Even if I wasn’t a Christian, it would be very hard to deny the hand of some kind of Designer behind this glorious world of ours. It is ingeniously designed, complete with a threefold harmony of mind, body and spirit. There’s no escaping the moral fabric that weaves through our lives, that virtually anyone, on any continent, understands to a certain point. Even if it’s not the same moral compass, there is still, in every culture and civilization, a sense of “this is what you do, and this is what you don’t do.” For that reason, a universal sense of right and wrong is what makes us distinctly different, and separates us from the beasts (which some would argue also have a grasp on morals). Solomon also has observed in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that “God has set eternity in their heart.” Despite what we say, we all have a longing for something larger, something more, and some kind of continuation after this life. How else do we explain the “There are no atheists in foxholes” comment?
For that reason, the question then isn’t, “Is there a God?” but, “Is this a God that I would like to serve?” Pharoah asked a very similar question in Exodus 5:2, when he said, “Who is the Lord, that I should listen to Him?” The nations around Israel could not dispute that there was a God leading them, as Rahab herself admitted very early on in the conquest of the promised land (Joshua 2:9-11). And in the spirit of humility, all Rahab asked for in the verses following was protection from the destruction that would befall her town (Joshua 2:12-14). She didn’t ask for money, a place of honor in the court of Israel, but safety from the people of God, and she got it, as well as a place in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11, and a spot in the lineage of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). One could make the same argument about Solomon, who asked only for wisdom, but received much more from God, at least temporarily (2 Chronicles 1:7-13). Atheists see these passages and see a God that plays a favorites game in response to those whom “He loves;” Christians see them and observe the possible fruits of obedience.
The problem is, this isn’t the message “Christians” are showing the world. They are hearing things from televangelists and “health and wealth” gospel enthusiasts that are self-serving at least, and wildly arrogant at most. Television evangelist Fred Price is on record as saying, “The Bible says that He has left us an example that we should follow His steps. That’s the reason why I drive a Rolls Royce. I’m following Jesus’ steps.” With statements like this that show such incredulous claims, it’s no surprise many have turned aside from God, not so much from an attitude of disbelief but from a refusal to follow a God who would allow that. They hardly reflect any of the virtues from the beatitudes that Jesus preached at the beginning of Matthew 5, and show a misguided “prosperity=approval” status that was prevalent even in the first place (Matthew 19:23-26).
So what is our goal then? Our emphasis should not be be on making scholarly arguments about the existence of God (Eccl. 12:12), although that is helpful and very necessary at times. Our mission is rather to convince the masses that this is a God of mercy, justice and hope. The arguments that come against God most often center around the idea that God couldn’t allow certain things to exist, or that He’s “unfair, unloving, a cruel, bully of a God.” This is what we have to convince people of by an accurate understanding of the truth. That God isn’t a bully, that He does love people, and here are the reasons why. The redemption song is only effective when one admits that such a tune is necessary, and as Christians, our task is to convince others of such by professing humility and obedience, not to a judgmental, territorial God, but to a God who, when understood and followed rightly, “gives to all abundantly more than we can ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). This is the God we serve, and a life spent with Him is far better than any life by ourselves.Last modified: January 22, 2019