Religion is to God what hamburger is to a steer. There is enough similarity to convince the undiscerning. But the personality, power and life of the steer is missing from the hamburger, just as God’s personhood, majesty and Spirit are missing from religion.
Much of religion is based on superstition, misinformation and emotional reactions. But Isaiah 1:18 says God is a person of reason and rational thought: “Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD.” God allows Himself to be known by reason to the reasonable person.
Though it has been said there is no way to prove the existence of God, 16th century theologian Philip Melanchthon came up with nine points of human existence which can only be defended by the being of a personal God. Realizing these proofs separates the godly person from the religionist:
1. There is an orderliness in nature which can only be explained by the existence of an intelligent Creator.
2. Man’s being capable of reasonable thought means he is derived from a rational Creator.
3. For man to know right from wrong requires that his beliefs come from God.
4. For man to believe in God requires that belief to be inspired by God.
5. The discernment with which man’s conscience judges himself must originate from God.
6. Man’s political structure requires an external code of order on which to form his agreements.
7. Life exists on a cause and effect basis, with God being the First Cause of everything.
8. Purposeful reasoning is not animalistic behavior and must have a Reasonable Origin.
9. Fulfilled Bible prophesies mean an outside Spirit must have inspired the prophets for so much consistency to exist. This is especially true of the prophesies concerning Jesus Christ.
A pastor friend taught me that, once I can accept “In the beginning God. . . .” as absolute truth, all of life stands explained and reasonable. The good. The bad. The mediocre.