Without God

Recently there was an article in the Grand Rapids Press about a “church” that meets in the area.  The interesting thing about this “church” is that no one who attends believes in God.   It is called Sunday Assembly and it is a gathering of atheists.  They are described as a church without rules, religion, and of course God.  One of the leaders of the group proudly stated, “We will not tell you what to believe and what book to get your rules from.  You are free to make your own decisions.”  I have to admit, at first glance, this sounds like a pretty inviting way to live.  
Who doesn’t like the idea of living life on your own terms?  Do whatever you want with no sense of judgment or accountability to anyone or anything.  It would sure help me to deal with feelings of duty, guilt and shame.  Certainly, the idea of making up your own rules and morality is well received in our world today.  This seems like such a progressive and humble way to live in which no one way of thinking is forced upon another. Any other way is often thought of as bigoted, narrow minded and judgmental.  Yet, there are a few problems with a world in which we all make up our own rules.  
Despite what the people at Sunday Assembly might claim, they have not eliminated God from the equation.  All they have done is switch one God for another – themselves.  Notice that what first appeared to be a humble view is actually the height of arrogance!  When they become the rule makers they each become the ultimate judge and authority over reality, morality, justice etc…  They are still getting their rules from somewhere – which in the end turns out to be what is most convenient for them. I can’t say that this gives me great hope for a better tomorrow.
And what happens when our rules are in conflict?  If I make up my rules and you make up your rules and they do not agree with each other – then what?  What if you find my rules to be hurtful and offensive?  What if I think your rules are too limiting and curb my freedom?   Who is to say who is right?  Who is to say what behavior is wrong and needs to be stopped?  
Such is the dilemma when we all make up our own rules – we lose our common moral ground.  We have no standard benchmark to say what is right and what is wrong.  Once we concede this common ground, society has no choice but to unravel into utter chaos.
Is such a drastic claim necessary?  Yes, because if we all make up our own rules about life and if their are no absolute rights and wrongs, then in the end we lose our voice as humans.  We have no voice to say things like children should not be abused, young girls should not be trafficked for sex, polygamy is a bad idea, people should set off bombs in airports, and people all over the world should have clean drinking water.  We lose our voice on all these matters because someone may have a different set of ideas about these things and they could rightfully argue that their opinion is just as valid as ours. At that point, who or what could we appeal to?
Where does all this leave us as a society?  In search for a common moral ground.  Fortunately, we have been given one.  It comes from God.  It appears in the Bible and in our consciences.  It has been the backbone of civilization until very recently.  The problem of course with this common moral ground given by God is that it requires me to be inconvenienced, to sacrifice, to make changes and to hold myself accountability to a standard I did not create.  It requires me to acknowledge God is God and I am not.  
As the Bible says, God’s ways are not our ways.  They might not always be easy, but living in harmony with what God says remains humanity’s best and only option for living together.

One Response to “Without God”

  1. Church Office says:

    Hope this blog works out great!

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