Summary: This sermon deals with doctrinal beliefs we should have about God.
Does the topic make you a little uneasy? Have you ever said this to God or wished you had enough nerve to say it? Maybe you have had questions in your mind but you have never voiced them out loud. Perhaps one of the questions that has floated through you mind is whether there is even a God to ask life’s most important questions to. I mean, have you ever seen God or heard him speak to you? Has anyone ever shown him to you? I believe in God, but I have never seen him or heard him. God’s Son is my Lord and Savior, but I can’t show him to you.
I recall one of the All in the Family episodes where Archie and Edith were having some discussion that had to do with God, and Mike-their atheistic son-in-law, asked the question, “What God.” Then their daughter, Gloria, said, “Yeah, what God.” Archie could not believe his ears. He knew his son-in-law was an atheist, but he could not believe his daughter said such a thing. When questioned about the statement, their response was, “We just don’t see any evidence of God.”
A recent study from the Barna Research Group-who does much research for religious life, found that hundreds of thousands of adults who are atheists or agnostics attend Christian churches. These are people who don’t believe in God or doubt the existence of God. The study shows that roughly 7% of the adult population-approximately 14 million people, describe themselves as atheists or agnostics. America has more atheists and agnostics than Mormons, Jews or Muslims. Most of these individuals believe that heaven exists but believe that one gets there based on their good deeds. According to the research, most atheists and agnostics are men, under 35, white and residents of the Northeast and West. College graduates and political liberals were also more likely to be atheists or agnostics.
Barna did a survey in 1999 to find out what Americans believe about God. Four percent believe everyone is God. Sixty seven percent believe that God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect creator that rules the world today. Seven percent believe that God is the total realization of personal, human potential. Three percent believe that there are many gods, each with different power and authority. Eleven percent believe that God is a state of higher consciousness that a person may reach. Finally, three percent believe there is no such thing as God.
A casual perusal of world history will quickly reveal that it was common and is common for most people to believe in some deity or deities. Reading the Bible will reveal the same thing as it talks about other neighboring people in addition to God’s people.
Many psychologists and psychiatrists have been unfriendly where religion is concerned. They might say that we appeal to a God whom we believe can help us through life’s troubles that we feel we can’t face. Since we can’t face them on our own, we appeal to someone we believe is more powerful than we are. This leads to another question, “Do we believe only when we need him?”