We live in an age of new perspectives where the perversion of our humanity is persistent. It's disturbing but there is nothing new about it.
Let's go back in time to the opening of the Bible with the voice of our God being heard. God, we are told, creates that which is very good and offers man and woman endless privilege and blessing short of becoming gods themselves. Perhaps we would call God's voice the conservative voice of truth and reason.
It is more than this, but it is at least this - truth and reason.
The timing of the intrusion of what we might call the voice of the progressive is uncertain, but the times certainly changed as a result of that voice.
"Did God really say..." was the opening gambit. This was followed by the suggestion that God's intentions for humanity were less than commendable and that He was holding out on us something better. Well you may know the Genesis story of beginnings. The created man and woman listened to the new perspective of the progressive Satan and not God. "The Critic" of God stirred his poison, the man and woman ate, and the created man and woman became "The Critics" critical children.
With critical unrepentant responses the life of the man and woman was plunged into all manner of confusions that issued from God's gracious instructions not being heeded.
Since Satan's progressive agenda away from God was kicked off, humanity has become the critic of God rather than the recipient of His blessings.
From incorrectly positioning self, humanity has lost perspective and fallen prey to perversions of our best selves. The tragedy is that we now see the perversions of our best selves as our best selves. When life is that out of perspective nothing can save us but the God who made us. It's the time when the Creator must become Redeemer.
Not surprisingly when the Son of God, Jesus Christ, entered a world where the perversion of our best selves was our best selves, He became the subject of our out of perspective criticisms.
The tragedy of this is a floundering wishful thinking in our community, where hope finds no substance and repair seems out of reach. You only need to see the symptoms to realise we are in out of perspective trouble: broken relationships, confusions of identity, the devaluation of life and as the newspaper report, the suicidal ending of self.
There is no doubt in mind that as we seek a vaccine to overcome Covid19, what we are really desperate for is a massive injection of hope. The weakness of our humanity reveals that that injection must come from outside of ourselves and that we are world in desperate need of God.
The art critic Robert Cummings discovered how important perspective is. The story is told that Cummings was intently studying a painting from the Italian Renaissance master Filippino Lippi as it hung in London's National Gallery. As he critically assessed the 15th-century painting of Mary holding the infant Jesus with Saint Dominic and Saint Jerome standing near, Cummings was troubled.
The proportions of the picture seemed all wrong. The hills in the background seemed exaggerated and appeared to fall out of the painting. The two saints looked awkward and uncomfortable. And just who was Mary looking at?
Cummings was not the first to criticize Lippi's work for its poor perspective, but he might be the last. At that moment he had a revelation. It occurred to him that the problem might be his.
This was not just another piece of religious art hanging in a gallery. In fact, the artist had never intended it to come anywhere near a gallery. Lippi's painting had been commissioned to hang in a place of prayer.
Self-consciously, the critic dropped to his knees in front of the painting. Immediately he saw what generations of art critics had missed. He found himself gazing up at a perfectly proportioned piece.
The foreground had moved naturally to the background, he had joined with the saints in worship, and the painting itself had turned from awkwardness to grace.
All this time, it was not the perspective of the painting that had been wrong, but rather the perspective of the people looking at it. On bended knee, Robert Cumming found kindness and grace that he could not see simply by standing as a critic.
We live in a world desperate for perspective. If we could desist from being critics for a moment and look a little more carefully at the hope God offers in Jesus Christ we would find the better self, with a perspective on God that promises us hope for living. Like the art critic, Robert Cummings, the best place for us to get perspective on living is on our knees before God.