I am a Christian. I put my faith in Jesus Christ for salvation when I was about 13 years old if I remember correctly. However, even before that, I believed a God existed. As a matter of fact, he was my imaginary friend as a kid so to speak. I used to stay up late at night during the summer months and talk to this invisible being we call God. I would tell him what was on my mind or just talk to him. I never really questioned the existence of God during until I was older and experienced the world for myself. It has always seemed reasonable to me that a god existed who created everything. I just wasn’t sure who he was later in my life due to the many questions I had regarding reconciling who I thought he was and how the world around me was, especially my own life.
The purpose of this article is to share my belief in the existence of God. Why do I believe God exists. This article was written for the benefit (I hope) for a gentleman that I encountered on Facebook who stated he did not believe in God and such belief is a demonstration of brainwashing so to speak. I know that my belief in God is not a blind faith, but rather, one that was established by evidence. Now I do recognize that someone may look at the same evidence and come to a different conclusion. However, I hope that this article would at the very least get a person to reconsider their atheism and that they would first come to believe that God does exists and then to know what he did for us through Jesus Christ.
The Night Sky
As I stated earlier, I used to stay up late at night and gaze at the night sky and talk to God. I used to look forward to those times because, to me, they were very special. I really believed that God existed. At this time, my belief in the existence of God assumed. I was brought up in a Christian church environment and there was always talk about this invisible being called God. Therefore, it was normal to me that there could be a god who was invisible, you never heard talk, you couldn’t feel and, yet he was real all the same. My belief in the existence of God was like a cat that hears a certain noise consistently. After some time that noise becomes a normal part of its environment. God was a normal part of my environment from a baby, so it was just something that was in me, namely, there is an invisible and powerful being called God out there.
I am awestruck when I looked up in the sky, even to this day. All the stars, galaxies, planets, and other cosmic entities out there are well beyond my comprehension. Why are they there? Where did they come from? Even as a kid, I used to try to stretch my comprehension to understand the limits or boundaries of outer space. How can space go on forever and if not, what is outside of that space? It seemed reasonable that if the things that I see can exceed my comprehension of time and space, then it also seemed reasonable that there could be an invisible God that transcended the things that I could see and yet not understand.
Why does the moon orbit the earth? Why does the earth orbit the sun? Why do the planets orbit the sun? Why does the son orbit that center of the galaxy? Why are things so predictable that seems so far away? In other words, why does there appear to be so much order in the universe based on the scientific discoveries? Now my questions are beyond mere science. I wasn’t asking for a scientific explanation for the physical laws that govern the movement of objects in outer space or even on the earth. My question was why were there these physical laws? For example, Isaac Newton discovered that there is an attraction between two bodies proportionate to the masses of the two bodies and their distances between each other. This was his formula for gravity. But why? Why does gravity exist and why that relationship? Where did these physical laws that govern our universe come from?
Something From Nothing
It seemed reasonable that someone that I could not comprehend existed that created the physical things, most of which I also do not comprehend. The history of science (the little that I know) has taught me that just because something seems to be incredible, does not mean it is not true. For example, there was a time when people thought the heavenly bodies orbited the earth and the earth was the center of the known universe. It was believed that the earth was flat. There are many things that people in the past believed about our physical world that we consider foolish today. I suppose this will always happen as we learn more about our universe and understand its many attributes.
However, there are many people who believe that all that we see comes from nothing. The universe started on its own from nothing. That assumption seems incredibly ridiculous to me. How could something come from nothing unless something was put there to make the something? Even worse, how could something come from nothing on its own? If there is nothing, then how could there be a cause for the creation of something. Logically and perhaps philosophically that doesn’t’ make sense. When I hear someone present this answer to the existence of the universe, I conclude that they must have a ridiculous answer to keep a god out of the picture so to speak. Nothing cannot produce something. I think it is safe to say that we all would agree with that.
Even the big bang theory suggests a cause. What caused the big bang if it really existed? Where did all that energy come from that ended up being the building blocks of all matter? Who caused the big bang or rather, who caused the beginning.
