Tuesday, July 09, 2013

God's Love and Atheism

This past Sunday a couple of friends and I got together for a braai(barbeque as foreigners call it) at a place up the road. Now the weather wasn't exactly warm and obviously almost all the men gathered around the fire as is normal for this kind of event.
Well one thing lead to another and the conversation turned to religion as always seems to happen. Now One of my friends is an atheist, another  an indian and there was one chap raised in a Catholic home and then there's Geoff, none of the above. I believe in God, I believe Jesus is the Messiah.
My atheist friend was huffing and puffing about religion being a whole lot of nonsense (if you can't respect my beliefs, then how can I respect what you believe? was my immediate reply of course.) My only other comment I was able to voice was "I believe in God and the universe was intelligently designed." The Indian chap immediately agreed while the atheist huffed and puffed. The Catholic chap talked about believing in God but not the principles by which he was raised, with a lot of hums and ha's. I didn't really get much more in before everyone else started arguing and putting their own point of view forward, (I myself not being a of very vociferous or outspoken nature.) So, in order to put forward my understanding of Christianity and what Jesus was all about, I'd like to write this blog post to explain. (They all know I have my own blog and write about God.) So here we go.
In the scriptures it is written that Man is corrupt, all of us. I agree but it is also written that God will send a Messiah, prophecies abound foretelling things to come, especially with regards to the Son of God. These prophecies aren't written as God telling us what he is going to do but as what we will do to God's son when he sends him to be with us. Guess what, they all came true in the way we, as humans, dealt with Jesus, that's how well God knows what we really are.
Now the way I see things is; God saw mankind and saw that our inclination was always to evil and in order to silence the accuser He had to present a perfect example in order to expose the depraved nature that was implanted within all of us when man was still in the garden of Eden. Not only that but to also expose what would happen should a perfect person live amongst these corrupted people. And what did we do? We killed him by nailing him to a gibbet. He was just not good enough for us so, because he was different and would not follow our ways, we hated him without cause, even though he did us absolutely no harm and advocated love above everything else. Getting the picture?

Well in Isaiah 53 verses 10 to 12, in my Bible, it is written
"Yet the Lord took thought for his tortured servant
and healed him who had made himself a sacrifice for sin;
so shall he see long life and see his children's children
and in his hand the Lord's cause shall prosper.
After all his pains he shall be bathed in light,
after his disgrace he shall be fully vindicated;
so shall he, my servant, vindicate many,
himself bearing the penalty of their guilt.
Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
and he shall share the spoil with the mighty,
because he exposed himself to face death and was reckoned among transgressors,
because he bore the sin of many and interceded for their transgressions.

Your Bible will probably word it differently but this comes from The New English Bible which is no longer available and very hard to find, I know, I've been looking for them in second hand bookstores for years so I can give one to each of my children. Okay, back to my interpretation.
So God saw what we did to his son and how we treated him, he just wasn't good enough for us even though he was perfect. I get the impression that God thought to himself,
"Okay, I have seen what your fellow countrymen did to my son, how he was mocked, beaten, spat upon and rejected ,I've also seen how they are treating you, how they mock you and laugh at you because you live by my principles. I've seen the bruises and abuse you've had poured out on you, the tears and the loneliness but because you are just not good enough for them, I myself will comfort and protect you, I will drive them away and give you peace where they would only try to crush you. Have no fear, I'm with you and will never leave you alone to suffer, never. In the same way I love my son, so will I love you always."
I've experienced exactly this kind of love and care from God when I was going through some very, very tough times with other people, when I was getting kicked and thrown on the ground, mocked, belittled and cursed but things have changed. All those people who attack you for your faith, the ones who mock you and laugh at godliness and because you refuse to follow their practices will go away, you will be bathed in light, it's a promise from God himself. Hang in there, this too shall pass.
My friend who huffs and puffs isn't a bad person, he's actually a very nice guy, one of my best friends. I just know something he hasn't found out, yet.
Atheism is a belief system, Christianity is a belief system so is Hinduism, but there is a God, no doubt about it.

"You are salt to the world. And, if salt becomes tasteless, how is its saltness to be restored? It in now good for nothing but to be thrown away and trodden underfoot."
"You are light for all the world. A town that stands on a hill cannot be hidden. When a lamp is lit, it is not put under the meal-tub, but on the lampstand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. And you, like the lamp, must shed light among your fellows, so that, when they see the good you do, they may give praise to your Father in heaven."  Matthew 5 verses 13 to 16.

The conversation eventually drifted away to things like sport and business. It was actually a great afternoon, thanks everyone, I had fun, Geoff.


  1. Each to his own, I say. IT doesn't matter what belief system one hold, as long as he tries to be a good, decent human being.