By NEMS Daily Journal
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:19-21).
The Apostle Paul’s words to the Christians at Rome serve to admonish men and women today as well as they did in the first century A.D.
Setting aside all arguments of the age and size of the universe, Earth’s fossil record and how plants and animals came to be as we know them today, and many other debatable issues, those who deny the existence of God are left nevertheless to explain a creation without a Creator – a question that defies even the most brilliant to answer sufficiently.
It takes no mathematician to confirm that somethingness does not spring from nothingness.
It takes no physicist to explain that order does not emerge from chaos.
It takes no philosopher to assert that the universe in all its macro- and micro-complexity, exists, and that therefore something caused the universe to be.
It takes no theologian to ascertain that that First Cause is, by definition, God.
Paul asserts that those who refuse to honor God typically become increasingly unhappy in their efforts to ignore his claim on their lives.
“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless” (Romans 1:28-31).
It is worth considering, however, that Paul’s warning may well be less about those with sincere doubts than about those with insincere beliefs.
Brawlers, petty thieves, habitual scofflaws, shady businessmen and even swindling preachers may well flaunt the faith of their fathers while simultaneously denying or excusing their own flagrant wrongdoings.
Jesus had harsh words for those whose actions are disparate from their acclamations. After some religious leaders accused his disciples of not following their (man-made) traditions, he told them,
“Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:5-7).
We take that to mean that faith and the life-directing principles that accompany it are intended to be a foundation on which lives are built, not a veneer that only makes them look presentable.