The Universe Was Always Here
There was a belief in the past that the universe has always existed. The universe is infinite in time. I believe that this theory has been abandoned due to the many scientific discoveries that suggest that the universe indeed has a beginning. Again, I believe that this theory was just another attempt at explaining the universe without including a god in the equation so to speak. However, this theory surely does not in any way explain where the stuff in the universe come from. To conclude that it simply has always been here is, to me, a dogmatic statement that you would hear in religion. In other words, it presupposes that there was no creator who created things and that the answer is unknown.
The First Law of Thermodynamics
One of the things that really solidified my belief in a god is the first law of thermodynamics. I said I was raised with an assumption of a god. However, as time went on in my life I wondered if it was true. Not that I had reason to doubt the existence of a god, but rather I just wanted to know if he really existed and how I could determine that. I had learned that people in the hundreds of years ago wanted to know something about the creator, so they turned to science to learn about the creation. The thought here was that the creation would provide a glimpse into the creator. Even the Bible declares that God’s invisible attributes can be understood by the things he made (Romans 1:20).
The first law of thermodynamics states that the mass and energy in the universe cannot be created or destroyed. So where did the energy come from? Something must have put it there that is outside of the universe. That something is the creator, who many call a god. That seemed reasonable to me even though I don’t understand it all. However, not understanding it all is part of our normal human existence, so why should I exclude the concept of a god from this equation just because it is incredible? The first law of thermodynamics provided very good evidence for the existence of a creator, namely a god.
Conservation of Energy and Mass
Another evidence for the existence of God for me is in the conservation of energy and mass. The energy in a closed system can neither be created or destroyed. The same holds true for the mass of a closed system. We know that mass and energy are really the same things. Einstein’s famous equation shows us the relationship between mass and energy: E = mc2. Mass is just a form of energy. This can be shown by chemical and even nuclear reactions, which has been put to use in nuclear reactors, atomic subs, the light bulb, space heaters, etc.
If we experience that energy is conserved around us, then something must have put it there in the first place. Again, it is reasonable, though incredible, to conclude that an invisible creator created everything that exists.
The scientific facts were sufficient for me to conclude that there is a god out there who created everything. Concluding otherwise would be more incredible than not believing a god exists. To believe that a creator does not exist or that the creation of the universe does not need a god is ludicrous. It would take more faith for me to believe the universe exists for no reason at all than to believe that a god created it. For me to believe that the universe began from nothing on its own is really a step of blind faith and even hovers around a religious dogmatic statement than a conclusion from the evidence.
I recently at the time of this writing stumbled across a person that said he does not believe a god exists. Now that statement alone would cause some religious folks to beat him with a bible or their own beliefs. I know better. I know the things I was thinking regarding God, creation, my purpose, and more. So, I simply wanted to know why he didn’t believe there was a god. He said that he could go on forever, but said that a YouTube video summarizes his belief. I thought that was great and said that I would watch the video and let him know what I thought. The video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-suvkwNYSQo.
I must admit that I expected a much more complex explanation for the belief that there is no god before watching the video. I expected the video to be a lot longer than it is too. To me, to believe that there is no god is just as profound as the belief that there is a god. Both will significantly affect your worldview and life.
In a nutshell, Stephen Fry, in the video concluded that he did not believe a god existed because of all the pain, suffering, and evil that is in the world. He also said that if there was a god, then he would not want to have anything to do with him. I was surprised at the simplicity of his belief. However, his belief assumes that a god exists. You must believe that a god exists to believe what Stephen Fry believes. Let me explain.
The Problem of Pain and Evil
One of the problems that people have with regards to God is the problem of pain or the problem of evil. In other words, if God is all powerful then he can do something about all the evil and pain in the world. Since the world is full of evil and pain and suffering, God is either not all-powerful, doesn’t care, or doesn’t exist. The last possibility isn’t reasonable to me because of what I presented previously in this article. Therefore, either God is not all-powerful, doesn’t care, or perhaps there is another reason that I came across.
What if God is not all powerful? That doesn’t mean that he does not exist. It only means he is powerless to do anything about the evil and suffering in the world. What if God doesn’t care about us. Again. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t exist. It means that he simply doesn’t care. The Deists, which some of America’s Founding Fathers were, believe that God created everything and walked away to let things happen as they will so to speak. He wound up the clock and let the clock tick away.
