It doesn’t take any faith at all to believe in God. Even atheists know there is a God. Otherwise, why would an intelligent individual build his adult identity around the defiance of someone who doesn’t exist? Worse yet, why get so angry at an imaginary being or publish books denouncing him? The Christian Faith rests on a few very specific divine convictions defined by the New Testament, but everyone intuitively believes in a God.
It’s not the idea of God that offends atheists and many others today. It’s the Truth that is associated with that God. And there’s the rub. No faith is required to simply believe in a deity, but courage is required to build your life on his truths and walk with Him. And this is not an attack on atheists. A lot of people are afraid of one truth or another in life. Fear is a universal condition. The fear of divine Truth happens to be the most lethal variety.
In the story of Adam, what begins in arrogance ends quickly in terror. The original inhabitants of Eden trade away their personal, productive walk with the Creator in exchange for a failed chance at equality with Him. The nakedness that sends them hiding among the scenery represents more than guilt or shame: it’s fear of Truth. They are suddenly afraid to walk with the God whose Truth they have betrayed. (Genesis 3:10)
Walking by faith with Jesus Christ requires courage to embrace the timeless facts and outlast the immediate consequences. This is why conversations about God tend to become emotionally charged and rely on slogans rather than substance. It’s because God has created a cosmos where there is death; where ideas have consequences; where the right path is surrounded by many pathways to self-destruction; in which transformations happen. Frankly, a lot of earthbound people don’t want to be reminded that life does end and we are all accountable for how we lived here.
Many of the pop mantras of the moment insist that God is unloving; that faith is unscientific; that respect is deserved rather than earned. And they are generally regurgitated on Twitter or in office chatter by people who seldom think very deeply about life: too frightening and distracting. It would be unnerving to consider that scientists still have no idea what happened one moment before the Big Bang or what happens one moment after the Final Curtain. It’s uncomfortable to be told that some liberated lifestyles are actually destructive to individuals and to society, as well. And it’s unfashionable to insist that everyone should be treated politely, but you have to earn the respect of others and yourself. Followers of Jesus Christ are not afraid to calmly discuss any of those realities; our unbelieving neighbors, not so much.
Realizing that most people are actually afraid to consider Jesus Christ doesn’t make it any easier to share your faith with them. But it helps you and me maintain a right perspective. The tide has not turned against the Faith because the body of Jesus has been discovered among some ruins outside Jerusalem, or because mountains of new evidence have proven the Bible is wrong. The current rage against God is a fashion, not a movement. It has no rational foundations. The thin veneer of faux-atheism is already beginning to crack.
Don’t be afraid to talk confidently about the love and the power of Jesus Christ. Many of our neighbors seem dead in their apathy. Pray for them and look for openings. We follow a Savior who raises the dead.
Lift up the Cross!