Ontology | The Christian Church and The Basis of Reality
Ontology is just a big word for “the study of reality”. For the Christian Church, the definition of reality should be a rather simple one: Christ. In John 14 when “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,'” Christ was making an ontological argument. John 14: 6. He was orientating the believers to understand Him as the object of truth and the material essence of life.
Ontology as far as Christians go should be a fairly straight forward subject. Our faith is in Christ and we follow Him despite our earthly experiences. We maintain that we are merely pilgrims on this earth looking for a better country. Meanwhile, we endure both trials and seasons of blessings with an understanding that Christ is both our present security and future prize. We allow His word, His law and His declaration of imputed righteousness to be the overriding definition of who we are. “I am dark, but lovely,” I am a sinner, but incredibly loved by God. Sng 1:5. No matter what themes get perpetuated in our lives, no matter what messages we are given by friends or foes, no matter what the accusations by Satan, the declaration of Christ’s word is the foundation of our reality.
Ontology is the study of every Christian. Unfortunately, there have been many movements throughout the ages that have attempted to shift this focus of our attention from a centering our ontology upon Christ to a more earthly point of view. Spiritual formation has been one of those movements in which spiritual communities have begun to vie for the ontological preeminence. The basis of reality has shifted to give weight to a collective consensus to the neglect of the bible and some times to the utter disregard of Christ.
The Catholic church is a prime example of this phenomenon. The papacy believes that it has the authority to change the word of God. They believe that the word of the Pope supersedes the words of scripture even if the pope speaks in direct contradiction to the written word of Christ. The basis of the Catholic’s “ontology” is the pope.
Yet protestants are not so far from this type of thinking. There have been many “reformations” in the modern church that has sought to change the interpretation of scripture and the basis for this rationale has been their attempt to arrive at middle ground with secularist and appeasing the collective consensus of the church or even tradition. The more society has progressed, the more the church “progresses” believing that it must adapt to cultural changes in order to stay relevant with times.
However, the ontology of the Christian should always be based on Christ and His written word. For a more in-depth view of the subject, watch our latest video on Ontology and Spiritual Formation.