Why Doesn’t God Just Prove He Exists?

A young man wrote me the other day to ask why God doesn’t once and for all prove his existence. Here’s my answer to that earnest seeker. (Yo! Danny! Do good in school! And don’t take drugs! And … well, actually, that pretty much covers it.)

First of all, God did prove his existence; that’s pretty much the whole point of the Bible specifically and Christianity generally.

So. Massively gargantuan point.

But I know that what you mean is why doesn’t God prove his existence again — and this time, to you personally.

If you think about that question, though, you’ll see pretty soon that what anyone asking it really wants is for God to not only prove to them personally that he exists, but to simultaneously prove his existence to a whole bunch of other people, too.  Because if God proved his existence to just you, then that’s going to leave you with one whopper of a challenge on your hands, insofar as right away your choices will boil down to exactly two: Either tell people how you personally encountered God, and risk them thinking you’re absolutely badoinkers — or don’t tell anyone how God proved to you he was real, and risk having a stress-induced heart attack from having to keep such an extraordinary experience locked up inside of you.

See? Neither’s what you’d call an Optimum Situation.

And that is why anyone who claims to want irrefutable, objectively verifiable proof of God’s existence must also want God to prove he exits to everyone else in the world — or to half of them, anyway, so that he or she will at least be in the majority of people.

And God proving the reality of his existence to everyone all at once pretty much boils down to him suddenly, all around the world, appearing in the sky, and in a booming voice announcing (something like), “Hello, world! Surprise! It’s me! Try not to faint!” And of course he would have to say whatever he said in the language that any given person listening to him could understand. Including, come to think of it, baby talk.

Point is: It would be quite the Logistical Challenge.

But hey! It’s God! If anyone could pull it off, he’d be the … divine entity to do it!

And do you know what would happen if God did, all at once, to everyone in the world, finally prove his existence? People all over the world would scream, and faint, and exclaim, and tear their hair and rend their clothes — and then they’d realize that they just got so bored they’d all slump over and pass out.

Bottom line? God doesn’t prove to you in an objectively verifiable way that he exists because he knows doing so would flat-out ruin you.

The truth is, we don’t want God to prove he’s real to us in the same way everything else in our lives that’s “real” to us is real to us. Because it would destroy that within us which keeps us ever moving forward toward resolution, knowledge, clarity, context, wholeness. It would strip from us the very thing that makes us human.

Just imagine it. Imagine God really appeared before you, in physical form — that he spoke and talk and … hung out at your place for awhile.

First, you’d be awed and amazed!

And then — and in fairly short order, too – you’d become a zombie. Because there’d be no mystery left in your life.

Who remains deeply fascinated by a novel when they already know how it ends?

We need God to be mysterious. In order for us to have the richest, most human experience possible for us in this life and on this earth, we need God, and all Essential, Divine Matters, to be just beyond our rational comprehension, just outside of our grasp.

Our relationship with God needs to be, to us, a two-way, interactive, give-and-take, constantly exchanging sort of relationship — of essentially the same sort as we have with everyone else in our lives. If God just appeared to all of us, all at once, the fundamentals of our personal relationship to him would instantly be so radically altered — we’d be so thoroughly pushed out of the subjective give-and-take role that’s actually necessary to keep us engaged with God — that … that we’d no longer be who we are.

We’d be … Us, Severely Unplugged.

Our spiritual initiative would be gone.

We move forward because we want to know.

If we did know, we’d stop.

Not so good.

You don’t, actually, want God to “prove” his existence, any more than you want to lose, for instance, your imagination.

Here’s another reason it actually doesn’t make any sense to desire that God suddenly prove to everyone that he exists: It’s not God’s primary purpose to work with people as a whole, from the outside. God develops his relationship with us individually, from inside of us: God speaks to our heart, to our soul, to our experience, in the ways we most need to hear and understand him. God loves each one of us personally –a nd he wants to communicate that personally, intimately, carefully, delicately; he wants to communicate everything about himself — and us — to us in the ways and at the times that are best for us.

God had no natural interest in just … overpowering everyone at once.

Please.

This is God we’re talking about, not … P.T. Barnum.

God is pleased to be “real” where he can be the most real — where you can comprehend the most of him — which is inside of you. God is a spiritual power. The fullest communion with God must happen spiritually; it must happen inside of you, not outside of you.

