For readers and followers of this blog, for this series only if you wish to reblog An Inconvenient God in individual chapters or in its entirety, I am okay with this. I had foreseen this as being a book, but when I reached the end, I had said all there was for me to say and it is clearly not enough for a book.
At different points in each chapter I ask questions. I do not ask them in search of answers for myself because I already know where I stand. I ask them as catalyst for the reader to consider.
Chapter Seventeen – Faith is Life
A question was asked by an acquaintance of mine, “If you found out today with 100% certainty there was no afterlife and no God, would you still hold true to the teachings of your religion? Would you still raise your kids based on the Bible, Koran, and Torah to name a few?”
I responded with “That’s a trick question because the only way to find out if God exists or not with “proof” is to die; and if you die and God did not exist, you would have no conscious thought to know that God was not there.” The implied message is if you are dead you cannot teach your children anything.
I suggested the more appropriate question would be “If the angel Gabriel came to you in your sleep and told you God does in fact exist, would your first conscious thought when you awoke be “CRAP!” or “HALLELUJAH!”?
- What would your response be?
The atheists in the group who thought the original question was valid decided my alternative question was not so valid. One went as far as to say that only “weak” people believe in God. I wondered why someone would consider people of faith weaker. I also noticed at the same time that the people who were declaring that God does not exist were all in the 30 and under age group. Which puts them in the first generation after God was evicted from the public school system in America.
So I asked this person why he thought people of faith were weaker and his response was “Those who believe in God do so to have a reason to live. Without it they would be suicidal if not homicidal.”
I tried to explain to him that my belief in God does not support my reason to live; it supports my way of life and gives me faith in what happens after this life. I went on to try and enlighten him about how everyone, whether religious or not, has a reason to live. It’s just most people who are not married with children of their own often don’t realize it yet. I went on to explain that his sophistry that suicidal and homicidal people are that way because they had not found God as a crutch is ludicrous and only those who turn to God avoid their tendencies is equally ignorant.
I did not turn to God to avoid murdering myself or others, I turned to God because through my faith I know He is there and through Him salvation for my soul is at hand. My faith in God has afforded me a life with less strife and more spiritual contentment.
While others in the group were debating the subject, I did some research and here is the interesting part. Psychology Today reports that people of faith in America tend to live longer, recover from surgery faster, have lower blood pressure, live a healthier lifestyle, manage stress better and have better social support than their atheist counterparts.
If having the option to live longer and healthier is the penalty for having faith in God, I am more than happy to pay that penalty. But I still don’t see how that makes us “weaker.”
- Is it better to live with faith over living only through what you can examine with your five senses?
- Does living with faith make you stronger or weaker to handle life?
Finally, I say that to fully understand God and salvation through Jesus Christ you need to sit down with the Bible free from interruption and noise and read it. Read it not only with your eyes but with your heart. Allow each passage to be absorbed through your soul, not your mind. After you have read it all and absorbed all you think there is to absorb and understand; read it again because you most assuredly have missed a lot.
Do not look at reading the Bible as a task either. Read it with an open heart and without bias and the words will heal wounds you didn’t know you have and build character where shortcomings had lay hidden. Reading the Bible using your heart to understand is meditation leading to salvation and will restore your soul.
With that, I close my writing and hope with all my heart that this helps you to understand God in a more personal and wonderful way.
NOTE: For the blind surveys that are referenced in this An Inconvenient God series, I do have the raw data on hand for review if requested.