This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Tuesday, June 27. 2022
Do you believe in God? This used to be a question that rarely needed to be asked, but we have come to a day and age where this question is now very appropriate. In a recent Gallup poll, 81% of Americans say that they do believe in God. That seems pretty good until you realize that in the very same poll in 2017, that number was 87%. In the last 5 years, 8% of our country became convinced that there is no God.
The largest drop in belief in God was among young people. That is not surprising because young people are always looking for fringe opinions to make them unique. A few months ago, I got in an argument with a girl in 7th grade who was convinced the moon landing never happened. My final point was that neither of us were born when the event took place. I don’t think she believed that either.
But what does it say about us as a culture if our young people are increasingly not believing in God? I am sure it is no shock to you that I am a firm believer in God, and that there are many intrinsic benefits to living a faithful life. But let me get to the root of the issue. Without God, what standards and morals can we have? Without God, why is it wrong to steal? Why is it wrong to judge and hate? Why is it wrong to kill someone if they are an inconvenience? It is difficult to make a convincing argument why some behaviors are wrong without some understanding of a Higher Power.
But this problem gets worse. We are born with a desire for our Creator. I believe this desire was expressed best by 17th century French Mathematician Blaise Pascal when he said “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of each man…”. The quote goes on to identify that vacuum needs to be filled by Jesus Christ. But this is more basic than an argument for Christianity. This is an argument just for the identification of the existence of God.
Which brings me back to the increasing number of young people who believe there is no God. Since we are born with a deep longing for a relationship with our Creator, that need is going to be filled in some other way. That desire for a Creator is as healthy as desire for food or sleep, but if you do not satisfy that desire in a healthy way, then we will satisfy that desire in dangerous and destructive ways. How nutritious do you eat when you get too hungry? Do you awake refreshed if you stay up hours past your natural bed time? So many things in our world are the product of desires that we don’t satisfy in a healthy way: alcoholism, pornography, obsessive gaming, retail therapy that maxes out credit cards. This list can get very long.
What happens when you ignore or don’t care for your inborn desire for a relationship with your Creator? Confusion. If you do not have a Creator to help you establish identity, then you are left to figure it out on your own. Without God, you are not a child of God, so now you are at the mercy of what you can understand, and for any of you who remember anything about being young, accurate understanding of the world was not a normal part of the experience.
This is why the younger generation is so lost. They are being driven to crazy ways of identifying themselves because they don’t believe they have a Creator to help them figure themselves out. The sky is the limit on what you can be when there are no guiding principles or rules. It breaks my heart that so many people, particularly young people, are allowing this confusion, because when you have no God to revolve your life around, you end up choosing something else to revolve around, and whatever that other thing is had no hand in your creation and does not care about you in any way.