Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lent 24: Hot topic

Today I wandered onto a site debating if atheism was more effective for knowing right and wrong than believing in God. Christians as usual were getting slammed as narrow-minded, unscientific hate-mongers, and closed to reason. There were thoughtful posts both sides. Most of the atheists were not open to discussion beyond their assumptions of "no boss but me. I decide morality... if I want to, how I want to." The absolute refusal to acknowledge authority beyond their self was astonishing. It seems rather blind and arrogant to deny the need for "a higher power" in a country that lives in heirachies: we vote in a President and town council, put teachers in front of children in classrooms, and takes dogs to obedience classes. Why would we not need a moral Origin and Superior?

I was absolutely delighted by the conversation going around. There were a few narrow-minded and bigoted Christians who got ugly and condemning. (Not much like Jesus, who only shouted at those who thought they had all the answers!) There were some sincere questions, asking about moral compass, and the evolution of life, democracy, and how we know can right and wrong.

Throughout the discussion, I was thinking deeply about the mystery of faith—the absolute mind-blowing hugeness and implications. What Good News! God making himself accessible to humankind. Pretty amazing – as Paul wrote to Philemon (below), we get to know more about him as we share our faith with others.

Humans are so wonderfully made. We have been given freedom to shape our worldviews with experiences and culture. (Wow – look all those folk dances and indigenous theatre.) We reason and wrestle with tough questions. (Does a cat ask about the origin of the universe?) We design clothing and art and houses and cities. (Ever find a skyscraper or bicycle produced by the most intelligent snake, frog, fish, or bird?) We move homes, change jobs, get an education, and make friends in new places, just because… not always just for survival like animals do. Our integral morals and curiosity set us apart from every other species.

I’m thinking today about how Good our God is. How Unselfish of him to share his image with us – that creative flair, love of beauty, desire for orderliness and constant search for improvement and fresh design. How Generous of him to give us his unlimited resources when we are tested and tried by the challenges of life in a fallen world.

Most of all, how Lovely that he promises to make all things new when time ends… and to share it with those who love him and follow his ways.
God's peace be with you.

*No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT

*I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. Philemon 6-7 NIV

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