There is an important difference between these two: (1) I don’t believe. (2) I don’t want to believe. Did you lose faith over something that happened? Something you read? Or did you decide to stop believing because faith got to be inconvenient and then you began gathering data to support your unbelief? Is it possible this isn’t a matter of existence as much as it is of resistance? Perhaps it’s time to take another look…
One of the most common arguments against the existence of the Judeo-Christian God is the existence of evil. How can we be expected to believe in a just and good God/Creator when there often seems to be little justice or goodness in the world he supposedly created? The problem of pain is the biggest problem of all for most people. However, injustice in the world calls into question the justice of God, not the existence of God...so let’s talk about that.
When we consider God––who He is and what He’s all about––where do we start? Jesus said, “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” So maybe we should start with Jesus…maybe what we’ll find is that God is more knowable than we thought.
“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Those lyrics are from the very first Christian song that most people ever hear. Which makes the debates about the Bible that have raged on for centuries so troubling. For many of us, the Bible is the reason we believe, so when it’s questioned, everything’s questioned. Perhaps it’s time to revisit what the Bible is and why it exists to begin with.
In our region of the country, more than 25% of people consider themselves irreligious and most of those were church attendees at one time. But something happened. They quit believing. They started asking adult questions about their childhood faith and were left stranded with an incoherent concept of God; who went the way of Santa Claus in their minds. What if though, that god was the wrong god to begin with?
Do we need God anymore? Some say yes, but they don’t always live like it. Some say no, but find God difficult to completely dismiss. For some, the question is more: do we need religion? More Americans than ever are backing away from religion––and consequently, God. Is it because atheism is all that attractive or because religion is less so?
What's better than a celebration? There are so many exciting things that have happened this past year at Immanuel and we feel it's worth celebrating! You're invited to hear this Sunday, August 27, all about how God has blessed our church and is using us to touch the lives of ALL OUR NEIGHBORS, ALL OUR REGION, ALL FOR JESUS.
We are careful with our investments. We always want to rest assured of their growth and return. So we hire smart people to help us make wise decisions, ensuring that rest. We trust them and their ability to do something with our money...and so we give them our hard-earned cash. Not so much with the church. We don’t fully trust them or the return on investment. Don’t worry, most people feel the same way. The problem is we’re giving to the wrong thing if we’re giving to the church. What if we gave to God instead? Because his ROI is a guarantee. With him, we can trust the give.
Our society loves community and connectedness. This is why social media drains more battery from our phones than any other app. It’s why we buy things based on user reviews and comments instead of price and research. It’s why we text people who aren’t with us while we have people with us. And the best part? We are who we want to be. And yet, we’re lonely and collectively, we feel less known than any generation before us. Jesus calls us to a different way...a better way. Jesus calls us to refuse to solo and join an ensemble.