The State of Faith
A Study on Holiness
Is God Around?
You are my own holy people.
These stories make it clear Jesus will find "faith" as the world defines it - but, the question to ask is the one quoted above.
Faith in what?
To return to Barna's survey for a moment, one of the most chilling statistics to my mind was a finding that 56% of non-Christians who attend faith centers said their faith center had ignored the attacks. More painful is that barely half of the nation's churches addressed the attacks in any major form and 41% of the Christians surveyed said their church has done nothing since last September to address the implications of these events.
Yet, America yearns for spiritual things. Americans apparently want to go to heaven. Indeed, Muslims and Jews have heaven as their goal as well.
At the same time, American religion ignores (from a spiritual perspective) the greatest national crisis of faith in the past several years. This is the finding of Barna's survey.
I believe the answer comes back to the other questions asked earlier.
- What does God expect of us?
- What do we want of God?
- Who is God?
- Where was God?
The answers to these questions are pretty simple - and extremely complex.
God expects us to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior on the basis of faith and to become more Christlike in our day-to-day walk once we have accepted Jesus.
We want God to take care of us. Unfortunately, to most of us, this concept of care is based upon that of a loving grandparent who continually spoils us by giving us everything we ask for while protecting us from the evil of life. This is not God's view of what we should want. God's view is that we should want to love Him and love everyone else in the same fashion with a godly love.
God is God. This is the one most people do not really desire to face. If they do come to understand God is God, it will destroy their earthly views of life and themselves.
God was right here - and in heaven - as the planes struck. This is where He is always to be found. What people don't like is the concept that God would allow 3,000 to be killed by terrorists. Yet, how many people die on the highways every year? Where is God in each of those accidents? How many are killed in other countries by earthquakes and floods and famine and war? How many . . ., well, you get the idea.
Man likes this idea of "love." After all, many of us grew up as "flower children" and our ideas of spreading the "love" is now part of mainstream society. If God is a God of love, He could not allow all of this devastation and despair. So, we conclude, God must have been absent on September 11 and in all of those other events. But, isn't this adopting our view of God? And if He was absent, doesn't this raise an even greater question? Why was He absent?
This brings us back to the other questions.
Who is God? What does He expect of us?