and interdependent on others; they lie when they claim to be self-sufficient.
The temptation of false emancipation that has spread from the Garden of Eden to the garden and desert of everyday human existence continues to catch humanity off guard. This false emancipation, which passes through the refusal to be in a filial relationship, exaggerates human capacity and strength. In this clear manifestation of diminishing gratitude, man succumbs to a radical autonomy and self-sufficiency that excludes God and misunderstands the mystery of the human project. As one of its important offshoots, part of humanity ignores its relationship with God in its self-delusion. Instead of God, it enthrones the human person, leading to anthropolatry (cult of man). Indeed, it is expressed in the attenuation of the supernatural dimension of life and the demarketing of religion. Therefore, man transforms dominion over creation into dominion over the created order as the god of tin, giving priority to material progress achieved through human efficiency. Yet, since man cannot do without relationship and guardianship, he surrenders to efficiency and worships it, giving rise to the worship of technology – technolatry.
The prodigal humanity illustrated in the story of the prodigal son, in denying the fatherhood of God, glories in its overconfidence in radical autonomy. She believes herself capable of anything without help, falling into the same sin of Adam. The latter by manipulating to be like God made himself a god. The enthronement and worship of self and one’s ability that disregards God and the path to Him (religion) analyzes the scourge of the modern world and modern man. Prodigal humanity struggles to free itself from all theological and supernatural sovereignty of God. Such an offense was original sin; it was biblical sin and it spells the sin of modern society. It is both a refusal to worship God and the adoption of oneself as god, which is also expressed in the adoption of other gods. Man shifts his allegiance to self and the ramifications of placing himself above everything, namely the deification of money, pleasure, power and the general tendency to turn icons into idols.
The indisputable truth is that changing masters does not guarantee human freedom. Instead, it can turn human interdependence into dependency, depending on who the new overlords are. The effort to free himself from the lordship of God leaves him imprisoned in the imperialism of the self and the sovereignty of efficiency. It leads to a radical departure from man’s destiny towards a distorted pursuit of a temporal realm with its full option of glory. As a result, material progress supersedes eternal salvation, and material well-being trumps friendship with God. Such a scenario justifies a choice between Jesus Christ (son of the living God) and Jesus Barabbas (son of the Father), between supernatural messiah and worldly messiah. In any case, operating from an anthropological vision that reduces life to matter and material well-being establishes a vision of this world towards success and salvation.
Therefore, the expectation of the world reduces the Church to an agent of material salvation, asking her to transform stones into bread and to solve socio-economic and scientific-technical problems; otherwise, it loses its credibility. Since humans oversee the religious system, religious institutions are not immune to error. Sometimes elements of the Church succumb to this pressure to become earthly messiahs, forgetting that the Bridegroom and Head of the Church, Jesus the Christ, fell into no such temptation. By essence and meaning, the material intervention of the Church is neither impressionist nor interventionist. Instead, enlightening, salting, and seasoning Christian engagement with the world is part of the integrated mission that honors God by subjecting the human race and its system to his divine government. This material intervention of the Church serves the hearts, heads and hands of the human family. For example, the Church feeds the poor as the sacrament of the Father who takes care of his family. In reality, as a mother, she takes care of the children of God without claiming that she has come to bring about a revolution in the political order inspired by the worldly thirst for power.
The many questions and expectations of the people on the value of religion in the order of things are no longer hidden. By trying to praise nations where political economy works, they denounce the Church as part of the cause of society’s backwardness. They idolize the efficiency of the systems that run these nations and criticize countries that pay attention to religion. In their discontent, they tend to deny the indispensable role of God in the existence and sustenance of creation. Or, in the deistic mentality, they excise God from the construction of a free and just society and exaggerate the role of man. Religion as a force for good, which its followers can use or abuse, contributes fundamentally to the building of the earthly city and the kingdom of God. Praise that exaggerates the value of human efficiency ignores something fundamental. He ignores the essential truth that man lives on earth for the life to come. Any human-related success measured solely by technological or material progress is a recipe for destroying human dignity and freedom.
The basis of all development is the appreciation of the truth about man, that what water is for fish and earth for plants is what God is for him. God is the soil on which man dwells, prospers and flourishes, without which human life is reduced to nothing. One can hardly live a meaningful human existence without being rooted in God through religion and its spiritualities. While religion binds humanity to divinity, we must all save Christianity from the pathologies to which religious followers subject it. Human beings often exaggerate either the spiritual aspect or the material dimension because of their adamic nature.
The balance in building the earthly kingdom must avoid negligence by man or God. The neglect of human cooperation is not only irresponsibility but an invitation to poverty as they fail to develop their God-given potentials. Likewise, the inability to develop spiritual potentials in the neglect of the God factor is synonymous with injustice and ingratitude of the first order. So anyway, man lives rightly by correcting the neglect of the human element and not by neglecting the God factor. A headache cannot be cured by cutting off the head, so the problem of spiritualism cannot be solved with another problem, materialism. The glory of God is in what it was like to be a man, and any form of self-worship and entertainment is an aberration.
Father Adimike wrote via [email protected]