I read another viral BuzzFeed post last night, “26 Pictures Will Make You Re-Evaluate Your Entire Existence”. The post contained some astronomical photos and scale diagrams to show you and me how miniscule and small our galaxy, our Sun, our planet– and by extension, how cosmically small we are.
The comments on this particular BuzzFeed post are so vast one could stretch them to our Moon and back forty-seven times!
Like all things Internet these days, we are easily wowed for three minutes before we’re bored and begin ranting about the wackos who believe our “entire existence” was created. I enjoyed the twenty-six photos in said viral post, but when it comes to re-evaluating anything, I’m pretty sure that was hyperbolic language designed to snag as many viewers as possible. In the end, what really grabs one’s attention is the ocean of comments below the post. Merge back on to the Facebook highway and you’ll find more of the same comments. In my completely fabricated calculation, the comments on this particular BuzzFeed post are so vast one could stretch them to our Moon and back forty-seven times!
To paraphrase one Facebooker, Christians are arrogant because of their belief in God Almighty’s choice, out of all the countless galactic quadrants, to care about humanity. Let’s camp out on this viewpoint, breaking it down clause by clause.
Christians are arrogant…
Yes, we can be arrogant. Dead eighteenth century Enlightenment philosophers do not have the corner on pompous bilge. The deviation from a gospel-centered, Christ-centered worldview is where we err. We Christians do a disservice to the rest of the Church and to the world when we place the Word of God on the shelf or nightstand to adopt a Fox News attitude or similar worldview. Christians are less than persuasive when acting as armchair pundits than when we daily labor to humbly reflect Christ to our families, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. We need less simplistic tracts and more gospel living coupled with a strong emphasis on time spent in studying the Bible and listening to sound, biblical exegetical preaching.
The Apostle Paul, who had almost every laudable credential one could have in his time and culture, wrote that he “count[ed] everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ…” (Philippians 3:8). Whatever was of worth to Paul became like trash compared to gaining a relationship with Christ. There is a profound humility in the
…because of their belief in God Almighty’s choice, out of all the countless galactic quadrants, to care about humanity…
Again, it’s apparently arrogant to assert that this universe we live in was created, but much more that it was created and is held together by God. I’m not trying to build a straw man here because that’s not why I’m spending my evening time. In fact, no amount of evidence from one end of our universe to the other can satisfy or convince the committed skeptic. I am simply dwelling on one assertion, namely, whether it is snobbery to believe in God’s attention when we’re only one insignificant planet among perhaps innumerable planets among vast amounts of solar systems in an incomprehensibly vast cosmos.
That depends on one’s perspective. Such a belief would be arrogant and lunacy if it were paired with the idea that mankind can do something to gain God’s attention. In the first place, a humanistic philosophy has no place for God in its dogma; by definition, humanism places man at the center of existence, deferring any meaning at all to depend on whatever man makes of it. So I am with the humanist if he thinks Christians are arrogant based on the idea that we believe we can be great enough to attract his gaze.
The gospel…refutes the idea that man in his depraved state could ever be rock star enough to gain God’s attention, love or saving grace
The gospel (εὐαγγέλιον in the Greek, transliterated as euangelion, meaning “good news”), by it’s name and in the biblical context of God becoming man to atone for the sins of those he created, refutes the idea that man in his depraved state could ever be rock star enough to gain God’s attention, love or saving grace. We who profess the name of Christ and him crucified and resurrected hold fast to the clear teaching of scripture which states:
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. (Psalm 14:3; cf. Romans 3:10-11, ESV)
The gospel, in a nutshell, and really the entire Bible, speaks of how messed up we are on our own account and how pitifully incapable we are to rectify our folly. If anything the gospel would be our epitaph instead of a proclamation of life if it was not for God’s grace. The attention God has given the human race is laughable to the godless because they say in their hearts, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). The mercy of God is unfathomable to the broken soul who knows he or she is inherently evil and has maligned God over and over. There is more pride in the former than than latter.
Isaac Watts knew of God’s holiness, justice and grace. In one particular well known hymn, Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed?, the words of a broken, humble, and thankful soul sings:
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.