A number of years ago, I received word that a beloved relative found out she had terminal cancer. I reached out to her, and her husband answered. I asked if I could talk to her, and he told me he would check. He returned and said, “She’ll talk to you, but she asks that you do not talk about religion.”
The request did not surprise me. While I rarely spoke with her about my faith in God, the few occasions that I did revealed the deep differences we had on questions such as the very existence of a deity.
I replied that I understood and would respect her request.
She got on the phone, and I asked her how she felt. We eventually began chatting about finances. However, at some point, she abruptly changed the subject.
“I don’t understand how a loving God can send people to Hell, simply because they chose the wrong faith. I have met monks with more faith than any Christian I met! It makes no sense!” She continued to rant about exactly how she felt about the Christian idea of God. Wishing to honor what I agreed to earlier, I let her do so without interruption. When she finally came to an end of her stream of thought, I responded, “You bring up some important points. Do you want an answer?”
She did not.
I can discuss these particular concerns with anyone who sincerely seeks answers. In fact, I have written several blog entries on these issues. However, as the saying goes, “the heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.” People do not want to hear the answers, because they want to live their way without a true challenge to their world view.
Anger towards Christianity, and the truths that God laid out, is nothing new. I have heard many atheists and agnostics echo the same sentiment that my relative did. Their anger defies logic for two reasons. First, if one believes that God does not exist, why do you feel such anger? Who has offended you? Certainly, no one feels angry at Santa Claus, even though we all know he does not truly exist. No one writes books upset about the theology of the tooth fairy.
Second, and more importantly, in pondering this argument, one must consider perspective.
A parent tells a child that they must take a trip to the dentist. The child has a cavity and it must be drilled. The child cries; she does not want to go. She can only think about the pain, and does not understand why her mother insists on taking her to such a horrific place. She yells. She screams. She says she hates her mother. She may even believe it.
Yet, the mother acts out of love. She knows that the pain is necessary. As an older, wiser, mature adult, the mother understands that this will ultimately help her child enjoy her adult years with a full set of teeth intact. The mother has a different perspective. Unfortunately, due to the child’s youth and limited view, the daughter cannot understand the reason they must take the trip, no matter how the mother explains.
With this analogy, we must ask a question. Assuming that God exists, is it possible that He has a perspective different than our own? Could His ways differ from our ways? Could His understanding vary from ours? And may it feasibly be something that upsets us? Personally, I not only believe in the possibility, but would think it likely.
And if you can accept that premise, than you can also understand the problem of arguing against God. It would be the height of stubborn pride to shake one’s fist in the air and declare that you will not follow God because you do not agree with His direction. The road to hell is paved by such hubris.
None of this necessarily proves the existence of God, and only provides a small argument in support off the Christian God. Such a discussion exceeds to scope of this article. However, I hope everyone can see that the argument to walk away from God simply because one struggles to understand His ways, in and of itself, lacks any real logic.
Given that, it follows that the Bible says over and over again that we need humility to come before the Living God. We need to understand not only our place before Him, but our own brokenness, before we can even approach Him. If we do, we will find hope, love and forgiveness waiting for us. For He is rich in mercy to all who seek His face. Yet His wrath awaits those who continue to spur His Son.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” – John 3.36
As always, thank you for reading. Please leave your comments below, or hit me up on Twitter at jcservant. Thank you and God bless you.