Is The Universe More Popular Than God?
"Something Told Me" ~ "Lucky Me" ~ "Mother Nature"
"What a Coincidence"~ "The Stars Aligned" ~ "Karma"
What do all of these phrases have in common? They're thieves. These phrases are man-made ideas that rob God of His glory. It could be that people don't have a relationship with God and they don't know any better. Or, it could be that people don't want to give God the glory He is due. Either way, people use these phrases all the time to explain away things that happen in life, be it good or bad. These phrases are superstitious and they take credit for God's work. The latest plagiarist to come on the scene has become extremely popular and is arguably the biggest thief yet: "The Universe".
For some reason, this generation is completely infatuated The Universe. It is all over social media, television, and even people you encounter in person. It's not uncommon to hear folks say things like, "The Universe is really letting things fall into place for me" or "The Universe is really kicking my butt right now." What's interesting is that people seem to be at peace with The Universe whether things go right or wrong. The Universe is almost always spoken of in a positive light. It's like people have a reverence and affinity for The Universe that they don't have for God. But why is this? Why does this generation seem to like The Universe so much more than God?
It's The "God" You Can See
To answer this, we must understand that humans instinctively know that there is something greater than us. Anyone who has lived long enough has experienced things that are beyond our comprehension. So, we have to find a way to reconcile moments and events that can't be explained. The true answer is that God is the Creator of all things and He reigns on the just and the unjust. However, to someone who is spiritually blind or too prideful to acknowledge God, there has to be some other solution to make life's supernatural equations add up.
One reason why The Universe is so many people's BFF is because it resembles Godly qualities while being visible. One of the Godly qualities is the idea of being eternal. From the human perspective, The Universe is infinite. We have telescopes and technology, and as far as we can see, The Universe is there and never runs out. Many people are only satisfied with what they can see in the natural, so The Universe satisfies the curiosity of someone who's not spiritual. Like God, The Universe is larger than us. It's awesome and magnificent. It was here before us and will likely be here after us. It's the carnal man's alpha and omega. This reverence that people have for The Universe is exactly what Paul meant when he said some "worship and serve the creation more than the Creator" (Rom. 1:25)
The Universe is never-ending because everything is considered The Universe. It is anything that exists. It's not one specific thing like the sun, the moon, or a pair of socks. It's all of that. Therefore, this is another Godly quality of The Universe considering that God defined himself to Moses as "I AM THAT I AM." The Hebrew translation of "I AM" is essentially "I Exist." So, on one hand, The Universe claims to be existence and is visible. On the other hand, God claims to be existence and is invisible.
No Guts, No Glory
People also love The Universe is because it is impersonal and abstract. People who subscribe to The Universe have no idea of what makes it tick. Some believe it is random or so vast that we have no way of figuring it out. This removes people from having any accountability. When things go right, it's because The Universe was having a good day. When things go wrong, it's because The Universe is upset.
When people try to make sense of all this, they usually spiral into the idea that you get back from The Universe what you put into it. It becomes karma and the idea that what goes around comes around. So, when people embrace The Universe, it can put them at one of two extremes: 1. No accountability at all because The Universe is in control, or 2. Everything is based upon my works and my own personal morality (self-righteousness). People love either of those two options. No accountability means I am off the hook, and karma means that I have control over my life and circumstances.
God couldn't be more different. Unlike The Universe, God is extremely personal and very defined. God speaks to His people directly and through His servants. He has given us the scriptures which reveal His character. He has things he loves and things He hates. He has emotions. He has promises and conditions. He has a sense of humor. He made us in His image, so it is very easy to relate to Him. God doesn't give us the excuse of ignorance. He tells us exactly who He is. The Universe leaves you blissfully ignorant, but God longs for His people to have wisdom and understanding (Prov. 4:7; Hos. 4:6).
People don't like that. Today's culture loves grey area and abstract flexibility. Being abstract means you can define things on your own terms. When someone is secure and firm in their stance, people become threatened by that. It means that they are not easily moved. God makes Himself clear in His word and never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). To a culture that is continuously "evolving" that becomes very "problematic." The Universe does not send scriptures or prophets to dictate morality, and people love that "freedom." The Universe allows for this ying/yang, good and evil, light and dark mindset. However, the scripture is clear that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 Jn. 1:5).
The other thing that God has given us in his word is His expectation for mankind. His expectation is for us to be holy (Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:15-16). That holiness is not something we can work for, but rather something we get from putting our faith in Christ. This means that works don't drive God's economy. So, a person who is self-righteous and enjoys doing good to get good back will always prefer The Universe instead of God. Living by faith means that we can't get glory and we can't work our way in and our of situations.
The Most Religious Generation
Earlier, I called phrases like The Universe thieves and plagiarists, but many treat it like a euphemism. Merriam-Webster defines a euphemism as the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant. Basically, a euphemism is a nicer way of saying something. For some, it is much easier and less intimidating to replace the true and living God with The Universe. The Universe is so abstract it's widely accepted, but Jesus is polarizing (Matt. 10:34; Js. 2:19).
Mankind was created to worship, so we will all worship something. People prefer The Universe because you can make it whatever you want it to be. It's like the Whopper of belief systems. It's been said that this generation is the most non-religious because church attendance is down. However, I read an article that suggested that this is the most religious generation ever. It's not that people aren't spiritual or insightful, but it's that they are looking for ways outside of Christ. These days, The Universe and its New Age ideology is exactly what people are looking for. The truth is that as amazing and jaw-dropping as The Universe is, God created it, so put that into perspective.
Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.