The bottom line is that while you might think you want God to objectively “prove” his existence, you don’t, in fact, want that at all.

You don’t want that because you’re more complex than that. You don’t want that because your needs are more real than that.

You don’t want that because you were designed to be better than that.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is co-founder of The NALT Christians Project and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here). His blog is here. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://shutethupeth.com/ Michael Island

    The answer to this question is famous.

    The reason God doesn't prove to all of us mere humans that He exists is He can't. And it's not due to any of His shortcomings, but to ours. We just can't fathom His eternal, omnipotent, omniscient being. God is beyond nature (and therefore scientific understanding). After all He made it.

    But isn't that the challenge? Can you accept God on faith, live your life accordingly, and earn the right to get to Heaven? Or do you need silly earthly things like proof and certainty?

    • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

      Very interesting. Where did this answer originate?

  • http://thepfjournal.wordpress.com/ Carey

    I like the post – helps to think a little differently…

  • Rachel Cabal

    I like Carey's response. This whole topic makes me feel small and like one who still seeks…and I like the idea of always thinking differently…not always on the same track of my own definitions of God.

  • Carol Collett

    Faith is the substance of things unseen. Lord I believe. Help my unbelief. I can intellectualize God or emotionalize God but ultimately the choice is mine how I respond to Him. Absolutely blows my mind. How can I respond to Someone so far outside my realm of understanding? How can I not respond?

  • http://jaimewindon.wordpress.com/ jaimewindon

    this post is awesome john.

    and here's why:

    because it answers the question perfectly, and at the same time answers the sole question about the purpose of life…why do we continue striving, reaching, learning? because life means "moving forward toward resolution, knowledge, clarity, context, wholeness" – with this phrase you describe the pursuit of anything one is passionate about, be it religion and faith, or simply life itself.

    thank you.

  • JP

    Bit of a problem with your thesis. If true then when we die and get to heaven and see God then we will all become zombies with nothing to work towards. Doesn't sound like somewhere I want to go.

    I tend to believe that if God chose to totally reveal himself then we would no longer really have choice or our choices would not be based on love and relationship. Kinda like the quandary of a millionaire looking for a spouse. Do they love me for me or for my position, money…etc…

    But still I really would like for him to show up in my house for a few hours… ;-)

  • http://www.frozentoothpaste.com david

    Hmm… This is an interesting post.

    I have to wonder though, if God really wants to talk to each of us and assure us that he exists and that we should be good people, why doesn’t he just assure all of us (internally). Why do so many people (including Mother Theresa) feel uncertain of God’s existence if he really wants to assure us. Surely he could (no to say to say would) communicate to all of us his existence in a way that we would be absolutely certain of it without creating some large external spectacle.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    JP: Nah: We’d become zombies post-God-proof HERE because here, in this life, we’re in exactly the kind of strictly linear, start-here-finish-there system which NEEDS open-endedness in order for it not to seem like a soul-eradicating BOX. But after this life–once we’re in the presence of God–that kind of paradigm will be just a … memory. THERE it’ll be just an … ever-generative gestalt of divine consciousness.

    Honestly, I don’t think you WOULD want God to show up at your house for a few hours. I think you THINK you would–but then, after he left, you’d realize how infinitely better off you were before God became to you, and to your mind, WAY too much like something infinitely divine, and way too much like something you might expect to see on a really, really good TV show.

  • http://sparrow Greta Sheppard

    Golly, gee! If God were to show up as a physical person in my house I would hope he would give me warning so I could have it scrubbed and squeaky clean!

    I like what you said, John . . ."God is pleased to be “real” where he can be the most real — where you can comprehend the most of him — which is inside of you. God is a spiritual power. The fullest communion with God must happen spiritually; it must happen inside of you, not outside of you."

    Based on that truth I said to myself: "Self…. if He lives inside my heart and reads my thoughts before I ever think them…..why oh why do I worry about Him seeing my cluttered house; He sees it 24/7!!!"

    I liked Rachel's response…."like one who still seeks… I like the idea of always thinking differently…not always on the same track of my own definitions of God"

    As for me, acknowledging God outside my theological box is spiritually exciting and mentally exhilirating. The scholars speak scholarly, but the God I know bends down to the faintest whisper and frightened heartbeat of the insignificant and uneducated. Plain people! Like me!

