Thursday, September 19, 2013

God: The Energy Force

So many young people are talking about God in terms of an energy force. For us old-timers, this might sound strange, but there is a rationale motivating this preference. One young man admitted:

·        Forces of nature make no moral demands. This god won’t disagree with us. If our conception about god is uncomfortable, we can just look a little harder until we find a god that feels right to us and will affirm who we are. Your god is just too judgmental for me.

I must admit that I appreciated his candor. In essence, he was admitting that he merely believed what made him feel good. I wondered how long such a god could satisfy him and his searching mind. 

I tried to explain to him some of the problems with this god of his creation:

·        God as impersonal energy can’t explain much. Let’s take gravity for example. It can only do one thing – attract! It can’t write a poem or even scramble an egg. How then can you call a force “god?”

·        An impersonal, non-judgmental god is one who is unconcerned about injustice and victimization. How could a mere “force” feel one way or another?  Besides that, this kind of god must surely be a poor role-model. If our god is unconcerned, then there is no reason why we should be concerned.

He kind-of agreed, but didn’t seem very troubled by these problems:

·        Well, I know that there is something out there. There has to be.

However, there seemed to be a barrier to his thinking clearly on this subject. (The Apostle Paul claimed that God’s creation revealed a lot about the nature of God – Rom. 1:18-32 – like a footprint that reveals a lot about the beast who made it). So I tried to leave him with one more parting thought:

·        As a painting reveals a lot about the painter, the universe tells us a lot about the magnificence of its Creator.

I sensed that, at this point, he wasn’t listening. Sometimes, more is less, and silence speaks louder than words. I wanted to tell him that his impersonal force of nature was unable to answer his prayers, hear his cries, or provide him with any sense of meaning or purpose, but he seemed unconcerned.

No one wants to be judged, least of all by a God who could judge us eternally. When I post an essay about morality in an atheist group, some will respond, “Why are you trying to make us feel guilty?” That’s the way it felt to them!

Naturally speaking, our aversion to God is so great that we hate His message, as Jesus taught:

·        This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God (John 3:19-21).

In other words, the natural, unredeemed human hates God. But why then would this young man even entertain the notion that there might be a God? He had told me that he had once been an atheist, but that this position now seemed to him to be unlikely.

I would like to believe that our Savior is beginning to draw him out of his darkness. However, the light can be dreadful to one who has dwelled in the dark for a long time.

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