By Pastor Robert Perez
Man has evolved confidently that God does not exist and we as a species on earth have nothing to fear except Mother Nature and man. The myth of God has been debunked. We can all sleep soundly knowing that fire and brimstone won’t occur, the heavens will never open and send lightning bolts of Gods rage upon us, and we won’t go to hell (or heaven) because they don’t exist. Ahhh…what a relief.
That means I’m just a charlatan selling you bulls—t that you don’t need or want. My motivation? Same as everyone else these days, attention, right? Low level fame that makes me feel like I’m somebody. And control, don’t forget about control! I have knowledge that you don’t have, which means I can control you, by convincing you that you should be paying attention to me because I’ll get you through it all, man! Just sit tight and I’ll help you navigate the fictitious Disney-fied world of God and His Marvel-like universe of Angels and Devils.
“God, I sorta believe in you.”
If you ask someone if God exists, most of the time that person will weave in and out of a lame answer that says one thing in the end, they’re on the fence. A part of them believes or hopes that God is real, but another part of them sees what they think are the obvious holes in the story. They’ll say they believe in “something”, but that belief in something only makes them feel comfortable, without having to truly commit one way or the other. It’s a spiritual Band-Aid to cover the exposed wound of doubt.
On the other hand, have a conversation with a spiritual fence-straddler about someone they love who has departed from this earth and, more than likely, they couldn’t bear the idea that that person has truly perished as simply food for the earth. The deceased must surely be somewhere. Ask if when they die what will happen to them and it’s a similar response. Most of us can’t endure the pain of the thought of non-existence, that the end of the road is truly the end of ourselves and all that makes us unique, one-of-a-kind, and matter in the universe.
Doubt goes both ways. We doubt the existence of God, but we also question the doubt.
I’ve met only one person who straight up told me they don’t believe in God. I don’t agree, of course, but I fully respect that he at least intelligently concluded. Yes, you can intelligently choose not to believe in God. The intellectual doubt of God’s existence has much to back up that assumption. You wouldn’t be wrong per say, if based on your rationale. On the other hand, I know people that do genuinely believe, not by force or by ignorance, but by conviction. That does leave a heck of a lot of people stuck in the middle.
For those people who do not believe, I am always available should you wish to explore more. For the rest of the wish-washy lot of you, decide already.
Be honest with yourself; you don’t fear the existence of a God, that is, any God in any form, because you don’t believe it is possible for such an entity to exist based on facts, science, rational thought, and so on. Plenty of people pretend to believe because it’s part of their culture. Church and rituals are a part of many communities’ way of life, so people simply go along with it. As examples, Christmas and Easter are harmless enough so why not celebrate them, especially when a fat guy gives you presents and a cute bunny brings you candy (none of which has anything to do with the birth and death of Jesus the man or Christ the savior whose existence the holidays are supposed to be about).
The burning question in me has always been why a person wouldn’t want to pursue more? Why be ok with just “meh”? Is it laziness or just spiritual complacency?
Man’s ignorance through the ages made it easy to instill the idea that God is to be feared. It made us shiver under the covers, and by coercion, believe. Plus, we have an innate tendency to trust authoritative figures, like priests and clergy and shaman, especially when authority wears fancy ornate outfits, or the opposite when they absolve everything for sake of godly pursuits, both of which say to the world, “I’m serious about this stuff”.
Fear of God has always been more powerful than love of God. The early church leaders said, “God is gonna be pissed when he finds out about you.” It caused most people to stay in their lanes and do the right thing for fear of the worst outcome, in this life or the afterlife. In other words, we go along with it rather than genuinely analyzing the possibilities and conclude by ourselves to believe.
But there is always a select group of people who neither fear God nor accept the “evidence” against His existence. They believe. They know. They understand. It’s not a thought or a decision. It is inside them, like blood coursing through their veins, like neurons firing all over their bodies. Their souls are alive with the truth of it.
I don’t fear God, but I used to. I was raised on the same Christian formula of rituals and fear that most of the world gets served. I had my questions and doubts, and chose to be brave enough to go head on into the void to find out the truth. I was gonna come out the other side one way or another: unscathed because God doesn’t really exist, burned to a crisp because God does exist and He’s furious that I questioned Him, or something else.
I committed myself to finding the truth and accepted that I may find out that it’s all malarkey. I later became a Pastor when I realized, it is all true. I then embarked on a journey to understand as much as I can and share with the world what I discover along the way. God was not “unhappy” that I questioned my belief, despite my being in pursuit of Him. He is happy that I cared enough to forgo easy answers and resisted complacency to uncover the truth.
I learned to fear God again. Not His wrath, but His absence. The thought of being left out, alone, I cannot bear. I learned that love, His love, is real. When you experience it, it’s like nothing else.
I want to take you to a place where fear doesn’t exist. So yes, you do not, no should not, fear God. Why let fear be the driving force to bring you to God? God is there, everywhere, ever present and ever loving. The Spirit is there waiting to join yours. Christ is there to guide you and protect you. He gave us The Way to lead us to genuine understanding. All you must do is decide to look for Him. Conversely, do nothing and you get nothing.
For just a moment, leave your prejudices and preconceived ideas in the other room and stop long enough to say “hello”. Then wait for it, you will get a reply.
Artwork: “Light”, 1992, Mixed Media, 15 x 12 x 4 inches ©Artist Robert Perez