Contemplating the implications of Big Bang Cosmology, Richard Dawkins once said that, “A fairly good case could be made for the existence of a Deistic God.”
Several times after I’ve posted "Why I’m Not An Atheist," a common comment is, “Well, all you’ve done is prove a Deistic God.”
I have a ten-year-old son (the one who operates in the bottom 5th percentile) who lays his head on my chest when he wants to express or receive love. Even when prompted, he seems incapable of hugging. Nevertheless, whether I’m sitting, standing or lying down, my son just comes over to me, lays his head to my chest and lets me stroke his hair for about a minute. Then, satisfied that he is loved or that he has shown love to me, he runs off and plays.
“If you have seen Me,” said Jesus, “you have seen God the Father.”
“The disciple Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus. He lay his head back on Jesus’ chest and asked . . .”
Think about that!
The Creator of the Universe - the Deistic uninvolved God of the atheist world came to earth and dwelt among us.
King of kings.
Lord of lords.
True God, on the night in which He was betrayed had one final meal with His closest followers. These men had spent three years with Jesus and He had profoundly changed their characters and their lives.
The youngest of the bunch, John, who was probably still a teenager during Jesus’ earthly ministry had found in God the lover of his soul. He’d just been told - again - that Jesus, his closest friend, Rabbi, Mentor, Saviour and Lord was hours away from being tortured to death. The disciples could scarcely take it in. This was the last thing they were expecting from their Messiah. Certainly Jesus had told them repeatedly that He would return to life three days after His crucifixion, but those words had even less meaning to Jesus’ disciples than His prophecy of a dying Saviour. After all, dead men do not naturally rise from the dead. So John, in a cloud of confusion and about to lose the one person who understood him totally, like holding a childhood pet about to be euthanised, lay his head on the human heartbeat of God the Son.
The Being that Dawkins and Harris and others like them call a monster, removed any apprehension of approaching God from these men. He’d accomplished this through the actions of His perfect love that had been demonstrated in front of them for three years. Jesus, God in human form showed Himself to be someone to whom John could come to without fear, or worry or shame.
Sebastian Moore once said, “In religion there always lurks the fear that we invented the story of God’s love.”
In religion, yes.
In a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus - not a chance.
John had just witnessed the Creator of the Universe strip down to a towel around His waist, take on the role of a Gentile Servant (the lowest of the low) and wash the feet of not just his closest friends, but also the feet of the man Jesus knew would betray Him to death.
When John writes to us, “God is love,” this was not something that he learned in Sunday School. I said a few posts ago, http://thesauros-store.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-can-we-know-god.html
“We cannot know God apart from community.”
John had read the same Scriptures that we have. Before Jesus introduced Himself to John, John knew something “about” God. Because of Jesus, the Theistic God of Christianity, because of living in community with God, John KNEW God in an intimate, healed and forgiven way.
Jesus said that we too, can have that same type of relationship.
I declare to you the truth of Jesus’ promise.
“God is love” - And - “I am the disciple that Jesus loves.”
There was / is no other reason for Jesus to bring me to salvation other than His love. I had nothing to bring to the table. I had nothing to offer in return for my salvation. All love. Only love. Nothing else explains Jesus choosing to save my soul.
From what John learned during his time with Jesus he wrote decades later - “In love there can be no fear, for perfect love drives out fear” (1st John 4:18). For John, the heart of the Gospel was not a doctrine passed down by some scholar. The Gospel, for John was something born out of his own experience. And the message he passed on to us is, “God is Love.” 1st John 4:16.
Those who lived with Jesus learned that He was the only thing in life that was worth pursuing. When Jesus asked if they were going to leave Him, like most of the others had already done, Peter responded, “Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words of eternal life!”
I too am a disciple who Jesus loves.
I too rest my head on the heartbeat of Creator God.
I too lie down and sleep in peace.
Only those who have never known Jesus can foolishly suggest that this is not a Theistic universe.