Okay, are you ready? Sing along with me… “We’re off to see the wizard…”
In the story of the Wizard of Oz, the wizard was called wonderful. That is, until Toto pulled the curtain exposing the fraud that he was. The people of Oz were duped to believe that the wizard was their god who held all knowledge, power and ability to give them whatever they needed. In reality, the wizard was a little old man, using machines and technology to create a giant ghost-like image that terrified everyone to submission. In his own admission he was lost, scared and confused himself.
In the same way we have been duped to believe the lies of the wizard. Who is our wizard of the day? Satan and his minions of course. But even more so, the wizards of our day, is ourselves. Think about it. We pick and choose what to believe and when to believe it. We love to call the shots as they come. We make decisions on the fly. And when it’s all said and done, we’re like good ole Frank, singing, “I did it my way…” Though we know what we should do, we still make decisions that goes against the very foundational truths we claim to believe. “We all sin and fall short of God’s glorious standard…” Yes, that’s right, you, me, the president, Billy Graham, even the apostle Paul cried out in anguish as he found himself doing the very things he despised (Romans 7). Paul came to the conclusion that in every person there is a law at work. It’s like the law of gravity. We can’t see it, but we know it’s there. The law of sin is that we are all sinners; always have been and always will be. As R.C. Sproul always said, “We are sinners not because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.” Yes, “self” is the wizard of our day continually leading us astray.
“Epistemology”, how an individual seeks, finds and understands knowledge, is the central focus of this topic. A person’s epistemological view is also known as a person’s “worldview.” Philosophy has plagued the human imagination since the beginning of time. Philosophy’s biggest question is, “what is the meaning of life?” Two of the biggest views that came out of that pursuit which we all tend to follow without realizing is: Humanism and Existentialism. Basically, Humanism is the belief that “we call the shots”. Existentialism says, “we will know the meaning of life through experience.” Basically, the older we get the more experiences we face and the more we understand. The basic thought there is, everyone, through their own experiences are free to come to their own conclusion of the meaning of life.
With these thought systems in place, everyone becomes the wizards of Oz. The reality is, we’re all scared and frail people, puffing ourselves up to look bigger than we really are, while so confidently playing god in our own land of Oz.
Now that we’ve seen the wizard, join in next week as I share three contributing factors in an individual’s pursuit for truth and the meaning of life. It has something to do with the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man.