God – Figment of the imagination or Supreme being?
God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth - St John 4:24
As the world celebrates yet another anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ, the questions are again at the forefront. Many argue that that He was not born on December 25, and Christians have accepted that the date may be wrong, but there is no denying that He was born.
But then, there are those who think that Christians are among those who are allowing themselves to be duped into believing that there is a higher being called God. Not only do they dispel with the notion that the 'Holy Spirit could overshadow' someone and get them pregnant, but they have totally rubbished the fact that there is a God who orchestrated the world into existence.
One critic even went as far as to say that "God is all in the mind ... it's what people make Him out to be".
Christians all over, who have been serving Christ wholeheartedly and have their faith built through feeding on the Word of God - is it all in vain?
Family and Religion reached out to the Reverend Darren McKoy, national youth director for the Church of God in Jamaica for insight.
Addressing the issue of God being a figment of the imagination, McKoy said that could only be so if that person or thing did not exist and only lives in the mind of the individual.
"The simple definition of God alone would suggest that God is not just real, but is superior to anything or anyone who exists. The Christian God is defined as 'the Being, perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness, who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe," McKoy said.
According to him, there are other definitions of God that would also suggest that God cannot be a figment of the imagination, but is as close to reality as anything.
"Even in the area of Christian Science (a religion that the traditional Christians may not subscribe to), the definition of God also resembles that of pure reality - "the incorporeal divine principle ruling over all as eternal spirit: infinite mind". So clearly, we see that simply by definition alone, God has superseded the mere figment of our imagination to being more of an ultimate reality that cannot be limited to our minds," he said.
There is no getting away from the many doubters and scientific-minded who dispel the notion that there is a higher power. For them, it's buying into the foolhardiness of man's fiction.
PROOF OF GOD'S EXISTENCE
For McKoy, there is proof that there is a God.
He said he agrees that "God does not exist".
"God does not exist and can never be. When we examine the term existence, we realise that existence speaks to what we can see, feel, sense, and even reason out. If we cannot reason it out and if it cannot be figured out by our own natural abilities, then it cannot exist. Based on this concept, God, in my opinion, cannot exist," he points out.
He added that God, based on definition, especially the Christian God, does not fit into the confines of the term existence.
"So the question is asked: If God does not exist, then what is He? The answer to that question is simple, God just IS. A good passage of Scripture to use is St John 1, which states: "In the beginning was the Word ... ." This concept of beginning, from a theological perspective, would suggest that Jesus (the Word) was present before the beginning of chronological time and age," McKoy said.
For those who are of the opinion that our existence lies in the here and now, McKoy said there will always be varying views on this life or the afterlife for that matter.
Is this life all there is?
From the Christian's perspective, he said there is hope of a life after this one here on earth.
"This life is where our God exists and where we believe we will be in a better place and our lives will be a lot better than they are now. It is our belief that if this is the only life there is, then we would have been able to live our lives any way we choose with no repercussions after this life.
However, we believe that we will be held responsible for our actions in a life after this. There are other religions that also share this afterlife belief, and it must be known that Christianity is not the only faith that shares this position," stressed McKoy.
Cognisant of the fact that doubts will remain and some beliefs will not be shaken regarding the deity of God, he said no one really needs to believe in God. For him, believing is a choice that you have to make or something that God has sovereignly called you into, depending on the denomination and belief system that you are from.
"The truth is we cannot deny that God does exist, and on that premise, we ought to believe in Him. Certainly, people have the option of choosing other alternatives and things to believe in. The reality, however, is that we have to examine all the facts and all the different angles and determine if this Almighty God is worth our worship and belief," McKoy concludes.