Today we began an 8-week sermon series called Foundations: An Introduction to Christian Theology. We know how important foundations are for buildings. It is the same for us. We all have a foundation for how we think, engage the world and act in it.
We call this foundation a worldview. Over the next 8 weeks, we are going to establish a distinctively biblical, Christian foundation, or worldview, upon which to live.
Today’s passage from Romans 1:19-20.
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 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.
The Great Continental Divide extends from the Bering Strait in northern Alaska, through Canada, from Montana to New Mexico and all the way through Central and South America to the Strait of Magellan, in southern Chile.
The divide is not named because it slices the continents into two halves. It is a hydrological divide that separates two macro-watersheds, for all the rain that falls on the west of the divide will flow toward and into the Pacific Ocean, while rain that falls on the eastern side of the divide will flow toward and into the Atlantic Ocean.
Today’s sermon topic is a watershed issue. Depending on which side of the issue we fall is going to determine how we view the world and our place in it. Where I fall will influence how I think about everything, how I process ideas, how I react to events, and how I make decisions. It is a watershed issue.
Here is the divide: Does a personal, creator God really exist?
Let’s not be too quick to answer. The stakes are just too high. The implications are too profound.
After all, if there isn’t a personal, creator God, not only are we wasting our time here this morning, but there is no longer any referent for truth, and for what is good, right, and beautiful.
Without a universal referent, everything becomes relative and, let’s be honest, ultimately meaningless.
That was the conclusion of King Solomon writing Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. He concluded that if there is no God, then everything is ultimately meaningless, regardless of how hard we try to suppress that reality by making some temporal meaning out of the fact that we are nothing more than advanced organisms that have evolved from primordial slime.
I’m just asking us to be ruthlessly honest.
If there is no personal, creator God who has given a unique value to human life, then a child in the womb or the kid killed in the hood really is of no more value than a dead possum in the middle of the road.
But if there is a personal, creator God, then there is a referent for truth, and for what is good, right and beautiful. Human life is valuable–even sacred–regardless of someone’s age, color, nationality, or even religion.
If there is a personal, creator, then life is not meaningless. Everything is infused with value and purpose.
This really is a watershed issue, which is why I don’t want us to assume the answer. Some of us will be tempted to check out because you think you know what I am going to say.
But if you are an atheist, you may be right. Or, you may be wrong.
If those of us who are not atheists will be honest, we will confess that we live as functional atheists more than we think we do or will admit that we do.
We need to step back and examine the evidence. If we are going to say that there is a personal, creator, then I want us to be absolutely convinced, without reservation. The implications are just too significant.