Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is God Needy?

From Alvin: 
While sharing the gospel with a professing atheist yesterday, he asked me "Why does God require us to worship Him?  It seems rather egotistical of God to require that we worship Him."  How would you respond to this?  (Actually, he asked “why God needs us to worship Him, but I pointed out that the Bible teaches that God is self-sufficient and doesn't "need" us to worship Him.)  As I understand it, his question is an objection to obeying the first commandment.

Alvin, you are correct in saying that God is self-sufficient and doesn't need us to worship Him. In fact the Apostle Paul boldly proclaims this in Acts 17 as he stood before the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. I don't think it could be said any clearer: "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.  Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things."

Furthermore, a good in-house point to be made is that worshiping God is for our benefit and fills needs where we are lacking. We are imperfect but God is the Supreme Being, the Almighty, the very essence and standard of perfection. This is why we pray to be transformed to Him and His will! Remember Romans 12:1,2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." We accomplish breaking out of the worldly mold by being transformed through a renewal of the mind which comes by way of different forms of worship i.e. prayer, song, study, fellowship, meditating on Scripture hidden in our hearts ect. 

So lets take a look at how we can deal with this out on the street. 

Unbeliever: "Why does God needs us to worship Him?"

Street Apologist: Where do you get the idea that God “needs” us to worship Him?

Unbeliever: "Well isn't that what it says in your Bible?"

Street Apologist: Can you please be more specific...Where in the Bible does it say that? 

Remarks: Its already checkmate at this point as they are going to come up empty handed and perhaps tie the knot even tighter around their legs if they attempt to give an arbitrary or speculative response. If they merely put forth an opinion it only makes things worse for them because not only have they revealed their own ignorance of what the Bible actually contains but now they have sliced and diced themselves by taking speculation and conjecture and put it in the place of honest research and evidence and a good soldier for Christ ought to be point these two blunders out. 

At this point in the dialogue it is time for you to switch out of the Socratic method, into a time of pointing out the errors made and put forth positive assertions as to what the Bible really says. 

It would be good for all of you to make yourselves familiar with Acts 17. Make yourselves very familiar as there are a large quantity of questions aimed at the street apologist which will find their answers in Acts 17 much like Romans 1.

So very politely point out. "Sir, I mean you no disrespect right now but I must point out that your challenge has no support in the Bible and furthermore it reveals that you haven't really researched the Scriptures enough to make any further authoritative statements about what it contains." *You can expand on this more if you feel you need to. Then grab a Bible and show them what the Scriptures really say:

"God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things."

Acts 17:24-25

*If you need to expand more on why there is an issue with holding ignorance to the Scriptures while in the other hand critiquing the Scriptures, just help them to see it a different way. I will sometimes ask them what they do for a living and point out my lack of knowledge to their field of expertise. Then I ask them how they would feel, or what they would think If I came walking in after revealing my ignorance and continuing on with an attempt to critique them or what a proper understanding of protocol at work is?  

Or, I might even ask them what they know about being a Navy SEAL? What weapons do we use? What tactics are on hand for a hostage scenario or barricaded shooter?  They don't know if they are not a SEAL and I ask them: "Would you think to critique me on this given your lack of knowledge and the fact I am a SEAL?" Then I help them to see that we have a similar issue going on with their lack of knowledge for what the Bible actually contains and their attempts to critique it. 

Just remember...Once they have pointed out their ignorance of the Scriptures their hopes of playing Rhode Scholar today are over and ought to be stopped.

Posted By: Chad Williams "StreetApologetics"