Assuming a person believes “there is a God”, what is his responsibility to that God?
First, is He a personal, knowable God as in Judeo-Christian understanding? Or is he an unknowable entity as in the Islamic system? If He is unknowable, responsibility toward such god cannot be knowable, either. So the question posed in the title must focus on our responsibility to a “knowable God.”
The popular understanding of our responsibility toward God in Christian circles is 1) acknowledging that God exists, 2) understanding that Christ is His son, 3) believing that Christ’s mission was to forgive sin and thus provide us future eternal bliss. Period.
Our role and responsibility in this Christian belief system is virtually non-existent. Oh, some believe we should attend church at least occasionally and perform some “good works” now and then. Beyond that, “once saved/always saved” becomes the believer’s “get out of hell free” card. Our personal responsibilities toward God are rarely mentioned. And then there is the “free gift” salvation pulled from Scripture which also infers we have no responsibility, no role whatsoever, in our eternal life. In Catholicism we have the infinitely repetitious, perpetual, always forever and ever amen confession and forgiveness routine that comes to our rescue. Think “Catholic mob hit man”. We are saved as often as we express regret. The sincerity of the regret and conscious, diligent, persevering effort to make amends and change our ways is rarely mentioned.
So, what does our knowable, personal God expect of us beyond what is most often expressed in the “feel good”, entertainment-driven, no personal responsibility, perpetually-ignoring-and-excusing-immorality churches?
Well, at least a balance between judgment and grace. Grace is certainly a gift of God and a significant part of what God provides, but so is judgment. Without judgment there could be no grace. In 100 years the churches in this country have gone from all judgment, fire and brimstone to all grace, little morality, and inconsequential personal responsibility.
God expects our recognition of what is moral and immoral in His sight. He expects us to make known to others around us what is moral and immoral in His sight. He expects us to take His commandments and teaching seriously, for ourselves and for others. He expects that there be temporal antipathy toward society’s immorality, even though He offers eternal pardon. Instead, churches admonish us not to judge and accept and defend every behavior. Wrong, wrong, wrong. These new-age concepts are based on unbalanced, out of context misrepresentations of historic Christian thought. God expects us to respect and follow our own faith not so that we can believe every other belief system is just as good and acceptable, but so that we deeply believe and understand that our belief system is superior – the only one ordained and acceptable to the Creator of the Universe. And that our actions follow these beliefs.
Today’s Christian faith appears to be “tolerate everything” – be critical of nothing. There are people who more energetically believe the moon is made of crème cheese than the manner most Christians relate with their God. And there is undeniably greater enthusiasm of Muslim leaders toward their ideology than the average Christian leader has toward his. This contrast in energy and enthusiasm will not only spell the end of our Judeo-Christian-based culture in this country within a couple of decades but will ensure an emergence of a fascist ideology in the image of Islam.