When I was a Biology major at the University of Richmond, I once mentioned to a research assistant in the Molecular Genetics lab that I was going to church for Easter. She looked at me incredulously and asked a simple, yet profound, question.
I can’t remember if I even said anything. Other than “Because it’s what I’m supposed to do on Easter,” I had no answer.
I suspect she wouldn’t have been the only one in that scientific community to question my motives for attending church. Many—or most—of my professors believed there was no greater power, no guiding force behind universe and world we live in. Life was merely the result of the proverbial “cosmic accident.” We came from nothing and were going nowhere.
A truly depressing worldview.
But was it correct? Because if it was, that research assistant was absolutely right. Why go to church? Why worship and serve a God who doesn’t exist?
I’m embarrassed to admit that I had never given the question much thought. I had always taken it for granted that God existed, but I couldn’t tell you why, other than it just seemed right. And my lack of conviction manifested itself in my behavior while I was in college, as I did many of the irresponsible things associated with the college experience. If I really believed in a God who created me and the world, then surely I would have cared about my behavior during my time in his world. But since I didn’t seem to, I was unwittingly affirming the research assistant’s depressing worldview.
Eventually, though, that depressing nature overpowered me. Shortly after college, a profound emptiness built in my heart, as I continued to live only for myself, doing stupid things that could get me in trouble—or seriously hurt. My conscience cried out for relief.
And it wasn’t for no reason.
If we truly were just a cosmic accident, magically made from nothing and later returning to nothing, why did I feel empty? Why did I feel anything at all?
If I were to return to that lab and tell the same person that I was attending church again this Easter, and she then asked me the same question of why, my answer might go something like this:
Because I now know that God does exist. He has placed a conscience in me—in all of us—to discern right from wrong, to feel pain and pleasure, sorrow and joy, anger and love. He has embedded in us a deep sense of justice, a desire to help heal a hurting world. If there were no purpose to life, I wouldn’t care about anything—and neither would anyone else. So I’m going to church to draw closer to God and let him show me my purpose and how to seek justice according to his plan.
How do I know what that purpose and plan are? Easy. He’s written it down for me, for all of us. All we have to do is read the words he gave us, to show us our purpose, serving the consciences he embedded in us. I—and WE—believe that the Bible contains those words, that God used a group of humans to communicate his perfect will for us as we live our short lives on the earth he created.
Does WE have all the answers? No way. Does the Bible? WE believes it does. And WE is here to wrestle with the difficult questions in life so that we can all unlock our purposes and live with a real and relevant faith that enriches our own lives and the lives of those around us.
If you’d like to join us in this discussion, WE would love to hear from you. Email us (email@example.com), or text us (804.491.9898) your comments, questions, or thoughts using #WEChat in the subject line. Nothing is off limits. You can ask or say whatever you want and you will hear back from a real human being, someone just like you, seeking answers to the deepest questions in life.
And together, let’s to try to answer, Why?