This post first appeared in the Christianity for Life blog
As individual human beings, each of us has the free will to believe that there is a God or that we’re alone in an indifferent universe. Regardless of what we profess publicly, none of us can know with absolute certainty that there is no God. We might be convinced that there is no hard evidence that God exists, or we might choose to believe others who say that there is evidence that God does not exist. But none of us actually possesses irrefutable evidence.
If we’re honest with ourselves we’ll all admit to the occasional, Gee, I wonder, moment when, during a quiet time, we allow for the possibility that a loving and caring God exists, sometimes even wishing there was a God. In that fleeting instant of half-belief, perhaps a little hopefully, we put aside our public persona and become a real individual with a spiritual side and real doubts about how certain we are in our beliefs. Then we snap out of it and find ourselves back in this world where our thoughts of God are eclipsed by worldly matters; where one can appear intelligent to fellow humans by pretending to posses that very certainty we occasionally doubt.
Notwithstanding our collective arrogance in thinking otherwise, our thoughts, philosophies and imaginations have no bearing on the question of whether or not there is a God. If the human race unanimously believes in God, He might not exist. If we successfully eradicate religion and achieve universal atheism, God might yet exist.
Our belief in God doesn’t make Him exist any more than our disbelief makes Him cease to exist. This is our reality.
It all comes back to our free will as individuals. To believe or not to believe?
I believe in God and I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That makes me a Christian believer in God. I believe that the Holy Bible is the word of God and is the method by which He has chosen to communicate with humanity. I have made a choice to believe, and my choice is one of faith.
Others choose not to believe in God. It is (ironically) their God-given right to exercise their free will not to believe. But why do they choose not to believe? Because they have evidence that there is no God?
If the unbeliever thinks she has such evidence she is either delusional or has been deceived, because there is no such evidence. If there were, then we could wrap up the religion debate once and for all and accept the reality of an indifferent universe. But we can’t do that.
So the unbeliever who admits that he doesn’t have that evidence is, like me, exercising faith. Faith that there is no God. In Hebrews 11:1 the Bible describes faith quite nicely as the assurance of things hoped for (he hopes there is no God) and the conviction of things not seen (without evidence he believes there is no God).
I personally find it more comforting to believe as a Christian and live a life of hope in Jesus Christ than to accept the indifferent universe and all that that implies. I suppose this is the proverbial crutch of religion. We Christians posses that peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
In the fallen world, where disbelief in the Christian God abounds, there’s not much peace to be seen. It is the wanton immorality and violence that surpasses all understanding.
Then why do most people these days prefer to have faith that there is no God? A common reason is that they can’t conceive of a God that would allow so much suffering in the world. A popular atheist adage concludes that if there is a God, he must be either cruel or incompetent. I don’t know how this logic can be extended to mean that there is therefore no God, it merely means that God, if he exists, is operating beneath atheist standards of morality or competency (no arrogance there!).
The truth is that if God indeed exists, God is God. He made the rules, and He rules the universe. If we don’t like that, we’re free to rebel against Him and, if you believe the biblical account, that’s exactly what we did! If it wasn’t for the redeeming work of Jesus Christ on the cross, there’d be no turning back from that and all would be lost.
So as it stands, God calls the shots. If God decides that twenty white people having less than two hundred freckles are to be stricken with colon cancer every second Tuesday from April to August each year in countries beginning with the letter ‘S’, then that’s God’s business. As His creation, we have no right to judge.
Hey God! Remember that brain you designed for me? Well, I used it to judge you. Yes, that’s right I judged you and, well, you’ll be disappointed to know that you just don’t measure up to my standards. I’ve decided that you’re either cruel or incompetent so I’m going to declare that you don’t exist and I’m telling all my fellow humans that they should do likewise. That’ll teach you!Atheist Logic
Such is the absurdity of some thinking.
But for those seeking the truth, an honest and thorough exploration of Christian theology shows quite clearly that our God is a God of love. He is neither cruel nor incompetent. He is all-loving and omnipotent. Our assurance of this comes from a more complete perspective and from our day to day dealings with a God who, as it turns out, is quite real.
But to achieve such assurance, one must exercise sufficient faith in God’s existence to perform that honest and thorough exploration so as to also achieve that improved perspective. And I’m not talking brainwashing here, I mean perspective!
Of course its much easier to haughtily ride the popular atheist bandwagon and trust the intelligentsia of our era, but God gave each of us free will. God gave each of us a choice as individuals. And as individuals we are responsible for our choices. We can’t claim a collective responsibility.
God also made it clear that with choice comes consequences.
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