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There Is a Delusion

July 26, 2011

While I agree with virtually nothing of what he says, the atheist author Richard Dawkins does get one thing right…albeit by accident.  In his atheist diatribe, “The God Delusion” he purposes to reject all belief in a divine Creator as a figment of overly creative human imagination…yet, he does very little to explain where the concept of “imagination” would come from, unless it were from a divine and creative Creator.  Both the beginning and the completion of my agreement with him can be found on the cover of the book…specifically the title.  There is a God “delusion”…but it is not that He doesn’t actually exist…but rather, it is that we tend to function as though we believe that we are Him.

 Read through Ecclesiastes 8: 2-8 today…it’s not a long passage by any means.

 This is not the author saying, “Look, I’m the king, so do what I say.”  But, at the same time, the analogy only works if we understand the role of the king.  Most of us didn’t grow up in an imperial system…we are of a republic…a democratic government with elected officials who have not only limited reign and rule…but also a temporary and defined time to hold that power.  Verse 4 says, “The word of the king is supreme.”  For a lot of us today, in our sort of post-modern way of thinking, there is nothing supreme…there is no ultimate authority…everyone is his own master so to speak.  Therein lies the great delusion…we think, and act as though we are supreme in our lives…we’re the star of our show…and God is left to serve in a supporting role.  We turn our backs to the King.  What we have is not an image problem…it’s an authority problem.

 It is in the bonds of this misguided notion that we boldly stand before the Creator and Sustainer of all things and ask, “What are you doing?”  Understand, the implication here is not that we are begging to know the will of God…this isn’t us humbly asking to know what God is up to.  The example I would use here is that of air travel…a concept and practice that is really insane if you consider it.  With the exception of the plane we are actually on, nobody stops to thank God each day for the thousands of planes that take off and land safely across the globe…but you let one of them crash, and watch as people shake their fists at the heavens and say, “God, where were you?” (I believe that’s a Piper quote…but don’t quote me on that)  Do you see the problem there?  That is what the writer is addressing here…the fact that we want things to happen according to our will, our purpose, and dang it…it better happen now…and God simply, and necessarily, doesn’t work on our clock.

 Verse 6 is a great verse…it’s great because it forces everyone to look at themselves and ask the question, “Why does my trouble, or evil, way heavy on me?  In other, sort of crude words, “Why do we care?”  Why do I care when I mislead someone (lie)?  Why do I care when I make rash judgments about people?  Why do I care when I cause another person to feel pain?  Why do I feel guilt, shame, and agony over such things?  It echo’s back to chapter 3 where he said there is a season for everything…and then follows it with the profound statement in 3:11 that God has “put eternity into man’s heart.”  We care because we all know; every single one of us knows…that there is more to this life than what we see under the sun…something beyond mere survival.  There is purpose, and there is meaning…in that reality, we find the Creator…in that, in Him, we find…hope.  That’s why Dawkins got it wrong…the delusion isn’t that God isn’t there…it is that we aren’t Him.

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