    Thanks John, for uniquely rattling my cage once again, directing me back to simple faith in a God I have never seen, but by Whose love I am cosseted!

  • Billy B

    To David,

    Having read excerpts from the new book on Mother Teressa I too was astounded when I read where she said, "Jesus has a very special love for you," she assured Van der Peet. "[But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see,–Listen and do not hear–the tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak … I want you to pray for me–that I let Him have [a] free hand."

    Then I read her prayer and desire:

    She wrote in 1951 that the Passion was the only aspect of Jesus' life that she was interested in sharing: "I want to … drink ONLY [her emphasis] from His chalice of pain."

    Christ's greatest pain was separation from God. That was her desire and God answered her prayers. Be careful what you pray for.

    billy

    • Erin

      Wow. I have not read any of her writings. This is very powerful and impactful to live her life so faithfully without feeling connected.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Okay, so I am DEFINITELY voting "cosseted" for this year's Best Word We Don't Hear Often Enough Anymore award.

  • JP

    I was considering:

    ever-generative gestalt of divine consciousness

    :-)

  • snowhite197

    I kind of agree with both John and JP. I don’t think it’s possible for any human to ever fully comprehend God at all. In this life or in the next.

    But in this life, fully seeing or comprehending God would destroy our bodies and minds, b/c it would just be too big of an experience, and because His holiness would destroy us (study the Old Testament and how God had to interact with Moses, the priests, and the prophets). That is why God doesn’t manifest Himself to us in that way.

    As to why God doesn’t assure us all internally that He is real, well, I really don’t know. But one thing that is very beautiful about God’s love and faith in US, his people, is that He chooses most often to use US to reveal Himself to others. He chooses regular, unholy, flawed people to do His holy work of loving others and reconciling them back to Him. Don’t ever be surprised if an answer to your prayer comes in the form of a person instead of a ‘real’ miracle.

  • http://ronsbookcorner.blogspot.com/ Ron

    Good post. Btw, thanks for commenting on my blog, John.

  • harvey melton

    like i said in my e to you john OGod has proven himself to us billions of times over but the ultimate proof will be after we die. then we will be immediately in his realm. we will come face to face. now wont that be a shocker? no words will suffice that experience. cant wait myself. -harv

  • Jenny

    this is good…the only problem is, i don’t think we would EVER get bored of God. You basically said that after God came and hung out with us for we would become zombies. I don’t even get bored of my friends, how could I get bored of God? And thats basically what we will do in heaven….”hang out” with God. Do you think we will get bored in heaven? I dont think so. Well this was a very fast typed email, but I think I got my little point across. I do follow your article, though.

  • http://sharpiron.org Christian

    Good stuff. Actually helps me with my own (more than occasional) doubts.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism L.U.Cipher

    17 comments to this rather speculative -or is this some kind of humor ?- post and no single one mentions the most probable answer to the question. Deep down you all know it. And fear it.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Brother, trust this: It's at least as frightening to believe in a God you do NOT want to dissapoint than it is to believe in a devil you can't. (And dude: grow up. Get yourself a fake name that doesn't make it hard to believe you're not in junior high.)

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism the blogger formerly

    ok "Brother" John first of all i can't possibly be a devil worshiper since i am an atheist and this includes demons. My nick name is just a word play which came spontaneously. Of course it would be convenient for you if i went to junior high but this is not the case. Now i 'm not here to exchange personal insults. I d rather have a civilized debate about the question which you posed on he title of your post. My opinion is clear let me state it again : god gives no answer because god (In the christian- judaic-islamic sense of a personal god who is omnipotent etc. etc. ) doesnt exist. So let's see if John or any of you are willing to debate this question seriously or if you will delete my posts and send me to hell ;) .

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Why would you want to "debate this question seriously"? Surely you have no hope that, by dint of your rigorous logical propositions, you'll convince any believer to abandon his or her faith. So do you mean, then, to be convinced that there is a God? Do you come here for this "debate" because, inside, you WANT to be convinced there's a God? I won't inuslt you by suggesting you do.

    But if you KNOW, as you must, that you're not going to turn any Christian into an atheist, and if you yourself are convinced beyond a doubt that atheism is the highest truth, then I ask again: What, exactly, are you doing here?

