No, this is not a story about getting sucked into the vortex of youtube videos that eats away at your time.
The video that I selected was surprisingly challenging! The video listed 10 things that Christians should stop saying to Atheists. It was so interesting to hear how the guy in the video perceived some of the things that Christians would typically say when talking to an Atheist. A lot of the things listed were textbook responses, which is the opposite of what a believer wants to be when talking about the God that we love! Our conversation with unbelievers should be so filled, guided, and dependent on the Holy Spirit that it is seen as anything but “textbook”. Aside from all of that, there was really only one reason that this video stuck with me for some time.
One of the things that host claimed Christians often say to Atheists is that they lack morality because they don’t believe in God. This is not true.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26-27
What do you think this verse means?
It isn’t merely a physical resemblance! It represents much more than that. God created us in His likeness, which means that in many, if not all, ways we resembled Him. It is amazing to think that at one point man resembled God enough to be described as His own image! This description, at the time, represented both man’s physical and spiritual state. Clearly, these things were tainted after the sin man, but the fact remains that we were once a perfect image of our mighty God. Unfortunately, we are now an imperfect image of our God because of our inherited nature, but we still have the potential to resemble that Godly image nonetheless.
One part of God’s image that we have definitely inherited is God’s heart, which subsequently gives us His comprehension of morality. Unfortunately, his heart is suppressed in those that choose to reject Him.
11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
God is eternity. He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He is on man’s heart. This has no requirement that the “man” mentioned is a believer, and this, like the fact that we are all made in His image, is an overarching characteristic of all mankind. Whether a believer or an unbeliever, we are made in His image; we seek eternity; we seek Him!
So, let’s go back to the dilemma with our friend, the Athiest. The question of morality is not whether or not a particular person has it at all because we all do! God has given us all an understanding of morality. The question is rather, do you know where that morality is from? Do you realize what the opposite of that morality is?
Even if you thought that morality – an understanding of right vs. wrong – is inherited from our ancestors, that thought process leads to the same question. There must have been an origin, right? Our ancestors learned it from their ancestors. Their ancestors learned it from their ancestors…and so on. Eventually, there had to have been a point where someone originally imparted an understanding of morality onto our original ancestors. This clearly points towards God who has already explained to us that we are made in His image and that He has placed eternity on our hearts. The feeling of eternity in us makes us sensitive to the eternal consequence of “bad” things vs the eternal consequence of “good” things. That sensitivity to the eternal consequence leaves us helpless when we realize that we can do nothing to defend against its counterpart, immorality. No matter how many laws are made and no matter how many governments are formed, immorality can be found in every single corner of the world, and if we cannot defend against immorality, then how can we avoid the eternal consequence (condemnation) that we know to be true in our hearts? Ignoring it is not a solution.
So now our conversation of morality has led us to realize that there is immorality as well, and when we rename immorality, we realize that it is sin. Sin is what runs rampant, and sin is what is found in all corners of this world. Sin is what condemns us, and sin is what causes the depravity in our lives.
I believe and see that we all come into this world just as sinful as the next person! We inherit this nature from our ancestors, and we cannot change that fact. What we can change is our ability to fight that nature. Whether we are a believer or not, we can make a conscious effort to fight sin everyday! We can choose to act morally, and we can choose to walk a righteous path. We can choose to be kind to others. We can choose to be charitable in all things, and so on! The problem is that no matter what we choose to do, we will always be stuck at fighting. We would fight, fight, fight! Only to find that we cannot overcome. Only to find that we would constantly fail. Only to find that the sin would never go away. Only to find that immorality would forever be a part of my life because I can do little to nothing to stop it. Being a believer, does not magically make me a moral person. Being a Believer makes me realize how powerless I am to immorality, and it provides me with the only Way to overcome it! It equips me with victory over the sting of death through Jesus Christ, and with heavenly wisdom to battle the flesh.
God has placed eternity on the heart of every man on this earth, and morality is one of those eternal things that we have all inherited from when we were created in His image. Once we begin a conversation on morality, we must consider immorality. Once we bring up immorality we must consider sin. Once we bring up sin we must recognize the [eternal] consequence.