How is history defined? What does it all mean at the end of the day? We may not consciously think of history throughout the average day, but think about it for a moment: behind most news stories on the radio, television, newspapers or internet in this country the history of racial segregation is implicit and often referred to regularly. Without an understanding of the racial politics in the country – ‘apartheid’ and ‘liberation’ – it won’t make much sense.
In many news stories coming out of Europe and Latin America, behind much of the way of thinking is the idea of class struggle and its history. According to ‘The Communist Manifesto’, history is literally the account of the struggle for the ‘means of production’ (stuff) between the bourgeois (rich) and the proletariat (poor). Socialism applied to a society would literally be the end of history because it would mean the end of class struggle.
If our lives are like paintings then our history is like the frame that gives shape and definition to the borders of our philosophy.
In North America history is understood as the struggle for self-determination, including the rights of self-expression in words and by way of suffrage.
History is dependent on who is doing the ‘looking’. Many countries and nationalities define history as the struggle for their culture to emerge as superior to others, like China in the last several decades or Nazi Germany in WW2.
All of these views of history are temporal, or geographical, or cultural or to other points of view, comical.
History is literally and actually based on 1 thing: the cross. The cross and all that it means defines history and divides mankind in two. The cross is the load-bearing pillar of human history and human life. I believe our most vulnerable adult moment is when we lose a loved one to death. In that moment, does racial politics, the class struggle, self-determination or cultural superiority matter? I don’t understand how anyone would honestly be able to say ‘yes’. Those alternative histories may refer to valuable and valid things however they are mere side shows to the question: ‘Who do you say the Son of Man is?’
Picture this: a graveyard and a tombstone to memorialise our loved ones. Are there quotes from Karl Marx? Benjamin Franklin? Confucius? Adolf Hitler? No, none of these historical frameworks has an answer for eternity.
Only God’s perspective is valid and true. The cross is the load-bearing pillar of human history and human life.