    There is a kind of atheist who enjoys nothing more substantial than making of themselves bait for Christians. In effect, they simply want the attention that comes from wading into a colllective of believers, declaring there is no God, and then watching as all the pretty fireworks begin going off around them.

    You're not one of THOSE rudderless time-wasters, are you? If you are, please allow me to ask you to take it somewhere else; surely, there are on-line atheists with whom you can exchange insights. If you're not, and you actually ARE open to the idea that there's a God, then let me know, and at the very least I can point you to some reading that I know would help inform your thinking about that.

  • http://sharpiron.org Christian Beyer

    I dunno, my kids went to junior high and it didn't help them at all. ;)

    So anyway, bloggerformerlyknownaslucipher, how can you be so sure there is no god? And why is it so important to you to attempt to refute someone else's faith. (And let's leave all that atheistic retribution out of it. You've read these posts. No one here sits on the board of the Spanish Inquisition)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    No, I don't think everyone who has a different opinion than I do is necessarily a hostile troublemaker. But I am CERTAINLY more likely to think someone is a hostile troublemaker who shows up here with the screen name Lucifer asserting that all Christians are cowards.

    You can't insult someone and expect them to take you seriously. That's not how "serious debates" work.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism the blogger formerly

    Christian, just saw your, post nice questions so i ll stay wake for some more minutes :)

    First i am not 100% sure of anything. Of course there could be god but then he does a very good job hiding evidence of his (her) existence. The universe does'nt work acoording to the bible or the quran but it follows mathematicals laws. Life wasn't "created" it evolved through a very interesting and long natural process. So my question to you now …

    Why do you believe in someting written 2000 years ago which actually explains nothing about the world we live in and don't try to ask yourself what really drives nature ? You don't have to study physics, there are plenty of books for laymen which explain that what we know rather well.

    As to your second question. It's not my task to make you stop believing. But it' s my right to have objections about some dogmas and speak them out. Anything wrong with that ? Is it legitimate to try and convert someone to Christianity but illegitimate to discuss the logical fallacies of this (or any other) belief system ?

    Sorry but the length of the reply that's it for tonight…

    Maybe this will become an interesting online conversation …

  • http://sharpiron.org Christian Beyer

    I think Mother Theresa is a good example. Like many (most) of us she had doubts, apparently very serious ones. As far as we can tell, based upon the evidence, she died a Christian.

    What’s that prayer? Lord, give me a stronger faith?

  • http://sharpiron.org Christian Beyer

    there could be god

    OK, we have a playing field. If you will concede this, then you may perhaps agree that, if there is a god, then the physical laws of the universe may not apply to this entity.( Perhaps it even ‘wrote’ these laws?)

    Life wasn’t “created” it evolved through a very interesting and long natural process…

    Oh, I think that the creation story in Genesis is really a metaphor. It is ‘true’ in that it very poetically explains that there is a purpose to this universe. It was not accidental.

    I pretty much accept most of evolutionary theory although there are tremendous holes in it. Some of the theory’s greatest proponents, such as Stephen Jay Gould,even thought so. Wasn’t it Sir Francis Crick who postulated a seeding of this earth with DNA by an ancient intergalactic race? To help plug one of the biggest holes? (But we have a First Cause problem with that as well,don’t we?)

    Why do you believe in something written 2000 years ago which actually explains nothing about the world we live in and don’t try to ask yourself what really drives nature ? You don’t have to study physics, there are plenty of books for laymen which explain that what we know rather well.

    First off, the biblical accounting is much older than that. Remember, it is one of the oldest complete historical records known to us. That being said, I think the age of the document as it pertains to its veracity is irrelevant. Although it addresses nature and history, it is not intended as a scientific or historical treatise. It is a philosophy. We (atheists and Christians) miss the point when we try to make the Bible into something it is not; a natural history of the universe. Besides, we don’t discount the writings of Plato, Aristotle or Pythagoras because of their age

    I felt the first tugging towards God about 10 years ago when, as an atheist, I began reading one of those excellent books for laymen, “The Dancing Wu Li Masters”. I became fascinated with quantum mechanics and the more I read the more I began to realize that mathematics was asking me to accept as truth something that was no more absurd or irrational than the existence of God. So I thought I might check it out. First with Zen and the Tao te Ching (very relevant to physics and with some parallels to Christianity). Over time God changed my life. Too personal to go into right now, but my story is not unique.

