Guest Writer: Jack Williams
Believe it or not, that is what many people desire our world to be like without God. They feel that without the “hinderance” of God they can move forward and be free from what they feel are the shackles and shortcomings of “traditional” religion. For example, we find that humanism is making great inroads in our society as far as denying and working against religion as most people would view it. Humanism itself has been ruled a religion by the United States Supreme Court (Torcaso Case, 1961; Seegar Case, 1964), yet it denies the need or existence of God, thus a no God religion. Notice what is said of “traditional” religion in the Humanist Manifesto II:
As in 1933, humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to love and care for persons, to hear and understand their prayers, and to be able to do something about them, is an unproved and outmoded faith . . . Reasonable minds look to other means for survival. (13)
No deity will save us; we must save ourselves. (16)
As nontheists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity. (16)
Obviously such people feel that there is no place in man's needs nor should be in his desires for a God in heaven. In the same Manifesto the statement is made that, “The next century can be and should be the humanistic century” (14).
We need to ask, “Is their desire coming true? Is the next century destined to be the 'humanistic century'?” OPEN YOUR EYES! Have you noticed the continual degradation of morals in the media? Adultery, cursing . . . every kind of immoral act is now glorified in the name of human pleasure. The Bible (which has withstood attacks throughout the centuries and is able to withstand them for centuries to come) is under renewed attacks. Biblical events are ridiculed as being “myths.” Even in “traditional religions” there are divisions as to whether the Bible is inspired and they are even voting to decide! Various so called translations are written, not with the desire to set forth plainly the will of God, but to remold the Bible to fit man's needs.
Biblical beliefs, long held as dear have been rejected, not because they have been disproved, but because they do not meet the needs and wants of man. For instance, recent polls among “traditional religions” show that over half of those religious leaders questioned do not believe in heaven or hell. Many do not believe in God or the inspiration of the Bible.
It seems that such “ungodly religion” is making much headway maybe more than we would like to admit. Many ask, “Why? Why is such making the advances that it is in our society?” I think there are two basic reasons.
First of all, we have failed to realize how and by whom this “religion without God” is promoted. If we notice the signers of the Humanist Manifesto, both I and II, we see some enlightening things. Notice the list below of those who signed and the position they filled at the time they signed the Manifesto denying and deriding the existence or need of God.
John Dewey. He was a professor at Columbia University from 1904 until 1929 when he retired. Most authorities believe him to be the single most influential individual on the public education system in the 20th century. Thousands are guided by his ideals and teachings in public education, yet have not even heard his name.
Alan F. Guttmacher. President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Corliss Lamont. Chairman, National Emergency Civil Liberties Commission.
Betty Friedan. Founder, N.O.W.
In addition to these there were numerous authors, including such men as Isaac Asimov and Francis Crick. Well over half of the 200 asked to sign were professors at well known universities. The point is, we should not be surprised at the “anti God” influences surrounding us. Many of those in “power” or positions of influence and public trust hold to such ideals and they use their influence to bring about the “humanist century.” Many times the very people we select to lead us in studies, government and such will use their position to propagate this “no God” philosophy.
But secondly, we have failed. Perhaps the area of greatest failure it to show the result of this desire for a world without God. In God's word He many times uses the power of the negative result to prompt people to go the right way. He did so with Adam and Eve (“thou shalt surely die” [Genesis 2:17]), the Israelites (“these curses shall come upon thee” [Deuteronomy 28:15]), and those in the first century (“ye shall likewise perish” [Luke 13:3]). We too, realize the value of such “negative reinforcement” in such instances as telling the consequences of touching hot things, running into the street, driving carelessly and the like. It would thus be beneficial for us to examine the “negative consequences” of a world without God. In other words, we need to ask (and answer) the question,
What would it be like to live in... A World Without God? We would live in a world filled with immorality. In the book of Romans we read of those people who “did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (1:28). Notice what is said of their “lifestyle” in the verses that follow. They were “filled” with such things as fornication, wickedness, covetousness, murder, despiteful, disobedient to parents, unmerciful .... How tragic! But of course they could say, “I did it my way.” Perhaps the saddest epithet given these people is found in verse 32 where we are told that they “not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” They desired that others join them in their way of life a life without God.
