In my Introduction to Apologetics class I was asked to discuss the following: Can good exist without God? This is a popular question that Christians need to think about. In a world where evil is obvious and rampant. And good has lost its definition it is time for us to look to the One who is the standard of good. At the same time we must also look to Him who defines both good and evil and allows them to exist with us today. Good and evil have purpose in our world. Too often we try to explain the evil away and only discuss the good. If we attribute good to God when times are satisfactory to our current state of living we ought to see that God still remains authoritative and sovereign when evil occurs too. Don’t get me wrong I do not believe God authors evil, but that good and evil is something He ordains or allows to occur. If there is good without God what do we ascribe “good” to? What caused good?
There is a scenario that a roommate in college asked me about. He said, “What is the difference in a Christian pulling over on the side of the road to help someone with their flat tire and someone who doesn’t believe in God who pulls over to help someone with a flat tire?” My answer is simply that the Christian will do good in the way God defines good. The unbeliever will always fall short.
It has to do with love more than good. “We love God because He first loved us” “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid his life down for us. And we ought to lay our lives down for each other” (1 John 3:16) I believe that people aren’t capable of doing good in how the Bible defines it without knowing God. There can be a lot of good done like donating millions of dollars, caring for the homeless, or building wells in third world countries. But what good is this if no one knows the Good for whom which this ought to be done for? Anyone can be a humanitarian or a philanthropist. Churches can preach a social justice gospel that gets people working for their salvation, but unless one knows Truth which is only revealed in the Scriptures then they’ll be doing meaningless works and it will be vanity like the Great Preacher says.
People who don’t know God will have Christian-like morals and principles in their life depending on their culture they are raised in. However only a regenerative heart can do good works. Good works done apart from God is just morality and as useful as the nihilist.
This week’s reading and discussions brought me to reflect back on last two week’s material. There is a cause to good and that is God. If there is not we are free to do anything we want against laws of our land. However there is a justice system in place, and law enforcement who are committed to protect citizens against lawbreakers. Judges keep evil off the streets or out of the public eye. What would the nihilist make of this? Where would he/she say justice in our country comes from?
Christian, be a thinking believer because one day you will have to make a defense for why you believe. As witnesses to Christ we must be prepared to be the best witnesses to Him who loved us and gave Himself up for us!
In Him who is able,