    Is it legitimate to try and convert someone to Christianity…?

    Sure is. But that’s not what we’re doing here, is it? One step at a time right. There are billions of people who believe in some sort of deity that are not Christians. First things first. :)

  • http://DukeyDog Michael L. Duke

    Its hard to express your feelings and let it show through typing on this computer. I like your post, John. Most human being hunger for meaning in life. That includes all those in prison, mental hospitals, and other places we tend to avoid. The cry is “I’m hungry” the actions are, “attention getters” of some sort. Its inherent in each of us to want to know God. And God hasn’t been asleep by looking at his creation and those who are literally, “born again” by the Spirit of God. We do want meaning and mystery in our lives, indeed! We must go forward to find more answers to what God is wanting us to know and worship Him in understanding. Yippeee

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    I just read through this post and comments. Fascinating {imagine one eyebrow raising periodically}. I would like to add to your (John Shore’s) notion:

    And then — and in fairly short order, too – you’d become a zombie. Because there’d be no mystery left in your life.

    First of all, I think you describe it perfectly. And that description made me laugh too. I think Michael is onboard with it too when he wrote:

    The reason God doesn’t prove to all of us mere humans that He exists is He can’t.

    The two perspectives above are eluding to two distinct possibilities for proof of God’s existence. I think there are three options on the table to consider.

    Option 1 is along the lines John Shore’s description. God reveals himself to all in an undeniable fashion. I think of this as getting the complete tour of The Model Home. After all, in heaven we’ll be living in perfect community in him. Think on it. That would be an incredibly cruel thing for a loving God to do. Imagine deciding to show the Good Life to a poor, destitute, disease-ridden, beggar. And then, of course, dropping that beggar back off in the rat-infested shack where you found him while saying, “Have a nice day.” Leaving us to suffer illness, loss, pain, and blogs. Cruel. I would cease to participate in life on planet earth.

    Option 2 is along the lines of what is implied by Michael Island’s description. Rather than a tour of all things wonderful, God decides to make us infinite like him. Option 2 is what we most desire and it is this desire that has in this mess to begin with. In Option 2, we don’t tour heaven/God as a human as in option 1. Instead we become infinite like God. A peer. From our new infinite perspective we would no longer be suffing any shortcomings of a finite human… we would be able to peer into and know, even grok the infinite God from without. Which is nonsense.

    So, after some thought, Michael is right when he says God can’t do it. At first I thought, “Hey, hold on! God can do anything! He’s God for God’s sake!” But then I remembered that making me a god would be a terribly evil thing to do to the rest of you.

    Oh right, right… of course – and an evil thing to do to me too.

    That leaves Option 3. In option 3, we don’t go there nor do we become like him. In Option 3, he would come here wrapped in human shortcomings… flesh and bone… only 6 senses… only 20/20 vision… just human. No matter how he might appear in this world (this physical universe) he would necessarily need to self-limit/contain himself. Once he does this however, we can argue that there would be a perfectly reasonable, rational, medical, and/or scientific explanation for whatever might happen during such a visit.

    But I believe Option 3, even with its shortcomings, would be the only way.

  • Pingback: We have 3 Options (and the 1st 2 don’t count) « ric booth - poet, writer, speaker

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  • http://darklydreamingdavid.wordpress.com Dave Id

    If God showed himself to me I’d ask him something:

    “God, creator of the universe, are you able to create a rock so heavy that even you, omnipotent being, could not lift it?”

    Then I’d wait to see which would cease existing first, God or the Universe. I love paradoxes.

  • god's will

    My Dear Fellows,

    You breath, therefore god exits. You wake up alive every morning and there is your proof. He is a thought for me, very much visable, and I can see him and feel anytime lonely, deprate, or happy. He walks beside me. I don't need labels to know him. Jehwa, Jesus, Krisha, Allah! It's One in same, the same into many. I don't see picture them fighting for supermacy for the thron of GOD, somehow, in the havens above. And a man, to my opinion ofcourse, would have to be the most UNINTELLIGENT speices of ALL, put on this earth by him.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh, shoot. You had me until your assertion that humans are the least intelligent species on earth. The only way that could make any sense at all is if you're defining the word "intelligent" in a way that has no relationship whatsoever with any way in which the word is or ever has been used. If man is the LEAST intelligent species, then what are you voting for most?

