More and more I read people on social media “thanking the universe” for their new job or their new relationship, and also sometimes expressing hope that the universe will come through for them – sort of smooth their path to whatever it is they want. I’ve seen this expression way more than I’d like to in the posts and tweets of the formerly churched – and as a former student lay-minister I know a lot of formerly churched people, unfortunately.
I’m not exactly sure what’s with this, but I think it has something to do with that stubborn Imago Dei in each one of us. Reverence and loving fidelity to the God of the Bible (the giver of all good gifts) and in his only begotten Son is anathema in many of our subcultures, but that stubborn, programmed-in desire persists for something outside ourselves to worship provide help and salvation. This spiritual habit of the formerly churched doesn’t pass away easily, evidently, so perhaps re-branding its object is the path of least resistance.
I have an idealistic and at times even poetic mindset and even I know that “the universe” is for the most part a howling void that not only doesn’t care about me, it doesn’t have the ability to care about me. It is a created thing, in fact the sum of all created material; marvelous and awe-inspiring and glory-declaring but in no way, shape or form is it sentient.
One who wants to believe that there’s something in the universe to be worshiped or supplicated is obviously not a materialist but is more like a pantheist – here in the midst of our supposedly sophisticated and advanced post-modern times.
I can’t help thinking: how much more rational it is to worship and call out to the Maker of the universe rather than to what he has made?
. . .because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. – Romans 1:25 ESV