THE HOPELESSNESS OF THE CITY OF MAN WITHOUT GOD
H.E. Bishop Athanasius Schneider
The following video presentation was given on 16 May 2019 at the Rome Life Forum on the theme “City of man vs City of God – Global One World Order vs Christendom”, organised by Voice of the Family.
Dear participants of the Rome Life Forum 2019!
In this address I would like to speak about the two cities or communities which exist in the history of creation, that is the City of God and the city of man without or even against God. A city or community without God is by this very fact a city of hopelessness. The first attempt to establish a life and a community or a city without God and against God was that of Satan, the fallen angel, who with the other fallen angels tried to build up a reign opposing God. However, there was no more place for them in heaven and he and his angels were cast down to the earth, as Holy Scripture says (cf. Rev. 12: 8-9). Since then Satan has worked tirelessly in building up upon the earth his city against God.
The most distinctive characteristic of the godless city is the replacement of the authority and will of God with the authority and will of the creature (Satan or man). Ultimately it is the replacement of the kingship of God and concretely of the kingship of Jesus Christ by the kingship of Satan or the kingship of godless or atheistic men. It is the reign of the creaturely “ego” against the reign of the one Divine will of the “we” of the three persons in God, the Most Holy Trinity. The reign or city, that is against and without God, leads by its intrinsic logic to the tyranny of egoism, of narcissism. It leads to a society of the law of the jungle, of cruelty, of mercilessness, to a society with no affections, to a continuous spiritual winter, without spring, without flowers, without summer, without fruits, without true joy and beauty. In such a society there is no warmth of true humanity. A society and a city that is against God and without God is not even capable of a sense of humour, is not capable of mourning. Such a city is against nature, it is the reign of anti-nature, of perversity. These are the consequences when the will of God is replaced by the will of the creature. The spiritual essence of a city of man instead of a City of God could be expressed in these attitudes: “I am I! I will do what I want! I will eliminate everything and everyone who will be an obstacle for my ego and my will!”
The most famous teacher about the City of God and the anti-city of God is St Augustine. The city of man pretends to be totally independent and self-sufficient. St Augustine indicates disobedience to God as the deepest root of life without or against God. He says: “By the precept God gave, He commanded obedience, which is, in a sort, the mother and guardian of all the virtues in the reasonable creature, which was so created that submission is advantageous to it, while the fulfilment of its own will in preference to the Creator’s is destruction. And as this commandment enjoining abstinence from one kind of food in the midst of great abundance of other kinds was so easy to keep — so light a burden to the memory, — and, above all, found no resistance to its observance in lust, which only afterwards sprung up as the penal consequence of sin, the iniquity of violating it was all the greater in proportion to the ease with which it might have been kept.” (Civ. 14, 12)