  • god's will

    Why? when man has reached the moon and deep space. He has cure for almost everything, sea will no long remain an enigma. World is shrinking everyday, thanks to the internet, which gives me space to air my thinking. Why they would I call man the most UNINTELLIGET OF AL THE SPIECES ON THIS EARTH. Because, instead of injoying our gains, we are forever in a battle with this world. Who is the most superior race, and what kind of god people should believe , waging bloody battles throughtout the history of mankind. For What? I don't think god had this in mind, maybe we should read the just the ten commandments of any race, for I am sure they would be pretty much the same, and leave the rest! The simple commandments are best and make more sense, a better soscity would come out of it. As for our religious caretakers, well the less said the better. Dividing counties and contents, and various shades of colored skin, through their preachings, instead of advocating peace and love. No matter what they(the head of all religion)say, people just need to remember that we all share that beginning cell and that we all live and have the same home address.

    GALEXY, Milky Way,

    Third from the Sun

    EARTH

    Polulation: 4 Billion and rising!

    Don't you think instead of wasting money on useless weapons of distruction, our esteemed leaders should be building friendships and advocating peace. After all, it would be the greatest sin of all, to destroy the only home, you will ever have at least in your life time.

    • Erin

      Well said. Life took billions of years to get where it is, and we have done more in the past 200 years to destroy it. The ecology of the earth has its own checks and balances – competition keeps everything in check. If there are too many lions hunting the hyenas, eventually there won’t be enough food for all of the lions, and so the population adjusts accordingly. We have no natural predators. We fight with each other, and unfortunately, our technology has outpaced our ability to wisely deal with it. And, unfortunately, it’s not only our own population at risk, but every single species due to all of the toxic crap we spew into the air, ground and seas. We are a very self-centered species, and I think it is partially due to us thinking that we are superior to the other life forms. When we (all of humanity) learn to embrace our rightful place as equals, or even as stewards of all life, then we will have a world without war.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    You make many great points here, of course.

    All I was asking for is your vote for MOST intelligent species. But never mind. Of course you'll end up having to say it's man. And I know you're making a point beyond that. Good job!

  • god’s will

    Dear John,

    Hello, I think you missunderstood my friend, I meant, we suppose to be the most intellegent of all animalls on this earth, right. I mean all those great inventions. I enjoy every one of them, I won’t be hipocryt , but tell me what good in the END haveTHESE INVENTION BY INTELLGENT MEN. I need to tell you what it is doing to the ozone layer. Oh we have all the comforts our grandparents lacked, but they lacked all these wonderfull machines to make thire work easier, but far were more healthier than we or our are children today. Would you not call man unintelligent, when knowing all the harm, but it is being done, again and again. Would you not agree, that the amount of money spent on armed forces, could feed the hungry of our world. Can we not see others as we see ourselves and trust each other by working togather to make this world safe. Oh We build weapons so they build them too. Weapons that I hope to god won’t be used to distroy his earth. So many people have (innocent children and women) died when there was no reason. Why look back, in our own time, look what happened to the World Trade Center. Would any of those people do you think were ever responsible for what happening in the middle east. If man was intelligent would he go around destroyi;ng his world. If he was clever, he would build better world, not the one which can go up in wanted to say that basically, man was too stupid to see the distruction all around him, which ofcourse is the result of his intelligence. Thanks for replying.

    P.s. Please forgive me for errors in typing, I usually get carried away!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Yeah, I mean, what’s not arguable is that we humans ARE the most intelligent species on earth. Duh. Of course we are.

    Whether or not that’s a GOOD thing is, as you’re saying, a whooooole other question. So far, it doesn’t seem to be our greatest asset.

    Well. Actually, it seems to me that humans need to be either a whole lot MORE intelligent, or a whole lot less.

  • god’s will

    Dear John,

    Yes you are ofcoure right. Ultimatily man is the most intelligent of all. We can only hope, with all the awarness, this intellgent animal, he will make the right decisions for our and our childrens future. Amen!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Amen to that, brother.

