One of the fastest growing “religious” groups in the world, is the group simply known as “nones.” (In reference to the survey question that asks people’s faith preference.) “Nones” have “no affiliation” with any particular religious faith and are quickly becoming the most popular belief system.
Worldwide, an estimated 1.2 billion people see themselves as “nones.” Here in America, a 2017 study determined that 34% of adults identify themselves as “nones” – making them the largest “faith” group in the country… surpassing Protestants (33%) and Catholics (21%)!
“Nones” fall into three separate categories. Atheists (those who do not believe God exists). Agnostics (those who don’t know if God exists). And the Unaffiliated (those who may believe in God but have no church affiliation).
As for Atheists, I will look more at their position in my Psalm Sundays post.
And as for the Unaffiliated, I will address this group in next Monday’s post…
Agnostics. The agnostic position (from the Greek “agnosis”= “without knowing” “a” = without; and “gnosis” = to know) is becoming the “go-to” position for many spiritual skeptics. In reality, it is somewhat of a “straddle the fence” compromise.
Agnostics do not reject the possibility of God – just the possibility that we can know for sure that God exists. They also find it difficult to determine which (if any) religious system is true.
Here are some actual quotes from a sampling of agnostics:
The common fallacy in the minds of so many agnostics is the idea that God cannot be known. This way of thinking pre-supposes that God is so mighty (and we are so insignificant) that we could not possibly be able to understand Him.
But creation itself tells a different story. God made all things as a revelation of Himself (His glory, His majesty, His interest in every detail, His desire for beauty and diversity). All these things are revelations of the invisible God, given as clues to His character and nature. God WANTS us to know Him. He wants us to plainly see Him through what He has made…
Jesus and the Agnostic. While Jesus clearly came to religious people (the Jews), His message and His presence transcend all barriers to faith. Of Jesus, John wrote: “We know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God.” And: “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” (1John 5:20a; John 1:18)
Jesus came to provide us with something that is almost impossible to “figure out” on our own… Who God is? And what is He really like? According to John, one of the main reasons Jesus came was to make God known. Jesus came to provide a personal answer to the question: “Is God even knowable?”
The greatest proof of God is Jesus – Who was God walking among us. What we see in how He lived His life tells us all that we need to know about how God feels about us. And what we see in Jesus’ death tells us the extent of how far God will go to have a relationship with us. Jesus came to live for us. Jesus came to die for us.
All because God wanted us to know Him and love Him. This hope for the agnostic is the same hope for us all!