…about gods that don’t exist. Richard Dawkins in his book, The God Delusion, states, “We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in.” You might find it strange for a pastor to call himself an atheist, but I am…about gods that don’t exist. There are gods that we should stop believing in. And that’s a good thing.
“The gods that somebody told you about, or maybe the ones you grew up with, are the gods of the NO testament. The Security god, On Demand god, Sweetheart god, Guilt god, Anti-Science god–they don’t exist.”When you listen to stories about people leaving religion, or specifically Christianity, often it has nothing to do with the core beliefs. That is, nothing to do with what Christ did on the cross, but rather a misguided, “somebody-told-me-so,” version of who God is and what he’s promised.
Here are some of the “somebody-told-me-so” gods that we should take off the shelf:
- Security god – A god that some associate with Christianity who promises that bad things won’t happen to good people. This god does not exist! Christianity would never have gotten out of the first century if this was God’s promise. In fact, Christianity started with a very horrible thing happening to an amazingly good person…Jesus, the son of God.
- On-Demand god – A god some think should answer prayers the way they would. Jesus said in Luke 22:42 “Father if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Take a posture of sharing with God what you want or need, but be willing to trust Him no matter how hard that might be.
- Sweetheart god – This view of god is that his presence is always felt, and if it’s not felt then he is not there or does not love you. Sharing with her spiritual confidant, Mother Teresa confessed, “But as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see,–Listen and do not hear–the tongue moves in prayer but does not speak … I want you to pray for me–that I let Him have a free hand.” Mother Teresa desired to feel his presence, but when that feeling was not there, she did not deny Gods existence. Instead, she continued to seek him. Add Sweetheart god to your atheist list.
- Guilt god – This false god says no to anything enjoyable, loves you but does not really like you. This god makes you feel like you need to pay the price for righteousness…ignoring the fact that the price is already paid. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah was looking 700 years in the future at the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus and the forgiveness that results. Time to stop believing in Guilt god…he does not exist.
- Anti-Science god – This god says you have to choose between science and God. Science is simply revealing how amazing our God is and how he has done certain things. Anti-Science god does not exist. We rely on science in the medical field, so why are we afraid of it in any other field? Choosing between God and science is a false alternative. Psalms 111:2 says, “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.” Christians believe that God has created all things. As we study and learn more, it only reveals how great our God is.
“For those who walked away from Christianity, maybe–just maybe–they’ve walked away from the wrong god, a god who never existed anyway. “
So, the gods that somebody told you about, or maybe the ones you grew up with, are the gods of the NO testament. The Security god, On Demand god, Sweetheart god, Guilt god, Anti-Science god–they don’t exist. If you quit believing in any of these gods, thumbs up! Way to go.
For those who walked away from Christianity, maybe–just maybe–they’ve walked away from the wrong god, a god who never existed anyway. But that does not mean there isn’t a God who does exist. Next we’ll talk more about the true God–a God who does exist–and what he promises.
September 20, 2017
New Community is a North Point Strategic Partner. Contents of this blog are partly based on the North Point message series “Who Needs God,” used by permission.