Life only has meaning in God. From Him, to Him and through Him are all things. If He stopped supporting the universe it would vanish in an instant. All power to think, move and breathe comes from Him. All goodness and morality is enabled by Him.
It’s quite literally all about Him.
Most of us, when we were Christians, uttered these very same words. It is all about God, it is all about Jesus, we would tell ourselves, say in our prayers, and sing in our songs. Through religious indoctrination we became convinced that our life had no meaning or purpose apart from the divine puppet master. God pulls the strings, calls the shots, and gives us the very breath we breathe. Why, if God didn’t have the whole world in his hands, the universe would, as Webb says, vanish in an instant.
Christians like Webb think life apart from God, you know the life many readers of this blog live, is a live without meaning. As Webb’s abrasive family members like to say to me, Bruce, why don’t you just kill yourself and get it over with. Without Jesus, your life has no meaning, no purpose.
Atheists/agnostics/humanists/secularists are used to Christians defining for them what their life is and isn’t. No matter what we say, no matter what proof we give for having a meaningful life without God, the Christian, because of their indoctrination and blind commitment to the Bible, can not accept what they can clearly see with their eyes.
I spent fifty years in the Christian church. For twenty-five of those years I was a pastor. According to Webb, my life had meaning because I recognized that it was all about God, that God gave me EVERYTHING, and the moment I said, I no longer believe, my life immediately went from having meaning to having no meaning. The only thing that changed is that I no longer believed in the Christian God, yet, all of a sudden, my meaningful life turned into a heaping pile of meaninglessness.
As I shared in a previous post about life having meaning, many atheists are humanists, and it is the humanist ideal that give our lives meaning and purpose. The Humanist Manifesto III states:
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
The lifestance of Humanism—guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience—encourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance…
…Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience. Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.
Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals. We aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death. Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the lifestance of Humanism to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.
Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.
Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness. Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life…
Ask yourselves, if God has the whole world in his hands, why is God AWOL when it comes to sickness, suffering, disease, starvation, violence, and war? If God can balance the world on the tip of his finger, surely he can stop war lords from raping and murdering women and children. Surely he can make sure children go to bed at night with a full stomach. Surely he can help a scientist find a cure for one of the diseases that plague and kill humans. Instead, he does nothing.
From my seat in the pew, the God of the Bible is all talk. Yeah, there are a lot of wonderful Bible verses about God loving, caring, keeping, delivering, and protecting his children, yet when we rip off the rose-colored Bible glasses, we see that reality is far different from what is written in the Bible.
I have been often asked what would it take for me to believe in the Christian God? Simple. I just want the Christian God to show up and act like he really cares like Christians say he does. Thousands of years…we are waiting…but not holding our breath.
I wonder if Christians really believe that it is all about God? I look at how they live their lives and all I see is people who don’t live much differently than non-Christians. Even with they make love, I suspect they are just like us heathens. Does anyone really think that in the middle of orgiastic sex, the Christian cries out and says, Ohhhhhhhhhh, it is all about you, God? Of course not. They are, in every way, human, just like the godless.