If God exists, everything changes. He, she, it, they, or whatever you think this divine being might be called, if God does exist, everything will change. Everything must change. If a divine being rules over the universe, then we might be wise to determine how that being wants us to live in that universe.
When I say that everything changes, I mean that literally everything must be called into account to that reality. How we view the world’s origin, the purpose of life, the final destination, the use of finances, the role of relationships, and everything in between will be changed if God exists.
Many are unsure of the reality of God’s existence, but mankind’s existence is irrefutable. In every culture and in every time, mankind has attempted to ascertain the existence of God and the accompanying implications.
If God exists, everything changes.
Since mankind exists, everything gets complicated. God would be much easier to understand if mankind would stop getting in the way. Disagreements concerning God create many problems.
1. First, mankind struggles with self-centered living. We are accustomed to think that no one in no way has the right to ever tell us how to live. Divine or mortal, we do not like someone telling us where we are wrong and where we are right.
The account of Adam and Eve’s rebellion contained in the Jewish scriptures (Genesis 3) gives great insight into this problem. Satan, in the form of a serpent, tempts the first couple with the possibility of being like God. He knew that the greatest desire of mankind even in the early days was not to follow God but to become God. Versus obeying someone else’s wishes, they wanted to set the standards for living.
2. Second, mankind differs in their perception of God. The precious ability to think and speak our minds is a gift where it is granted, but that same freedom also allows others to disagree with our beliefs. If one person claims that God exists and another claims he does not, can they both be correct? If one person claims that God will be merciful on all people on Judgment Day regardless of merit or religious convictions and another person claims that God will justly condemn those unrepentant people, can both of these people be correct?
This conflict doesn’t answer the question what God is like or even if God exists, it just reveals the fact that if we rely on each other’s opinions concerning the divine, we are only left with mere opinions. Opinions devoid of any apparent authority will continue to enable religious conflicts that have plagued history.
A. W. Tozer was a brilliant theologian and successful pastor of the mid-1900s. In his book, The Knowledge of the Holy, he presented a thesis statement that signifies the importance of answering the God question. He wrote, “What comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.” On first read, that statement may seem a bit dramatic, but is he on to something here?
If someone thinks God is a lighting-bolt throwing angry titan in the sky, that person will carefully calculate how he or she lives his or her life.
If someone thinks God could care less about the chaotic condition of this planet, that person will probably not seek God for help amidst growing concerns.
If someone thinks that God does not exist, the only accountability that person can have is himself or herself.
“What comes to your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.”
3. Third, the postmodern philosophy attempts to squelch certain religious beliefs. Postmodernism, also referred to as relativism, is the notion that there is no absolute truth. What’s true for one does not mean it has necessarily to be true for another. Developed by the desire to see unity among mankind’s search for truth, it has attempted to silence exclusivist religions from maintaining certain doctrinal stances.
If a certain religion contains beliefs that are exclusive, postmodernism claims it does not have the right. Postmodernism claims absolutely that there can be no absolute truth. In this day and time, if a religion claims itself uniquely correct, it is dismissed as a system of intolerant beliefs.
So then, how does one answer the God Question? [More to come…]