Who, ultimately, is in charge? The first possibility is that the world happened by accident and we humans are merely little accidents within the larger accident. Though this view – in the guise of a theory posing as scientific fact – is the official, state-approved and publicly sponsored religion of the western world, it does not pass the scrutiny of empirical evidence nor indeed of common sense. Taken to its logical genesis it posits that the father of the human race was not a monkey, or even an amoeba, but a rock. Still, if you want to elect man as god, it will have to do.
The second possibility is offered by religion – that view of the world that sees god or gods above or beyond the realm of man. Religion comes in many guises but despite apparent differences all religions share a view that the way to “god” requires effort, following some rules, joining some church or mosque or temple, adopting some disciplines or participating in some ceremonies that will take the devotee at least part of the way, or most of the way, or almost all of the way, to “god.” The focus is essentially on self. However, there can never be assurance until after death that enough has been done to qualify for complete acceptance by god (though most people view themselves as “good” and refuse to think too deeply about what “good” means, so this uncertainty does not seem to present much of a problem – until death nears).
The third possibility is found in the Christian Scriptures, writings that reveal the mind of God and are not exclusive to any particular brand of Christianity – those many denominations that derive their identities principally from how much they take from or add to the Bible (usually the latter). Very few (chiefly Baptists) accept the Bible without embellishment, subtraction or addition, as their only and final authority (the so-called “Baptist Distinctive”).
The most distinctive thing about this “distinctive” is that it rejects religion (and all the outward forms that all religions employ) as a way to God and instead embraces the imperative of reconciliation and entering into a relationship with God, on God’s terms, as a very first step. Scripture uniquely reveals what God has done to reconcile man to Himself through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, making it plain that man is incapable of reconciling himself to God.
As an afterthought, it is instructive that the incarnation of Christ is an unacceptably radical concept for self-centered humanists, who may condescend with a smirk or an impatient shrug to the superstitions of the masses in their stumbling search for and appeasement of non-existent gods, but fiercely reject the notion of a supreme and transcendent God crashing from eternity into time, searching for man.