The atheist will often assert, “I don’t have enough information. I need more and better evidence before I can believe in God.” But what the Bible so clearly teaches is that our biggest problem is not a “to know” problem. Our biggest problem is that we want independence, total freedom from any deity, even if that deity loves us.
Singer/songwriter Randy Stonehill in the late 70’s, early 80’s, portrayed rebellion as a marionette who, hoping to be free, cuts its own strings. The song is “Puppet Strings.” We all know that such action doesn’t result in freedom – rather it leaves just a pile on the floor. Like the marionettes who reach up and cut the strings that enable and direct them, we lay crumpled and broken on the stage of life. No, God doesn’t manipulate our every move. That’s not Stonehills point. His point is that we cut ourselves off from the One who gives life meaning, value, and hope, thinking that independence from Him is true freedom. (Randy Rowland talks about his in his book, Sins We Love)
Rebellion is like that. Rebellion doesn’t want to be dependent on anyone, be superior to everyone, and accountable to no one. Believing that we are unloved, that there is no larger story, that life is a bunch of random events strewn together, we refuse to engage a rationalistic life in an atheistic system. Nothing can truly be understood; nothing really matters in the end. All human activity is about a quest for power over others, we believe. Conceding these points, we then free ourselves of any responsibility to do something with our lives. Since life doesn’t really matter and God doesn’t really seem to care, I’ll light a joint, or pour a shot of whiskey, or go have a fling, or sleep away my life, or make myself dizzy on video games – whatever it takes to escape all the meaninglessness that I feel. We cut the strings.
“We are all foolish puppets who are desiring to be kings; now lie bended, fully crippled after cutting all our strings.” In verse three of Puppet Strings, Stonehill sings “But God said I’ll forgive you; I will face you man-to-man and win your love again. O how could there be possibly a greater gift of love than dying for a friend.”
The theist is one who surrenders to love. “I surrender.”