Many have let the world lead them toward misconceptions about God. There are 4 common perspectives about God we encounter every day. Here they are – plus 10 truths as well. ◊
Mitch prides himself in his atheism. He loves to debate Christians who he says are fools and can’t defend their base elementary beliefs against obvious evidences in science. He says his parents were atheist/agnostic. He believes that religion is a crutch used by people to simply make them feel better about their problems.
Julie used to believe in God as a young person growing up in a Catholic tradition. She drifted from the church as soon as she went to college and never looked back. She has a new boyfriend and just landed an internship with a good company across town. She feels pretty satisfied and says she’s spiritual but not religious.
Jim said he’s about done with God. He says that God is not answering his prayers and that God has probably abandoned him after all the bad stuff he’s done. He’s recently gotten a DUI and also is struggling with a pornography obsession. He says he’s angry that God has not listened to his pleas to help him change.
Beth has two children in college and attends a mid-sized church at least two times a month. Her family has been going there for 10 years. Her kids are “not very into church” she says. She says she helps out at the annual church fundraising bazaar and contributes some money to the church when they do attend. She admits she doesn’t really read the Bible and that she does her best to be a good person.
4 Common Perspectives About God
Mitch, Julie, Jim, and Beth are people we each know and love and are all around us. They are good people, not bad people. God loves them like God loves all people. They each reflect common distinct perspectives about God or a combination of these perspectives.
Here are the 4 common perspectives about God:
- God’s Not There – God is a myth and does not really exist other than in the minds and imaginations of wishful (and not very deep) thinkers. Material naturalism and atheistic worldviews hold this perspective that God is a human construct and is only there in our minds to control the masses and/or make us feel warm and at peace. Other than that, we are all simply material matter who live and die and that’s it.
- God Doesn’t Care – God does exist but he actually doesn’t really get into the details of our lives. To expect any more from God is to set oneself up for deep disappointment and frustration. God may love everyone but I don’t feel it in a personal sense. God may be good, just too big and busy to care about me.
- I’m Not Worthy – God is not happy with me for the bad things I’ve done and how I’ve not satisfied him with my life. I don’t think he could ever really forgive me for not being obedient to his rules and requirements. While people say that God loves me and that Jesus died for me, I have a hard time really believing that, given my past. No, God is not happy with me – and I don’t blame him.
- I Really Don’t Care – God exists and I believe that Jesus died for my sins and all that, but it’s not a big focus in my day-to-day life. I go to church when I can and pray for things, but other than that I just live my life and hope for the best. I do think I’ll go to heaven when I die and I try to be a good person in the world and to my fellow man.
Often these perspectives about God combine with each other to form belief systems that acknowledge the existence of God but not the active engagement of a personal God. Additionally, the weight of guilt and shame can heavily influence one’s view. Finally, a lack of clear answers to practical, even skeptical, questions about God will taint one’s honest perspective.
10 Truths Be Told
An answer to Mitch, Julie, Jim, and Beth, and anyone else like them is as follows:
- God is the originator and purpose of all of life, a truth that does not change regardless of one’s personal perspective on the matter.
- God is supernatural beyond the constraints and dimensions of natural laws of science and our human mindsets about His power, glory, love, plans, actions, and purpose for mankind.
- Jesus is the supernatural manifestation of God in human form to fulfill the promise to restore Man and creation to their beautiful ideal as originally designed.
- All people are born into a sinful separation from a loving and Holy God – there is no restoration back to God apart from Christ as all have sinned and fall short.
- Our purpose in life, regardless of vocation, is to love and honor God with this life lived under His Spiritual authority and direction for His good purpose.
- Any life, even God-devoted, comes with no guarantee in this temporal world that one will reap human rewards or be free of pain and suffering.
- Man is destined once to die and then face eternity with or without God after a final judgment by The Holy God based only on belief and identification with Christ as one’s redeemer.
- Heaven and eternity will be beyond anything we can begin to fathom in our human minds and will someday make our earthly lives seem like a speck in time.
- God’s love for each person created is beyond comprehension, with His forgiveness of all our sins and failures atoned for by the substitute death of Christ.
- Each day lived should have deep meaning and purpose if nothing other than to love and honor God and know His Word and prayerfully abide with Him in Spirit.
We all should strive to live a life full of promise and fulfillment with potentially all that can be had in this world – love, relationships, family, prosperity, value – as long our daily overriding driving purpose for living is in the prayerful, honoring, and abiding submission to the God of all creation. A life lived like that, be it short or long, rich or poor, is truly blessed and set up well for eternity.
Do you have the proper perspective on God?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:37-39
Categories: Abundant Living, Devotion, Discipleship, Faith, Forgiveness, Jesus, Purpose
Mike: this is an excellent post! Thank you for your wisdom. Will be sharing this.
Thank you, Ann!
Actually, I think you are secretly Mitch, who sounds like one hell of a fellow – rational, tough-minded, able to screen out the reinforced religious bullshit that surrounds him. We all could wish we had parents like him.
Actually, I think you are projecting. Unlike Mitch, I used to not think much about all of this stuff at all. Someone pitched Christianity to me as a teen and that started a lifelong rational, tough-minded, deep-dive into facts and history. Josh McDowell’s “More Than a Carpenter” was the first book I started reading. He was an atheist like Mitch who was greatly irritated by what he thought were naive Christians. His approach and research opened my eyes to read and research even more. Haven’t stopped since.
You are entitled, as a supernaturalist, to use many terms, such as “history, or “myths,” but there is no possible use of the word “facts” for your personal belief construction. Perhaps that is why you try to self-justify with the word religions cannot embody?
Supernaturalist? I’ll take that. And realist. Any religion must embody “facts” and hold up to historical scrutiny or it is merely a made-up premise and worthless belief system. Christianity is both supernatural and factual. Myths only hold up in the minds of those who have heard or read others but have not explored for themselves beyond superficial research. The so-called myths around Christianity fall apart upon any level of fair analysis.
Christianity is absolutely nothing without facts about Jesus, the Bible, and historical evidence. Otherwise it would have long faded away. All that Jesus said and deals with is supernatural. You can’t explain him away historically or leave him as a mythical nice guy teaching about love. He does not give you or anyone that option.
Additionally, God as creator is supernatural. Life and what sustains all of it is supernatural. You may not believe it as factual, but then that reveals something about your level of historical study and scrutiny. And bad experiences with Christians or church doesn’t count as evidence.
Finally, I’ve never met an atheist or agnostic who stayed that way after a deep dive into the facts of Jesus and biblical history. Most just stop with their strongly held belief system supported only by their own reasoning and stubbornness to succumb to any other authority but their own. Or their inability to accept anything that could be supernatural.
it is only ‘supernatural’ because we don’t have the understanding for it. otherwise, god and its creation are most natural
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Actually, Monica, you are correct. The term “Supernatural” is a way to describe things beyond the natural or standard. God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are beyond our full grasp of understand and ability to fully wrap our natural minds around – because God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are, in fact, supernatural.