Help Unwanted

gelbejimo_ratas_1Read Philippians 2:9-11

There is no such thing as a permanent atheist. If the Bible is true, then every form of unbelief is only temporary unbelief. The “faith” that begins after death, of course, is not saving faith. Nevertheless it says, in Philippians 2, “every knee” and “every tongue.” This is a sobering thought, but usually only for those who already believe. Unbelief is an interesting power in our human minds. Nothing appears to be more welcomed, more sought after, and more cherished by so many people than the idea that the God of the Bible is just another idea. Sometimes it is proposed that the offense taken at the Gospel undercuts the claim of atheism. Why would you be so angry about something you see as untrue? Even the negating name of atheism is suspect. Lately, some leading atheists have considered these things. Now many identify as freethinkers rather than atheists. And, now, more importantly, they are not angry. Anger is out. The online version of CNN yesterday featured a story of a non-angry, family-minded, moral, atheist comedian. As a believer, I find it helpful to listen to and try to understand such people. I admit that I sometimes prefer the company and conversation of an honest atheist to an apathetic so-called believer. Our campaign for “anything but God” is always revealing, and, to my mind, always underscores our need for redemption. We’re drowning people who claim to be swimming. Only an outside lifeguard-savior can pull us up and out of the water. Self-rescue is not possible. The thought of this, however, seems harder to accept than just drowning for so many people. No sense in pointing fingers and calling it pride; we are all in the same water. It turns out, however, that you can take the very best swimmer in the world and put him or her in the middle of any ocean and, inevitably, he or she will drown. Before I ask God to help me, I face the fact that I cannot help myself. Some of the unbelief I’ve encountered in others, and myself, is really just a form of not wanting help. That’s why the most powerful prayer I know is… “Help me, Lord.”

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