Basically, the fact that we have a problem reconciling the pain and suffering in the world with the existence of God doesn’t mean that God does not exist. The problem is that we don’t know what he is like and how he created things to be. The problem, as I alluded to earlier, is that we don’t understand. The funny thing about this is that if we declare that “There is no God” because of all the pain and suffering in the world, then we are also suggesting that we really do believe in God, but he isn’t what we think he should be. Because our expectation or picture of God that we see when we observe the world with all its pain and suffering is not consistent with what we think God should be, we reject the concept of God. It is reasonable to think that all the evil in the world is because God doesn’t exist instead of looking at the evidence to see what the real problem is.
I said at the beginning that I am a Christian and the Holy Bible is the Holy Book that I read to obtain God’s revelation to man, to see how God operates, what he’s like, what his purpose is for us, and much more. The Bible is God’s word, that is, His revelation of himself to us. Now, of course, a person who does not believe in God surely will not give the Bible any credence. However, if we consider that for the Christian, the Bible reveals some of what God is like, then we should be able to reconcile the evils of the world with the perception of God. Otherwise, the Christian would have the same problem as the atheist, namely reconciling God and his word with what we experience daily in an evil pain-filled world.
I contemplated this for many years and even studied a section of theology called Apologetics. This gave me the tools to objectively look at the evidence to reconcile the problem of pain. After all, I had the same problem as Stephen Fry in the video and perhaps as many atheists. How can God exist and stand by when so much pain and suffering exists in the world? The answer is very simple. Our picture of God is all wrong! Even the person who is an atheist due to the same reasons as Stephen Fry in the video must assume that a god exists and because that god isn’t like the picture he or she has of him, then that picture doesn’t exist and therefore God doesn’t exist. However, they don’t realize that their picture is wrong.
Picture of God
God is not a grandfather in the sky who gives his children candy. We would love to think that whenever someone is going to shoot another person in the head or right before we have an accident that God would swoop down and stop that event from happening. A loving God would stop a busload of children from crashing and killing all those aboard. A loving and powerful God would not allow sadistic people to kill masses of people. I could go on and on. We would love to believe that if God truly existed then the world would be a happy, wonderful, painless place. That picture is all wrong.
As a Christian, I go to the bible when I want to learn more about God. Jesus Christ is said to be the express image of God and even Jesus himself is quoted as saying he and the Father are one. Therefore, the Bible should provide a clear picture of God and what he is like, how he operates, what he wants, etc. Those who were called by him for certain tasks should walk in God’s purpose and be consistent with the picture the Bible paints of this God. After observing the revelation, the Bible gives us of God, I found that God is nothing like what we expect and is nothing like the underlying belief in God that the atheist pre-supposes.
The bible is full of situation after situation and event after event along with their corresponding consequences that is nothing like our “Grandfather with Candy” picture of God. The bible says that God created humans and those humans right from the beginning messed everything up. They disobeyed God and caused corruption in everything that God created. After all, humans were given dominion over the earth and what God had created in it. God created the earth and told the humans to have dominion over it. Their dominion was used to disobey instead of rule properly.
Why didn’t God do something about it? He did, and the bible reveals what I call his master plan. However, what we see when we read the events recorded in the bible and observe the events that occur daily on the earth today, is that humans are the reason for the pain and suffering in the world today. Humans are the bane of the earth. If humans were not on the earth, then the earth would indeed be a beautiful place to be. With humans came sin (i.e., not being upright) and with that came death, pain, and suffering.
We expect God to lift a finger to stop the pain when in fact he already has provided that finger. That finger is us. We expect God to intervene every time a painful event is about to happen. However, nothing paints a picture of a god like that in the bible. So, why do we expect God to do what he hasn’t said he would do? We are trying to reconcile what we see and experience in the world with a God that doesn’t exist, or rather hasn’t been revealed. The God that the bible does reveal to us is very consistent with what we see around us.
Even God’s people suffered. Even bad things happened to God’s prophets. Even the one that God sent for our salvation was killed by religious people. Even some of the great men of the faith were killed by evil religious people. I specifically think of Jon Hus who was burned at the stake for teaching that we are saved by faith, not by works whereas the church didn’t want people to know/believe that. The bible reveals God operating within the context of a man-made evil world.
