“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:1-2)
The Christian’s sense of self-worth derives from God’s love. God accepts us unconditionally because He individually created each one of us. A God-composed journey of faith life-script is designed to create the optimum context for a personal relationship with God.
Conversely, the “pride of life” based upon wealth and material possessions divides out and separates winners and losers. This in turn forms the destructive basis for chaos, envy, prejudices, snap negative judgments, partially informed opinions, and misinformed judgments about the future potential of people.
All of the things that make for a better world derive from a God-produced, higher self-worth and elevated self-image that sets people free from the chaos and confusion briefly described above. Some of the products of liberated freedom “in Christ” energized by God’s love for us is tolerance, patience, moderation, inclusive non-prejudice, and concern and care for others (see Gal. 5:22-25).
All of these higher qualities of tone and tenor in the lives of Christians come from the God of the entire Bible. Journeys of faith originate with Abraham first introduced way back in Genesis chapter 12 in the Bible, and continue in varied themes throughout the Bible, culminating in the classic statement of the cross in the believer’s life made by Jesus the night before His crucifixion: “…nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk. 22:44).
The Crusades, the Inquisition, the abuses of the middle centuries Roman Catholic Church using indulgences, pilgrimages, and relics, and religious revolts and wars in Europe during and after the Protestant Reformation…simply did not get it. These things were not Holy Spirit led.
The higher qualities of biblical faith as exemplified in God-composed journeys of faith have no relation or correlation to Darwinian survival. The characteristics of sin in this world are so adversely destructive it requires a more mature explanation than the simplemindedness of atheism.
Atheists critique the morality of the God of the Old Testament from the viewpoint of a philosophy that by definition has no standard for judging morality. An independent standard of morality does not exist in the atheistic philosophy of naturalism. Who cares about the Crusades if there is no moral standard by which to judge the Crusades? If there is no God…then there is no fixed moral standard to go by.
Many of the complaints by atheists about Christianity are based upon moral judgments that are themselves meaningless in an absolute atheist reality.
This should be an indirect, left-handed motivation for all Christians to pick up their cross, to enter in at the narrow gate of Matthew 7:13-14, and to discover the journey of faith composed by God for each one of us. The ongoing debate between belief and unbelief, between Christian theism and atheism, is fundamental…because we were designed for a purpose.