Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Case for God Part 3--Nature, Beauty & Justice and Discipleship

Part of the sermon I'll be preaching tonight & tomorrow at CCC on the case for God centers on the regularity of nature. Again, it is improbable that a Big Bang alone could produce a world not only so fit for human life but also one so regular that we can construct the entire scientific method on the regularity of nature.

Another argument against a purely materialistic/natural origin concerns our innate sense of justice and love of beauty. If we are purely evolutionary creatures then we should only be concerned with ourselves, esp. hunting and gathering. Yet, we stop in awe of things we considering beautiful and long for justice for others. The purely evolutionary argument ultimately fails to explain these human traits.

Yet, despite all of these arguments, 10% or so of the American population deny the existence of God and many more deny any one true way to God--why?

The fact is that many so-called Christians are really practical atheists. We claim there is a God but we don't live as if there is a God. We claim that Jesus saves us and that the Holy Spirit is slowly transforming us into the image and likeness of the Son of God but most of us are simply stagnating or regressing. We "Christians" are often legalistic, moralistic, boring, angry, materialistic, self absorbed, lustful jerks who claim to have Jesus in our heart.

We have too long defined Christianity largely as what we don't do rather than how we live day-to-day. No wonder 1/10 refuse to believe in God and many more refuse to believe in Christ. If we want an unbelieving world to believe then we've got to step up, sacrifice and follow Jesus even unto death.

Derek Webb puts it like this in his challenging song, "Rich Young Ruler"

poverty is so hard to see
when it’s only on your tv
and twenty miles across town

where we’re all living so good

that we moved out of Jesus’ neighborhood

where he’s hungry and not feeling so good

from going through our trash

he says, more than just your cash and coin

i want your time, i want your voice

i want the things you just can’t give me

so what must we do

here in the west we want to follow you

we speak the language and we keep all the rules

even a few we made up
come on and follow me

sell your house, sell your suv

sell your stocks, sell your security

and give it to the poor

"what is this, hey what’s the deal

i don’t sleep around and i don’t steal"

i want the things you just can’t give me

because what you do to the least of these

my brother’s, you have done it to me

because i want the things you just can’t give me

Now, before you go label Derek some kind of ultra-liberal, social gospel kook, go read Matthew 25:31-46 and Luke 18:18-30 and then ask yourself if, given the whole world where thousands of children die everyday from hunger, if you are rich?