  • Carl Capps

    John, I don’t mean to be irreverent, please believe me, but I really don’t understand your explanation about why God prefers to hide his existence. I know, I know, we’re supposed to see His wonders all about us, but I also see horrors all about us. I’ve been told that the horrors aren’t of God but of the ‘adversary,’ that horrors done in God’s name are actually done by very sadly disturbed people. I can accept that; in fact, I must accept that. Many of my doubts center around the problem of evil, naturally. But there rests my greatest problem, I think. It is as though two levels of moral conduct exist, Gods’ and Man’s. If God does truly permeate the universe, and a child steps off a curb into oncoming traffic and is struck and killed or at best seriously injured, then we call it a tragic accident, though presumably God was present and could have intervened. Now, given the same circumstances, if you or I were standing by that child when she made that bad choice to run though traffic, and if it had been in our power to grab her arm and pull her back to safety, what moral (and quite possibly legal) judgement would have befallen us if we had decided not to save her? I think we would be justly considered hideous people for not helping. So, if we are to at least try to do our best for one another, why does God just standback? Remember, I’m just an amateur in these matters and have probably missed something fundamental that would ease my mind over this apparent contradiction in moral responsibility, but I can’t help thinking that a clear, unequivocal revelation by God of His actual existence might make such ambiguous or paradoxical situations easier to understand. If His physical revelation made faith irrelevant, there’s a part of me that has to say, “So what”? I would have seen God in the flesh so to speak. Would that really turn life into a boring, plodding existence? Could someone actually come face-to-face with the creator of the universe and live out the rest of his life bored as a result? Or would such sure and certain knowledge be a boon to the rest of one’s life? War, crime, abuse…wouldn’t such potential criminals be more than a little deterred if they had seen the God of the Universe?

    Thanks for listening to my ramblings, John. All the best.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I fear it’s obnoxious to say, but I address much of what you’re here asking in my post, “Why Does God Allow Evil to Exist?

    • Erin

      I wish this link was still available, because I would like to read it [UPDATE: The link now works]. I have seen a few references to Satan in some of your posts. Although I identify as Christian, I have always had trouble with the idea of Satan. God is supposed to be the most powerful of beings, so why does he not just destroy Satan? If Satan’s goal is to trick God’s followers away and have their souls for himself, then it seems God would find a way to stop it. This, to me, sounds like the proverbial rock that is too big for God to lift. In my mind, there are several possibilities:

      1. Satan has as much power as God. According to some, Satan put the dinosaur bones there to tempt us away from the creation story. Satan throws up all kinds of roadblocks toward our faith, tempting us away from God, and God can’t do anything about it.

      2. Satan serves God’s purpose and they are two sides of the same coin. So in this case, Satan tempts us, but God WON’T do anything about it. People decide to “follow Satan” and God says they can’t go to heaven, and then rewards Satan with their souls? Why? Or perhaps there are people who are so angry and messed up that they really and truly don’t feel they deserve to go to heaven. Maybe, like Jacob Marley, they have such heavy chains that they are carrying of their own free will, that they can’t perceive God’s grace and forgiveness being offered, even after passing. And until they understand that grace and forgiveness is theirs to receive, they simply don’t have the ability to go to heaven – they are lost on the road – not so much burned, but just lost? I am more likely to believe the second part of this possibility – only because I don’t believe that there is no hope for all of eternity for any kind of redemption for actions taken over maybe 80 years.

      3. God really doesn’t care that much about us individually. You either make the right choice, say the right words and you get to go to heaven – regardless of whether you really believe in what you are doing, or whether you are just checking off boxes so you can be admitted. Or you make the wrong choices and go to hell. It seems that the majority of the world’s population throughout time would be condemned. Why would a loving God, despite all of his best efforts, just throw away the majority of his work?

      4. Satan is not real. Crap just happens and we receive grace from God to get through it. Maybe this is how God proves s/he is real. And this is probably closest to my own take on it. Besides, if we, as humans, would never destroy our own children when they screw up (we try to raise them to be good, caring and responsible adults), isn’t it said that God loves us way more than we are capable of loving our own kids?

      • Erin

        Okay, so I just read your 14 tenets. Thanks!

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        Erin: The post you’re looking for is: Why Does God Allow Evil to Exist?

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  • http://www.allsoulschurch.citymax.com Pastor Mike Stahl

    " The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. "

    (Psalm 14:1 )

    Guess GOD had 'em pretty well 'pegged' , Huh ?

