I began this series of posts suggesting that having a “Biblical” or “Christian” worldview meant much more than opposing abortion and gay marriage, or being generous with ones time and money (read more here). I argued that these things make up a very small part of what we call our worldview and that American Christians have the same worldview as their non-Christian neighbours. I attempted to make the point Americans, whether Christian or not, have a very secular idea of time.
- It is homogeneous — a minute is a minute; one hour is the same as every other hour–not really.
- It is sequential — minutes, hours, days and years occur one after the other. There is another way to look at time as non-sequential–read more here.
- structured by progress — we are, things are, improving, evolving, getting better as time passes. Not really–read more here and here.
- It has been emptied of the transcendent — there is nothing supernatural in our conception of time. Really?
The Shema is considered by Jews to be the most important part of the prayer service and it is recited twice a daily. It is found in Deuteronomy 6: 4-9. It is so important because it asserts the central tenant Judaism–there is only One God. It says that the only way we can remember that God is God, is by making this idea central in our lives.
Worldviews can be built and shaped through ritual and repetition. All residents of American culture are steeped in religious repetition and ritual in their worship of secular–or Chronos–time. Here is my version of the Shema to reflect this idolatrous reality:
4 Hear, O resident of the secular age: The Lord is Chronos, the Lord is Linear. 5 Fear the Lord Chronos with regret for the past and fear for what the future might hold. 6 Time consciousness should always be on your hearts. 7 Impress on your children the importance of not wasting time and be sure they are in time for things, when necessary use bells. Talk about punctuality when you sit at home and as you walk along the road, insure that you set an alarm when they lie down so that they may get up in time. 8 Tie time symbols on your wrists or bind it on home screens of smart phones. 9 Hang them on the walls of every room in your houses, in your cars and at your places of work.