Yesterday, someone posted on a church’s Facebook page a message about prominent atheists who challenge the idea of God. (Unfortunately for the person who posted it, it was the Gospel Mission Society page, so I doubt anyone has had time to read it, what with doing God’s work and all, ministering to the poor and destitute.)
The list was long, familiar and predictable: names of people revered in our society for their intellect and their accomplishments.
But it’s sad: because for all their great thinking, they’ve closed their minds to one simple notion:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Sociologists tend to discuss faith as “story” that man has concocted to explain the unexplainable — the implication being that mankind is MUCH smarter than that now — which requires more broadmindedness:
- accepting the notion that there is a Being, Who created all things on this earth and elsewhere in the universe; or
- mankind’s intellect is as good as it gets.
Maybe that’s a saw-off: a prehistoric legend versus what the late George Carlin referred to as the “monumental ego” of mankind.
But consider that this is a sentient Being, capable of love, desire for company, executing vengeance when appropriate — but in a way that even the person on the receiving end is able to “see the light” (consider Balaam, realizing he can’t curse God’s people) — and that His creation involves billions of individual human beings, millions (billions?) of distinct species of plants, animals and rocks on land and in the water: that requires an incredibly open mind.
This Being has also provided, in writing or whatever medium is appropriate, a glimpse into His overall Plan, so that (a) we can take comfort in the notion of what He’s up to and (b) recognize that, when certain predictions, like diseases, climate change and natural disasters, come true, we can say, “Wow — He was right! What else did He say?”.
Oh, yes … this Being’s desire for company is such that He created one particular species “in His own image” and went to extreme lengths to make sure these creatures will be with Him for Eternity.
And His capacity for love is such that He gave these creatures free will, so that if they are with Him for Eternity, it’s because they have chosen it.
For all this, we are still left to wonder:
LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?
— Psalm 144:3
And the answer:
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
— Revelation 4:11 (KJV)
Doesn’t that take a LOT of broadmindedness to accept that?
I pray for those on that list and for the fellow who posted it — not the kind of passive-aggressive, holier-than-thou prayer, but a prayer that someone really does see the Truth, AND is able to blend the amazing mind that God has given them with the notion of God Himself. What’s more, I believe God wants their company, too, for Eternity. Can you imagine the conversations?
So don’t let anyone question your intelligence or suggest you’re narrow-minded because you have faith. Accepting, sight unseen, that there is something — Someone — greater than we could ever hope to be … that requires a broad mind.