I’m not sure where it’s coming from. It’s nothing new for a young person to reject their upbringing when he/she goes off to college. However, in the past, by my observation, young people would adopt a worldly lifestyle. Yet, they still considered themselves “Christian.” They would drop out of church. They might go at Christmas and Easter. It was rare that they would totally reject the existence of God.
Now it seems that is not enough. Now, many young people not only reject the existence of God, they become aggressively vocal about it. Maybe it’s college and university professors who teach from an atheistic viewpoint. Maybe it’s the preponderance of atheist blogs and websites. Maybe it’s just the cultural environment.
At any rate, when I’ve referenced spiritual truth in conversation with several different atheists, they have generally asked something like: “Whose truth? Every religion claims to have the truth. So, what makes yours right?”
Although they generally prefer a “scientific” answer, with no reference to religion, they have just asked a religious question. Since you asked about spiritual truth and faith, I’m assuming that I can involve “religion” in the answer.
God is. Think about that (not what anyone has said about Him, positive or negative):
- Think about Him
- Think about the implications of one entity being God – creator of the universe, creator and life-giver to mankind.
- Assuming such a Being exists, consider His character – primarily that He is perfect and holy. Yeah, I know we could ask, “what’s holy?” But, c’mon. Most people have a pretty good idea what that means whether they accept it as a description of God or not.
- If God is, then there is no one and no thing greater than Him.
- Such a God is worthy of our attention, dare I say even our devotion.
Just for a few minutes, honestly and sincerely and seriously consider what the implications would be if it is true that this Being truly exists.
Now, if you’ve taken a few minutes to consider Him, what is the absolute best thing He could do for you or give you. Would it not have to be Himself?
Hebrews 11 says, without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must faith that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. He is. He exists. And He exists as God. And He is willing to be known. Seek Him, and your search will be rewarded.
The Old Covenant was a covenant of law. The real point was here’s a standard. You cannot possibly live up to it in your own strength. Some of the OT characters came to God on the basis of faith, but many never did. The point of the New Covenant is that God by His grace made a way for mankind to experience righteousness and abide in His presence. It’s by grace through faith, not by law or works.
In my studies of comparative religions, here’s what I’ve found.
- I’ve not found any besides Christianity and Judaism, and perhaps Islam, that worships God – God only – God as God.
- The god, even the highest form of deity, of all others is something that God created – usually the sun, the moon, a river, or some mythical explanation of the seasons, etc.
- Some may have an “unknown god” as the Athenians did – some god who is above all others. Even though they acknowledge this great spirit, their religion still revolves around worship of the creation.
- In the case of atheism, it’s generally either man (humanism) or mother earth (environmentalism).
- Of all religions, only Christianity offers a relationship with God based entirely on faith in the finished work of the Redeemer.
- All others, even Judaism, try to please or appease God or their gods, through laws and/or rites, rituals and liturgy. Sadly, many Christians live this way, too.
Does that mean Christians can throw out the Law and live anyway they please? No, it means there is nothing greater than God. Why settle for less? Why settle for the things the world offers? Christianity is about knowing Him, growing into a deeper, richer, more meaningful relationship with Him. This isn’t done by rituals. It isn’t done by following a set of rules or laws. Whether you derive your lists of rules from the Old Testament or the New, it’s still law, it’s not grace. You are separating yourself from grace and rendering yourself of no effect (see Galatians 5:4).