There is a passage in psalms (actually two identical passages to be accurate, which might or might not be a copyist error in the bible . … *) that goes: “the fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God.’ ”
Now mostly, amongst those who believe in God, this idea is viewed as godless folly and is steered almost exclusively towards the so called ‘atheists’ and ‘agnostics,’ in fact, mostly towards anyone who doesn’t believe in the specific God of Christianity. After all, we believe in God and declare this at least every weekend (on a Sunday, in church, when we sing songs prescribed from the projector prompter… ). But perhaps this needs to be re-evaluated just a little?
You see, I have watched myself and others do some extraordinarily foolish things a lot more often than just occasionally, yet we all claim to believe fully and emphatically in God.
Clearly we live in a very intellectual age where logic and reason are perhaps excessively dominant. The age of scientific exploration is truly upon us. The spoken and written word are arguably the main vehicles for reason and logic. Words, in spoken and written form are documented and used powerfully to convey arguments and as a primary vehicle for persuasion. However, the reality is that one does not need to use only words to say something. Only for an extremely small sector of society it might very well be true. But even then, we say significantly more through non-verbal communication than anything we can communicate verbally (or in writing). The communication researchers say that less than 10% of what we communicate is actually verbal. What most of us fail to see is that our very lives are statements. The vocabulary of our life statements are our actions and the wisdom of these actions, our intent. Even though we may believe so, articulate reason and eloquent linguistics doesn’t really feature all that much. We even have proverbs and sayings like “actions speak louder than words.” Even James writes, “But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?”
Any of us who have tried to comfort the bereaved have learned first hand that silence accompanied by close, tender, physical contact says infinitely more than the most wise, educated or eloquent advice.
My observations are that when we do something foolish it is mostly if not exclusively because we are doing it in our own strength, according to our own hidden motives of selfishness and self-determined, limited perspective. It’s when we run ahead and assume our own wisdom and authority that usually only time is able to reveal was never wise or ‘according to God’ in the first place. Could it be that when we act according to our own authority and even unwittingly violate the ways of truth and wisdom we are saying in effect ‘there is no God’? And this even if we are not actually saying or thinking it? And could it be that our actions when we do this are indeed speaking louder than words (even if we ‘pray’ about the decision, or ‘submit it to God’, or seek godly counsel, or declare God’s name over it, … or whatever?)
Looking back on my own life I see so many occasions where I, with the best of intentions, and having applied every ‘spiritual’, biblically based principle I believed to be true, was actually saying in effect, ‘there is no God.’
I said it loud, but I said it in silence.
On the other hand, I was screaming.
(* check out Psalm 14 and Psalm 53. … but for one short stanza and a few words slightly differently interpreted these two psalms are almost identical. Both are ascribed to King David. A copyist error? Or an intentional duplication for the reason of … ? … and if it is a copyist error, when did it occur? in the printing phase or before that when it was first hand written or hand copied in ancient times? … but according to the Fundamentalists out there the bible is not by the hand of man, but rather Spirit inspired, protected, and motivated, inerrant and … Oh well … )