Its interesting how the consistent perception within the world around us is that the christian faith (and all religion for that matter) are an escape from reality. We always get this sense that people of faith are coming into their religious experiences as a way of getting away from the challenges and pressures of life in the real world. I can’t speak definitively on other religions, but this is profoundly untrue about the actual christian message. One of it’s central tenets is that God is invading reality. It is a message of the fact that one of our greatest needs is not escape from but reconciliation to the actual world.
The Scriptures paint the picture that yes we all know that there is much more to this world than mere biochemical processes. There is a Maker. Their is a source of love, justice, truth and consciousness. All these are qualities of a person and he is not content to leave us in the dark, to leave us separated from him. The whole bent of the christian message is one that pushes us to truly embracing reality, the center of which is God himself. It is the message that he has come into this world to help us see what is really wrong with this world, what is wrong with ourselves – and to see that we cannot know any answers to these questions unless he himself gives us those answers.
In this sense, christian faith sees itself as a doorway or a bridge to a full and complete embrace of the real world. It is not some mystical and private endeavor by which we are reaching upward, trying to get to something beyond our present situations. C. S. Lewis once described people of faith by saying “They (have) no picture in their minds of some mist steaming upward: rather of strong, skilful hands thrust down to make, and mend, perhaps even to destroy.”
This world is in desperate need of a great deal of making and mending – and a bit of destroying as well. Christianity says that the only one who can really do that is the One who made it in the first place. He alone makes full sense of the sunshine, the aroma of coffee, the smile of a child and the worries and struggles tugging at our hearts. He alone helps us see that what we long for is not escape from reality but a more real experience of it.
Lewis, C. S.. That Hideous Strength: (Space Trilogy, Book Three) (The Space Trilogy 3) (p. 315). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.