Sometimes it just comes down to who you want to call God. Do you want to believe there is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator (One who might have rules and deserve worship)? Or would you rather put yourself in the place of God? Both metaphysics and observation of reality suggest that we are sentient beings. They also suggest that we have choices in life. I would propose that an infinitely wise God, in order to create beings who might truly CHOOSE to love Him, would create a universe in which they had the option NOT to love Him. In fact they might have the option to despise Him, ridicule Him, and even deny His very existence. Such is our very society. We get to choose.
David Foster Wallace, “Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.”
I see evidence of the truth of that statement daily when I work in the ER. I have seen thousands of people who chose to worship sex, drugs, or alcohol, and I have seen the havoc and destruction it has wreaked in their lives. We all know of persons who worshiped popularity, and were crushed when it vanished. Some have worshiped themselves, through vanity, and many have slipped into despair as their power, looks, or influence faded.
One of the things that offends many atheists is the idea of a personal God. They are often critical of the idea that God could be described as a “jealous God”. Richard Dawkins wrote, in the God Delusion,
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
Dawkins has been quoted thousands of times, and hailed as a hero for his bold words by those who are offended at the thought of a Supreme Being. (See also blog posts on Science and Scientism, and Differing with Dawkins).
On the other hand, C.S. Lewis wrote, in the Problem of Pain,
“You asked for a loving God: you have one. The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the ‘lord of terrible aspect,’ is present: not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of conscientious magistrate, nor the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artist’s love for his work and despotic as a man’s love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father’s love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between the sexes.” (1)
And somewhere, supposedly hiding from you in this vast and beautiful universe is the REAL God. Or perhaps he really is all around you. But the point is that you, personally, get to choose in this life whether to believe in him or to love and worship Him. You see, all though history, God has allowed persons to either believe in Him, or to worship other Gods. History is littered with gods (small g) who have been relegated to the trash heaps of time; Baal, Osiris, Marduk, or the entire Roman Pantheon of gods.
Today, we still have the same choice. Do you worship the god of science (scientism)? Or do you worship the Creator God of the Universe who has given us the Bible? It is an important choice. Choose wisely.