Prove the Existence of God
My oldest son was only four years old when he made an observation that has stuck with me for several years. We were visiting a church for evening worship on our way home from a weekend vacation. We quickly noticed that on Sunday nights the members would sit on one side of the auditorium in the last 6-7 pews. When a gentleman stood up to begin the service with a song, our wide-eyed son looked up and anxiously said, “He can’t start yet. Everybody is not here.” Melinda and I smiled and quietly reassured him that it was O.K. (because he was truly worried). But as I looked around that empty auditorium and glanced at the attendance figures displayed up front, I could not help but notice that less than half the congregation had returned for evening worship. I then “did the math” and realized that even with a “Sunday morning crowd,” more than ½ of the auditorium stood empty every Sunday morning. It was obvious that the church had, at one time, been a thriving beacon of light in the community. But now it was just a glowing ember—about to fade away without any fanfare. My son was right. “Everybody was not there.”
I doubt that there is any way to accurately gauge the number of pews that remain empty today because of worldly influences. The forces of atheism, humanism, and evolution have been extremely successful in convincing thousands of people that God is either dead, or He never existed in the first place. Web sites boldly declare that God does not exist, and encourage young people to “live free and responsible—debaptize yourself!” (I’ve often wondered, would this require a hair-dryer?) But seriously, our children are taught (sometimes not so subtly), to eat, drink, and be merry—and only be concerned with “self.”
One of the reasons atheists have been so successful in emptying out church pews is because they have convinced at least two generations that everything must be proved using the scientific method. From an early age, students are taught that if you cannot see, touch, taste, smell, or hear it, then “it” does not exist. Those who have stiffened their necks against God recognize that He exists beyond scientific measure—and thus, our young people feel that it is impossible to prove His existence. Many Christian parents find themselves dismayed when their child returns home from school, only to pronounce they no longer believe in a God. They become another statistic and another empty pew. However, the story does not have to end this way.
While it is true that God is a spirit (John 4:24), and we cannot prove His existence using the five senses, we can use other means to prove His existence. Consider how many church pews would be empty if every single child reared in a Christian home was diligently taught the following three proofs for God’s existence.
Three ways to prove the existence of God
1. The existence of the Universe (cosmological argument): It doesn’t take a special telescope to prove that the Universe exists. An upward glance on a clear night is a concrete reminder of this fact. The reasonable question remains: “From whence did the Universe originate?” In reality there are only three options: (1) it is eternal; (2) it created itself from nothing; (3) it was created.
Honest scientists today will admit that the Universe is not eternal. We know from the way that it is expanding that the Universe once had a beginning. Evolutionist Robert Jastrow once admitted: “The lingering decline predicted by astronomers for the end of the world differs from the explosive conditions they have calculated for its birth, but the impact is the same: modern science denies an eternal existence to the Universe, either in the past or the future” (1977, p. 30). Additionally, any sane, unbiased scientist will further admit the ludicrous notion that all of the matter in the Universe created itself from nothing. It is a well known reality that nothing produces nothing. These truths leave only one possibility—the Universe was created. An eight year old child can recognize that something now exists. As such, it must follow that something has existed forever. That “something” must therefore be responsible for creating the Universe. That something was God. (See Jon Gary Williams’ article in this issue regarding the eternality of the mind of God.)
In 1995, NASA astronomer John O’Keefe declared, “We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cos-seted, cherished group of creatures…. If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.”
2. The existence of morals (anthropological argument): It is impossible for matter—by itself—to evolve a system of moral “right” and “wrong.” Yet, man recognizes right and wrong. The question then arises, from whence did morals originate?
One of the very first questions I routinely ask atheists whom I correspond is: “Would you have a problem is I came to your house, murdered your family, and robbed you blind?” Without fail, every single one has answered in the affirmative—that this behavior would be wrong. In 1967, George Gaylord Simpson admitted that “morals arise only in man.” However, in order for something to be “right” or “wrong” demands that there is an absolute standard for morality. What is that standard? There are really only two options that could adequately explain the existence of morals: (1) either they were conjured up and created by man; or (2) they originated from God.
Consider the plight of an atheist. They admit morals exist—otherwise they wouldn’t have a problem with you murdering their family members. However, they refuse to acknowledge a belief in God. As such, they must contend that morals arose from man. The question then becomes who gets to decide what behaviors are right and which are wrong? Isn’t evolution all about the “survival of the fittest?” So if I decide a certain behavior will allow me to survive better shouldn’t I participate in it—even if it hurts you? For instance, what would be the problem with slicing a coworker’s tires before an interview if both individuals were applying for the same job?
The only option that makes logical sense is that humans have adopted God’s standard for right and wrong. God’s unchanging nature allows our morals to be recognized as absolute standards for all situations. Only God is eternal (Psalm 90:2; 1 Timothy 1:17). Only God isHoly (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). Only God is just and righteous ((Psalm 89:14). And only God isforever consistent (Malachi 3:6). The existence of a world-wide system of morals is excellent proof that God exists.
3. The existence of design in nature (teleological argument): If design is found in nature, then by definition there must have been a designer. The design we observe today is one more proof that God exists.
Staunch atheist Richard Dawkins observed: “Thanks to Darwin, it is no longer true to say that nothing that we know looks designed unless it is designed. Evolution by natural selection produces an excellent simulacrum of design, mounting prodigious heights of complexity and elegance.” He goes on to refer to the “pseudo-design” of the nervous system. Then he painstakingly (with utter failure), tries to discount the design observed in unique structures like the wing and eye. While Richard Dawkins claims that small incremental steps—what he deems as climbing “Mount Improbable”—through natural selection, explains the design in the Universe, the truth is natural selection is not a “designer.”
Consider the design of the Earth. How can chance (or Dawkins “incremental steps”) explain the Earth’s position in the following: (1) the right type of galaxy; (2) the right location within that galaxy; (3) the odds of being near the right Sun; (4) being the right distance from the Sun; (5) having the right rotation rate and proper tilt; (6) possessing enough water; (7) having the right atmospheric conditions to sustain life? (And this is just the beginning!) For instance, in 1981 Science Digest reported that the Earth moves in its orbit around the Sun, departing from a straight line by only one-ninth of an inch every eighteen miles. If it departed by one-eighth of an inch, we would come so close to the Sun that we would be incinerated; if it departed by one-tenth of an inch, we would find ourselves so far from the Sun that we would all freeze to death. An honest evaluation of the Universe or the human body quickly reveals design. Design demands a designer.
For too many years Christians have been painted with a broad brush as ignorant or irrational for their belief in a God that is unseen. The time has come to refill the pews with your neighbors, coworkers, and family, by first teaching them that God does exist. A fact that we can prove!