Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
On Christmas Eve two years ago, a fascinating article entitled, “Religion Without God”, was published in the NYT. The author, T. M. Luhrmann has captured a small and narrow glimpse of what may be the largest movement around the world today.
Check out the moral motions, thinking, and beliefs that seems to characterize the movement:
– A deep desire for community.
– Dissatisfaction with the God that has been taught through religious systems.
– Discomfort with holding to doubts within a religious context.
– A consciousness that there is something more.
– Rejection of “God” within the religious, Christian box.
This phenomenon of practicing ‘religion’ without God is actually an attempt at practicing God or a belief system without religion. I get it!
There are many members of this massive movement today. I’ve read several of the most popular books written by atheists. In every one of them, it was clear that these atheists’ primary theme was not about a clearly researched body of evidence that proved God doesn’t exist. Each one was reacting against what they have been taught in Church that either just didn’t make sense or was truly objectionable. In other words, whenever they used the term “God”, you could easily substitute Church or Christianity in its place with a greater understanding of what is bothersome to them.
I came away from each reading and concluded that I could have written the same book. I believe Church, religious systems, and Christianity do get in the way of non-believers considering Jesus. It becomes a poor caricature of who Jesus really is!
In order to be certain as an atheist, it seems you must know all knowledge in the universe and come to the conclusion that God doesn’t exist in that body of knowledge. I just don’t know anyone who is that smart.
Within the new atheist movement there is a group called the 4 horsemen of the new atheist movement…Sam Morris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett. What they see as a gaping hole where God doesn’t exist in our world, I see as a gaping hole where Jesus is missing. Jesus is the missing link. I’m convinced if each of these men and others who claim to be atheists were to meet Jesus, they would find the inner transformation they long for. IT’S JESUS WITHOUT RELIGIOUS BAGGAGE.