Thursday, April 28, 2011

Contentment with No Need for God

I had lunch with a colleague the other day and we talk about various things but we soon spoke about the Christian faith.

He is to marry a Catholic girl but he is not converting to the Catholic faith. He told me about his younger days when he was threatened with hell if he did not believe in Jesus and it repelled him. I don't blame him. He said he will not be converting now just because he is getting married as it would mean nothing to him at all. But he also said that whilst his relatives did threaten him, he believes there is a God and that he is not an atheist. Just that he does not have a need for God, for now.

I have to admit I did not know where to go on from there without having to go into a theological discourse on original sin. How else can one address an issue of contentment and needlessness for God without saying that we are sinners in the first place and are in fact in need of him? I did think about it but I felt it was not the right time to do so and I refrained myself.

He was confident that he did not need God. He had friends who converted after something had happened to them but as for him, he is good, for now. So there is no need. As for hell, he believes simply that when we die, we'll just expire, with no further extension of life, or afterlife for that matter.

We live in a consumer-based society. Everything works on a basis of needs. That mindset has permeated into every facet of our lives and thought.

What does it mean by not being in need? Contentment and hence a needlessness for God? But if we only go to God when we have a need for him, what do we make of him? Who are we to take on that premise and attitude?

Yes, God touches our lives, especially when we most need it but what about when we are good and well in our ways, we have no need for him? We should not and cannot think and live that way. It is God who made us in the first place and we belong to him whether we are in need or not. We have rejected him and that is our original sin. We need to return to him. Not because we are in need -- though we are, in our frailty -- but because he first loved us.



  1. "he does not have a need for God"

    That self-centered statement is an evidence of his desperate need for God. Of course life generally reveals this sort of stuff in the long run.

  2. I told him about this post after I wrote it. He read it and we are currently in an interesting discussion about having a relationship with God. He says he is opened about it and I hope he will finally find God, and in His gracious timing.

  3. hopefully, he'll find God without 1st having to endure a traumatic experience, but sometimes that's the only way to catch his attention.

    be sure to post should he er...surrender.

  4. doc,
    You are right but in saying so will create another false premise to believe: believe because of fear of suffering.

    This makes me rethink what CS Lewis said: "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

    In our world, would God not shout to us in our pleasures instead? Because we are downright deaf in them.

  5. well said!

    it's ironic that we are singing in church:

    "Shout to the Lord
    All the Earth, let us sing"

    but instead, God is already shouting at us in our slumber & indifference when He allowed the tsunamis, earthquakes & landslides.

    do we hear?

    yes, but for awhile.

  6. Haha...yes, that song is certainly ironical. I will remember it now everytime I sing that song in church.

    Anyway, CS Lewis is not wrong (he is after all my all-time favourite! And brilliant!). His context in that statement is in the sense that pain is actually God shouting at us, and sometimes we don't even hear it.