last week a friend of mine posted the following definition of atheism from, I assume, different sources on the web. It was a very entertaining perspective. It read as follows:
Atheism: The belief that there was absolutely nothing, and nothing happened to nothing, and then nothing exploded for no reason, creating a beautiful and well-ordered everything. And then a bunch of everything magically arranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self-replicating bits, which then turned into dinosaurs.
Makes perfect sense.
My friend is a believer and has given his life to Christ, but at one point he was as far from Jesus as could be. He has always been an amazing guy, but he never believed. Then one day in Varsity he decided to take on someone handing out bibles and preaching Jesus. To cut to the meaty bits, he is currently serving on a church plant team in Germany. God is so big and so powerful he will reach into the depths of unbelief and pull out of it men and woman of such great character whose hearts have been changed by His love and compassion, and have experienced the love and grace of an almighty Father. Man He is cool!
After posting this seemingly innocent and humorous quip on atheism, a debate was sparked between believer and non-believer, between atheists, agnostics and others. his little post ended in 67 thesis length comments on why each felt he was right. One thing is certain, you needed at least one degree to understand much of what was argued, we’re talking higher grade thinking here.
I even gave my 2 cents worth once or twice as the ideas and intellect buzzed from mind to keyboard. Many gave very compelling reasons, some just gave opinions and others were just plain disrespectful. But the interesting thing that arose from all these “experts” was an ignorance to the true God. Sure God is to be feared, sure He caused cities to be destroyed and people groups as well, but then if He is God then he should be feared, not in the way that these people depicted though. If He is God then he also requires justice to be done. One of mans biggest problems is relegating God to our level and then judging what He did/does as if He was a man.
Anyway, my point is this, throughout every thesis proposed, objected or accepted, no-one even spoke of the loving Father whom we serve, the life-giving Redeemer, Saviour and Friend. No one spoke of His love, just their perceptions of Him, no-one spoke of the relationship available with God, just their interpretation of religion. It was saddening to read such intellect, clearly void of any experience of the loving relationship we can have with our Father God.
A friend was having a time of prayer with some colleagues at work who happened to be black South Africans. The focus of the prayers were around another friend who is going though a situation that is causing fear in her life and challenging her faith. One of the colleagues said to my friend. “You white people are too clever, all your studying and academics prevents you from just having faith in God!” Wow. How true!
This is not the rule, but an interesting comment. colour and race aside, I believe, as a group of believers, we have bought into the worlds idea that knowledge = power.
Knowledge is great, studying is such a privilege and so important, but with every new fact, every new insight, we run the risk of tying ourselves down and preventing ourselves from being able to say “Be still and know, He is God” Psalm 46:10. When my mind starts rationalizing everything including my faith, I will get stuck. Why?
Because I can’t explain so many aspects of God, I can’t explain how He had His hand on my life over the years, I can’t explain how He woke me up minutes before my mom died, I can’t explain how He has graced my wife and I to the extent that we are so in love and happily married, after all we have been through. I also can’t explain my passion for fathering and how it has grown, I can’t explain logically how He could send His Son to die for me, I can’t explain how looking back over my life, things have just worked out.
I can’t rationalise it, but I can believe it because it is my life and I have lived it. It has been said that a man with an argument will never beat a man with experience-Todd Bentley.
We live our lives out as if we need to understand and rationalise everything, including how God works. We have a society that says, if I can’t explain it, then it can’t be true. the problem is, I can’t explain how my life has turned out the way it has, but it definitely is true!
My point is this, lets let God be God, not a good man, not even a very special man. Lets study, learn, experience and let those things influence our actions, but lets never miss the greatness that is God, lets never simplify God to our levels, lets not argue His existence based on the ebb and flow of our educated words, but rather the grace and love we experience in relationship with Him. He doesn’t need me to prove His existence, but he requires that my life reflect the wonders of His name, in thought word and deed. Let my life be the spice that flavours the hearts of unbelievers, not my empty words and limited intellect.
Remember true knowledge is found in the knowledge of and in relationship with Him.