Chesterton on Doubting the Real Ideal

by Aszia Walker

“Progress should mean that we are slow but sure in bringing justice and mercy among men: it does mean [just now] that we are very swift in doubting the desirability of justice and mercy… We are not altering the real to suit the ideal.  We are altering the ideal: it is easier.” – G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

We are a culture obsessed with progress, but have we forgotten what we are meant to be progressing toward? God’s ultimate plan for man is sanctification unto Christlikeness.  We keep Him as our aim knowing that He is faithful and will see to His purpose in us (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Unfortunately, as Chesterton points out, humanity doesn’t advance towards justice, or mercy, or anything Christ manifests.  Rather than walk by the Spirit, we turn aside to our deceitful flesh.  Instead of hungering and thirsting for righteousness, we crave sexual “freedom.”  We want it on our TVs, our iPods, the Internet.  We want it in our apparel, on our streets, in our churches.  We even want it by force in the form of human oppression and abuse.  Our society has drastically altered the definition of “ideal.”

But are we to believe that this corruption of intimacy and exploitation of men, women and children is actual liberty?

Experience tells me no.

Scripture tells me no.

And most importantly, the heart and very nature of Jesus cries out with compassion and sorrow… “No, this isn’t freedom, and it is surely not ideal.”

Today you have a choice: Buy the lie of our sexualized culture or acknowledge that Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, is and ever will be the only real ideal.

If you choose Him, progress then means becoming ever more aligned with His will by His power.

You can start by pursuing a PURE lifestyle.

Pray and ask God to create or renew in you a clean heart.  Understand how you can be an integral part in reaching this sexualized age for the cause of Christ.  Resolve to chase the True Ideal, not conform to this world (Romans 12:1-2).  And finally, engage. Love others and perpetuate purity and justice by your example, voice, and involvement.

Do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.  So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:11-14

How do you think our culture has altered the meaning of justice from what God intended? Click here to respond

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Aszia Walker is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University and the Kanakuk Institute in Branson, MO. She is currently serving as a 2012 pureJUSTICE intern. 

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