OK. Brad read the last blog and all he could offer up in response was something about poop shoveling. This is not acceptable. Instead of responding to another question posed by Brad, I will simply comment on the general state of unbelief that he professes.
Firstly, I believe that a heavy dose of skepticism is good. I am skeptical of most everything I hear. (Especially anything that follows the words: “studies show”.) I don’t believe things that I am told unless they ring true to me as probable and have some evidence to confirm their validity. In this world of Photoshop, PR “spin doctors”, and MSNBC, how could I believe anything without first researching it? We are lied to directly and routinely by nearly everyone from marketers to presidents. I simply must decide what is true for myself.
Having said this, I realize that we all view reality through the lens of our beliefs ( or unbelief which is really a belief in the non-existence of something). I believe in God and my view of reality (history, science, philosophy, etc.) is based on this. This does not mean that my views are dependent on my belief. They are merely affected by it. Brad says, “I believe in evolution” because his unbelief in God leads him to believe that something else must be responsible for life. This makes sense, but it doesn’t make his beliefs true. My belief in God doesn’t make creation true either. Fortunately, we should all be able to agree that something must be true and therefore all other theories must be wrong. If God is real, Brad’s unbelief doesn’t make Him less so. If He is not real, then my belief is wishful thinking and I am the byproduct of…….?
Instead of jumping back on the “Where did we come from?” argument, let’s go a little more psychological. People who won’t believe in God, do not want to believe in God. There is a motivation for not believing that has nothing to do with science, history, or even evidence. If a person wants to believe in God, there is plenty of evidence to confirm this belief. The reason people choose not to believe is because of the consequences of that belief. The (apparent) consequence of not believing in God is that I get to do whatever I want. There is no such thing as sin, therefore, I can eat, drink, look at, and have sex with whoever or whatever I want. I party hard and then I die. That’s it. Believing in God, however, seems to have (immediate) consequences that don’t seem so fun. I have to go to church (boring). I can’t smoke weed (lame). I can’t sleep with as many random people as I want (it looks fun on TV). I can’t . I can’t. I can’t…..I think I’ll go with option A.
Fortunately this is not an open and shut case. I have a few points of contention.
- There is a future and I kind of care about what happens to me in it.
- If there is nothing after this life, this life is pointless. Nothing matters. I could kill hundreds of children with a club and it could not be “wrong”. I could take whatever and whoever I want. The only thing I risk is shortening or worsening the rest of my meaningless existence. I DO NOT believe that this is true. There is a right and wrong and we know this because God instilled it in us at our creation. Right is real. God is real. God says there is an eternity. I care where I spend it.
- The life of sin is not as much fun as it may seem and it has its own consequences.
- Rich and famous people constantly turn to drugs, alcohol, sex and or suicide. Why? They have everything that society says will make us happy. They can buy all the stuff I want and enjoy all of the sin that temps me. Why, then, do they all keep searching for something that will make their lives complete. Shouldn’t they be so much happier than I am? The reason for this is that temporary things will never give us happiness and since life is eternal; all of this is temporary. No amount of sex, drugs, and rock & roll will ever make a person content or even hopeful for the future. The happiest people in this world are the ones who have a relationship with God and know that Jesus died for their sins. It doesn’t matter if they’re living in a disgusting shanty town in a third world country or if they’re wealthy Americans. When you realize what this life is really all about, your perspective changes and the “things of earth will grow strangely dim”.
- Life as a Christian is not, actually, that horrible.
- There are a lot of common misconceptions about what it means to be a Christian. Some of this comes from the overly ritualized methods of the Catholic church. Some comes from stereotypes promoted by secular society. (see SNL’s “The Church Lady”) Mostly, I believe, this comes from the way that Christians try to portray themselves as righteous. People see a Christian who says, ” I don’t do….” or “You shouldn’t do …” because it’s a sin ;they don’t understand it. They see it as us saying that we are somehow better than them. What we need to show them is that we are no better than anyone. We choose not to do certain things because they are sins, but we still do sin. We lie, steal, and cheat. We hate and covet. The reason that we don’t do some of the more “public” sins is not because of our righteousness but, mostly, because of our concern over our own self image. We’ve identified ourselves as Christians and we don’t want people to know that we still screw up. This is a mistake. I’m not saying we should sin on purpose to rectify this. We just need to be open and, perhaps, overly honest about the depth of our depravity. The only difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is our belief and acceptance that He exists and sent His Son to die for our sins. After this we try to live our lives like Jesus because we love Him. We all fail and we are still forgiven. That’s awesome.
- God is real. He’s made this evident. We must answer to Him.
- God’s existence is knowable even to those who have never heard of Him. Every civilization that has existed has worshiped something as a god. We can see the evidence of Him in everything from a beautiful morning to a child’s smile. Life is not an accident. Life has meaning. Life has responsibilities. We were made for a purpose and disbelief just is an excuse to ignore this. We all will ultimately be judged for our sins. This will not be done by a jury of our peers. It will not be God weighing our “good and bad”. God will simply judge whether or not we are righteous in His sight. Bad news….we are not. None of us. Not the “perfect” little church lady and not the guy who ate that guy’s face. All of us has sinned and all of us deserve eternal punishment for this because God said so. We cannot argue this. We are a creation that must answer to our creator. It may not seem fair, but it is the only deal on the table. Luckily, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take on all of our sins. The price of sin was death and the death of God paid for all.
Having said this, I pose this question to you, Brad. Why don’t you believe in God. What is the main underlying reason that you refuse to acknowledge His existence? If it is not solid proof that He doesn’t, I beg you to reconsider. Bam!