By Alan Bailey
"To be or not to be, that is the question." So said Shakespeare. But "to know or not to know" is important too.
When you are hit with a fine for breaking a road rule, it doesn't help to say that you didn't know about the rule. Children often resort to claiming they don't know when their mother wants to find out who broke the wall mirror (or some valuable item).
The guilty hope that they will maintain innocence by claiming a lack of knowledge.
How often in court cases and official enquiries into doubtful affairs, people under suspicion seem to know next to nothing, or, under questioning, say that they can't remember what happened. Then, after long interrogation, no light has been shed on the issue. So darkness is a safe retreat, a refuge when things look serious.
There are big questions in life that call for answers. Some pursue them while others retreat into darkness. For example, "Why are we here?" "Is there any meaning in life?" "Are we going somewhere?" "Is there a God to be acknowledged and obeyed?"
Yes, they aren't easy, but to say "I don't know and neither does anyone else," is saying too much.
This is why the position of the agnostic is not necessarily genuine. The word "agnostic" denotes a person who claims not to know. But it is possible that he or she does not want to know either.
Atheist philosopher, Bertrand Russell once said in an interview that if he ever met God he would say to Him that He didn't give us enough evidence for belief. Yet God's Word says: Since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse (Romans 1: 20). Add to this the coming of Christ into the world to show us the truth. "Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light ... but whoever lives by the truth comes into the light."
We all must acknowledge that the extent of our understanding is small. But we should never ignore the wealth of God's revelation to mankind. There is an immense amount to be known and known confidently. Christianity is not built on imagination or dreams, but on the solid foundation of God's unchangeable Word. The big questions are addressed and answered in a way that is sufficient for us in this life. In a long life a person cannot plumb the depths of what has been revealed. We can know with certainty God's way of salvation.
Light or no light? We must choose.•