Monday, October 26, 2009

Are you there, God?

Christianity and whether it's beneficial to society is the subject of debate in the new documentary Collision. Written by Atheist, Christopher Hitchen, who believes God, Jesus and the stories of the Bible are all myth, Collision also presents the other side of the argument featuring Evangelical Pastor Douglas Wilson. Strangely, the two men are friends in real life, showing respect for each other's beliefs even though they go head to head with a vengeance in the movie.

Writing on the Huffington Post, Hitchens said that religion will always retain prestige because of its being the species first attempt to make sense of our own nature. The problem for him lies in the Christian viewpoint that the question can be answered on the basis of revelation and faith.

Wilson makes the counter point that the atheistic worldview is reductionistic, saying that atheists believe everything that happens is a chance driven jumble in the concourse of atoms we call time. Wilson says that from the atheist's point of view, the 1927 Yankees, Princess Di, the music of John Cage, and our current Congress have all occured by chance in an aimless fashion.

So, as a Christian how do you defend the faith? The Bible calls upon us to stand ready to give answers, but are we really willing or capable of doing so? Hitchens documentary says that 15% of Americans have no affiliation to any religion. When combined with those who don't accept Christ, millions of people then fall into our Christian definition of being lost.

How can we defend the concept of faith to a group of people who claim that we're ignorant for having it? How can we prove that the Bible is absolute truth and that Jesus actually rose from the dead? We can't. Faith is just that, and comes from the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit in the believer. We can only show faith through action by living according to the principles that Christ and his Apostles taught. We must love our neighbor, we must share God's word (without being preachy around those who refuse to hear) and we must adhere to Jesus' words in the Book of John thatsay that "He is the way, the truth and the life." We must stand ready to defend our creator even when it's not the popular thing to do.

It's mystifying that Christians are called stupid for having faith in the idea that something bigger than we are created the universe that surrounds us. I find it equally absurd when atheists make the argument that the world's existence is unexplainable and spontaneous. Intelligence is based in logic and it is only logical that nature and the human species had to be created by a divine, master designer who knew what perfection was before it existed. Chance can never be perfect, yet the intricacies of the human brain, the perfect designs of nature's seasons and the life source that is found in the world's oceansare just a few of the things that prove that faith in God is where the intelligent person puts his belief. I agree with those who say science is where the answers often lie, but even science had to have a beginning. God is the only one who could inspire mere mortals to discover the answers to many of the world's problems through scientific method. Science is not eternal. God is and hope is the "collision" point where faith and science meet.

If genuine faith was about nothing more than clinging to anything that made me feel better in the moment, then I too would be an atheist. If belief in God came only in the good times when life's ugliness was far away, then I too, would not see Christianity as anything to be concerned with. If I believed that man could walk on the moon but refused to believe that a virgin birth is impossible, then I too would call the people of faith stupid. If I believed that Christ's resurrection from the dead never happened, then I too, would be shouting my disbelief to the masses.

I do belive however, that faith is more complex than any issue that confronts mankind. It only grows through the uncertainties of the life we've been given. I believe that God is at His closest when times are hard and we can't seem to find anyway or anyone to help us out. I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that my life can only be eternal if I accept through faith that He rose from the dead. I believe that I'm at my most intelligent when I accept the fact that next to God, I know nothing at all. You see, I believe that God is very real and that He can do everything He said He can and more. I believe that He loves me and all of his children on earth, even those who refuse to accept the reality that is Him. Finally, I believe that if it makes me stupid and out of touch to have faith in God, then I am blessed, and I look forward to the day when I can personally thank Him for my ignorance.

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