|The fundamental difference
between my Christian view and that of the popular semi-pagan
and pseudo-scientific view is that they do not believe in the reality of
God, that God exists,
while I do believe that God exists. As was said in Job 19:25, “I know
that my redeemer liveth,”
although I do not have perfect understanding of the puzzling situation
on earth. Nor do I believe my finite
mind is big enough to understand it. So I advocate faith.
God does not exist for the too liberal, pseudo-scientific materialists. Any religion for them is superstition. This is not so for me. I would not trouble myself to preach or write did I not know there was a God. I believe God, who is a Spirit, real because I have experienced His presence.
Having been made aware of God’s presence through His Spirit was not the only factor in belief for me, I had suspected the existence of God for sometime, but the presence of God as a Spirit, as an invisible personality around me confirmed or validated what I had thought about the reality of the existence of God all along. It was an illumination behind the stained glass window so that I might see the truth of His creation.
As one of those many, many people who have experienced God through the ages, I know religion based on the existence of God is a reality and not a superstition. Those who have experienced Ultimate Reality do not question the existence of God as a reality. And they do not see reality as a superstition.
The pseudo-scientific view is that if you do not understand it, it is not real or to be trusted. For me this is pure nonsense. There is too much beyond our present understanding that is real. I will not put on ant blinders to live my life, though others have a right to if they so perversely wish.
I suggest the problem with those who cannot believe is they do not want to believe, so they do not believe. Belief in God is a challenge to the selfishness of their lives. Also many non-believers tend to be control freaks. What they cannot control, they do not believe, and they do not wish to experience factors beyond their manipulative command. But their narcissism is their business. Belief is mine. God bless them as they babble but I have no time to waste before I must appear before God as a steward of His belief validated by His presence.
Some will say belief in God through an experience of God is mental illness. This is the way they get to snicker at religion. God knows I am not complete and whole or ever sane enough or good enough for God. But if my meeting with the reality of God was insane, I unhesitatingly advise insanity to everyone. If that be crazy, try it. You will be crazy in glorious company as well as a better person for being so. God may be a craziness the world needs desperately.
I had a wonderful grace filled God experience, the highest experience in my life, that gave me a refreshed sense of being and a new and better outlook on nearly everything. However, there is such an enormous number of believers who have had an experience of God that I do not think seriously I am mad, but I suspect those who have not had an experience of God of some sort in their lives may not be quite normal. They seem to be the ones that are mentally ill.
An experience of the reality of God, and there are many such varied experiences, opens the curtain of materialistic illusion that many believe to be life, and for moments we are thrilled, enlightened and enlarged by glimpsing what is behind the curtain. That is we see ultimate reality briefly (“through a glass darkly” - I Corinthians 13:12) so we know at last that in the gradations of reality, materialism is bottomward.
So I advise everyone to work towards a personal relationship and awareness of God. That does not mean you will understand God or the universes or infinity. But you will be wiser and better and more alive for it. And as for knowing people that I do not understand, I know many, and God is certainly one of them. So if you are an “I’ve got to understand completely” freak, you will not be happy with God. But that does not mean God is not real but that you choose not to face what you cannot control. If you have that attitude, I wish you, Good Luck and Good-Bye.
I can advise you of this: In order for mankind to be whole, complete and healthy, and balanced in living, mankind needs to fulfill the spiritual side of life. There is something deep in man that demands this. For life has a spiritual side and a materialistic side and both must be dealt with.
The question arises, why does God choose some for a validating experience and some not? I do not fully know of course, but Ephesians 3:8 suggests grace is given FOR A PURPOSE.
If you are given a validating mystical or religious experience of God, as many are, it is not only to enlighten you and enlarge you, but to validate you in your own eyes to do some work to which you are called, that work may be in the family, the church, business or the world. An experience of God gives validating self-esteem so that you know that you are singled out to do the work of God. I would comment that it has been my experience that the spiritual hoi polloi who give nothing on this earth but take only do not usually have these experiences.
So if you are blessed and have an experience of God, do not think of it as selfishly given, but that you are being given grace for a reason. It may be a primary reason or a supplemental reason. Remember that the Apostle was given his experience to make him a missionary to the Gentiles. Considering what he was being called upon to go through, the Apostle could use the certainty of a genuine validation from God. It directed him while giving him certainty for his missionary career.
The great number of believers who have been given and blessed with grace-filled experiences of God, it might be noticed, are rarely among the rich and insensitive dominant classes who do not know real life. Often they have been educated out of common sense.
Instead the Bible says very clearly in I Corinthians 1:27 “that God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the...mighty.” Such is the irony of God's working. We might also remark that it is the weak who are usually chosen. They are in especial need of validation because they are often not powerful but weak and insecure.
It is the Davids whom God chooses, not the Goliaths. Therefore do not be held back by your weakness, whatever it is, but it may be just because of your weakness that God has given you strength to show forth the ironic splendor of His glory. For God is glorified through His use of the weak rather than the strong who ordinarily might be suspected to be those used. The Lord raiseth up. (I Samuel 2:7-8)) He puts down.
In sum I advise you; I have had an experience of God as many others have. It has been an enlightenment, an awakening and a validating. I stick with God because I enjoy Him. He takes pleasure in me and I take pride in Him. I am moral, certainly not perfectly, but I try, because I consider this a means to give God praise for all He has done for me, not so much materially as psychologically and spiritually. Behaving well is a form of praise to God whom you enjoy
We live, as I pray you have had the grace to perceive, in a decadent society that is degenerating in nearly every way. The overall cultural picture is bleak. The nation, and this is true of many other nations, is pagan in values, obsessed with materialism, seriously addicted to heavy dope, often mismanaged by politicians. Widespread poverty of spirit and money run rampant. There is much going on that is, financially irresponsible. I could continue but why go over what any person standing in the lowest degree of grace knows or senses.
However, let us not whine that we as Christians are called upon to live in a decadent age of bad values, materialism, extreme liberalism, and the obscene filth ever on the air waves. We should not whine or complain but accept it as a challenge of our grace to live for Christ in a morally crumbling culture being reduced in stature in the world. The problems of America, for example, are societal and intertwined. The world is likewise. The lack of religion affects everything badly from business honesty to morale and on and on like the house that Jack built in the nursery rhyme.
We are called of God to witness in a fallen world and to be instruments of His will, service and grace. This will take sacrifice. Our Head, Christ, sacrificed upon the cross. We can expect to have to sacrifice in other less dramatic ways. However, recall that if you don’t accept the cross, then you can’t wear the crown.
Rather than complain about the stinking dung hill of decadence we are set in, let us thank God that He has set us down through providence in such a confused society, age and world to bring some light. Though conservative Christians are generally not wanted by the dominant too liberal and common sense lacking elite, nevertheless conservative Christians are generally what is needed: an infusion of integrity, honesty, decent living and spiritual awareness to balance obsessive materialism.
That is your calling today: to be lights of the world in a “crooked and perverse nation.” (Philippians 2:15) This applies not only to America the Decadent but to any society that is a values disaster in the world. The Gospel is to the world. You are self-deluded if you do not see this applies all over the earth.
Let us remember our spiritual validation does not come from the materialistic power dupes of our present society. Validation comes from God to the weak and those to be used, rarely to the powerful. Scripture shows God is wise enough not to validate the strong but self-deluded who have failed. But God works to call and validate the weak who have suffered. That is the ironic way of God that is most clearly taught in scriptures. God will as in the past “put down the mighty from their seats, and exalt them of low degree.” (Luke 1:52)
My duty is too prepare the Way of the Lord. (Isaiah 40:3) Here I hope this has been done in a way that will help you..
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.