It’s amazing to consider all the gods mankind has worshipped over the millennia, the tens of thousands still available for worship around the world today, and along with those, the plethora of philosophies and ideologies. In most cases they reflect the standards, desires and preferences of the people who follow them: people create gods and thought systems to fit their aspirations and their appetites…
(Sermon On The Mount, by Carl Heinrich Bloch)
In my post “Can A Teapot be God too?” I wrote that some people view spirituality as a perpetual shopping spree, in which they pick pieces of various belief systems which suit them:
“I liken this kind of reasoning to wandering around a large store, and saying “Hmm…let’s see now… I’ll have a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. Oh I quite like this, but that looks disgusting. Hey- that’s a fantastic teapot…!” (note 1)
Among such people the God of the Bible is largely unattractive. I can have some respect for a person who’s at least made an attempt to understand and to seek him, albeit a half-hearted and short-lived attempt. But what about people who don’t, assuming they’ve heard anything about him? Perhaps they haven’t heard anything but lies, such as the idea that he’s only here to spoil our fun, or perhaps they’ve been turned off by poor representatives.
There’s another option: they just don’t like him. Jesus said that he would draw all men to himself (John 12:32). If this is true, why should some respond and others not bother? Why do some people spend their lives seeking God, gaining strong faith and deep spiritual roots, while others never really seek at all? There’s a wealth of information to be found to support the Bible; a treasure trove of illumination, a lifetime of knowledge, a long history of generations who willingly chose to die for their faith rather than deny it and who left behind a legacy of hope, faith and encouragement. There’s a world and a universe of incredible and intricate beauty as undeniable evidence for a Creator: why are some people not the slightest bit interested?
The answer is quite simple: we attain the level of faith and of understanding that we seek. If we don’t seek we won’t find. Some people just don’t want to know the God I’m speaking of. They don’t want to know about him, they don’t want to listen to anyone who claims to know him, and they don’t want others to know him. They don’t like what he stands for, they don’t like the things he said and they don’t like the thought of living the way he wants them to live. They think there’s nothing of value in the God who claims to freely give eternal life, and they would rather go and watch TV.
Jesus, always profound and fully committed in his assertions, expressed this concept to the max. Speaking of himself as the savior and the light of the world for all those who respond, he identified what it is that prevents people seeking:
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil…whoever lives by the truth comes into the light” (John 3:16-21).
People who don’t like God would be most unhappy in his heaven, and he has no plan to force them to be there.
It really has little to do with supposed “evidence” to the contrary. The first director of the Human Genome Project, Jim Watson, was an outspoken atheist. The second director, Francis Collins, was a Christian theist. Collins, MD, PhD, wrote:
“I am a scientist and a believer, and I find no conflict between those world views” (note 2).
It’s all about how you see the world, and how you want to see the world.
People who come to the God of the Bible do so because they like (and love) what he says, what he does, what he likes, and what he plans to do.
Of course we believers know that God reveals truth: it’s no great achievement of our own. But there’s a fundamental level at which any seeker can invite this revelation if he so chooses:
“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).