Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bill Gates: "It Makes Sense To Believe In God"

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Bill Gates told Rolling Stone Magazine in the most recent issue, "It makes sense to believe in God."

He also revealed he and his family go to church.

Rolling Stone asked Gates, "You're a technologist, but a lot of your work now with your foundation has a moral dimension. Has your thinking about the value of religion changed over the years?"

Bill Gates is the richest man in the world.

His estimated net worth is now $76.8 billion.

Most of us know he and Paul Allen founded Microsoft.

But what does he think about God?

He told Rolling Stone, "It makes sense to believe in God," because he said, "there is no scientific explanation for how the world came about."

Rolling Stone asked Gates, "You're a technologist, but a lot of your work now with the foundation has a moral dimension. Has your thinking about the value of religion changed over the years?"

Gates said, "The moral systems of religion, I think, are super important. We've raised our kids in a religious way; they've gone to the Catholic church that Melinda goes to and I participate in. I've been very lucky, and therefore I owe it to try and reduce the inequity in the world. And that's kind of a religious belief. I mean, its at least a moral belief."

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world.

Rolling Stone then asked, "Do you believe in God?"

Gates said, "I agree with people like Richard Dawkins [a well known atheist] that mankind felt the need for creation myths. Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them. Now science has filled in some of the realm---not all--that religion used to fill."

One "realm" that Gates feels has not been "filled in" yet by science is how the earth came to exist.

He said, "But the mystery and beauty of the world is overwhelmingly amazing, and there's no scientific explanation of how it came about."

He continued with a laugh, "To say it was generated by random numbers, that does seem, you know, sort of an uncharitable view."

"I think it makes sense to believe in God," he said, "but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don't know."

It is difficult and confusing to discover how God influences our decision making outside of a personal relationship with Him.

Christianity is a tough belief system to personally adopt without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the accompanying power of the Holy Spirit. His teachings often cause people to feel conflicted between the teachings of God's Word and changing cultural mores'.

We have seen political leaders publicly express the conflict they experience between what their church or parents taught them and what the current culture calls them to accept. And to advance.

Christianity was never intended to be a "religion," it is nothing more or less than an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jesus Himself addressed these kinds of issues in his conversation with the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-32).

The rich young ruler came to Jesus calling Him "good" and asking "what good shall I do that I may have eternal life?"

Jesus said, "How do you know that I'm 'good'?" suggesting the man didn't fully understand the link between Jesus and goodness and Jesus and eternal life.

Jesus gave him a list of the "good" things he should do---"you shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and your mother and love your neighbor as your self."

The rich young man said, "I have done these things from my youth, but "what do I still lack?'" He was saying there is no social or cultural answer for this question.

Jesus told him what was beyond doing good deeds. "Sell all you have, give it to the poor, and come, follow me" Jesus said.

The stumbling block for this young man was liquidating his assets and giving it away to the poor.

For others, the stumbling block may not be the giving of personal assets, it may be the "follow me" part.

The rich young ruler left this encounter still questioning---and still lacking.

"Come follow me" may be a difficult decision for the very self sufficient. In fact Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Not that they are loved or accepted less by God,---God is no respecter of persons, everyone is welcome to His transforming gift of eternal life--- but that they often have unique personal issues which they must deal with in deciding to "follow me."

Christianity is not the adoption of a philosophy, it is a transformational personal spiritual restoration. And it is a personal relationship.

John Newton in writing the hymn "Amazing Grace," said it this way, "I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind but now I see."

St. Paul had a similar experience on the road to Damascus.

One night a very powerful leader and politician came to where Jesus was staying. He had questions, but didn't want his peers to know he was inquiring.

Nicodemus said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."

It was likely a sincere confession that he believed in God and made some connection between God and Jesus, but Jesus' reply was not understood---"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," Jesus told him.

Jesus said, "That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is must be born again."

Nicodemus said, "How can this be?" How can I scientifically be born again? Do I return to my mother's womb or what?

It was in this discussion with Nicodemus that Jesus said what He has said to every rich young ruler, powerful politician or ordinary person who ever inquired-- "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whomever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

St. Paul described his transformational relationship with Jesus like this, "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me---the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God" (Gal. 5:20).

I'll be talking more about this and the life of John Newton today on the radio. Join me live from anywhere in the world at 9 AM PDT. Here's how.

Be Born Again. Be Blessed.