Here’s where we left off …
The struggle is real
What if I’ve been wrong about God this whole time? It was a worry I couldn’t shake. I had spent my entire childhood and adolescence convinced that God was real. I now found myself in grad school, in a philosophy department full of atheists who were equally convinced that he didn’t.
The problem wasn’t that I was uncertain I could justify my beliefs to my atheist friends and colleagues; the problem was that I was no longer sure I could justify my beliefs to myself. My beliefs made sense from within the Christian worldview, but when I looked at the world from their perspective, my beliefs seemed almost as crazy as a grownup believing in the Tooth Fairy.
What if they were right? What if I had based my whole life on someone that didn’t even exist?
I felt stuck. I knew there was a truth out there—God either exists or he doesn’t—and it matters which one.
As C.S. Lewis put it:“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” Click To Tweet
If God really does exist, he would be the single most important being in the universe. And if he doesn’t, would it all be a waste?
I wanted to believe in God, but I was no longer sure I should. I felt like I was standing in the middle of the road. I knew I needed to pick a side, but I couldn’t tell which side to choose. I wanted to base my life on the truth. I just wasn’t sure what the truth was.
The Greatest Story Ever Told?
Without God, we can try to create our own meaning in life. We can fill our lives with activities to pass the time. We can connect with the earth, with others, with our shared humanity. But eventually, the earth will fade away and everything humanity has worked towards will be gone. There will be no one to remember us. No one will even know that we were here.
But what if that’s not all there is? What if there is more to life than the here and now? What if we’re settling for the 80 or so years we’ll have on earth when eternity is waiting for us?What if we’re living ordinary, quiet lives of desperation when there is an all-knowing, all-powerful God who is just waiting for us to find him? Click To Tweet
What if there really is a God who is loving and merciful, an ever-present help in times of trouble? Who not only knows your name but wants to have a relationship with you?
If God really does exist—and if he really is loving and merciful and good with the ability to move mountains—wouldn’t we be crazy not to go all in?
Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
But what if God is not The Greatest Story Ever Told? What if God doesn’t even exist?
What if believing in God is like believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a fictitious divine tangle of spaghetti and meatballs that supposedly created the universe? The analogy is not perfect, of course—we know that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is made up—but it’s still worth thinking about. For even if we have more reason to believe that God exists than that the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists, the evidence of God’s existence is still far from conclusive. So while we might have more reason to believe in God, it is quite possible that he is no more real than the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
And if we devote our lives to God and it turns out that God isn’t real, would we be any better off than we would be if we had devoted our lives to the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
If God really does exist, we have reason to go all in. We might end up participating in The Greatest Story Ever Told. But if we go all in and we’re wrong, we won’t just have a false belief. We will have given up our time and energy and control of our lives to something that doesn’t even exist. That’s a serious price to pay.
If we’re talking about give up control of our lives to someone, shouldn’t we be really sure that he exists? And what if we’re not?
This is Part 2 in a series on faith and doubt. To read Part 1, click here. There is much more to this story. If you don’t want to miss the rest, you can subscribe to my newsletter for updates and exclusive content!
Don't want to miss the rest of the story?
Subscribe to my monthly newsletter to get updates on blog posts and exclusive content!
Want to live more intentionally?
Join our 5-Week Intentional Living Challenge!
Each week you'll get a short reflection sent straight to your inbox designed to help you think more deeply about how you can connect with God, yourself, and the world in a more purposeful way.
BONUS: You'll also get a FREE printable each week!
Click here to subscribe to my monthly newsletter for free updates and exclusive content and to begin your 5-Week Intentional Living Challenge.