We are hardwired for God

Growing up and studying cultures and then traveling a lot, I mused that it sure was weird that every culture on earth that is and ever was had a spiritual side where the people worshiped something greater than themselves. And I wondered why so many cultures have a flood story and a creation story.

Note: children in photo NOT the Good News Club children.

As an adult I would listen to family and friends say that children are too tender to learn about Jesus, that learning about Christ is "shoving it down their throats." But when the homosexual agenda appears in the schools, children as young as 5 and 6 are not too tender to learn about Nathan's two daddies. Anyway...

I love the verses in the bible that show Jesus with the children. Matthew 18: 1-6 is an example. So is Matthew 19:13-15. He said that the kingdom is made of such as these. The children would flock to Jesus and He rebuked the Apostles for rebuking the parents for allowing them to 'interrupt' Jesus. Children came to Him in humility, powerless in a low station in society, but loving wholly despite that. Children do not strut, they do not posture as the Pharisees did. They come because they have always responded to total love and heavenly truth.

Our Good News Club began this week and after the songs and the snack and the introductions and the prayers, we began the bible story. It was the Creation, from Genesis. As soon as I began telling it, putting up the first flannel piece on the board, they settled in, nestled their heads on elbows, snugged down and gave me their entire attention. I saw 40 wide eyes for the entire story. They listened intently to the lesson, and at the end they had good questions and great comments. I was astounded at their receptivity.

The researchers at the Ian Ramsey Centre at the University of Oxford asked themselves the same questions, 'Why is belief in supernatural beings so common?' 'Are there factors that contribute to the general tendency for people to believe in gods generally and God specifically?' Turns out the answer is yes.

Why? "Because of the natural design of human minds. Human minds, under normal developmental conditions, have a strong receptivity to belief in gods, in the afterlife, in moral absolutes, and in other ideas commonly associated with ‘religion'. Further, our natural endowment goes a long way toward making religious rituals and other practices a nearly inevitable feature of human sociality. In a real sense, religiousness is the natural state of affairs. Unbelief is relatively unusual and unnatural." Justin Barrett wrote a book summarizing in plain language this cognitive research, titled, "Why Would Anyone Believe in God?"

We are hardwired for God. It is life, adults, and unbelief that beats natural faith out of kids. Teaching them about Jesus isn't jamming it down their throats. It is supporting a natural, hardwired tendency that already exists in them. To get a child NOT to believe what they already believe it takes hard work and years of indoctrination.

If we are hardwired for God then how did that happen if, as evolutionists say, we emerged from the primordial soup as a one-celled unthinking organism? Did evolution occur that included cognitive acceptance of a higher being? If evolution is true then that would have to be the case since all cultures worship greater beings in the supernatural realm.

But alas, we did not evolve to become cognitively hardwired for God. As the children in my lesson knew, God created us and planted within us a seeking to know Him, because God desires to know us. He desires a relationship with His greatest creation: humans.

Jesus is serious about ensuring that the littlest and weakest among us are not caused to stumble. "And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Jesus says that pushing a child away from his faith will be punished. "[T]his punishment would be an act of mercy compared to what is in store for those who turn little ones from Christ's way - be they arrogant university professors, torturers enforcing Islamic law or gossipers within the church."

So be warned, shoving atheism down the children's throats is considered a heavy offense. And looking back at the 40 eyes looking at the flannelboard as the Genesis story was told to them, I can see why. Therein is Jesus, already at home in the child's heart.