Q: (From an athiest-leaning agnostic) Why do you feel the need for a God in your life? Why do you need a crutch?
One of the joys of my life since retiring from the pastorate has been working with pastors in the Pine Mountain Baptist Association, getting to know them and their commitment to Christ and His Church, being inspired not only by their dedication but their willingness to go the extra mile and eagerness to share their faith. As one who majored in “pastoral apologetics” for most of my life I listened with great interest to what one of our pastors, Jimmy Culpepper, has been up to while playing sports.
Jimmy recently celebrated twenty-five years at his church located far west of the small town of Hamilton. He and his wife Sarah have immersed themselves in the life of this rural community. They are always looking for opportunities to share their faith, hope, and love whenever and wherever possible. An ‘atheist-leaning agnostic” (by his own description) and Jimmy have become well enough acquainted for the sports partner to ask Jimmy this doubleton question: “Why do you feel the need for a God in your life? Why do you need a crutch?”
Jimmy took to heart this sincere, probing question and prepared a prayerful response. I asked him for a copy and with his permission am attaching it for you to read. I am so proud of our pastors throughout the state of Georgia who seize such opportunities to share their faith.
A universal need
In thinking about this question, it is not just Christians who feel compelled to seek a higher power. There is a universal need in man to find meaning and purpose in life as well as to find answers concerning man’s origin and the presence of evil. The fact that there are so many religious groups (such as Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Humanists, Pantheists, Universalists, and Atheists) reveals this need for a moral standard (what is right and wrong) and to meet emotional, relational, and spiritual needs outside of ourselves.
As Christians, we believe there is a God who is all powerful and created all things, including mankind. He continues to reveal Himself to man through the general revelation of creation and the specific revelation of Scripture.
God has revealed Himself to be relational. Because mankind was made to be in a relationship with God, we all have relational, emotional, and spiritual needs that can only fully be satisfied through a relationship with Him. Those who reject a relationship with God will find substitutes to meet these innate needs and a moral standard.
Three reasons why Christians feel the need for God
He is worthy of our worship and praise.
A normal person standing before a judge or a king would give the honor and respect that is due, recognizing their authority, power, and position. If a person would recognize this duty for a human authority, how much more so for God who is the supreme Judge and King.
He has taken the initiative in restoring our relationship to Him.
God is holy and righteous. When God created man and placed him in the Garden, man enjoyed a perfect relationship with God until man sinned through disobeying God’s command not to eat of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Man’s sin broke that relationship with God. The punishment for sin is eternal separation from God in hell that was prepared for the devil and his demons. The good news (or Gospel) is that God has taken the initiative to offer a way for man to be saved from the penalty of his sins and to once again enter into a relationship with Him. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
There is no greater source of joy and peace than through a relationship with God.
Our deepest need is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Through this relationship we are able to experience a sense of purpose and meaning that can only be truly found in Him. It is for this reason we were created. Rather than God being a “crutch” for those who know Him, this is life’s greatest privilege and opportunity.