As you probably know by now I recently attended Week 2 of the Alpha Course run by Nicky Gumble at HTB Church in London. This one sentence he said right at the start gets its own entire blog because, well, frankly it just ticked me a little bit. It went along the lines of this:
“Everyone has a space in their heart that requires God… that needs God. People’s lives are empty without God and they try to fill this space with addiction to alcohol, sex and drugs. Human beings were created for God and without the connection with our creator, we feel empty inside.”
To quote my favourite comedian, Ricky Gervais, “I’m sorry, wha-?!”
Here’s a conversation I had with one of the first never-religious people I was ever actually friends with.
Me: “Yeah I was brought a Christian.”
Her: “Oh cool. I was brought up nothing.”
Me: “Nothing? How can you be brought up nothing?”
Her: “I don’t know. I just never really thought about it.”
Me: “And do you want to know? Like, do you feel like you missed out?”
Her: “No, not really. I mean, everyone believes different things and whatever. I’m happy.”
Lying with my head on her knee, I stared at the grass, totally floored. Shouldn’t she be craving something? Feel like there’s something missing in her life? Have some sort of addiction she’s never fully satisfied with? How can she just be content without God? Without anything?
Of course, the more I met secular people the more I realized that this is actually the norm, not the exception. Most people without a religious upbringing genuinely just enjoy living their life. They’re not searching for ‘something missing’ and they’re not drinking alcohol, having sex and doing drugs to fill a hole left by an absence of a relationship with their creator. No, no, humans (including most Christians, just FYI) do these things because it’s fun!
I think it’s more likely that everyone regularly attending church services has a god-shaped hole to be filled. Which explains why they are there. And the other 90% of humanity is not.