A Beatle's search for God?
Knowing his death from cancer was not far away, former Beatle George Harrison apparently told journalists that the important thing in life was ‘the search for God’. But Harrison, known as ‘the mystic Beatle’ who was always dabbling in Eastern religions, was not thereby indicating his belief that one could find God. Nor was he talking about the God who has revealed Himself in the Bible.
There is a major reason why so many Westerners have, like him, rejected the Christian God of their upbringing as the answer to their deep spiritual hunger. It is that the evolutionary/long-age conditioning of our culture has led them to believe that the Bible’s history—and thus its account of how one can find the true God—cannot be trusted.
Eastern notions of ‘God’, not being based on any authoritative revelation to mankind, have no defining parameters. ‘God’ cannot be said to have a particular characteristic ‘A’ as opposed to ‘non-A’. By definition, such a ‘god’ can neither be known nor found, but somehow the search itself is supposed to be spiritually edifying (whatever that might mean).
Years ago, a Baha’i man told me of their belief that God, being infinite, could not be known. His implication was that this was the ultimate in lofty, pious esteem of God. I replied that if one could not objectively know anything about God, then by definition, ‘God’ could be anything at all—including nothing at all. I.e. his belief was, for all practical purposes, indistinguishable from atheism. In any case, I continued, even an infinite God could be knowable to an extent if He chose to reveal information about Himself, which is precisely what Christians claim the Bible is all about.
Many intellectuals who still call themselves Christians actually have, when they talk about ‘God’, a concept in their mind which has more in common with Harrison’s unknown and unknowable deity. They often claim to have a ‘high regard for the Bible’. However, largely due to the effect of evolutionary/long-age thinking, they have abandoned the idea of the Bible as a credible record of history. Thus, without the foundation of Biblical truth as their axiom, the only thing God can be to them is something like ‘the ground of all being’. Or ‘the cosmic essence’, or a hundred and one other fuzzy names to account for that feeling deep inside us that our life is more than just some cosmic accident.
They may even talk freely about ‘the lord’—but George Harrison could also sing ‘my sweet lord’ in his song of that title. Like theirs, his was a god-concept without an authoritative revelation, thus ultimately unknowable and unfindable. So it was quite consistent for him to chant ‘Hare Krishna’ in the song’s very next line. An unknown, unknowable ‘lord’ can be worshipped as Krishna one day, something else (e.g. nature) the next—so long as it is not the one, true God of the Bible.
It is the Bible which sharply divides truth from error, the real God from the non-gods which abound today. God’s revelation of Himself is coupled to specific truth-propositions, e.g. if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be saved (Acts 16:31). In juxtaposition with this is the clear teaching that unbelief will leave you eternally lost (John 3:18, 36).
It is thus easy to see why, the more today’s Christendom has been desensitized to Biblical authority through long-age distortions of Biblical history, the more we see the idea gaining ground that there might be other ways to God and salvation, outside of Christianity. Which is one more reason why it’s so vital to have a ministry like Answers in Genesis, and its Creation magazine [view index of June 2002 issue], making a stand for the truth.
We don’t mean to imply that everything in the magazine is final truth, by the way. We’re fallible and, like all scientific concepts, the ones we present here are always subject to change in the light of new information. But we are on about something infallible—the Bible and the Gospel it contains, and the fact that these connect to all of history and reality. And that’s exciting—or threatening, depending on which side of the truth-divide exciting—or threatening, depending on which side of the truth-divide