An interesting article from http://www.ucg.org/ about the Greatness of God! This follows this post about countries with a population explosion! For a free magazine subscription or to get the book shown for free click HERE! or call 1-888-886-8632.
by Dan Dowd
Christopher Hitchens died from cancer on December 15, 2011. Mr. Hitchens, a lifelong atheist, rose to fame with a book he wrote titled, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything . The premise of his book was that most bad things in history can be laid at the feet of religion – Christianity in particular, but, later in his life, also Islam.
While Mr. Hitchens was correct that too many bad things have been done in the name of various forms of Christianity, his reactionary view blinded him to the value that Christianity, in general, brought to the world. Such things as the end of slavery in the U.S. and Britain, support for the poor, hospitals to care for the sick, schools that teach across income and social levels, et al – along with civil laws based on Biblical principles.
Increasingly though, Mr. Hitchens’s views are gaining traction – and not just with atheists. Young evangelicals are leaving the churches of their youth because they don’t like being told how they should live their lives. They don’t like being told pre-marital (or extra-marital) sex is wrong, that living together unmarried is sin, that abortion is murder or that homosexuality is sin (Laura Sessions Stepp, “Why Young Evangelicals Are Leaving Church,” CNN.com, December 16, 2011).
The odds on faith
Unfortunately, too many “Christians” have bought into the same argument that Mr. Hitchens made, and they see God as the source of discomfort in their lives. They want religion to be a support for lifestyle choices rather than a mirror to see how a person needs to change in order to be more like God.
Let’s challenge ourselves. Instead of seeing God’s way of life as too hard, too demanding, or the source of mankind’s troubles, let’s look at it from another perspective. Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, writer, inventor and philosopher who lived in the early 1600s. Pascal is famous for his “wager,” the Pascal Wager.
According to Pascal’s theory, and since the existence of God cannot be proven (or disproved) through reason, there is still much to be gained from wagering that God does exist, and little to gain from wagering that He doesn’t. Consequently, a rational person should simply “wager” that God does exist and live accordingly.
While we shouldn’t look at following God’s way as a wager, Pascal does have an interesting point. What is the down side of living a life seeking to be like God? Is there a down side?
Consider what you and I have because of obeying and living life as God says it should be lived. People know we are trustworthy because we don’t lie and won’t spread lies. We don’t steal. In fact, religious people are generally more generous in their time and money to help others.
We know and trust in answered prayer. Medical science can’t explain it, but people who are prayed for (even if they don’t know they are being prayed for) generally do much better in their recovery. We also watch what comes out of our mouths, a significant contrast in an era of unrelenting profanity.
Most strikingly, we have peace in our outlook because we know where world events are headed and why – and how it will all be fixed. We understand the meaning of life.
The other path
All around us we see the fruit of lives lived in opposition to God’s law. Does that disregard for, or rebellion against God’s law make them happy? Are their lives more meaningful? If so, why is there so much crime? Why are there so many broken families? Why are there so many wars and interpersonal conflicts?
Obeying the Ten Commandments and living according to Godly principles will, by themselves, bring a more rewarding life. Yet how much more do we have by knowing about God’s plan of salvation for ourselves, and all mankind?
Christopher Hitchens was wrong – God is great, period. God does exist, so let’s live our lives accordingly.