I am encountering more and more folks who have rejected God. And even that there might be something beyond what their senses can experience. I have talked with a number of these atheists, mostly online, over the past 8 years or so. And have listened to their explanations. I have tried to understand their reasoning. And evaluated my own beliefs. But to no avail.
A Hollow and Deceptive Philosophy
Atheism remains to me a hollow and deceptive philosophy. One that glorifies mankind and our achievements. One that has no purpose for life other than what the individual chooses to give themselves. And that has no hope beyond this life. This is not to say that all atheists are raving madmen seeking to overthrow all that is good. In reality, most of the atheists I have encountered are every bit as ‘moral’ as most ‘Christians’. You would not generally be able to tell them apart if they did not tell you they were atheists.
But this is not really a condemnation of atheism as it is an explanation of why I find it lacking and continue to believe in God. In spite of the best efforts of many atheists. Some very reasonable and patient. And a few quite belligerent and hateful.
I Find Belief to Be Reasonable
There are many reasons I might give for my position. But the two most significant to me are reasonableness and experience. The universe just makes more sense to me with there being a creator. I have found that my belief in God compliments and enhances my belief in science and its findings. I do not find them in conflict at all. Rather every finding that helps me to understand the creation and its workings better, gives me a greater appreciation for my creator. I am thankful to the scientists, whether Christian, atheist, or somewhere in between, who help me to know God better.
And my life makes more sense because of God. I realize that just because it makes sense to me does not make it right. And I realize that others appear to be just as comfortable on the other side of the debate. But that doesn’t change the fact that no matter how hard I look at it, God just makes more sense to me than the no-God option.
Believing in God provides me with a sense of purpose. I know that ultimately I am not alone. And I am sure that God has created me for a purpose, both in this life and in the eternity to follow. I do not claim to know what that purpose in eternity is, but it does give me assurance. I am not just an insignificant life tucked away in a remote corner of the universe. Rather I am a part of the purpose of Him who created all that we see around us. That purpose affects how I live my life now. I live to serve my Lord and God, attempting to please him, living in obedience to his word.
Because of My Experience
More important to me is my own experience with God. At least I am convinced that is what it is. I cannot remember a time in my life when I have not been ‘in church’. My parents lugged me off to Sunday school, Training Union, worship services, VBS, and everything else that the church offered for whatever age I happened to be. As a nine-year-old, I was even baptized and joined the church, becoming a ‘Christian’.
But it was not until I was a young man that all of that became more to me than simply a ritual that was performed in a certain way at a certain time. It was then, as an 18-year-old high school graduate, that I actually encountered God. And I came away from the encounter changed, with a commitment to God, and a desire to know him better.
I cannot prove to you that God exists, any more than my atheist acquaintances can prove his non-existence. But I am convinced that he does. For me to reject the existence, and presence, of God, would be intellectually dishonest. I would have to lie to myself, and I don’t think I could live with that. No matter how I tackle the subject I always come back to the conclusion that there is a creator. One who has a purpose for his creation. A purpose includes me.
Religion Is No Substitute for Faith
I will readily acknowledge that there is much evil in the world we live in. And that much of that evil is perpetuated in the name of religion. Although one need not look too far to find examples of atheists doing the same thing. But I am not trying to defend religion here, which is all too often a substitute for a personal relationship with our creator. Religion can be useful if it leads you into a personal relationship with God. But all too often the structure, dogma, and practice of religion, is the end of the journey rather than a guide to a life with God.
My religious experience has indeed shaped how I view my experience with God. But I try very hard to keep the former from becoming a substitute for the latter. I am totally convinced of God’s reality and presence. And my heart’s desire is to know him and to be what he created me to be.
The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.
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