God Reactions — How People Respond To The Concept Of God

Human beings, almost universally, have an inner yearning for more than our physical existence — a cry for meaning, purpose, and/or life beyond the grave. Through out the recorded history of mankind this yearning has given rise to the idea of a force, an intelligence, and/or a Creator beyond, yet the origin of, the physical world.

There are four main ways that people have responded to the concept of God: rationalism, religion, rebellion, or revelation.

Rationalism is the attempt to explain or understand God with the human mind. From Aristotle to apologists to atheists, there have been many arguments made to either prove or disprove God. But the fact is, the concept of a transcendent God outside of the natural world, can never be proven or disproved by human reason.

Religion is ritual, tradition, and customs about God that are taught by organizations, institutions, and/or society. The human race is inundated with religion of various types. Through out human history, the majority of people have accepted (at least nominally) the religion of their upbringing and/or culture. Thus, religion tends toward a geographical approach to God — outwardly agreeing and/or adhering to what the institutions and people around you say they believe.

Rebellion is giving mental ascent to a religion or to the concept of God, yet ignoring the implications of that ascent. Rebellion acknowledges the existence of God but makes behavior choices based on personal desires and self-interest rather than on concern to obey God and/or the teachings of religion.

Revelation is the direct human experience of God. It is personal encounter and relationship with God. From Paul of Tarsus to AA/NA, untold millions of people have been touched and transformed by contact with a Higher Power. The personal accounts of people who were changed by meeting God are amazing.

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. I have written two books: Mindrobics: How To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life and Your Sperm Won--Experiencing Your Value As A Championship Human Being. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I lead a non-traditional church in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the early church come to life in our time.
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