In April, Ai started a blog, podcast and YouTube Channel (See more on that below). Our first Podcast dealt with the subject ‘Is Godlessness Good For the World?” It was an answer to an op-ed piece in the LA Times entitled, “Why America’s Record Godlessness is Good News.” You can click these links to listen or read Ai’s response. Jesus Culture Blog – Jesus Culture Podcast.
I have reflected on this idea very much in this past season. Between Covid, the political and social unrest of our country, having feelings at times of being put out to pasture and then seeing the total devastation of a country that I have lived and love being decimated with Covid cases, it can feel like maybe God is too distant. It is easy for the faithful to be side tracked or worse, I have seen all too many people leave their faith during this time. As a pastor and one who is pursuing a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, that is heartbreaking and sad.
Then comes along an article like this, or one reads a book like Christopher Hitchens’ “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” and there is a feeling of discouragement. This particular LA Times article didn’t have the mean spirited bite of Hitchens; it just had the ‘logical’ flow away from God to an ‘enlightened’ perspective on life. It was a gentle push over the edge in to their own abyss. Is godlessness really good for the world? What does that even mean? A biblical understanding of godlessness paints a pretty dire picture Paul describes such a scenario in 2 Timothy
“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”2 Timothy 3:2-7
And as I reflected more, Psalm 73 came to mind, which is an honest and gut wrenching response to seeing the godless prosper while he and those trying to live a life devoted to God are not. The Psalmist pours out his heart to God, admitting that he almost ‘slipped,‘ into a complacent walk with God, or an outright rejection of His existence, until God revealed to the Psalmist the reality of the end game for the godless; “But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin” (VV. 16-18). The reality is, anyone can rail against God, and we often do, but it doesn’t remove the pain of being human, so we all turn to our gods for relief; we all have crutches. The bigger question is is your crutch consistent, lasting and gives eternal hope?
This has certainly been a very rough year for many of you, but in spite of the enemies attacks on the gospel, and in spite of our slips into unfaithfulness at times, we can trust that God is faithful! And in spite of people’s outward appearances on Instagram and Facebook, a life with God is never one of peace and hope in the midst of the storm.