Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches

LIFE ISSUES

 

A recent news report told of an atheist in New Zealand who, with the help of some of his mates, is planning to put the following sign on a number of buses in Aucklandů. There's probably no God; now stop worrying and enjoy your life. As a Christian, I have a number of reactions to this project.

 

First, I am sad. I'm sad because I wonder just what influences in his life experiences have brought him to the place where he embraces atheism. Maybe a home life that was deeply religious but blatantly hypocritical? Perhaps a Church experience that left him disillusioned? Then again, could it have been the emotional pain of losing someone he deeply loved? The atheists that I have met have embraced that empty philosophy for reasons other than intellectual ones. Behind the smoke screen of intellectual argument are often found the real causes or reasons for the atheist's belief system (or unbelief system).

 

Second, I am mad. I'm mad because his campaign slogan is so far from what I (and countless others) have found to be truth. That is, without God in my life I can't stop worrying and I can't enjoy life. If there is no God as revealed in the life of Jesus, then it's time to start worrying! And that means I can't enjoy life!

 

Where did the idea originate which says that to acknowledge the existence of God means that I have no choice but to start worrying and that I can no longer enjoy life? Jesus said that He had come that we might have life and have it in all its fullness. (John 10/10). This same Jesus gave us some great life principles that are the antidote to stress and worry (Matthew 6).

 

To deny the existence of the God Whose involvement in my life removes the need to worry and gives me true joy is the exact opposite message to the one proposed by my atheist friend.

 

Third, I'm amused. I can't help but note the word 'probably' - "There's probably no Godů."It's a bit like 'hedging your bets', just in case you've made a wrong decision or a bad choice. Compare the caution of the atheist with the certainty of the Christian. One of the reasons that I embrace the Christian life is because it makes sense of an otherwise senseless world. The reason that this world is noted for the level of its worry and stress and the absence of joy is because we leave God out of the cosmic equation.

 

If I choose to exclude God who is a loving Father, a powerful Lord, a wise and benevolent Sovereign, a just yet merciful Saviour who is working out His plan for my life, then I am confronted with a myriad of unanswerable questions that are beyond my wisdom and ability to address. Where can I turn for wisdom and guidance? What can I tell my children that will provide them with a map and compass for life's journey?

 

How do I face my own mortality both now and at the hour of my own physical death? Hey, it's no wonder that I begin to worry as the joy is sucked out of life.

 

Actually, the slogan of the atheist on the side of the bus would be more accurate and true to life if it readů "There's probably no God; now start worrying because there is no joy either!"

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