I look at our brief existence on this planet Earth we call home. From our early treks across Africa up to this present moment, we’ve been here for probably around 250,000 years. During this span of history, we’ve asked ourselves if there was someone or something bigger than us. Was there some “First Cause”, “Prime Mover” or “Supreme Being” that pushed all the buttons of our universe. Over the years, as we witnessed the mechanisms of our grand universe-be it the birth of a baby, the seasons, storms, shooting stars, etc. It was during those witnessing moments we began to believe in a Supreme Being, or Beings. Soon, we birthed religion.
We went from primeval tribal gods to the sophisticated polytheistic religions of Egypt, Sumer, Greece and Rome. We had the ancient Pagan gods in Europe and Asia. We had tribal deities in the Americas and Africa. We had the rise of Buddhism in Southern Asia. This was pretty much the standard in religion until a radically new concept was birthed: monotheism. Now we had three new-and still active-faiths on Earth: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-all monotheistic and proclaiming the “One True God”.
Soon this God could be explained for everything in our universe: its creation, its maintenance, every living thing, every moment of our lives-good and bad from womb to tomb, even when this universe ends. God explained it all. We even created religions and special holy books that pointed us to God filled with God’s exploits and even writings by His special prophets who’ve had an inside track with God, with a few special prophets: Moses, Elijah, Jesus and Mohammed. This has been the norm for the last probably 3500 years.
However over time, from the time of the Renaissance, we started to give this God a demotion. Humanism, the Enlightenment, Evolution, and archeological and scientific discoveries that refute scriptural claims added to this demotion. Even when those in religious camps tried to promote God, God still got that demotion.
Even in Christianity, we see God getting a paring-down, especially in the more liberal quarters. We see a “death of theism” where God’s getting a downsizing. We see “The Big Guy In The Sky” being brought down to Earth. New Thought made God more benign and working with us. Even His holy books-especially the Bible-and His spokespeople-especially Jesus-got a theological beatdown.
God has from “First Cause” to a part of human evolution. Instead of being a Creator of humans, God’s being seen as a creation of humans. God is now seen as a representation of our highest goodness instead of perfect goodness itself. God has been called Reality itself as well.
And don’t start with Atheism, which basically cancelled God out of the equation altogether.
All this being said, this begs a very important question: Do we need God?
Does God still have a place in our existence, or have we outgrown God? Has humanity grown to the place that we’ve relegated God to our evolutionary childhood of sky gods/goddesses and myths? Is our “worship”of God a throwback to our ancestral dependence to outside forces; thinking that we can “appease the gods/goddesses to be kind to us? Is God really just a creation we cooked up in our benighted past to explain the simple workings of our Universe? Could the Atheists be right in saying that (based on the aforesaid) it’s time to abandon the notion of God and that we can make it on our own? Or is it time for humanity to rise up and take its rightful place in the universe?
You may ask why I posed this question. Glad you asked. It’s a question that’s been on my heart for some time now. I know many in the “fundagelical” camp will scream, “Yes!”; while others will say either, “Maybe”, or “No!”. I know this is a very heretical question, but I never promised you the 700 Club either. There are going to be tough questions that I will ask; and tonight’s is one of them.
Back to the question at hand: Do we need God? Toughie, huh folks?