Excuse me while I get philosophical for a moment…
Today my church’s sermon was a discussion on the beginning of the world and what belief in how Life began pertains to your life in the present world. The discussion led by Pastor Dave was one which moved me so completely that I actually brought out my phone during the sermon in order to take notes for this post. This is something I can honestly say I’ve never done before; I have never felt the desire to actively scratch comments on a sermon so to better understand, remember, and reiterate at a later time.
This sermon, though, was breathtaking. I found myself nodding at his words, marveling at the statistics he researched, and even had tears in my eyes at one point because the story he told was so relative it hurt my heart.
To begin his sermon, Pastor Dave requested we consider the sermon with “a view from where we currently stood” and asked three leading questions:
- Where did I come from?
- What is wrong with the world?
- Is there a solution?
The sermon then progressed into an extensive look at each question and how one might answer. The conversation first focused on God as the Creator of the world. I have always believed in Creation and the power of God’s Word. When I was younger, I did not question my faith or openly debate the possibilities of differences in beliefs. Now however, after attending a public college where so many of my beliefs were challenged, I am amazed at how many new opinions and theories come into the world on a daily basis. Some opinions seem plausible while others are complete nonsense, but it calls to reason that Creation can be a difficult belief for some to grasp.
Personally, there has never been any doubt in my mind that in the beginning God spoke, “Let it be.” and it was. It was not until I became older that this belief really shook me though. I mean, seriously, how incredibly powerful can a being be to make something out of nothing by simply speaking three words?
When I contemplate this unbelievable concept, though, it is not what creates the deepest feelings of amazement in me. Instead, I am completely blown away by how intelligent, engaged, and omniscient God is. Think of the exact perfection and complexity in which the world revolves; everything is collaborated to the concise and accurate measure that it should be.
In example, look at space. If the earth were a fraction of a degree closer/farther away to the sun than it is now, life on the planet would be no more. If the moon were a fraction closer/farther away from the earth, the tides and water levels would be extremely different making the planet uninhabitable. If the earth tilted more or less than it naturally does, then the seasons, ice caps, temperatures, etc. across the entire planet would radically change. However, in the great scheme God designed, the universe is perfectly situated by 1/1000th of a degree for life to continue as it always has.
With this realization of the immense thought and care put into my every day life, it is disheartening to think of the world around me. Mundane topics come and go by the second and each brings about a multitude of hate. I mean, just look at the outcry over a red cup. There is war on Christianity for taking a “good, lovely holiday tradition” and wreaking havoc. I’m sorry, but as a Christian, I could care less about a damn cup. And in no way should such a ridiculous argument portray my religion or beliefs. Yet, it has and it continues to do so daily.
Our culture is hostile to the Christian faith. We no longer live in a time or place where what Christians believe constitutes the norm. It’s not even an accepted point of view anymore! Instead, being a Christian seems to be an open war on the cherished principles of religious tolerance and relativism. If you point out anyone’s faults or question anyone’s life choices, your faith is thrown in your face.
What is wrong with the world? The answer is too long to list. Look at your Facebook feed and you’ll see the tip of the iceberg: racism, abortion, affairs, lying, world hunger, cancer, poverty, etc. Every single thing wrong in the world is broadcast for all to see. Struggle is inevitable.
I have several friends, non-Christians, whom I love and respect. And it comes time when we have tough conversations on why the things that are going wrong in the world happen. It is at these times that I feel my faith the most. These friends sometimes challenge my faith and attempt to ruffle my feathers by saying my belief in God blinds me to the real, tangible facts the world is shoving in our faces. They question how, if there is a God, He could allow such things to happen. Or they question how I can continue to believe in a God when it seems He is no longer present in the world.
It is during those times that I feel the strength of God and can literally see my faith in action. These are the times I can plant my feet, square my shoulders, lift my head, and not only give an account of my belief but also why I believe such things.
It goes to show that Del Tackett, former president of the Focus on the Family Institute, was spot on in this quote:
However, by diligently learning, applying, and trusting God’s truths in every area of our lives we can begin to develop a deep comprehensive faith that will stand against the unrelenting tide of our culture’s nonbiblical ideas.
It is important to remember that if we, as Christians, do not really believe or even understand the truth of God and live it, then our witnessing to others will be confusing and misleading. Most of us go through life not recognizing that our personal worldviews have been deeply affected by the world. Our lives can “depend heavily on human tradition and the basic principles of the world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
There may not be a simple answer as to how to fix the problems of the world. In all honesty, we live in a Post-Christian world where sin reigns. Fortunately, for Christians, there is a way we can live in such a culture. It takes us getting our hands dirty and immersing ourselves in other people’s lives, but it’s worth it. Not only can we continue to live our faith-driven lives, but we can also witness the Truth to those our lives’ touch. How incredibly rewarding is that!?
In the end, the Christian faith begins with what we think about “in the beginning.” It matters that when we look at our world we acknowledge that there is a God. The Creator is more than a blind, impersonal force; He is a loving and engaged Father who wants the very best for every single one of his creations. This is my view on Life, my faith, and the world around me.
With this in mind, I have a bright light to lead me through Life and get me through every single problem I face. I pray that, whatever your belief, you also feel the same way and can walk into the world with your head held high knowing you have a purpose for being alive.