How many times have you heard, “I would consider believing in God if I could just get some proof that he exists”? This seems to be a typical mantra among people who want to sound open-minded, but have the luxury of not making a decision at all. It is easy to place the blame on agnostics for choosing not to make a choice, or atheists who have chosen not to believe in God, as having come to an incorrect decision on their own. After all, faith is a personal matter and we all have to make our own decisions, right?
Look at what the Lord says through Ezekiel to the Jewish people, though, after they have experienced God’s judgment, learned their lesson from unfaithfulness, and are living in exile:
41 When I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you are scattered, I will accept you as a pleasing aroma. Through you I will be made holy in the sight of the nations.
It is through the faithfulness of the covenant people that God will be made holy in the world. It is when the people called by his name actually live up to that calling that the rest of the world will know there is a difference between living in relationship with God and not living in relationship with God. It is when we are faithful that the rest of the world will know the Lord is God.
Jesus made a similar statement when he said that the world would know we are his disciples by our love for one another (John 13:34-35). Everyone in the world is responsible for making their own choices concerning God, but we bear much of the blame for not allowing them to make an informed choice. We have withheld the evidence that shows God is real and makes a difference in our lives. In the West, we have created a version of Christianity that looks just like our culture, whether on the right or the left of the political spectrum. And our cultural Christianity has infighting just like the right and the left of our culture. The ones in the middle remain silent, just like our culture. And the our culture decided that they could live exactly how they do now without any added burdens of losing a Sunday morning out of their schedule or giving money to another charity.
We bear much of the blame for not showing our culture that there is a difference in being a follow of Jesus and not being a follower of Jesus. How to do that is much more involved than can be communicated in a blog post. If you would like to continue this conversation, you can contact me here.
I would just leave you with a prophetic word from Ezekiel 16:49-50 that also has meaning for us in the West today:
49 This is the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were proud, had plenty to eat, and enjoyed peace and prosperity; but she didn’t help the poor and the needy. 50 They became haughty and did detestable things in front of me, and I turned away from them as soon as I saw it.