Sure, it would be wonderful if every time something bad would happen that God would intervene to stop it. At least it would be great if this would happen for Christians. That would be reasonable. However, the bible does not share a God like that. God will warn us and teach us, but we must obey. We see time and time again that humans just don’t obey God. Over time we have forgotten how to hear him. All these things the bible reveals to us and we still don’t get it. We are trying to believe in a god that doesn’t exist, and we don’t like that picture.
If we get the right picture of God, then we can easily reconcile him with the evil and suffering world we live in. I didn’t mention it previously, but one of the things that are preserved in the reconciliation of God and our observation of the world is human will. What if every time a man was going to kill someone that God would cause that man to die? You may say that would be fair, but is it? It may be less painful for the family of the one murdered, but would that be an even trade. After all, someone is going to die. So why not the unrighteous? We would have to admit that if God responded to human evils and suffering in this manner than many of us would have been killed or moved out of the way a long time ago. Is that fair?
The reason evil and pain exist in this world is because of humans, not God. God has done all he can do (considering human will) about the pain and suffering in the world. We may not like the journey, but that is what God has established.
Let me provide some illustrations from the bible that I contemplated regarding this topic.
- The birth of Jesus Christ – After Jesus was born Joseph and Mary were instructed to go to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill him. Therefore, Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt (probably Alexandria where there was a Jewish population) to save their son from being killed. Why didn’t God just divinely protect Jesus (Yeshua Ben Yoseph)? If Joseph and Mary had disobeyed God, then Jesus could have been killed as a baby. It appears that God operates within the context of human existence and history so to speak. God isn’t magical.
- Protecting His Prophets – I often wondered why some of the prophets were killed or had to flee for their lives from evil kings and the like. Why didn’t God divinely protect his prophets such that no harm could come on them? Why did even Yeshua Ben Yoseph (Jesus Christ) have to hide and escape from those who were trying to kill him? Why didn’t even Jesus expect God to divinely protect him from anything that evil would throw at him so to speak? What happened is what we would expect to happen in our world today regarding someone escaping those trying to harm them. However, we want to believe that God would send a giant bird to swoop us up and carry us away from danger. For whatever reason, that is simply not how it works and not how God operates regarding our world.
- Protecting the Apostles – Why did some of the early apostles have to die? Why didn’t God protect even his own people? How is it possible these holy men of God could be captured, tortured, and killed by evil men? Shouldn’t God have protected their lives? I can’t give an answer to that because the bible doesn’t reveal a God who operates like that. Perhaps some could have escaped death with some shrewdness. I, for example, somewhat believe that Jon Hus could have escaped death if he had listed to his supporters instead of trying to reason with evil men who had no intentions of doing the right thing.
- The Plight of Early Persecuted Christians – Many Christians were persecuted in the first three centuries. Many were killed in a plethora of ways. The Bible states (Daniel 6) that Daniel was not killed by the lions when he was put there for disobeying a decree of the king. Why didn’t God protect many people who were thrown into the arena and killed by lions and other animals of prey? All that needed to happen was for those animals not harm them as in the case of Daniel. That didn’t happen. Many died in the arena.
My point is that I must come to grips with the fact that the picture of God that I want to believe is not the picture of God that the bible reveals to us. If we consider the bible to be the revelation of God to humans, then God does not reveal himself the way we want to believe he is. Sometimes bad things happen to “good” people. Of course, Jesus said that there is none good. So, we may think we are good and don’t deserve evil, but the fact is no one is good. No one is righteous. We don’t deserve God’s love or grace because, after all, we are the cause of all the evil that happens on the earth.
To believe that there is no god because of the evil that exists in the world requires a high degree of dogmatism besides evidence than believing that there is a God because of the evidence. Believing there is no God because of evil only shows that we don’t know God. Instead of finding out what God is really like and reconciling the evil in the world with his existence, we would rather throw our hands in the air and throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak. Since the world is a bad place then there must be no God. That is again ludicrous to me based on the evidence given previously.
