Because our moral and culture grounded not in a Sacred Order but by an Appeal to Self
Because we put it on ourselves. We appeal to self. When we put all the weight upon ourselves, because we want liberty, freedom so we can make moral judgements to be whatever we want to be. But that comes with a big costs, and we can’t carry the weight of that cost. When we say we make decision about ourselves, without regard to the thousands of years tradition, church morality established in the sacred book, Bible, we are throwing away the sacredness of God and substituting with the finite broken human instincts. We think we are getting a great deal to be our authentic self, but really? Our authentic self needs to be changed! That’s the point.
Rieff and Truman makes it clear as below:
The culture with no sacred order therefore has the task – for Rieff, the impossible task – of justifying itself only by reference to itself.’ – Trueman, Rise and Triumph
It is impossible to justify yourself by reference to yourself! The point is if you are wrong, and no one can be right all the time, how can you reference to yourself and make it right? Therefore we need a sacred order, someone beyond ourselves, external to us. And that’s what we call God.
God is not going to control you, restrict you, constraint you, rather God is coming in the person Jesus Christ to liberate us from our bondage, from our slavery to sins, all the ugly things we don’t want people to know but it’s eating us up. The only way to real freedom is to surrender ourselves to the sacred order, God, because we can’t keep looking into our selves for authenticity per se only, because even it may be the real you, it could be the real bad you! And to carry the weight of self-justification is too heavy, its suffocating! Why? Because we are not it!
The pleasures we get from this transient world by indulging into our fleshly desires, though giving us pleasures on a temporal way at the moment, it will not only hurt ourselves, but our loved ones, our families and friends in the long term. In fact, they need the sacred order as well, and everyone does. We are blinded by our fleshly desires and gave in to sins, and constantly seeking ways to justify them. John Bavinck says there is a constant humming of God’s voice at the back of our conscience even as we run away from God.
One thing I have noticed is that people who run away from God’s moral judgments, carry within themselves a sense of guilt. It’s like running away from family, seeking a sense of pleasures, freedom, but deep inside carries a sense of guilt especially from good families. And when we run away from God, who is perfectly good, merciful, kind, affectionate, we will never be able to shrug off that guilt. So what’s going to happen is, we will always seek to justify ourselves. People try drugs, sex, and al kinds and ended in even deeper emptiness and the results is devastating in the news . Some will read books, articles, seeking ways to fill that empty voids to justify ourselves, to tell ourselves that we are alright for the sake of the pleasures we get. It’s like Eve took that forbidden fruit and passed to Adam who also took it. When God walked in the garden calling out to him, he hid himself from God, because that was a sense of guilt sinking on him. That’s the first guilt in this world.
Genesis 3:9–10 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
Adam said, “I was afraid because I was naked”. Well, he’s been naked before that and there was no fear, but now why suddenly? That’s because the real reason, is they feel shame, they feel guilt from rebelling against God. And immediately he tried to justify himself, by saying:
Genesis 3:11–12 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me some of the fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
God asked him “who told you that you were naked?” You see before the fall, Adam didn’t feel shame for being naked. Nothing has changed on the outside, but everything has on the inside. That’s the onset of the power of sin, devouring him on the inside immediately. The relationship he had with God was immediately broken, Satan instantly became the prince of this created world that was supposed to be run by Adam. Adam blamed the woman God gave to be with him that caused him to fall. First he blamed his wife, then ultimately he blamed God!
We will always be trying to justify our wrong doings if we carry the guilt. And honestly that guilt is before God, not just before other humans, so it will never go away without the redemption of our souls from sins.
So much for justifying selves. Come back to God by having a reality check, and like the prodigal son who had to be shaken up to conscience when he was impoverished by hunger trying to get pig’s food. Only then he woke up. No matter what, we always have a loving heavenly Father waiting for us to return to Him. Heaven is waiting. Your loved ones are waiting and praying.