Greetings, blogosphere. I've missed you. Seriously.
New responsibilities at work have kept me from posting at all since the World Cup. My goal has always been to get at least one post up a week, so that should tell you how busy life has been.
I think today's entry is of suitable import to merit extra effort and a return to regular blogging.
As I prepared for our small group session this week - on making a case for God's existence - I looked around the Internet and read a few opinions on God. At the Philosophy Talk blog, I read Ken Taylor's post and many of the comments that followed. There was something almost cavalier about the author's dismissal of God's existence and I wondered at the depth of emotion displayed across the spectrum of belief as people commented.
I can't force anyone to believe in God and I can't convince or argue anyone to a belief in God. Each of us has to make that decision on our own. Jesus died on the cross and defeated death so that we could have a personal relationship with Him. All I can do is share that with anyone, and whether they choose to accept Him (or not) is their decision.
Responding to Mr. Taylor's post, I asked, "Would the atheists be happy if God forced himself on us? If we were all little white-robed-wearing proselytes with no free will?"
Secularists seem to want me to take responsibility for my own life, yet, when I do that and make the most important decision anyone can make, they mock.
Blaise Pascal had a personal experience that revealed to him the existence of God. Then he chose to present the case for belief in a mathematical, reasoned way. And people still mocked him.
I'm not saying that Pascal's Wager is the best foundation on which to believe in God - far from it. But for those that are seeking meaning in this life, it is one of countless arguments for at least considering the truth of God's existence.
The Bible, from beginning to end, is the story of God's effort to redeem mankind. Over and over, time after time, humanity turned away from God to our detriment. Over and over, time after time, God gave humanity another chance.
Finally, as was His plan all along, God said (Disclaimer: I am paraphrasing here), "Here's what I'll do - I will make the ultimate sacrifice and blot out all the terrible things humanity has done, is doing and will ever do. All anyone has to do is believe in Me, accept that what I have done will re-establish the bond I had with humanity in the very beginning, and those who choose to receive My free gift will be with Me for eternity, in peace."
Remember when you were a child and were punished for disobedience. You didn't like that but if you were honest with yourself you admitted that you had messed up and deserved to be punished.
Hell wasn't created for us but as we continued to disobey God over the centuries, it was clear that of the two places available to spend eternity, it was the most suitable for the disobedient.
But you say, "That's not fair!"
What's not fair about it? When you were a kid your parents told you, "If you do this then here's what will happen."
God has told us over and over, time after time, what will happen if we disobey Him. He has given us free will, as well as the full knowledge and awareness of the consequences should we choose to be disobedient.
I'd say that's pretty darn fair. If we had no idea - if we went through our entire lives without the Bible or church or any knowledge of God and His eternal plan - and we ended up in Hell because we had stolen a pack of gum when we were 14, then that would be unfair.
But He has revealed His plan to us; He's given us the rule book; He's told us everything we need to know in order to believe in Him and re-establish our relationship with Him. He's given us the road map to Heaven.
And He has given us free will to choose how we will live our lives. To paraphrase Rod Serling, "There's a signpost up ahead, and on it are two destinations."
Which will you choose?