September 19, 2009

No God, No Judge

Category: Apologetics,Missions & Evangelism,Theology :: Permalink

Pagans say that matter has always existed, whether they are primitive pagans (“the cosmic egg”) or Greek pagans (“the co-eternity of matter and form”) or modern scientific pagans (“the Big Bang”).  They refuse to accept that God could and did create matter out of nothing.  This would point to a God Who presently sustains His creation personally, which in turn points to the existence of a God Who judges His creation continually.  Pagans seek above all else to escape God’s judgment — Ray Sutton, That You May Prosper, 25.

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke to a young man on the street in Grants Pass.  He indicated that he was an atheist.  People believe in God because they don’t believe in themselves; belief in God is wish fulfillment, a crutch to help people who are too weak, who lack self-confidence.  In the course of the conversation, he kept saying that he had examined the evidence and that there was no evidence for God’s existence.

But then he made a telling admission.  In response to something I asked (I forget what), he said that he hoped God didn’t exist.   Why not?  Because if God did exist, then he would have to submit to him.  “I don’t want to submit,” he said.

He’s not alone.  When we encounter atheists, we ought to recognize that their problem is not simply intellectual, as if they just haven’t heard the right arguments (our arguments, perhaps) for the existence of God.  Rather, their problem is moral.  They don’t want to submit.

I think I learned this from Doug Wilson: the young man who goes to college and abandons the faith probably doesn’t do so because he heard arguments in a philosophy class.  He does so because he wants to sleep with his girlfriend.  Any arguments he hears against God’s existence — whether philosophical or ethical or scientific, as in Sutton’s example above, or whatever — suddenly take on new cogency because they help him soothe his fears.  No God means no need to submit.  No God means no Judge.

When you come along and argue for the existence of God, he doesn’t hear you neutrally.  He doesn’t hear you as a “rational man” who is interested in following your argument, wherever it leads.  He hears you arguing for the existence of the very God who forbids him his sin and who will judge him for it, and he’s not interested in hearing anything that suggests that conclusion.  If he’s honest, he’ll tell you so, as the young man in Grants Pass told me: “I don’t want to submit.”

Posted by John Barach @ 2:31 pm | Discuss (0)

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