Let me preface with why I posted this statement on Facebook. I watched this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiAh3lYo6k4 (you can view at the bottom of the post) and the first comment was,
“i don’t need al this superstitious crap to live a good, fulfilling life that’s not just about me getting more…”
It got me thinking. Is it true that you don’t need God to live a good fulfilling life? It boiled down to my post,
“Well, of course, you can be a good person without God. That’s because you get to define what “good” means.”
This commenter, “luishomeroremohsiul” was able to say that he could live a good life without all this “superstitious crap”, of which I took to mean “God.”
Can he? If there is no God, is it possible to live a “good” life; to be a “good” person? Absolutely! If there is no God, then who is to say to anyone else that they aren’t a “good” person? You may say society, but what if society is wrong about what “good” is? If you aren’t “good” in this society, then perhaps you are “good” in another one.
Anyway, after posting this status, I was instant messaged about it by my cousin. We had a great conversation instead of an argument (which is a whole other post for later). Then this comment was posted by one of my good college friends. Thus the conversation continues.
(As a human being, I submit that I could be wrong in my ideology. If I am, I will gladly admit it. Will you do the same?)
“… your statement insinuates that because someone doesn’t have God that He won’t see them as a “Good” Person. How do you know this?”
Here is my view on good based on my belief in God. We were created good. We were designed to continually rely on a God that loves us and has our best interest in mind. However, one man and one woman were given a choice; to continue to rely on God to tell us what good meant, or to decide for ourselves (remember the tree of the knowledge of good and evil). They made a bad choice and it has affected (or infected) mankind ever since.
Thus, to answer your question: Someone who doesn’t have God (who doesn’t rely on Him for knowledge of good and evil) cannot, by definition, be a “good” person.
Can not one still have God and not be a good person,
I suppose it comes down to your definition of “having God” again. I don’t believe that someone who rejects God can be a good person, but I also believe that they can think they can be a good person because they get to choose what “good” means. On the flip side, someone who trusts in God is still not a “good” person, but I will get to that later.
so why can’t you be without God and still be a “Good” Person (not to me or you, but to Him)?
Let me make rephrase the question to make sure I understand. “Can a person who doesn’t believe in God, their creator, still be considered good by God?” No, absolutely not. If my kid leaves the house and disowns me, will I still think they’re a good kid?
Is it not said that God loves everyone, you just have to be willing to take him in your heart?
That He has a plan for everyone?
Purpose for everyone, but that’s another post too. =)
What if you don’t believe in God or have God in your heart, yet still have all of the same values, morals, etc that a person “with” God does. At that point you are still defining what “good” means, but it looks exactly the same as if they were “with” God?
I will be perfectly transparent here and tell you that I thought the same thing. Why is it that I, as a Christian, can help my elderly neighbor mow their yard and God sees it differently if my atheist neighbor does the same thing? I struggled with this for a LONG time, because it didn’t seem fair. What helped me understand was that it’s not the action that God cares about; it’s the heart. Can God look at someone who has completely rejected him and still think they are good even if they do “good” deeds? No.
Is God defining what a “good person” is to everyone, or each individual?
Back to the heart, not the actions. God defines himself as good. If God looked at a person and saw His own goodness, then obviously He would consider them good. Therefore, God sets the standard for everyone but still cares about each individual.
What about people who have never been introduced to God, where do they fall?
I believe that life is an introduction to God. If you have never been introduced to God, then allow me:
I’m pretty sure that everyone believes in the concept of moral standards. (If you don’t then you can’t argue with me anyway. =) My first question is, do you live up to those standards? I bet anyone could say that they believe in the standard of not stealing but would quickly say that they’ve stolen. Same with lying, cheating, etc. God has his own standard, but doesn’t quickly look to the action, but to the heart. God doesn’t say, “If I could just get this person to stop stealing then they would be a good person.” Instead he says, “If they were a good person, then they would stop stealing.” What is the best way to teach someone how to do something? Send a teacher. Who was that teacher? God himself in human form in the person of Jesus Christ. Why did Jesus come? To show us a better way. Why did he have to die? Because God is fair … and merciful. So, what do you have to do to be a good person? Admit that you haven’t lived up to God’s standard, accept the forgiveness of God, and look to him for knowledge of good and evil. Comes down to two things: love God, love others.
These aren’t questions I think anyone will ever be able to answer until He is met face-to-face…provided you were a “good” person when the time comes.
Unfortunately, that is the lie some have chosen to believe. NO ONE IS GOOD! Even Christ himself rejected the idea that he was good. He chose to point to the Father for the standard of goodness. No believing Christian when asked the question, “Are you a good person?” will ever say, “Yes.” Can’t happen, because it’s logically impossible. A Christian has come to realize that they aren’t a good person and chooses to follow Christ so that God will see Christ’s goodness.
So, all in all, “good” is a relative term. You have to set the standard somewhere. Good wine is different to different people. I think wine in a box is “good” because I have set my own standard. However, if I were to be educated by an expert about “good”, then my standard would get higher. Who sets your standard for “good”?