Google+ Followers

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why Bother With God?

            Researchers for years have been telling us that church attendance is on the decline.  In 2007, 17% of the US population was in a church on any given Sunday, according to The American Church Research Project.  If current trends continue, that number will fall to 14.2% in 2020 and just 10.5% in 2050.
            Essentially what this means is more and more people are seeing the pursuit of God and faith as irrelevant or, at best, just one more option.  People see themselves as spiritual but that spirituality is a self-created belief system largely shaped and influenced by popular culture.  Those in their teens, twenties and thirties are abandoning the church in droves. They often times are seeing it as hypocritical, hate-filled, intolerant, irrelevant and unreasonable.  And, unfortunately, they can easily find ammunition for their shotgun generalizations because there are plenty of people who call themselves people of faith who are hypocritical, hate-filled, intolerant, irrelevant and unreasonable.
            Maybe you are reading this and your internal “Amen” meter is off the scale right now.  You would say, “Yeah, this is me.  Christianity and the church just don’t matter much in the world.  They aren’t asking the right questions and their answers don’t make sense.  I’m out!”
            There is also another problem.  It isn’t just with those who claim to be God’s people being hypocrites.  Many people have a problem with God as well.  Frankly, God has been rather disappointing to them.  The God they think they see in the Bible is sort of mean in their eyes.  God also is really bad at living up to our expectations.  How our marriages turn out, our kids turn out, our jobs turn out and our friendships turn out are regularly laid at the feet of God to blame him when something goes wrong.  (But I’ve noticed he never gets credit when they are going right!)  And then don’t even get people started on the evil in this world.  When a natural disaster strikes, God is to blame.  When a mentally unstable person grabs a gun, knife, baseball bat or some other weapon and wreaks havoc God is held responsible.  “What kind of God would let that happen?!”

            Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think these questions are illegitimate or unfair.  I think they are very, very important.  They all represent turning points in our life.  They are turning points of deeper pursuit of God or turning away from God.  And that is totally our choice.
            I believe God is worth pursuing.  I believe what I can see in the world around me points to something greater, something purer, something that cares for creation.  From the truth and beauty found in cellular biology to the overwhelming complexity and majesty of astrophysics and everything in between, there is a cosmic shout of “I am here!  I care! I can be found!”
            If, in the past, at your turning point you chose to walk away, I hope you will reconsider and take the risk to look for God once again.  I’ve heard he rewards those who seek him.
            Please join me on Thursday nights and Sunday mornings for our series of talks, “A Reasonable Faith?”  We’re going to wrestle with the tough questions head-on.  You might be surprised in what you find.  

Because you’re worth it.
Peace and Grace,

David

PS - You can also download these talks from our website at www.coldspringschurch.net.

No comments: