Monday, July 28, 2008

Is God egocentric????

There other day, in a conversation about God, I asked what happens to someone who lives their whole life with kindness, compassion, and selflessness but who does not believe in God? Of course those who I put the question to all believed in an afterlife. I don't think any of them felt comfortable with this question, though.

It seems to me that most who believe in God think that it is a requirement to believe in Him in order to end up in heaven. As I mull this over, I have to wonder about a God who would condemn a person who lives in accordance with His commandments for the sole reason of a disbelief in Him. If this is how God operates, I find it very egocentric. I can't believe that God would have this character flaw so therefore come to the conclusion that belief in God is not a requirement for admission into heaven.

I guess that it's good though that I've come back to the conclusion that there is a God because I was going back on forth with that for awhile. There was a podcast recently that help me with that struggle to believe. It's an American Public Media show called Speaking of Faith and the podcast talked about God from a scientific perspective which was refreshing. Most religious people I've heard have to suspend rational thought when they talk about their faith but John Polkinghorne didn't do that. Speaking of Faith is a great show and I'm enjoying exploring the faiths of others and broadening my limited Catholic-influenced perspective.


trent_gilliss said...

When it comes to reconciling matters of religion and science, I've particularly enjoyed some of the Jewish voices on SOF. Two that come to mind immediately are Carl Feit, an immunologist, and Laurie Zoloth, a bioethicist. They have to wrestle with some of the most complex and entangled ethical issues in medicine today, and they look to their faiths to inform their approaches. They help me to think about issues of cloning and genetics a tad differently than I might have otherwise.

Trent, online editor for Speaking of Faith

Life Junkie said...

I am so excited to receive this comment from the SOF program editor! I plan on listening to both recommendations soon.

Thanks, Trent!

Jen said...

In the past, I felt this way, before I truly understood Christianity. I think the difficulty with this kind of thinking is that there isn't the possibilty of any human being living a perfect life. God is so holy that we need to be like him to be in his presence. We may show kindness, etc., but it is impossible for us to be holy without the help of a savior. Even with Christ and the Holy Spirit in us, it is difficult not to sin. Sin includes yelling at your husband and other simple things that people do on a daily basis and struggle with. This is why we need Jesus. It doesn't make sense for God to make a heaven for those who don't believe in him. He created heaven to have forever fellowship with those who believe him, not for those who reject his existence. I suggest Lee Strobel's books. (The Case for Faith) He was a reporter who was an atheist, who turned Christian after researching the faith. His books are so interesting and he takes you on the journey of his conversion. (Interviews with archeologist, theologians, historians, etc.) Let me know if you check his books out! I'm glad that you are seeking and open to learning about God. It can be very confusing, but I can testify that my life has been filled with an unexplainable peace since I've had the Lord in my life. My faith has really grown over the years. Check out my website- God's Shining Stars to learn more about my children's faith!

Life Junkie said...

I'm afraid that after reading Jen's comment, that I have even more questions. I don't think there is ever a chance to live a perfect life whether or not you believe in God. If God created us with a weakness to sin and THEN asked us to be like him to be in his presence, what kind of a God is that?!

Then you have to think about those who live a cruel self-centered life and, in the end, ask for forgiveness and compare those who are believing compassionate people who, in the end, despair and stop believing. Can it be that God would accept the former and reject the latter?

I'm happy than Jen has found peace but what she says does not fit together for me....