Sunday, December 14, 2014
THE GOD I DON'T BELIEVE IN: MY THOUGHTS ON TERESA MACBAIN
Teresa MacBain, was someone I never heard of until a non-believer felt compelled to share her story with me. I probably never heard of her because I don't go looking for atheist to pick on. Even if they are the first graduate of the clergy project, a program designed to lead clergy to godlessness, I don't look for them to ridicule. I did not seek out MacBain, even though she fabricated her credentials to insure her position as a director in what amounts to an Atheist church called the Humanist Community Project. Although MacBain pulled off this deception for a year and a half, and helped lead some away from faith, it's between her and a God she doesn't believe in. MacBain got the cold shoulder from friends when she left the faith. It cost her everything to come out as an Atheist. Now that she's godless, unchurched, and been "let go" from the atheist organization she was employed by, you could say, MacBain has "nothing" to lose. In my opinion, walking away from her faith wasn't necessarily a step in the wrong direction. Simply put, I don't believe in the god MacBain doesn't believe in.
Atheist, like MacBain, and many who call themselves Christian, do not believe in the God I have a responsibilty to share with others. They don't believe in a God that wants you no matter what you've done or a God who qualifies His people by what He's done. The one described by the bible. According to a Barna pole, as many as 91% of those who identify themselves as born again, do not have a biblical word view. A biblical word view boils down into beleiving: God's all knowing, all powerful, satan is real, Jesus is sinless, salvation is a gift from God, and you have a personal responsibility to tell others about Jesus. You might expect those to be pretty standard beliefs for Christians, but Barna Research found only 51% of pastors to have a biblical world view. It certainly helps not to have one if the bible disqualifies your from holding a position to begin with. Still, it's hard to do away with the book that created the positions in the first place. Satan has been selling a feel good, half truth from the beginning. It's an easy sale to an uniformed buyer. Separate research found only 26% of Christians read their bibles regularly and 70% will never finish it.
Stats like these suggest most people don't know what they are worshipping. When atheist accuse us of worshipping a figment of our imaginations, it seems in many cases they are right. Assuming the data is correct, most people have created a god out of their feelings, skipping over the less palatable portions of the bible as if it were olives on a salad buffet. The problem is if you can't trust the apostle Paul with the stuff you don't agree with, you can't trust promises like Romans 8:28. When asked to explain, how God can be just when the law seems to support things we call wrong, I can only point to the gracious God described by Jesus in Mathew chapter 19. Jesus says because our hearts are hard God allows things that were not necessarily His original design. Otherwise, none of us would have a chance.
The bible makes many claims about itself and God. Not the least of these, is the "word was with God from the beginning."(John 1:2) It even calls the Jesus the "word" in the "flesh." (John 1:14) Once I said, "putting your finger on a page in the bible is as close as you'll could come to touching Jesus this side of heaven." My friend, Phil Adams, correctly pointed out how it's more important for the word to touch us. Faith is what Christains will walk by and live by. The bible tells us faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.(Romans 10:17) It's downright impossible to lose something you don't possess. It's equally impossible to share something you haven't got. If you walk away from the faith, it's a safe bet the word never touched you. It worries me more people remain in a false sense of security believing in something other than God than people claiming there isn't one. In Roman Chapter 1, Paul might as well have said God doesn't believe in Atheists. Even while pointing out "they are without excuse" the God of the bible is patient and wants salvation for His people. ( 2 PETER 3:9) That will include some atheists who's minds God will change yet. For my brothers and sisters not reading the bible, God tells us, His people are destroyed by their lack of knowledge. (Hosea4:6) For those who can't make up their minds on the bible, at least those with a biblical world view and Atheist can agree on one bible truth. "God is not the author of confusion." (1 Corinthians 14:33)