I have been listening to some debates on YouTube concerning the argument for the existence of God. One reason I listen is to better understand how many people around me have been taught to think about God. It is my hope that by knowing more about these things, I may be better able to offer witness to the life of Jesus. After listening to a debate last night, I came away with a few thoughts. First, we need to expect that people who think of themselves as “wise and educated” will generally dismiss the message of Jesus. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” As Christians, we must realize that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is “hard to swallow”—especially if you presuppose that life is just nature and miracles do not happen. Paul goes on to say, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). So, let’s expect opposition…and even ridicule. Also, keep in mind to follow a line of reason to its’ conclusion in human behavior. If you truly believe there is no God or afterlife, you will live according to your beliefs. No hope after death invites a depressing, purposeless life. And, with no belief in our accountability to God, what prevents us from becoming totally absorbed with our own desires? What prevents us from treating our neighbors with contempt, and simply living for what makes us feel good in the moment? Atheists often point out the “problems of religion” and refer to the crusades and the Inquisition as evidence of God being “man-made.” Though these events were evil for sure (masquerading as Christian), how much more evil has been poured on humanity by godless leaders and their regimes? On a personal level, would you rather live in a city where everyone was godless or in one where the people honestly sought to live for the Lord? One reason I follow Jesus is because of the many godly people who have gone before me. They showed me that God is real by their love, wisdom, and humility. I want to finish my “race” on earth as they did. So, it’s okay to learn more about how people without God think about life, but let’s understand that the arguments of atheism do not satisfy our deepest needs. May others who are searching for meaning discover that Jesus lives…because they see Him living in us!
Pastor Mark Boucher