Is Life Really Impoverished Without God?

My thoughts on Ted Baehr’s article When People Forget God, Life Is Impoverished:

The problem with rejecting God is that people turn the pursuit of pleasure into the pursuit of pain, even inflicting pain on the least of these in the world, and replace the sharing, caring and giving of love with the selfishness of lust. Lust, like a locust, consumes everything, leaving a vast wasteland in its wake.

Just because people don’t know the god of the Bible doesn’t mean that a wasteland is inevitable.

Why do I say that? Because:

If Ted Baehr is right and “No God = Wasteland,” than the opposite would be true, would it not? There would be Heaven on Earth if everyone let Jesus into their heart?

That is not the world we live in.

The Bible says that not everyone who says “Jesus Christ is lord!” will enter Heaven. (Matthew 7:21) Proving that being a follower of Christ — being a Christian — doesn’t automatically make you a good person.

And since being a Christian doesn’t automatically make you a good person, than doesn’t not being a Christian not automatically make you a bad person, either?

Oxnard Montalvo

Ted Baehr’s article makes Christians sound like people who moonwalk through life without a worry in the world.

And the reality is: That’s just not true.

Christians waste resources.
Christians take more than they should from the environment.
Christians get pissed.
Christians steal.

What I wish more people understood about Christians is that, despite what Christian media tells you…

God21

…Christians are no more perfect than anyone else.

We are all imperfect.
We all fall short.
We all say, at one point or another, “I’m sorry,” or “I failed.”

As a Catholic, do I believe that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life”? (John 14:6)

Yes.

But that doesn’t diminish the inherent value of anyone who is not a Catholic, or a member of one of the over 33,000 denominations of Christianity that have existed since the Protestant Reformation:

God created man in His own image.
(Genesis 1:27)

The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”
(The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 834)

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.
(The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 847)

…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
(Philippians 4:8)

He has put eternity in the human heart.
(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Sword19

What I’m trying to say with this post is:

Not being a Christian doesn’t automatically mean that your world will become a wasteland. And being a Christian won’t automatically turn your world into Heaven on Earth.

Keep striving to be the best person you can be, striving to change peoples’ lives for the better, and striving to leave this Earth in a better state than it was in when you arrived. Do all of that with humility, honesty, love, and empathy, always keeping an open mind, and I believe that, at the end of your life, you will be in a happy place.

Not this happy place:

This happy place: The happy place with the clouds and the harps and the doves:

Heaven2

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Is Life Really Impoverished Without God?

  1. And is anyone ever truly “without God”? If we refuse to acknowledge Him, that does not lessen His existence, nor His fervent desire to be in us and make us more His loving, obedient children. I suppose we who believe have all seen how He draws us to Himself, often without our ever hearing His Name or the Four Laws or the Roman Road or the Catechism.

    “My heart leaps up when I behold
    A rainbow in the sky…” (Wordsworth)

    Also, The Hound of Heaven http://www.houndsofheaven.com/thepoem.htm

    1. Good question.

      No one is ever “without God.”

      Years ago, I heard these words on the radio — the person was talking about finding hope while despairing — and they’ve stayed with me ever since:

      “There is no depth to which you can dig, that God can’t dig a little deeper.”

      The point being: God is greater than our despair — greater than our sin.

      Thanks for the poem, too.

      1. I believe that I am “without God,” any god. I do not believe that he exists.

        That being said, it depends on what you mean by a person being “without God.” If you mean that you believe he is with everyone, despite whether they believe in or acknowledge him, then in that case, he would be with everyone.

        If you mean someone, say, an atheist, lives a Godless life–no sacraments, no church, no praying, no worshipping, no meditating on the Word, no acknowledgement–because they don’t practice religion or anything like it, then he wouldn’t be with them because he isn’t a part of their lives.

        If you believe the first one, that he is with everyone, then my life as an atheist wouldn’t be any less holy, more sinful, what have you, because he would be with me anyways. If you are believing that he only is with me if i accept and believe in him, then you could say that an atheist is indeed less holy and more sinful than a person who does believe.

        However, as an atheist, I don’t believe in holiness or sin or a lack of sin changing whether or not a person is moral or how much their life is a wasteland. So being sinful and unholy in the eyes of Christianity doesn’t change anything for me either way, or make me feel less whole.

      2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my post.

        “If you believe the first one…”

        I do.

        “…my life as an atheist wouldn’t be any less holy, more sinful, what have you, because he would be with me anyways.”

        I agree.

        “…an atheist is indeed less holy and more sinful than a person who does believe.”

        I don’t believe that.

        Accepting God has given people more of a reason to live a life of love and respect for others, but this is not inevitable: I have encountered Christians who were among the most close-minded, negative people whom I have ever met.

        A person who doesn’t accept God — doesn’t pray, go to church, receive the sacraments, etc. — is just as capable of living a life of love and respect as a person who does accept God.

        “…being sinful and unholy in the eyes of Christianity doesn’t change anything for me either way, or make me feel less whole.”

        I’m glad.

        I’m glad that you are committed to living a life of love and respect regardless of what others say or think.

        Your words remind me of a quote:

        “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
        ~John Wooden

      3. I’m glad you like it.

        You are a person of good character — a person who wants to treat people with love and respect, and who wants to be free to live as she, using her reasoning, believes it is best to live.

        Thank you for commenting. I always enjoy reading your words. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s