We would live in a world without answers. Have you ever wondered where everything came from? Without God there is no answer to that question. Every “answer” that man derives at by himself contradicts his own knowledge. But God gives the answer (Genesis 1:1-31; Exodus 20:11). Have you ever faced a choice and didn't know which was right men were giving different answers to the same question. But God can give the answer (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3). You see man's answers change depending on what he wants. God's answers stay the same because He looks to what man needs.
We would live in a world without hope. Have you noticed the rising suicide rate those who say life is not worth living? Have you noticed the rise in the number of homeless those who simply decide life is not worth the effort? Have you seen the increase in the number of those overcome with depression who see no way to cope with the pressures of life? A world without God is a world filled with hopelessness and despair. Man cannot find in himself the answer to “Why should I keep on?” Life without God has no purpose that gives hope. God has the answer (Revelation 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Philippians 3:14).
We would live in a world of loneliness. How many of those who want a life without God have someone they can truly trust. Someone they can say loves them above all else? Paul painted the sad picture of those who lived for self and left God out when he said “all seek their own” (Philippians 2:21). Without God there is no reason for anyone to seek anything other than their own reward or self gratification. God has a better answer (John 13:35; Galatians 6:1-2; Hebrew 3:12-13).
A world without God? A world of loneliness, immorality, puzzles with no answer, hopelessness.... How terrible that so many think that is the way things should be. It is obvious that in the world in which we live there are many who have fallen prey to this horrible way.
Something though, that is stranger is that so many go headlong into a world without God because they look at the world about them and think, “If there is really a God, how can the world be like this?” Because they see a world filled with all that is ungodly they reject God. But what they fail to see is that the world is “like this” because so many still refuse to “retain God in their knowledge.” The distressing things we see in the world are not the result of an unloving God, but the result of a people who do not love God. Life with God is never lonely, it is moral, it has the answers we need and long for and is filled with hope. I pray all mankind will see the need to live there and go to God that they may.
Guest Writer - Bill Goring
After God created man in Genesis chapter one, we find that God immediately set out to create a helpmeet for him. Genesis 2:20 says, “And Adam gave names to all the cattle and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him.” Thus God begins His plan to bring woman on to the scene as a companion for man. Woman was created from the rib of man (Genesis 2:21,22), and took her God-given place by Adam's side as his wife and help meet. It isn't quite that easy to find a mate today. Since God doesn't create a mate for us, we must do our best to find that “Mr. Right” or “Miss Right” on our own. We do not have the prearranged marriages which were so often seen in Eastern countries where the parents did the picking of the mate and the children went obediently to the marriage altar.
So where is our rule book for selecting a mate? Is there any such book? Unfortunately, no, there is no such book that will conveniently select the perfect soul-mate for life. However, there is a book which will be the most excellent guide that you will ever have; that book is the Bible!
THE PURPOSE OF DATING
Dating or courtship was designed for young people to have an opportunity to become better acquainted with other young folks so they could find out what they had in common and to see whether or not they enjoyed one another's company. If they did, it would be a relationship worth pursuing, the ultimate goal of which would be marriage. Today, many young people do not specifically date with the thought of marriage in mind. However, it is important for those who are dating to realize that anytime you are dating, the possibility of a permanent relationship might occur. People have been known to fall in love even when it is least expected. Therefore we could say that dating is a “prelude to marriage.” Keeping this thought in mind, let us consider some other subjects.
If we agree that it is possible for one who is dating to fall in love with the one they are courting, then we can logically assume that it is of the utmost importance for a Christian to be dating one who is of like faith. If dating ultimately leads to marriage, what Christian would want to be linked for life to an unbeliever? This is not to say it is sinful to date one who is not a member of the Lord's body, but my question would be, “Why would you want to?” Once we establish that an individual is a Christian what are some other qualities that would be good to have if you were going to spend the rest of your life with someone? Although not specifically named in the Bible as desirable characteristics for potential mates, there are a few qualities every Christian should possess: kindness, a loving nature, patience, unselfishness, humility, gentleness, purity, soberness, sincerely. All of these are Biblical examples of a Christ-like nature. That is what we should gravitate toward — one with a Christ-like nature.
