Icelanders are building their first temple to Thor since the Viking age. Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson is high priest of a movement that promotes Thor, Odin, and other Norse gods. His group will start construction this month on a temple that will stand on a hill overlooking Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. Membership in their movement has tripled in the last decade. Their temple will host weddings and funerals, among other rituals.
“As he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7, KJV). When we change our worldview, we change our world. (Tweet this)
While 94.8 percent of Icelanders are registered with a religion, only 31 percent believe a Supreme Being exists; 51 percent believe in their own personal version of god or a life force. Two percent attend church on any given week. Now consider that more than half the babies in Iceland are born to unwed mothers. The average Icelandic adolescent begins having sex at the age of 15. Cohabitation typically precedes or replaces marriage.
Behavior follows beliefs. When we jettison a biblical worldview, we replace it with a non-biblical one. Chesterton noted that “the first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything.” He also observed, “The nineteenth century decided to have no religious authority. The twentieth century seems to disposed to have any religious authority.” He could have been reading today’s news.
John F. Kennedy: “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” For good or for evil, ideas change the world. For instance, ISIS captured the news cycle again by burning alive a captured Jordanian pilot. Their leaders are convinced that they are obeying the Qur’an. Also making news, a university in Vermont now allows students to select any gender identification they choose. (For more, read Nick Pitts’s Vermont is far from neutral.) Other schools are expected to follow suit, accommodating a culture that no longer believes God made us “male and female” (Genesis 1:27).
By contrast, when Pope Francis was a seminary professor 40 years ago, he founded a farm where he worked alongside his students. Together they grew food to feed the hungry in their community. When a child came to him complaining of the cold, his commitment to the teachings and example of Jesus led him to give her the blanket from his own bed.
When we make Jesus King of every dimension of our lives and world, we position ourselves to experience all his grace intends to give. In his last sermon, C. S. Lewis noted that God “claims all, because he is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless he has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, he claims all. There’s no bargaining with him.”
When we see Jesus as King of all, others will see our King in us. (Tweet this) After he was elected pope, Francis reminded the conclave that the moon has no light of its own, but only reflects the light of the sun. He warned that the Church must not mistake itself for the sun, and noted that it shines only by reflecting the light of the divine.
Whose light will the world see in you today?