In WHY DO I BELIEVE IN JESUS? — PART 2, we left off with the prospect of considering what I had learned from the Bible. However, when I engaged in a little debate with Tracie Louise at this post, Science vs Religion, I realized that I had something left to discuss, humility. Why humility? Consider how Louise ended that little debate.
The best way to know God is directly. Through direct experience and communion with God… and that, my friend is relative and individual.
If God wanted me to think and act like the church says that I should… then He would have made me that way. Free Will… does not mean, that you have the choice do as the church says, or be damned for all eternity. An All Knowing… All Loving… All Inclusive God… excludes NO ONE. (from here)
Instead of accepting the fact that God made us in His image, Tracie Louise insists upon fashioning God in an image of her own making. Louise’s problem with Christianity is a common one. Except for the fact I had given up trying to know God, some years ago I might have said something similar. Because what God was doing through Christianity made no sense to me, I had rejected Christianity. Doubting even God’s existence, I did not consider the Bible God’s Word.
As an atheist, C. S. Lewis had gone further. He had discarded the belief in God as foolish in a cruel and unjust world. Perhaps that is why when he finally became a Christian Lewis saw the need to begin Mere Christianity by reminding us of Who created whom, that we, not God, are broken.
My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got the idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could give have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too — for the argument depended on saying that the world really was unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove God did not exist — in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless — I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality — namely my idea of justice — was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.
Before Lewis could believe in God, he had to find the humility to accept the fact that it was not his place to approve of the Creator’s methods. Similarly, before I could acknowledge the existence of God, I had to accept the fact I needed God, but He did not need me.
When the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah predicted doom for the people of ancient Israel, God provided them the analogy of a potter and his clay to explain that He could do with us as He saw fit.
What does the Potter do? That God showed to Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 18:1-4 Good News Translation (GNT)
1 The Lord said to me,
2 Go down to the potter’s house, where I will give you my message. 3 So I went there and saw the potter working at his wheel. 4 Whenever a piece of pottery turned out imperfect, he would take the clay and make it into something else.
And what does the Potter think of disobedient and argumentative clay? Isaiah explained.
Isaiah 45:9-12 Good News Translation (GNT)
9 Does a clay pot dare argue with its maker,
a pot that is like all the others?
Does the clay ask the potter what he is doing?
Does the pot complain that its maker has no skill?
10 Do we dare say to our parents,
Why did you make me like this?
11 The Lord, the holy God of Israel,
the one who shapes the future, says:
You have no right to question me about my children
or to tell me what I ought to do!
12 I am the one who made the earth
and created human beings to live there.
By my power I stretched out the heavens;
I control the sun, the moon, and the stars.
As God creations, we do not belong to ourselves. We belong to Him. Like it or not, we exist to serve His purposes, and that is a frightening, thoroughly humbling prospect. Therefore, to truly accept the existence of God, I first had to accept the fact I am small and weak, that I am merely clay in my Creator’s hands. I had to acknowledge to myself that I fear God.
Job 28:28 Amplified Bible (AMP)
But to man He said, Behold, the reverential and worshipful fear of the Lord–that is Wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Until I admitted my fear of God, I had no hope of being truly humble, obedient to God. I could not even consider my relationship to God objectively. Instead of seeing myself as I am, a creation, I absurdly insisted that God is “my god” or not god, that He must obey my rules or He does not exist.
Because the Bible contradicted me, denying my foolishness, I pompously resented it. Nonetheless, fears for family members finally forced me to face my fear and turn to God for help.
What help did I find in the Bible? To be continued.