Faith, God

Social and Moral Entropy

According to the online Oxford dictionary, entropy is the lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder. Entropy is seen in the chaos of a household or office if effort lags in keeping things in order, in our day-to-day life. Although the concept of entropy was originally used in thermodynamics, it has been adopted in other fields of study.

Social Entropy implies the tendency of social networks and society in general breaking down over time, moving from cooperation and advancement towards conflict and chaos (Wikipedia). Moral Entropy is best described in Gen 3 “The Fall” where Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Within their lifetime Adam and Eve had witnessed the murder of their son Abel by his brother Cain despite God’s warning for him to control his anger (Gen 4:7-8). Concupiscence (human’s inclination to sin due to orginal sin) coupled with free will is the main cause of moral entropy.

Secularism and moral relativism promote freedom from religious rules and teachings; offering people more liberal ways to lead their lives but in turn create greater social and moral disorder (or entropy). Freedom without responsibility is indeed chaos. This is visible in a world recovering from a systemic failure in the financial system, and from the rising cases of senseless killing in different parts of the world. How do we overcome social and moral entropy? Whose responsibility is it?

In Gal 5:15, the Apostle Paul warned of the consequence of social and moral entropy: “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” To overcome social and moral entropy, Paul advised Christians to: “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.” (Gal 5:16-17) He added: “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Gal 5:19-26)

In 1 John 3:1-3, John urges the children of God to lead a pure life using the perfect purity of Christ as their example so that they can be like Him when He appears in His glory. Hence, the one who possesses the hope of Christ’s return and of being like Him is the one who willingly and repeatedly exercises self-purification. It is important to emphasize that on one hand Christians are responsible for carrying out their own (self) purification, but on the other hand, this supernatural work necessitates continual dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:13; Gal 5:16). Paul outlines the two aspects of the work of purification (God’s sovereignty and Man’s responsibility or Synergism) in his letter to the Philippians commanding them to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God Who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Php 2:12-13) This calls for a lifelong pursuit of purity and holiness, continually striving to be like Christ, realizing in this life we will continually fall short but always trusting that His grace is sufficient for us (2 Cor 12:9).

Jesus preached repentance and the keeping of commandments to enter the kingdom of God. In Matt 4:17 he proclaimed his message, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” and in Matt 19:17, he told the rich young man to keep the commandments so as to receive eternal life. In Matt 5:13-16, Jesus called his disciples to be salt of the earth and light of the world. Through them the world benefits from the Covenant with God (Num 18:19), and they must continually enkindle in the world the desire and struggle for true justice and perfection, and not allow human societies to become satisfied with mediocrity. All Christians have to strive to become salt of the earth and light of the world as there is no use for salt that has lost its taste and a lamp that does not shine.

In conclusion, social and moral entropy are natural phenomenon given humanity’s concupiscence. It is every Christian’s responsibility to purify themselves and to build God’s kingdom on earth (Matt 6:10) so that love, peace and justice shall overcome social and moral entropy. This is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'” (Acts 13:47)

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