Scene I: A woman walks up to a guy at a dinner get-together and introduces herself. He says, “Will you marry me?”
Scene II: You see a man dragging an unconscious woman by the arm out the front door and down the steps of their house. Based on this evidence you determine that the man is cruel, vile, vicious, misogynist, and dangerous to the community.
Scene III: Richard Dawkins describes God as, “Arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it, a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynist, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
A Christian says to Richard, “Well, I wouldn’t believe in that kind of god either.”
Rab, who I take to be a normal, average, reasonable man, says that he won’t believe in God until God shows Himself in an irrefutable manner. I, mistakenly, said, “That won’t happen until Jesus returns and by then it will be too late.” Let me explain my mistake.
I believe that God has given me irrefutable evidence of His presence. I say that today, but I wouldn’t have said that thirty years ago. Just as most people would not agree to marry someone they’d just met (Scene I), it is wise for atheists to not commit to their Creator on the basis of not knowing Him at all. Oh they think they know Him but the proof that they don’t is found in how they describe Him (Scene III).
Atheists know God as much as you know the man who was seen dragging his wife out the door and down the steps by the arm. As it turns out, there had just been a violent confrontation with an intruder and both the man and his wife were seriously injured. While he is not able to carry his wife, after temporarily stunning the intruder, that man saved his wife’s life by getting her out of the house and to the safety of their vehicle which was parked out front. The man had a plan the details of which no one on the outside knew a thing. Judgements were made based only on partial facts.
Atheists, as I’ve said many times, fear with utter dread the New Testament. So destructive is the New Testament to their desire to hate Creator God that many atheists have taken to denying the existence of Jesus altogether.
If you’re going to deny God’s relevance in your life, it only makes sense that you deny God as He really is. I, like most others who call themselves Christians can and will tell you that the love of God is so great it’s beyond the human ability to describe. Obviously we have some information that at this time in your life, you’re simply lacking.
When my kids are balking at cleaning up the playroom, a delaying tactic they sometimes use is, they’ll hold up a toy and say, “I don’t know where this goes.” And I reply, “Then put it down and put away something that you do know where it goes.”
If there are parts of your Creator that you can’t understand, then put it down and relate to the parts that you can understand. Put it down and relate to the parts that are drawing you, attracting you, that are wooing you in. It might be Jesus' reaction to the woman at the well, or His reaction to the woman who anointed His feet with costly perfume. It might be the way Jesus rejected the religious leaders and spent time with those on the street instead. It might be something else but start, not at a point where you can't move forward but from a position where you can move forward. A beginning prayer often needs to be nothing more than,
“Father God, I don’t even believe that You exist. Right now these are just words. In fact, the most that I can offer is that I’m willing to admit that You might exist. But if You do exist, I want to know. I want to know You as You really are.”
If you mean that. If you are genuine in taking what, from your side of the fence, seems like a risk, you will be granted entrance into a journey you never dreamed possible. Really, when you think about it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I’d recommend doing the same thing with the Gospel of John, the fourth book of the New Testament. Just try it! Begin every day with,
“Father God, I’m doing this even though I feel absolutely stupid doing it. But if you are real, bring meaning to this letter of John’s. Open my spiritual eyes and bring meaning that I’ve never experienced before. If you’re real, show me Yourself as I work my way though the things that John wrote about you.”
Just like I didn’t know my wife on the day that I met her, anything like I know her now, knowing Creator God, having Him reveal Himself to you comes in stages. All it takes is a willingness on your part to begin the process on His terms.
Humble, Seeking, Aware in Whose presence this journey is beginning.