9/6/13 Dennis and friend early 20’s
My daily witnessing goal has helped me see some general trends among the people I talk to, and I‘ve noticed that among 20-something white males, there is a tendency to believe not in “God” as described in the Bible but in a higher “energy source”, to which the energy of our soul or spirit returns when we die. Most have heard the law of conservation of energy – that “energy cannot be created or destroyed but only changes forms” – and so somehow this belief in God as an impersonal “energy field” seems to them to be more scientific and attractive. I’ve asked many where they got this belief – like I asked a young man named Dennis and his friend on the street today – and without exception it is not the faith they were raised in but something they have chosen from the buffet table of new and innovative ideas about spirituality. Dennis told me he had been raised in a Christian family and that he was “tired of having religion shoved down his throat” as he put it. Since I was the religious guy who began this conversation there on the street, that “shoved down your throat” line could be kind of intimidating, but I know that their problem goes much deeper than pushy Christians. I asked Dennis “If there really is a God like the Bible says, do you think He would have the right to tell us what to do? Making it even simpler, did God have the right to tell Adam and Eve not to eat from the one tree in the middle of the garden?” Dennis didn’t think so, saying it went against their natural curiosity. I told him that this story speaks to the basic problem between us and God – that we aren’t willing to let God be God and tell us what to do. “The problem isn’t pushy religious people” I told Dennis, “the problem is your unwillingness to obey God”. No wonder Dennis and his friend prefer an impersonal energy source for a “god” – one that doesn’t have the ability to judge and, just like electricity and other energy forms we are learning to harness, one that will also bow to our commands one day when we have learned enough about it. Then Satan’s promise in the Garden can come true – “you will be like God”.