How many times have you heard it:
"Say it ain't so!"
"It ain't so."
And then we all laugh. But there are times we truly don't want things to be as they are.
I mentioned one of them in the sermon yesterday. Thomas Nagel, a philosopher of mind and expert in evolutionary theory, flatly states, "I hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that."* And yet in the title of a later book he also admits "the materialist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false."** In essence, he looks at the truth of the existence of God, examines the failures of evolution to produce life and consciousness, and simply says, "Say it ain't so!"
We may all do this at times for different things, but much of the world follows in Nagel's footsteps and has that precise response to the reality of God. The truths of heaven, hell, sin, repentance, redemption, and atonement are offensive. Much ink has been spilled trying to disprove each of these things, a major backlash of "say it ain't so." The problem here, of course, is that these things are so, and wanting them to be otherwise won't change anything. I can disbelieve in God all I want; it won't make Him stop existing. I can deny an eternal hell, but that won't make it go away. All I'll accomplish is acting the ostrich: burying my head in the sand and hoping reality goes away.
Instead of wishing, "say it ain't so," why don't we live into these truths, proclaim boldly the existence and love of the God whom we serve. We must learn to explain His truths in ways that both convince the mind and convict the soul. But remember: all we can is our role. The Spirit alone draws us to our loving Father. And to that, I say, "Say it is so!"
*Thomas Nagel, The Last Word (New York: Oxford UP, 1997), 130.
** Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False (New York: Oxford, 2012).