Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Intelligent Choice

Though there are multitudes that fall into the category labeled “Unbelievers”, and multitudes that profess to be “Believers” but whose lives and actions betray their profession, I find it hard to imagine how anyone could not believe in God, trust in what he has revealed, and have at least a kindling growing desire to want to live in a way that pleases him.[1]

I realize that it’s difficult in our educated times for the human mind to wrap itself intelligently around realities that can’t be ordinarily seen with natural eyes, around things that are spiritual and heavenly rather than physical and earthly, around things that will ever remain mysteries until we cease to exist in our present mortal form.[2] Some things, though they seem however irrational to the natural mind, simply, even in this life, begin making a lot of rational sense when we stop trying to flee them or explain them away to our own personal satisfaction.

There has never been a time in my memory when I didn’t believe in God. Granted, and I admit this to my own shame, there have been times when I’ve lived as though I didn’t. I’ve never seen God as he is in his being but I have seen, and daily see, plenty enough of his handiwork to convince me that God is actively involved in redeeming humankind despite humankind’s inattentiveness to divine activity.

The same memory reference is true regarding his, and our, archenemy and the league of fallen rogues that he employs to carry out his schemes to destroy humankind. His seething jealousy and hatred of all goodness is real and it behooves us humans to realize that this reality[3] is no myth being spun to scare little children into being good.[4] His schemes are all directed to one end – the agony of eternal captivity and the unending pains of death where the soul never ceases to exist in consciousness.[5]

Perhaps it is naïve of me to hold to such simplistic basic ideals. I could as easily deny the grace of God by accepting as truth the ideals of relativism and rationalism that so fill and motivate this modern age. I could as easily consider the accounts of the Old Testament as fables and myths and the poignant words of Christ regarding eternal destinations as mere allegory, fanciful stories, meant to help me get in touch with my better self. I could as easily view The Acts of the Apostles and their Epistles as the fruit of Christ’s overly zealous hearers, people that really didn’t understand Christ’s intentions nearly as well as today’s sated and educated minds are capable of understanding.

There’s a lot that I could do if I chose to. Somehow, though, all the alternative choices, all the alternative lifestyles, all the alternative theological theories, as inviting and promising as they appear on the surface, simply do not resonate with the clearer clarity found in holding onto the unalloyed basic simplicity found in the earlier examples of the historic Judeo-Christian faith and in those that have carefully modeled their lives after them.

This does present some interesting dilemmas and challenges. It’s easy to garner an understanding of the biblical principles that motivated the early seekers of Christ, and not only them but multitudes of believers over the span of the Christian ages. It’s altogether another thing to allow understanding the privileged freedom to mature and become contemporary life-practice.

[1] 2 Peter 3:11
[2] 1 Corinthians 13:12
[3] Ephesians 6:12
[4] Luke 10:18
[5] Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30