Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Question of God and why it Matters

A refusal to contemplate the existence of God is also a refusal to examine life. It is to live the unexamined life! This is because the question of God is foundational to the most important aspects of life. Here are a few examples that will illustrate the significance of this question:

1.     MORALITY: Without God, we can only base our moral beliefs on what is changing – feelings, thoughts/decisions, and culture. Without unchanging and universal moral law, which can only come from God, morality also becomes arbitrary and is unable to sustain our convictions and judgments. We are left living a schizoid life – our feelings telling us that injustice and genocide are absolutely wrong while our minds tells us that there is nothing absolutely wrong.

2.     MEANING/PURPOSE: Without God and His unchanging, universal moral law, we are left to create our own purpose for living. When our feelings are stable, this seems to be adequate, but when they aren’t, our lives become like the waves of the ocean.

3.     PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING: We need to be decisively forgiven from our guilt and shame. Without God, this may not be possible. Besides, we all crave to be valued and significant. If there is no God to fulfill these needs, then we must find another source to fulfill them – success, popularity, money, recognition. When life seems to be going well, it feels that these God-substitutes are adequate, albeit unstable.

4.     RELATIONSHIPS: Our relationships are affected by all of the above. If we do not have our basic existential needs met by God, we may place too many expectations and pressures on our relationships to meet them. Also, without any moral law (unchanging objective moral principles) to which to appeal, conflicts might prove unresolvable.

5.     AFTER-LIFE/ULTIMATE JUSTICE: The question of God is intimately connected this. Without an intelligent Being to weigh and mediate justice, there is no reason to expect that justice will be done. The knowledge that God will judge can free us to love and others and not seek revenge. It also makes it easier to forgive since we know that whatever harm has been done to us, an eternity of bliss awaits.

This is only a skeletal list at best. I hope it illustrates that if we believe in the God of the Bible, we are building our lives on a sound foundation. At the least, it is the only foundation that can support our houses.

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