Monday, March 9, 2015

March Guest Post: A Greater Hope

Hello, I’m Gabrielle Massman, but most people just call me Gigi. Lisbeth asked me to do a guest post for her, and I just wanted to talk about one of the real reasons why I believe in God. I’m all for apologetics, but this isn’t the scientific and historical proof type of apologetics. This is a more of a philosophical reason of why I and other Christians believe in Jesus.

So let’s start with thinking a little bit about utopias. I mean, we’ve all heard about them and studied utopias in school, but really quick—just to be clear—a utopia is essentially a paradise on earth. We all know that this world has a lot of problems and sometimes can really suck, but a utopia is a place where everything is perfect and happy.

Then, of course, there are the books like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 that we read in school and then other books like Divergent which really bring home the point that utopias don’t—and cannot exist. Then there were all of those crazy people who tried to create utopias and failed.

But—just for the sake of it—let’s pretend that a utopia is possible. In theory, what would it take to create a Utopia? The root of it is that you would either need perfect citizens or a perfect government. Both sound impossible, but naturally, having every single person become flawless and perfect is the most impossible of the two, so we will throw that option out.

Let’s just say that somehow we can find a perfect government for our utopia. What characteristics would make a government perfects? First I’ll say that it would have to be a single ruler—an absolute monarchy for those of you who like terms like that. A group of people with the best interests in mind can still disagree and get nothing done—unless they all are of the exact same mind, and then they are pretty much one single person anyways. We can see an example of this stalemate in our government right now—though I can’t honestly say that they have our best interests in mind…. anyways… our perfect government would have to consist of one perfect ruler.

Now if, in theory, this ruler was going to create a utopia, then what characteristics would he have to have? The obvious one would be that the ruler would have to be completely good—so he can’t do evil at all and will rule justly. But then the ruler would also have to be all-powerful, right? I mean, we can’t have someone evil over throwing our perfect ruler because that would end the utopia. On the same note, the ruler would also have to be immortal—if he died, then the society would also end, and also the ruler would also have to be incorruptible so he would stay completely good.

Yet still, if someone was completely good and could not be overthrown, he could still create problems and rule his society unjustly if he did not know absolutely everything (omniscient) that was going on at all time—I mean everything: the thoughts of everyone, all of past history, even the future. Without this knowledge, the ruler could make a bad call even though he had good intentions. Then the ruler would also have to be everywhere (omnipresent) at once or else he would not be able to execute his perfect plan.

But still, I’m not sure if this could be called a utopia: a society ruled by a single ruler who I could not oppose (because he is all-powerful), won’t ever die, knows all of my thoughts and actions before I even think them, and is everywhere at once. Actually, I think I can say that I would be downright scared and would hate to live in a society where this “big brother” ruler was constantly hovering over my shoulder.

No, I think a perfect ruler needs one more trait. He has to be personal, loving—really, he has to be our best friend. I would not mind having this all-knowing ruler if he was my best friend, and I could talk with him and hang out with him like I can with my friends.
So back to creating our utopia: if there was such thing as a utopia, it would have to have a perfect ruler who was completely good, all powerful, immortal, incorruptible, all knowing, everywhere at once, and yet also each person’s best friend. Of course, this is impossible to find any person on earth for fits this, but—you might have guessed—that I just described God. The only hope we have for a utopia is in God.

In particular, I just described our God—the Christian God; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Jesus Christ; the Trinity. No other religion can claim a god which matches up with these requirements. Buddhism has an impersonal force, Nirvana, which isn’t really all-powerful when you think about it. Islam has an all-powerful, single god who is cruel and definitely not personal or your best friend. Hinduism has multiple gods which fight and bicker, so like any polytheistic religion, it won’t work for a utopia. And of course, Atheism has no god. No other religion can offer the hope of an eventual utopia. Of course, on this earth, we don’t have our utopia—not yet, but one day God is going to set up His Utopia in heaven, and we have hope for that Utopia.

This world be can really hard—really hard—to get through. And sometimes it is completely depressing. We have ruined relationships with people who are closest to us, a corrupted government, murder and other crimes abound, there is sickness and death, and we are stuck in the middle of it. I’m not sure what I would do if I did not have a hope for a utopia in the future because if this world is all that there is and there is not hope for a perfect place, then there really is no reason to live. No reason to get through one more day.

So that is the real reason why I am a Christian. Because my God provides me with the hope that there is a Utopia waiting for me once I finish my time on this dark world. All those scientific facts and historical support of Christianity help support my faith, but when I am caught up in the darkness and depression of this world, that isn’t what I cling to. I’m not a Christian because science and history supports God, even though it does. I’m a Christian because God gives me hope.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and in closing, I just want to throw out this challenge. If you are a Christian, then why do you believe, what is holding you to your faith? And if you’re not sure about Jesus and Christianity, then perhaps think about where you find your hope and what gets you through his dark world. And if any of you have questions, feel free to message me on my blog, and I am sure Lisbeth would love to talk to you, too. We may not know the answers, but I know that we would love to think about it with you.

Gabrielle is an aspiring author, currently seeking to get her novel published! She is an excelling high school student who writes to share and explore God’s truth. She is a competitive swimmer, enjoys hunting and backpacking. You can read more about her and her writing on her blog at Writing For the King.