Fallen World Gravity (FWG) is a silent but constant force at work in this world. It does not discriminate between believers and unbelievers. Its insidious influence is persistent and pervasive. Like known “natural laws” it works irrespective of whether we know it is there, and typically we don’t.
So we are pulled toward self-centredness, and toward a corrupted, arelational understanding of glory. Consequently our view of God is distorted, and our view of what it means to live as creatures made in God’s image. Here’s a third feature to prayerfully ponder before we preach again:
3. FWG pulls persistently toward independence. Ever since the hiss of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, our own independence has been one of the most self-evident truths in all the world – even though it is a lie! We cannot fathom the idea that perhaps we are not individual and autonomous beings who are free to self-initiate whatever we choose. Even when we come to know God we are still under the influence of the Lie and we tend to think we can enter into some sort of mutual arrangement with God. I am a lesser being, of course, but I still naturally try to negotiate with God as if I have some sort of independence at the core of who I am.
The Christian Gospel knows nothing of works, nothing from me. We cannot and we will not merit our salvation. This goes against everything in the world’s way of thinking.
The Christian life continues in the same vein. We are called to look to Christ, to love Him, and live in dependent response to Him. This lack of independence and autonomy continues to go against everything this world has taught to be self-evident.
Consequently, in our preaching we will be tempted to corrupt Gospel truth with worldly lies. We will be tempted to offer a two-way arrangement between God and independent beings that can choose to autonomously apply instruction. However well we present a non-independent message, our listeners will filter everything through a default lens that colours everything in hues of personal independency.
Fallen World Gravity is dangerous because we tend to ignore or deny it. And like physical gravity it does not mind whether we believe it or not, feel it or not, understand it or not. It just keeps on pulling.