Obviously, we would want to be physically attracted to one who we were about to begin a relationship with. Although physical attraction is not the main criteria for a relationship, it is a very important part as we see in Genesis chapter 29. Jacob loved Rachel; she was beautiful and well-favored, as opposed to Leah being “tender-eyed.” Jacob was attracted to Rachel — he loved her. It is very important that couples be attracted to one another.
Once we have reached the point where we have found someone that we wish to date, there are a few rules that need to be followed .
There are a few things that need to be remembered when a couple is dating. Most of them can be summed up in the big word RESPECT, but we will try to be a little more specific.
1. Always honor your parents wishes — no matter how ridiculous you think they are! If they tell you to be home at a certain time — be there. If they tell you not to go to a certain place — don't go.
2. If you are a young man: go up to the door, meet her parents, don't be rude.
3. If you are a young lady: be considerate enough to be ready, on time.
4. Courtesy and kindness demands that you hold doors for her, pull out chairs, treat her like a lady — the same way you would want your mother or sister treated. Boys, always remember your date is someone's daughter or sister. How would you want your mom treated?
5. Girls, act like a lady! Don't embarrass your date by being loud-mouthed or by bossing your date around. He will not appreciate it.
6. Dress appropriately. Discuss ahead of time where you will be going and the appropriate attire. It is very embarrassing to show up under-dressed or over-dressed. Always wear modest apparel (I Timothy 2:9). If you are ever in doubt as to whether you should or should not do something, a good thing to remember is: “Does this violate any Biblical principle?” “Would I be ashamed for Jesus to see me?”
The next and probably the most important message that daters need revolves around the topic of dating behavior. That would be: Places to Go, Things to Do, and Your Physical Conduct.
With regard to places you go: again, it cannot be emphasized too much that you need to remember that you are a Christian. Rated R movies with sexual content, vulgar language and such are bound to be an embarrassment (hopefully) to both of you. A good rule of thumb: if you wouldn't watch it with your mom or dad, don't take her to see it. If she asks to go, tell her you wouldn't feel comfortable, and suggest another movie, or miniature golf, or something. James 1:27 says, “Pure religion, and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” It is difficult to keep oneself unspotted while filling our hearts and minds with lewdness and vulgarities. Beaches, swimming pools, dances, and other places where the dress is skimpy and the body movements are lustful, will only be an enticement to young people. These are not acceptable types of entertainment. They only lead to problems.
Things to do while dating runs right along beside places to go. Again, there are many ways of having fun without putting yourself in a place that will compromise your Christian standards. You should always try your best to fellowship with other Christians. Take advantage of the youth rallies in your area and the skatings and Bible camp activities. When it is possible, have another Christian couple go with you — it takes the stress off of a one-on-one relationship, and often you will find you have more fun in a group setting. Go to ball games, miniature golf, bowl, school functions, skate, ice skate. Find out what is available in your local area — perhaps there are even museums or galleries you would both enjoy. Find out each others hobbies and try to cultivate an interest in that area. There are many things that you can find to do that is good, clean fun!
That brings us to physical conduct or displays of affection. As we mentioned before, it is always best to stay with a group of friends or another couple, especially if you feel there will be pressure to become physical with your date. When you are unable to be with others, avoid any compromising situations such as being alone in a house, unchaperoned. Allowing yourself to become entangled in an intimate relationship before marriage will only cause pain and heartache. It creates a stressful situation and you will carry the guilt of your sin. Few relationships ever work out that are based upon sex prior to marriage. As a young person it is difficult to try to remain pure as God would have us to be, but it is possible. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Also, I Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it.” How comforting it is to know that our Lord has experienced everything we have and can feel what we are feeling. We are not alone! We can overcome our temptations, but we must put forth an effort to do so. The more we resist, the easier it becomes to resist the next time. One of the benefits in dating another Christian is that both of you are struggling together. You will both be trying your best to remain pure. That is why it is so important to choose your dating partners very carefully. Dating is serious business — we need to treat it as such!
Click HERE to learn more about our blog writers.