In an interview in 2014, Shia Labeouf – a famous actor known well for his roles in movies like ‘Transformers’ and when he was younger ‘Holes’ among others explained that he’d been going through an existential crisis; a crisis just as personally impacting us an environmental crisis or a financial crisis (both of which are devastating). This kind of crisis relates to the way a person perceives reality. He spoke a little about Meta-Modernism and how it had influenced many of his decisions over the last year.
Meta-Modernism is a philosophical idea that mediates between aspects of two philosophical ideas – modernism and post-modernism. I want to talk a little bit about ‘Deconstruction’ – which is an idea encompassed within postmodernism – a complete denial of the possibility of what they label in philosophical terms as a ‘pure presence’ (i.e. God) and thereby negating any kind of intrinsic or stable meaning to our existence — resulting in the relinquishment of any notion of absolute truth.
Meta-Modernism tries to reconcile that idea with one of the commonly focused upon characteristics of modernism – self-consciousness. Philosophically this CANNOT be done. If nothing is absolutely true – people ask the question; ‘do I really exist?’ Additionally the postmodern also must be a moral relativist. No truth is absolute – including morals, everything is subjective.
It’s not difficult to see the existential crisis someone might encounter if they truly relinquish in their minds any notion of absolute truth! This kind of ideology leads to insanity. Ultimately God alone offers the stability of absolute truth. When the post-modern lives out his life as though absolute truth does exist, he borrows from the biblical world view inconsistently.
Friedrich Nietzsche the famous existential philosopher held consistently to these ideas and ultimately it led him to insanity.
There seems to be good news though -Shia said that while he was acting for the new movie ‘Fury’ with Brad Pitt, he became a Christian (with the influence of the Director, who also was a Christian) and he said that something very real saved him! The language he used to express it was pretty roar – which is common for new believers, but nevertheless – he made a commitment to leave the meta-modern insanity and cling to Christ and the stability he offers philosophically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically (not just now, but for eternity).
Christians need to understand that when people come into Gods kingdom – they are just babies spiritually – they need to be trained to become disciples of the Lord Jesus. Sanctification is a process, and isn’t necessarily always an instantaneous miracle. They need people around them to encourage them in their faith, to sow the word of God into their lives, and to model a righteous lifestyle to them as the Holy Spirit leads them.
As Christians – we need to get around people who are new to the faith! If we ourselves are new converts, we need to seek out Godly people to help us in our journey through this life. But most importantly we need to get into the word of God, send our roots deep through prayer and through meditating on God’s word.
Jesus commanded all of us to preach the good news, and make disciples. This means that we need to leave our comfort zones, and help people like Shia who have transitioned into a completely new kingdom, to love them, encourage them, and live a lifestyle that exalts God.