Help for the seeker
A Skeptic's Guide to God
By Lori D'Augostine
You can't see Him. What does He smell like? They say you can talk to Him. But, is it really God or the Great Scandal of human history? Can you really intelligibly prove that God exists without deferring to a Sunday school answer or feeling?
As humans we may only have the capacity to know a minuscule amount of the sum total of knowledge in the universe. So, how can we know that there is a God if we are so limited and finite? Because God is unlimited and infinite.
Why? Because He claims that He is. "In the beginning, God..." He is not bound by time or space or our theories of who He is. He is GOD -- illimitable and interminable.
Even if you wanted to, you couldn't fire Him. Whether you like it or not, He is CEO of the Universe. You can deny something all you want, but it doesn't mean that the truth will go away if you want it to. God gives us a choice: Accept or Deny. There is no alternative. Yet, He does not leave us without any information nor the incapacity to understand. We are intelligent creatures.
Design + Designer= GOD
He gives us exactly the amount of truth we need to uncover the secrets of the universe. He has designed creation in such a way that we do not even need a written manual (a.k.a. the Bible) to tell us that He exists. The signs are blaring at us everywhere. Creation is so intricate and complex that only an intelligent being could have designed it that way.
Take Mt. Rushmore for example. It seems completely preposterous to assume that erosion could explain the existence of the presidents' heads on the mountain. We can recognize the intelligence in this man-made masterpiece. However, it is simply impossible and improvable to say that an unintelligent evolutionary process brought us Mt. Rushmore. Atheists couldn't deny this either. That is why many of them defer to 'Mother Nature.' Someone has to be responsible for the ecological system.
Look around your house. Everything you own could be traced back to a "creator." Objects don't just pop into being. Have you ever noticed how like clockwork, the birds know when to fly south for the winter and the flowers know when to spring up? The universe is intelligently ordered.
Okay, so if God created the universe, what does He think about this universe? If you read the book of Genesis, you will learn that after creating the earth and all its inhabitants, He said it was "good." God likes His creation. There was one aspect of His creation that He deemed superior than the rest. On day six, He created man and called him "very good" (Genesis 1:31, NIV).
Everything that God created had purpose. Even the order in which He created the sun, water expanse, and the plants was reason-based. Plants can't grow without sunlight and water. Even the amount of time that God spent creating is intentional. He built the entire world in six days and rested on the seventh. Why? He is God. Why on earth would He need to rest? Maybe He was thinking of us. He knew that humans would someday need structure (a.k.a. a week) and rest on the Sabbath.
So if God spent a week creating, why didn't He choose to go back to heaven and rule from a distance? We know that He stuck around, walking through the garden and talking to Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve must have needed Him. Even though the first couple were "without sin," they still needed to be visited by God.
Designer + Personal= GOD
As created beings, we have an instinctive need to be fixed. We were not designed to be autonomous nor self-reliant. Every person will experience this realization at some point in their lives. For some it may take the first time you bruise your knee as a child. For others, it may be just before the airplane you're in is about to crash. Have you ever heard the phrase, "there are no atheists in foxholes?" It is often when we are completely powerless, that we instinctively turn to a higher power. Even babies cry out to be comforted.
Can you imagine being born and having never known the comfort of your mother's arms? You probably wouldn't be able to survive. Aside from obvious reasons (the need to be fed and clothed), a baby's growth will significantly suffer without love and security from a more capable being.
Harry Harlow performed an experiment in the 1960s on infant monkeys to see how they would respond when placed in complete isolation. According to Wikipedia.com, here are the results of this experiment:
"No monkey has died during isolation. When initially removed from total social isolation, however, they usually go into a state of emotional shock, characterized by ... autistic self-clutching and rocking. One of six monkeys isolated for 3 months refused to eat after release and died 5 days later. The autopsy report attributed death to emotional anorexia. ... The effects of 6 months of total social isolation were so devastating and debilitating that we had assumed initially that 12 months of isolation would not produce any additional decrement. This assumption proved to be false; 12 months of isolation almost obliterated the animals socially ..."
Personal + Moral= GOD
Have you ever thought about what would happen if a baby was born and then left alone in the woods to live? Aside from needing basic essentials like food and water, could the baby become socially and morally adept on its own? There is a fascinating movie called, Nell (1994) that best represents this point. In the movie, two psychologists discover a mad woman ("Nell"), living as a recluse in the Appalachian woods. At first glance, this woman seems a danger to society and belongs in a mental institution. As the two psychologists research Nell's history, they discover that her mother died when she was a baby and basically raised herself in the woods. They also discover that she is not mentally insane, but lacks the guidance and instruction of human beings. As the psychologists teach her moral and social conduct, her animalistic, childish, and frightful behavior gives way.
Nell has within her the capacity to learn and model behavior. She just needed instruction. Just like the two psychologists learned of Nell, God knows that we are dangerous without guidance.
Nell had compassion. She knew how to love, and she knew how to hate. She also knew the difference between right and wrong and good and evil. We all know the difference. Yet, we still need to be taught. Any mother or father can bear witness to this. No matter how many times you tell your child not to touch a hot stove, why do they still try it? They are curious.
Curiosity is what killed us as well. Curiosity was one of the driving forces behind Adam and Eve's decision to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Just like parents discipline their children when they make wrong choices, God also showed up to reprimand Adam and Eve. As a result of their willful disobedience, sin entered the universe. God wanted to teach all mankind a lesson. Unfortunately, it was a huge consequence that affected the entire human race. But again, God didn't just leave His created beings to fend for themselves. He is a God who instructs and teaches. He is a moral God, and He personally cares about our choices.
The Bible says that we are without excuse. All of creation shouts the existence of God.
"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..." (Romans 1:20).
Our consciences bear witness that there is a God. We can know without a doubt from the things that we see around us. So, why do we doubt? Do some have more faith in their DNA? The problem lies in our will, not in our ability to reason or genetic make-up.
Will you choose God? Deep down inside of you, you have what I like to call a "God-consciousness," but just like Adam and Eve you can choose to go your own way. You "know" that there is a God, but will you choose to believe in Him?
It's that easy. All you have to do is make a confession of faith that involves everything that you are: your mind, body, and spirit. The Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart (inmost being) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
Not only does God the Creator, invite us to believe on Him, but He adds that we believe in Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Why through Jesus? Jesus was sent here on this earth as God-incarnate, the Son of God to die for our sins. Because of His sacrifice on the cross, God tore away the veil or separation that we have with God. We can now have personal interaction with God, just as Adam and Eve did before they chose to sin. Sin can no longer separate us from God.
Yet, the good news does not end there. We are saved! If we believe and confess Jesus, we are saved from the penalty of sin and death, which is eternal separation from God in Hell. Now, we can enjoy eternal life -- that's life forever and ever with God in heaven. God didn't just leave us here on earth to live and die. He prepared a beautiful place for us, and one day we will be face-to-face with GOD! Until then, we see dimly, but we can still see that there is a God (1 Corinthians 13:12).
If you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, pray this prayer:
Lord, I know that I am a sinner and that my sin separates me from You. Thank you for dying on the cross for me Jesus and forgiving me of all my sins. Today, I trust that I am receiving Your salvation and eternal life in Heaven. Amen.
If you made a confession of faith today, let us know. We have prayer counselors who would love to give you more information about your decision. You can also call us 24 hours a day at (800) 759-0700.
Any more thoughts? Send me your comments.
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