Ever since creation, two corresponding questions have risen, set, and risen again. Like the sun and moon, they loom large on the horizon of human thought. “Who is God?” and “Who am I?”
The Bible records that God created man(kind) in his own image. History shows that man immediately began creating God in his, and that along the way, he killed the God-man, Jesus Christ.
After peering at the God of the Bible through his academic telescope, author Richard Dawkins answers the first question this way: God is a work of fiction.
“The God of the Old Testament,” he says, “is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction; jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
Well, isn’t that a lovely bunch of coconuts? Dawkins, whom the media sometimes refers to as the “world’s most influential atheist,” authored the recent book “The God Delusion,” from which that quote is taken.
Mr. Dawkins, it seems to me, has his telescope upside down. “The Heavens are telling the glory of God,” I read this morning in Psalm 18 (an Old Testament reference, by the way). Those words confirmed what I saw in the crimson sunset last evening.
But here’s more, also gleaned from the Old Testament, in Isaiah, chapters 25 and 26: God is: “zealous for his people, the doer of marvelous things, perfect faithfulness, a refuge for the poor and needy, a shelter from the storm, a shade from the heat, the perfect peace-giver, maker of salvation, the Rock eternal, the way-smoother, the establisher of peace, the nation enlarger, the glory-gainer, border extender, the preparer of delicious food.”
God doesn’t need the likes of me to defend him, and he’s likely laughing at Mr. Dawkins’ list. According to the Old Testament, his justice also brings down pride and cleverness. His is the power to discipline nations and peoples; to remove the disgrace of those he loves, to swallow up death forever, and to wipe away all tears.
A high percentage of Westerners declare a belief in God, but given that the litmus test of any belief lies in a willingness to act on it, I suspect the true delusion regarding God lies in another area—atheism by default.
Like Dawkin’s outspoken atheism, default atheism has affected our world a long time. 20th century author Russian Fedor Dostoevsky once made a sober observation about the West. He believed we were in trouble—not because of the God we worship, but because of the God we ignore.
“The West has lost Christ and that is why it is dying; that is the only reason.” Dostoevsky, and many other genuine followers of God before and since, knew the truth: If you wish to kill God—you will also kill mankind. Because without God, there is no life, and no freedom.
Whichever position you take—consider it carefully.
Sunny Side Up.