God Doesn't Panic


A reader writes:

I enjoyed your response to Sam, although I don't think he'll be too pleased with it. You did a great job trying to explain the unexplainable; for those who have felt something similar it will ring true, but to others it won't mean much. Sam might attribute the failure to bridge the gulf to religion's lack of any real proof, while you might also point out that it is due to empiricism's unwillingness to accept anything that cannot be proven. I guess it's always been that way.

When Paul spoke to people following his miraculous conversion, some believed him and others did not. Some converted to Christianity but others made sure he was arrested and sent to prison. I've often wondered why so many chose to believe him at all, since he could not in any way demonstrate what had happened to him on the road to Damascus. Now, I think, you find yourself in a similar situation.  You can explain your faith using all of your skills as a writer, but your words really just testify to the strength of your conviction, not to the truth of what you believe. I know you're not a missionary, but this is a missionary's experience. Some will believe your testimony, and others will not.

As for filling a role between atheism and fundamentalism, I think that's largely true. Real religion from God is - I believe - always reasonable. God does not go into panic mode, and neither should we.  In fact, the two great chapters in the Gospels about the events of the last days (Matthew 24 and Luke 21) were spoken by the Savior mostly to instruct us not to panic; He's saying, "Here, I'm telling you what's going to happen so that when you see these things come to pass, you don't get excessively fearful and panicky."  The Gospel brings peace and calm, faith and hope, not fear or hatred or worrying or fanaticism.  But God also does not reject communication with him, which is like a whispered conversation that cannot be overheard.  Empiricists want to overhear, otherwise they reject the idea that the conversation every really occurred.

It's interesting that you see your sexual orientation as a "divine gift." I am not gay so I have never thought about such a thing; your comment is new to me and something for me to think about. Surprisingly, perhaps, your statement seems healthy to me, sort of like that poster that used to around, which shows a child saying he's a good person because "God doesn't make mistakes." I do not doubt that you, as well as anyone else, can have a relationship with God. He is your father, too.