5/24/13 Mel about 30
“Anything but God” seemed to be a young man’s motto when I asked him about his beliefs. His name is Mel and he responded by telling me about all the latest spiritual theories and sensational discoveries and conspiracies he has seen on places like the Discovery Channel. He was so quick to distrust any religious sources and so easily accepted claims made by entertainment TV that I had to wonder what caused this pattern. As we talked further, I thought I had my answer – growing up, his father was usually drunk and often abusive – and I figured there must be an obvious connection between his relationship with his father and his perception of God. “Do you fear God?” I asked. “Absolutely not” he replied, which kind of surprised me. I thought maybe his idea of God was that He is a cruel tyrant whom he feared and tried to avoid at all costs. But when I asked why he didn’t fear God he said “Why would I fear someone I feel no emotional attachment toward?” Hmmm. Later, I used the Ten Commandments to help him see how he has broken God’s Law and is in need of forgiveness. Mel claimed to believe in science, basing his decisions on evidence, but even though the evidence overwhelmingly showed that he has broken God’s law, that he has lied, stolen, blasphemed God’s name, and committed murder and adultery at heart, he still said he should be found innocent. Why? Because God had made him this way, he said. Instead of submitting to God’s judgment, he believed he should judge God instead! Hmmm again!… I told Mel how in Genesis one of the ways Satan had tempted Adam and Eve was to tell them that by eating the fruit they too could be “like God”. Mel saw no problem with that. Despite my careful explanation of how God the Creator is infinitely greater and more powerful than we could ever be as created beings, Mel thought it perfectly fine to think of himself as equal with God. Are there connections between Mel’s relationship with his father and his relationship with God? While I understand we are all accountable for our own sinful decisions and behavior, I also understand we are affected for better or worse by our own earthly parents, for God describes Himself as “punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Ex.20:5-6) What a warning to us as parents that we aren’t the only ones who suffer the consequences of our sins; those we love the most, our children and grandchildren, are affected too. But also what a promise that the godly decisions we make today can have a positive impact for a thousand generations!