A final reason why many choose not to believe in God.
The first three reasons were:
- The problem of suffering.
- Bad religion that has hurt people.
- Misconceptions about the conflict of science and Christianity.
The fourth reason is going to be a little touchy, so I will just put it out there and give a few of my thoughts on this.
4. Many (most) 21st century post-Christians simply do not like the morality of the Christian faith. The most rejected part of Christian morality has to do with sexuality.
If there is one thing a modern (or post-modern) believes, it is this:
I (fill in your name _____) am the only person who has the right and authority to decide what I will believe. I am the only person to describe what will be right or wrong for me. You cannot push your moral position on me. You may choose what you want, I will choose what I want. There are no moral absolutes, there are only moral relatives that we kind of agree on so society will basically function. But in the arena of sexuality, I (and you) can think, feel, and behave in whatever way we want.
And, of course, the sexual drive is strong. In our culture, all restraints have been removed. Do whatever feels good in your pursuit of sexual enjoyment. That is the only rule these days.
We went from having Ten Commandments, to having Ten Suggestions, to having Ten Confinements that Must be Rejected.
One of the mantras of our times is this: “It is forbidden to forbid.” Yes, I know, that is contradictory, but that is how irrational our secular culture has become.
Our culture only pretends to be tolerant. In reality, it is selectively tolerant. The liberal left promotes tolerance of everything, except the positions with which they disagree. The liberal left is intolerant of Christianity, of Christian morality, of traditional morality, and of conservative viewpoints on morality.
Therefore, to hold to a theological, ethical, moral, spiritual view on matters of sexuality that is traditional; that is, which was believed and taught in the Judeo-Christian faith for millennia, is simply intolerable to the liberal left.
And to hold these views is to be labeled by the left, not only as intolerant, but as bigoted, prejudiced, and hateful.
The autonomous person craves independence of morality and, above all, in sexual choices and expressions.
So, maybe I can tweak the Dr. Phil question and ask:
So how is that working for us as a culture?
Are we becoming morally better, stronger, healthier, and wiser with our self-determined sexual autonomy?
Are we becoming more loving, kind, and good in the realm of sexuality?
Are we flourishing in our relationships or struggling?
Has the family system become stronger, more enduring, and more nurturing because of our sexual lifestyles?
This is what I have believed for a long time:
What God says about sexuality is true, good, and beautiful.
God gives the moral guardrails about sexuality, not to make us miserable, but to make joy and love possible.
Sexuality as God designed it is beautiful. Sin has marred what is beautiful.
This is not a 21st century problem. It has been around as long as sin has been around.
The greater and more beautiful the gifts of God, the more horrible their corruption. Sexuality has seen some pretty horrible corruptions.
So, back to believing in God …
Many people find God and the moral ways of Christianity to be an inconvenient truth. They choose not to believe, not because they have carefully explored morality and thought about it intellectually. They choose not to believe, not because they have done careful studies of the studies on sexuality. They dismiss God because they want freedom of sexual exploration.
Or, they so redefine God that God becomes the projection of their own desires and imagination. When God is so redesigned, eventually they just lose interest in God. God is no longer a theological, spiritual, or ethical Source and Norm and Real Presence.
Well, there is still the problem of sowing and reaping. There are the inevitable consequences of choosing our autonomous (the Bible calls them rebellious) ways. Life lived apart from God eventually brings a lot of hurt and pain. That is when people begin to be open to the way of Christ.
Through Christ, God offers forgiveness, healing, recovery, restoration, hope, and freedom from guilt and shame. He offers it today and tomorrow. He offers it always.
This is one more reason why I believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, and in the Holy Spirit.
So, that’s it for a few days of apologetics. There are limits to how much depth I can provide in a post, but I pray these basic and brief thoughts are helping you to believe in our Awesome God.
Walking with you in faith, hope, and love,
Having the ability to empower and resource leaders to bear much fruit that lasts. Being a part of a team of friends and missional servants committed to changing the world.