I wrote an entry a couple months ago about the Third Day song Nothing Compares. I wrote that, like the song says, when all is said and done, nothing compares to the greatness of knowing God. And that can be meant in at least three ways:
1) Nothing else in the world compares to the greatness of knowing my God.
2) No other beautiful part of being a child of God, whether that be fellowship with His people, helping others, the moving worship songs, the poetic verses in His word, the hope of what’s to come – no, nothing compares to the greatness of merely knowing Him as my Father.
3) And, nothing anyone can say in favor of their unbelief and against my God can even come close to making me question the pure truth and beauty I find in knowing Him. Personally.
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.
This is what I was reminded of when I was reading the other night.
I just finished The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity by Lee Strobel. It’s given me a lot of interesting “intellectual” answers about the world’s suffering and God’s love. I recommend!
In the first chapter about suffering, Strobel speaks with author and professor Peter Kreeft. He has great insight on the subject.
But there was an interesting little nugget in the conversation that I wanted to share. It was something that I had never thought about before and I’d never heard phrased in this way. Kreeft says,
Faith is prejudiced.
This is the whole passage:
“There’s no question that the existence of evil is one argument against God –but in one of my books I summarize twenty arguments that point persuasively in the other direction, in favor of the existence of God. Atheists must answer all twenty arguments; theists must only answer one. However, each of us gets to cast a vote. Faith is active; it demands a response. Unlike reason, which bows down faithfully to the evidence, faith is prejudiced.
Suppose a policeman came into this room and said they just captured my wife in the act of murdering thirteen neighbors by chopping off their heads, and they have witnesses. I would laugh at him. I would say, ‘No, this cannot be. You do not know her as I do.’ He would say, ‘Where’s your evidence?’ I’d say, ‘It’s a different kind than yours. But there is evidence that this could not be.’ So I’m prejudiced.
However, my prejudice is a reasonable prejudice because it’s based on the evidence I’ve gathered in my very real experience. So someone who knows God has evidence–and therefore prejudices based on that evidence–which someone who does not know God does not have.”
This idea just stopped me in my tracks, what a cool way to think of it.
I immediately had a funny picture in my mind. I imagined an atheist and a believer in a fierce debate about the existence of God, behind their respective podiums, sheets of paper being shuffled around, rebuttal notes being jotted down, brows furrowed. And after a heated back and forth, the atheist shouts, “Well, you’re prejudiced because you know Him!!!” I can just see it slipping out.
If you know God, you know that He is the truth. You may have unanswered questions and doubts about the purpose of pain and suffering, the seemingly senseless violence and harm inflicted upon innocent people, why the world is the way it is. But you are prejudiced because you know Him, you know that He is good, You know that He will work everything out for the ultimate good, and you trust Him with your heart and with your life.
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
This concept also reminded me of a video I watched awhile ago. It was a real debate, Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort defending their faith against two atheists. Let me just say, there are times in this debate that are very sad and hard to watch, as a Christian. The debate was meant to purely use science to give evidence for God. And, (bless them because they have amazing testimonies and do great work) their science is a little shaky. Not to mention, the room is filled with rowdy disrespectful atheists with their hoo’s and ha’s. I personally don’t think it was a great way of going about it since they are not extremely well-trained in science and history. Because with the right knowledge, I believe science points right to Him.
But in this debate, my heart really went out to the guys. There Kirk Cameron was, most of the room against him, amidst the visibly angry atheist couple, and his face truly showed his disappointment and sadness for the situation.
One who doesn’t understand God may have misunderstood his puppy-dog expression and downtrodden eyes. “Ha!” an atheist might think. “Look at him, face to face with science and facts, disproving his God and shaking his entire belief system to the core. Clearly he’s losing his faith right before our eyes!”
But I look at his face and completely understand what he’s feeling. Possibly underprepared, wishing he hadn’t accepted a forum like this. But most of all, sad to the core that this crowd, refusing anything but their beloved scientific proof, won’t accept his testimony. They won’t accept the evidence of God based on the fact that He has been changed by Him, lived a life following Him, speaking with Him, watching his prayers answered and receiving direction from Him. Exasperated, not because his faith is being challenged but because the atheist refuses to take into account the spiritual rebirth that the Holy Spirit offers in our lives. That God is alive and working in people’s lives all over the world. That He holds the gift of life when you reach out to Him. That when you seek Him with your whole heart you will find Him. That there are people all over the world healed, comforted, changed, alive again, filled with joy because of Him!
And if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
I’ve felt this way many times in my life when I’ve been confronted with sarcastic quips about my faith in God. Sometimes you just want to shake people and say, “You just don’t know what you’re rejecting! You don’t know what you’re losing!”
Taste and see that the Lord is good…
The power of God and His salvation is so beautiful when you embrace it and He comes alive in front of your eyes. And though his love extends to all reaches of the earth, He gives us the choice to find Him and love Him or to reject Him. He is always at the door knocking, and He wants us to put our trust and confidence in Him!
Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.
Like the NewsBoys song says:
There’s something better I can give, if you surrender you will live.
Just gotta taste it, see it’s good. I’d make you see it if I could!
It’s gonna save your life.