However, I totally understand why people conclude that there is no God because of evil. I once contemplated those things. However, I did not find that the belief that there is no God to be a satisfactory or sufficient answer to this problem. I would bet that if those who believe there is no God because of the problem of evil would think about it and pursue what God is really like and what he has done for us then that belief would vanish.
What Did God Do About Evil?
I would very much like to believe in utopia on earth. However, I must abandon that believe because it is not supported by the holy scriptures nor my experiences in the world today. As horrible it is for someone to die before their time due to crime, accident, or natural disaster, I must consider that death is not the end. What if our existence is not defined by our physical existence on earth? What if there is more to life than earth?
The bible tells us that God loves us. However, we think that if God loves us then he would remove the evil and pain from the world. What if he did that? What if God has established a place where there is no more pain, death, or suffering and time has not revealed that to us yet? What if we are so focused on the few years we exist on this earth that we are missing the big picture of not only God but our own existence? What if God’s love is not demonstrated in the way that we think it should be, namely the grandfather giving children candy. The bible tells us that God demonstrates his love for us by Jesus dying for us while we were against him, i.e., sinners (Romans 5:8). Notice that it does not say that God demonstrates his love towards us by protecting us from all harm, dangers, suffering, etc. His love was demonstrated through the suffering and even death of the one he sent to save us from our own impending doom. So, we see in this one profound statement that things are not as we wished they would be. Perhaps this is the way that it must be even though we don’t understand. After all, how could I expect to know what God knows? The bible reveals to us that God is not a genie and he is not a magician. He tends to be very practical.
The bible tells us that God sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins so that we won’t have to die for our own sins. He has provided a way for us to be in right relations with him. This provision is a gift and not something that we have to perform for. All we really must do is accept the salvation that was provided to us by Jesus Christ. We simply need to believe that Jesus died for our sins, rose from the dead and is ascended to the Father. In other words, we simply need to believe and accept that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. We then can enter a permanent and everlasting relationship with the father while on the earth and long afterward.
God has done a lot about the evil and pain and suffering in the world. The problem with us is that we expected him to do it our way. Our way must not be sufficient because God did it another way, which involved the death of an innocent man, Jesus Christ. The bible reveals a new heaven and new earth where there is no more death, suffering, or pain. The bible reveals that evil will be destroyed. Perhaps this is what Jesus alluded to in his parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-30, 46-43).
Yeah, but I want it now! I also had to come to grips with the fact that it isn’t about me. It is a very intricate thing to accommodate human will and the individual actions of people. Time gives everyone the opportunity to accept what Jesus did for then even though we may not be able to reconcile this evil world with the picture of God that we have now. The key is to get to know God better and perhaps we’ll understand more. That has been true for me.
We Are The Solution
I thought that I would make the definite point that humans are the problem with the world. Some don’t believe God exists because they don’t see that we are the reason that the world is the way that it is, not God. If it was up to God, there would be no pain and suffering. We messed it up with the first humans.
However, we are also a big part of the solution. There doesn’t have to be starving people on the planet. There doesn’t have to be homeless people on the planet. What if Christians would be more concerned about helping others instead of paying a tithe to benefit a religious organization or a pastor or bishop. What if Christians operated as the first Christians operated when they supported those who were in need. You really don’t see that kind of thing in churches as a whole. It is usually about supporting a building project, the salaries, etc.
The bible teaches us that we should love one another and that this love is realized or manifested by the things we do for each other. I would be operating according to the will of God if I helped someone who had nothing to eat than if I gave an offering to a church organization. God is concerned about people, not an organization.
So here my point is that God again has done something about the evil in the world, but people don’t answer his call and evil continues. However, what he does and how he operates seems to be much different than what we think they should be. God is not a genie, magician, or a grandfather in the sky who gives his children candy.
An Incredible Thought
I have stated previously that humans are the bane of the earth. We are the agents of evil in the world. The bible declares that evil in the world is not God’s will. For example, Jesus’ response to sickness and disease was to eliminate it. However, he didn’t go around just healing everyone he could get his hands on. Instead, those who came to him for healing were healed. The picture that we have of God is that person that would go to the hospitals and clear it out. God simply doesn’t operate that way as we see with Jesus Christ.
