- Posted March 3, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
Raising America (Our Children) With God
I appreciate your honesty. Many people hide behind religion when they don’t understand something, specifically when it relates to pain. We need to be genuine and transparent with each other, chiefly about what is important.
It would be dishonest to tell your children something you don’t believe is true. By lying to them you would create a lack of trust. But, it seems you had already made up your mind regarding your beliefs about God before your children asked you these questions. One of the dangers we can run into is when we assume a belief to be false, we often don’t bother looking for answers to legitimate questions. The Bible gives the answers to your sons’ questions. Take the one about us walking without bodies. The Bible teaches that we will have bodies in Heaven. Christianity is the only faith that teaches in the afterlife we have actual bodies. Also, the Bible includes a principle that people will know who we are when we get to Heaven. We can answer your son’s questions because of what Scripture teaches. In my family, I don’t lie to my children because I have the same questions they do and seek the answers myself.
God is not logical
Many people don’t know how to explain something and they give a false rationale for what is going on. They may believe what they are saying is true but can’t accurately express why they believe it. Because some people can’t accurately explain truth, does that mean there is no truth?
You comment that many people won’t face the real problem of guns in America. Are guns the problem? Don’t people pull the triggers? Look closely at the people committing these horrible crimes. What about relationships with their families and friends? What about the influence of violent video games and movies? The problem starts in our families. Our relationships are often non-existent or dysfunctional. Maybe it would help if we worked on our relationships and considered carefully what influences our kids along with gun control.
Great question! “Doesn’t this go against everything Christ taught us in the New Testament?” No. Jesus teaches us that people are born sinful and self-serving. Bad choices bring consequences. Christ says that He desires the exact opposite of serving ourselves. That means we are to serve Christ and serve others before ourselves (2 greatest commandments). God didn’t create a planet full of robots. He created people. People can choose to enter into a personal and loving relationship with their Creator or choose to reject a relationship with Him. Christ doesn’t manipulate people. He loves them. That means He gives people the freedom of choosing to accept or reject Him.
God is not Fair
You said “clearly, all men are not created equally”. You are correct. The opposite of your statement didn’t come from the Bible, but from the Constitution. So, you’re right. People aren’t created equally in their body, environment, status, or wealth. The Bible says all people are created equally in terms of their value! Circumstances, health, financial position or disabilities do not effect a person’s value to God. People determine value by these standards. No doubt, these things impact our lives and do matter, but they have no bearing on our value to Christ, nor should they impact how we value others.
To the point of a game maker allowing luck to run things I say that just because He doesn’t intervene on every single decision, it doesn’t mean he gave up His control. Think about soccer. When your kids play soccer games, there are refs. During the course of a game, the refs will observe many rule infractions, but won’t call a penalty for every single one. They allow a certain amount of violations through the course of the game giving the players freedom. They don’t give up control of the game or leave things to chance, but they step in when it is best for the players and the integrity of the game itself. God is aware and actively involved in our lives here on Earth, but within His love, knowledge and power, He gives us the ability to make choices. He intervenes when necessary to bring about good even through the evil resulting from the wickedness of men. Ask people who have suffered from the terrible things you mentioned. You will find that as a result of those awful things, unpredictable good resulted in many of those people’s lives. What if on Earth, God works the evil we experience for good in a life that lasts forever after we die even if we can’t see it? I ask because God promises this is true for those who have faith in Him. Does the evil man get away with things? Because he may not be punished in this life, does it mean God won’t punish them in the next?
God is not Present
You claim God isn’t here. That’s an assumption. You claim that God isn’t real because He doesn’t fit what you think He should be. It seems you decided that because you can’t see, touch or smell Him physically that He doesn’t exist. The problem is that God defines who God is and how He is revealed. People do not, or else they would be god.
Just because you have never seen, smelled or touched something it doesn’t mean that it’s not real. Consider the wind. Have you ever seen the wind? None of us have. Yet we all know that it exists. We can clearly see, feel and smell the affects of it even though wind is invisible. What about a billion dollars? Have you ever touched, seen or smelled a billion dollars yourself? You and I both know it exists because of its effects around us. We may not physically see God, but we can clearly see the effects of His existence. We see the beauty of the trees, flowers, mountains and rivers. Look at the sun, moon and stars. This all reflects the beauty of a wonderful and creative God.
God does not Teach Children to be Good
I love what you said! If someone behaves because God is watching their morality will be externally focused rather than internally structured. Many people reduce Jesus to a checklist. We can’t please Him by being a good person. Jesus says He is good but no people are. The result of sin is death. Sin separates us from God. To fix the distance between God and people, He doesn’t ask us to follow rules. He asks us to surrender our hearts and lives to Him. His desire is for us to have a relationship with Him. Once we have a relationship with Him, we will become more like Him. This happens because in response to His love we want to please Him. We please God by loving Him and others. Love is doing what is right according to His Word by His power. We can’t make ourselves good enough for Him.
God Teaches Narcissism
“No matter what I do, God loves me and forgives me” isn’t what God said. He doesn’t give forgive anything for any reason. He requires acknowledging that because of your sin, you are separated from God forever with no ability to save yourself. A person must admit that Jesus paid the penalty for their sin when He died on the cross and rose again. If a person believes these things they will surrender their life to God. He will change that person into a servant of God and others instead of a servant of themselves. God having a plan for me and me being special doesn’t inflate my pride. My value isn’t from myself, but is from the Creator. Take a painter and a painting. I’ve never seen anyone look at a painting and say what an amazing job the paint did with itself. We credit the artist. He took the paint and made something ordinary into something magnificent. That is what God does with people.
You have excellent questions and have been open about what is in your heart. Thanks for being genuine. Many people hide behind socially acceptable words the anonymity given by social media.
God loves you. I know all who read this experience pain and have questions they don’t know the answers for in their life. What they may not realize is that the pain and questions don’t reflect the absence of a loving God but rather they illuminate a need for closeness with God personally