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Faith and the Super Bowl

by dcarr on November 21st, 2011

Having just moderated a debate between an atheist, a rabbi, and a Methodist minister over the proposition: “You don’t need God to be good.” (You don’t.), I am still compelled to consider the question of faith. I took license to not only moderate the debate, but to serve as the Devil’s Advocate (“Why be good at all?”).

None of the speakers took the bait. But that leads to the question of faith. The best question of the night went to the atheist: “Since you can’t prove the non-existence of God, aren’t you still acting on faith?” Skilled debater that he was, the atheist filled the air with some clap-trap, but the question resonated.

Later in the debate, the atheist allowed that he might be wrong on his position, and upon meeting God, he would ask Him why all the bad events were permitted, and then the atheist might consider forgiving God. Hmmm. Does that suggest who the atheist’s God really is?

As the Devil’s Advocate, I might suggest that my “client” would readily approve of such a position. So it seems faith can’t be avoided. You either have faith in God, or you have faith in “no God” which may be a whole lot more convenient, but not more intellectually compelling. Stephen King, the horror writer, once had one of his protagonists, in the novel “IT”, utter this phrase: “Given all the wonders in this world, it takes a whole lot more effort to not believe God, than to believe in God.”

True? I lean toward both Pascal’s Wager, and the beliefs of Christian Mysterians, and now I also line up with Stephen King. In the sweet by, and by, we will know. “Now we see but through a glass dimly, now we know in part, then we shall know in full, just as we are fully known.” I Corinthians 13:12

Perhaps it all stands more perverse than that. Consider the words of Father Zossima in Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov:

Never be frightened at your own faint-heartedness in attaining love. Don’t be too frightened even at your evil actions. I’m sorry I can say nothing more consoling to you, for love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams.

Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in sight of all. Men will even give their lives, if only the ordeal doesn’t last too long. But it’s soon over, with all looking on and applauding as though on a stage.

But active love is labor and fortitude and for some people, too, perhaps a complete science. But I predict just when you see with horror, that in spite of all your efforts, you are getting further from your goal instead of nearer to it–at that very moment–I predict that you will reach it and behold clearly the miraculous power of the Lord who has been all the time loving you and mysteriously guiding you.

Which brings me to the Super Bowl. My sons and I attended the 2007 Super Bowl won by the Indianapolis Colts. What enthusiasm! What excitement! Yet I found myself pierced by the religious protestors. Truly, what was I worshipping? “Where your treasure is, thereto is your heart.” (Luke 12:34) Glad the Colts won, but I’ll never worship at that alter again. How trivial and contrived!

Too much real work to be done before I rest.  In that conclusion, I have faith.


Copyright 2011–All rights reserved–David J. Carr

From → Christianity, General

One Comment
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