What if there is something else that we are missing? What if our disobedience has culminated into a lack of awareness of God and all that he has made available to us? What if spiritually we could do more than we think? For example, the bible says those who believe will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. The bible says to have faith in God and speak to the “mountain.” The bible says to acknowledge God in all your ways and he will make your paths straight.
The question I asked repeatedly is do we walk in the provision that God has given to us physically, intellectually, and even spiritually? What if there is more than physical stuff. There are many things that can’t be explained by what we know in science and the like. What if there is a way to tap into a spiritual realm and access more tools for our well-being.
I believe that we could make this world a better place by operating more in the provisions that God has given us. Sometimes, we may be prompted to go another way home from work and don’t realize that is to save us from some type of pain. We may have told ourselves, “Something told me not to do that!” Perhaps that something was God speaking to you in the spirit realm. What if you neglected to follow God’s promptings in your life and it led to pain?
How many times did you do something that you knew was wrong or a bad thing to do, yet you did it anyway and it led to pain? We all do it. However, what if God was telling us not to do it? What if that thing in your gut was God warning you? I’ve had times in my life where something was prompting me to do something and I did, which led to a good thing. Sometimes I would do something else and regret it. My wife told me of a time when she was driving home from my house (before we were married) and something prompted her to stop the car even though she had the green light. She obeyed and suddenly a car came “screaming” down the street. Someone was trying to get away from the police and was speeding down the street at night with the headlights off. She said if she had kept going, she would have been in the path of that speeding car. What if she had not done what that “voice” told her to do?
I believe as time goes on, we become less aware of God and the consequence is that we don’t hear him. If a child is about to do something that will harm him, the parent can shout out a warning to get the child to stop. Of course, if the child has learned to heed the parent’s voice then he will be spared some kind of pain. If not (he disobeys or disregards the warning) then he may suffer pain. The same applies to us with regards to God warning us. Sometimes those warnings are simply the advice or admonishment of others around us. We can either take those warnings seriously or reject them leading to pain.
I believe that there is a spiritual realm and we are progressively becoming increasingly insensitive to it. We, therefore, miss the many things that we may receive from God. After all, God is a spiritual being.
My final thoughts – I Believe!
I believe there is a god because the objects around me are evidence of his existence. The universe must have a beginning based on what we know of the universe. It is reasonable, though incredible, to believe that a creator created the universe. It is unreasonable to believe given the evidence from nature, that there is no god. I believe that it takes blind faith to believe that there is no god because of the evil in the world than it does to believe there is a God with all the evil in the world.
Though I believe God exists from what I see in nature (the bible does not attempt to prove the existence of God, but rather assumes it), nature does not reveal to me who God is or what he is like. That comes from the revelation of God to us, namely the bible. I do believe that the bible is the word of God, but that is a topic for another article.
I understand that there are those that do not believe God exists and I’m sure they have their reasons for believing—at least I would hope so. I find that some people have a religious belief about things, in other words, they don’t know why they believe. I do know from past experiences and from the gentleman I encountered on Facebook, that some people do not believe in God because of all the pain in the world. Well, the good news is that this belief is not supported by evidence. I briefly showed that we can’t reconcile the evil in the world with God because our picture of who he is and what he is like is wrong. Once we get a more accurate picture of God, then we can more readily reconcile the evil world with a loving God. This is especially true when we consider what God has done about the evil in the world and for all time.
Jesus died for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to. This gives us an opportunity to be in right relations with God and not be eventually destroyed because of our own sin. No one is good, so no one deserves good things regardless of how good we think we are. The salvation that is offered to us by God through Jesus Christ is a gift that only needs to be accepted. We can’t earn, and we do not deserve God’s grace, but we get it from him anyway. Eventually, all evil and pain will be eliminated even though we want all of that now.
What if you still don’t believe God exists? Then life is meaningless. The universe was created by some phantom magic that existed before anything existed. Hmmm. You have no hope. You are at the whim of natural events and even a fatalist paradigm. I would even say that you are foolish (not wise). Just because you cannot reconcile the evil world with God is no reason to reject his existence. You just need to know who he is and how he operates. Then it will make more sense to you. God exists. You just don’t know who he is.