The Nature of Chaos
In many ways, it seems as though we live in a chaotic society. This observation will most likely not be a newsflash to most individuals living in America. Oftentimes, however, we merely stop at that point and fail to probe into exactly why our culture is so chaotic. There are a couple of different kinds of chaos that could arise for a society or individual. First, we might think of unforeseen circumstances which arise in life over which we have no control. A loved one could pass away unexpectedly bringing a major trial into a person’s life. When thinking about an entire nation, a security threat could arise such as a foreign invasion by another country which drastically changes everyone’s life in an instant. Perhaps some natural disaster devastates an entire area. Certainly, living faithfully helps to prepare for these moments, but in each of these instances, the individual or nation did not cause the situation to occur.
However, there is a different type of chaos that needs to be considered, the kind of chaos where you are shooting yourself in the foot thereby bringing tragedy into your own life. If I go out to shoot a gun, and every time I do so I injure myself, the problem is not with the gun nor with unforeseen circumstances, but with myself. This sort of chaos seems to be that which is dominant in our society. Certainly, unexpected events have occurred over the past few decades, such as 9/11, Katrina, and countless others. Yet, when we think about issues like the failures of the education system, a lack of masculine leadership, and even such embarrassments as many failing to define what a woman is, we see a concerning pattern. A large proportion of the chaotic nature of our moment does not stem from circumstances outside of our control putting us in places where we must react. Rather, we are like the man who continually shoots himself in the foot!
A Theology of Chaos
At the end of the day, the biblical worldview brings order and stability, whereas a society rejecting God goes into all kinds of evil, wickedness, sin, and of course, chaos. The more a culture drifts away from God and His Word, the less stability it will maintain. This issue is inherently theological. Rejecting the true knowledge of God has serious consequences. For example, in Romans 1:21-23 Paul writes:
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” -Romans 1:21-23
Notice the rejection of the true and living God leads to idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of false gods, however, false religion also comes with certain commands which are expected to be obeyed. Consider the ancient practice of child sacrifice where that blasphemously evil practice was carried out supposedly in “obedience” to a false god. The casting aside of the worship of the true God led to idolatry which ended in child sacrifice. Of course, God also “gave them up” to the perverse practice of homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27). Point being, when a society rejects God, devastating consequences are sure to follow.
Essentially, what I want to make note of is the fact that rejection of God leads to perversion of the natural order. Instead of parents loving their children, they murder them. As opposed to a man and a woman being united together in the covenant of marriage, they exchange God’s design for that which is unnatural . . . homosexuality. The examples could continue, but I think the point has been sufficiently made. What then is the antidote to this chaotic stampede of a society heading over the cliff of insanity?
The issue in our society is not a predominant false god who is an idol that we bow before in the sense of Baal or Moloch. Ancient cultures made idols with their own hands, then honored them as “divine.” Certainly, that practice is still engaged in during our own day. Yet, while secular man may very well pay respectful homage to some sort of divine figure in his imagination, ultimately he believes he has placed himself in the seat of deity. He believes he can determine his own destiny, set the standard for good and evil, and there is nothing above him. The family is viewed to be as whatever he defines it. Government should serve his purpose. Even the supposed false god before whom he gives respect must not command anything which goes against his own wishes.
In this scenario, all of creation is not viewed as something which must give God glory, it is seen as a tool for the pleasure of man. Therefore, chaos ensues because of the battle between men seeking their own agendas, distorting God’s created order, all the while seeking to do what is right in their own eyes. Overcoming these grave errors starts at the foundational level. Man must realize he is not divine, but a puny little creature who has rebelled against the infinitely holy and just God. Humanity must bow before God, place faith in Christ, repent, and submit to His holy will. There must be a fundamental reordering of the priorities. When God is served, worshipped, and obeyed in His proper place, then everything else beings to fall into place. Marriage is not defined by whatever society wants, but according to what God has said. Practices like child sacrifice are condemned as evil. The government is viewed as a servant of God rewarding good and punishing evil. All of these truths fall into place when an individual bows before God. Chaos in society, the kind we see today in America, is a theological issue. It stems from humanity serving the creation instead of the Creator. Consequently, it must be rectified at the theological level by the preaching of the Gospel, the entire counsel of God’s Word, and the sovereign act of Almighty God! Our conclusion thus is that we must live in humble obedience to the Lord. Stability comes when we bow before Him, chaos ensues when we reject Him. Let us submit to be faithful servants living for Him in all of life!