On Sustaining Civilization
|Belief in God is one of the sustaining graces of civilization.
Religion and religious faith support the universal values
needed for civilized living. Religion teaches a benevolent
Spirit is at work in the world. It lets us know of the existence
of the soul that is the immortality of man. Without an
awareness of the immortality of mankind and the universal
values of compassion and benevolence, people would degenerate
into hedonism, pragmatism and mere materialism. It is some of the
higher attributes of civilization that religions buttress.
Religion digs spiritual wells of belief and values that civilized people need to sustain themselves. Religion purifies the springs that societies draw on to represent the best in man.
Yet religions are not be believed in solely because they contribute so virtuously to the forces of civilized living. Religion is more than a good influence. Good religion is founded on a belief in God and a personal relationship with that God who is a Spirit-Personality.
We do not believe in God because religion does good things for civilization. We believe in God because through faith we find God is real. So we preach the existence of God. We preach the reality of Christ.
Yes, people find all sorts of reasons not to accept the existence of God. The crux of the matter is those who donít want to believe find reasons not to believe.
Secular people prefer lives of self-indulgence. There would be obligations to God if He were believed in. For belief does not come cheap. It demands self-control, self-sacrifice and thinking of others. Those are among the reasons why civilization is helped and deepened by religion. Secular people do not desire the discipline of Christ that the Apostle referred to in ďby love serveĒ (Galatians 5:13) The services of the secular are more for money.
People who donít believe wonít believe. Leave them to Heaven. But you do not have to prove anything to believe. The burden of proof lies on those who do not believe to show God does not exist. That is not possible to do.
I believe in God because I have met Him in the Spirit, but that is nothing. Thousands of people have met God including the Apostle. Mother Teresa when asked why she went to serve in India, replied that God told her to do so. People meet God in different ways. But after the initiation of God comes the imitation of Christ that deepens and spreads good values. The nobility of man comes from his belief in the Spirit of God who has immortalized man.
Secular and other people luke warm to God would have you be ashamed of being religious. Do not be ashamed of your faith. Your faith contributes to civilization. Many of the secular thinkers are tearing civilized values down. They decrease civilized values. They deny the existence of God, deny the immortality of the soul, deny man is a spiritual being, deny UNSELFISHNESS AND SELF SACRIFICE as paths to follow.
Leave non-belief to our secular barbarians, the pagan decadents, the insensate without spiritual awareness. But do not believe in Christianity because Christianity is a buttress of civilized values and civilization. Believe because of the reality of Christ.
But remember, we as Christians, believers and religious people are carrying civilization on our backs. We are the custodians of Christ therefore of the spiritual nature of man and the time honoured Christian values of love, compassion, goodness and immortality.
We should feel most proud and very fortunate to be religious people. We ought to be very proud of being in the churches as well as doing our part in the churches. With pride let us take the Gospel to the World. And I tell you it is with great pride I preach the Word of God.
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.