Monday, July 18, 2011

Dear God...

If you are a frequent reader of this Blog you have noticed that I draw heavily from music. I was listening to the radio on the way to work the other day and an old song that did not get much air play back in 1987 and due to the controversial lyrics some record stores would not even carry the album. My how things have changed! The song is called Dear God by XTC and here are the lyrics.
Dear God,
Hope you got the letter,
And I pray you can make it better down here.
I don't mean a big reduction in the price of beer,
But all the people that you made in your image,
See them starving on their feet,
'Cause they don't get enough to eat

From God,
I can't believe in you.

Dear God,
sorry to disturb you,
but I feel that I should be heard loud and clear.
We all need a big reduction in amount of tears,
And all the people that you made in your image,
See them fighting in the street,
'Cause they can't make opinions meet,
About God,
I can't believe in you.

Did you make disease, and the diamond blue?
Did you make mankind after we made you?
And the devil too!

Dear God,
Don't know if you noticed,
But your name is on a lot of quotes in this book.
Us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look,
And all the people that you made in your image,
Still believing that junk is true.
Well I know it ain't and so do you,
Dear God,
I can't believe in,
I don't believe in,

I won't believe in heaven and hell.
No saints, no sinners,
No Devil as well.
No pearly gates, no thorny crown.
You're always letting us humans down.
The wars you bring, the babes you drown.
Those lost at sea and never found,
And it's the same the whole world 'round.
The hurt I see helps to compound,
that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
Is just somebody's unholy hoax,
And if you're up there you'll perceive,
That my heart's here upon my sleeve.
If there's one thing I don't believe in...

It's you,
Dear God.
The lyrics to this song are powerful in that it sounds like the writer Andy Partridge sounds like he is searching. It sounds like he was looking for answers and never could really find them. I am not sure if he truly searched for God or if he just made some assumptions based on what he heard other people (who may have claimed to be Christians) say or saw what other people (who may have claimed to be Christians) did that really turned him off to God.

As I write this I have found myself engaging several atheist online. We banter back and forth over issues of Biblical inerrancy, fulfilled prophecy, proof that God exists or does not exist, etc. I have seen a few things happen within this discussion.

First, many atheist have been burned by the church or religion. They have been exposed to "Christians" who have totally blown it in their witness for Christ. They have successful at saying what they believe but utter failures at displaying what they believe.
I Peter 2: 12 - Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
In other words don't say what you believe, display what you believe. Sure there will be times to speak up but begin with living a life that displays the truth you claim to believe.

The second thing I have seen happen is how Christians get very frustrated when they cannot convince someone to believe what they believe and they begin the verbal assault. They will say some very harsh and cruel things that do not help in any way rather the things they say typically reinforce the atheists view of Christians or Theist. We can sometimes forget our roots, forget where we were before God saved us.
Titus 3: 1-7 - 1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. 3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Finally, we have to stop trying to be the Holy Spirit. We cannot convert anyone, only the Holy Spirit can. We can share truth, we can display the love of Christ through our actions and words (or lack there of!) and we can simply let God, through His Holy Spirit speak to them as only He can.
John 16: 7-11 - 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
Notice what this says in vs 8 - he will convict the world of guilt in regard to and I are not to do that!

As Believers, we are to live our lives in such a way that those who have not experienced the transforming power of Christ cannot help but notice something different about us and inquire. If we were truly living our lives like this, songs like the one above would no longer be written. Doubts about the existence of God would cease and God would receive the glory and honor He so deserves.

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