    God BLESS YOU ALL –

    Pastor Mike

  • Emory

    It seems to me that if God showed that He exists to everyone in the world, at once, and in different languages….that it would be an easy task for Him and not a logistical nightmare.

    If He did so, we would not loser purpose, become bored, be ruined, etc. but just the opposite. Mankind would realize that the Bible is indeed the Word and that God is with us. Our behavior would change from that of sin and then asking forgiveness, to that of obeying the commandments as we should.

    I think it would be a good thing and I do at times, wonder why God doesn't give us some sort of sign that He really is here and He really does care.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Well, thank you, Stella. I really appreciate your kind comment.

  • Stella

    Bless you! Your post was awesome; really touched my heart! Everything you said is SOOOO TRUE!

  • S

    God has already proved his existence. Remember Jesus? And.. the Bible? His living word?

    That's my simply complicated answer. :) He proved it in the way he felt would do us the most good and many of us still don't believe. And it wasn't enough. That is human nature.

    Example: Child desires toy. Take a child to the store that has toys, not good enough – she wants to look at the toys. Let her look, not good enough – she wants to touch, to play. Let her play with a toy, not good enough – she wants to bring the toy home. Bring it home and she plays with it for a bit before becoming bored desiring more. It can take a LOT to satiate a human, and some of us are purely insatiable.

    God communes with us through/by/with the Holy Spirit, and, though millions of people have said they feel it, some have heard from God and speak about it – there is still disbelief. There is nothing more, really, that God can do, save coming back and revealing himself to us. Which, he said he will.

  • http://www.youtube.com/morsec0de Morse

    "He proved it in the way he felt would do us the most good and many of us still don’t believe. And it wasn’t enough."

    This may prove to cause more trouble than it's worth, and for that I apologize. But, I need to ask.

    The way that would do us the most good was to show himself in the middle of a desert amongst mostly illiterate people with no mass communication and no extra-biblical reports of his existence?

    I know I'm just a prideful skeptic, but to me that sounds like someone who doesn't want people to know he exists.

  • S

    Maybe take out the part of "doing us the most good," and fill that in with something along the lines of it being appropriate/pleasing to Him. :) I guess He felt that should suffice? For the time being.

    To say "God works in mysterious ways," would just seem cheesy. But, it is true. As a human, it might be our desire to have him just, come on and bop us over the head with it; answer me – speak to me, show me some miracle or something, darnit!!!. And maybe he does, at times, but we're too flawed to see it. As prideful (skeptic) humans ;)

    The way one person shows something like love (non-tangible, can't really be "proven") is different than the way another might. I may make dinner for my husband as an act of love and to prove the existence of my love for him, but my love-filled dinner might not measure up to his criteria. It doesn't change the fact that I love him and that love exists.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful to "pick the brain of God" and be able to KNOW? For whatever reason, belief and faith, are an essential part of Christianity. You can't prove them, or bop someone on the head with it*, but it is there. And that, to me, seems to be very much part of God's plan. Giving us just enough to foster those thoughts and feelings, while leaving mystery.

    *Although, it is highly curious when you hear testimonies of people with no former proclamation of a desire for Christ to enter their lives, and they are hit with an "Anointing" of the Holy Spirit that they simply can't deny. That is some powerful evidence, but still raises a skeptical brow.

  • Second Michele

    (**fails miserably to resist the atheist bait** :-) )

    "The way that would do us the most good was to show himself in the middle of a desert amongst mostly illiterate people with no mass communication and no extra-biblical reports of his existence?"

    Well… He DID show Himself in the middle of (at the time) a very powerful empire and systematically humiliate each of its gods and destroyed its economy. (Exodus, first 12 or so chapters) Then, while these "mostly illiterate people with no mass communication" were wandering around in the middle of the desert, He helped Israel defeat a few more civilizations.

    So 40 years later the inhabitants of one the best fortified cities in Canaan are terrified (Joshua 2) of a bunch of ex-slaves, because of God's plagues on Egypt, and the destruction of the Amorite kings.

    To me, that sounds like a God who wants pretty much EVERYONE to know He exists and is in charge.

    And, not to go to far off topic, but what one sign, wonder, or miracle could God perform, given enough time and distance, that would not be re-interpreted to NOT prove God's exisitance?

    The people at Sinai who saw God thundering from that mountain were convinced…. for a while. But given enough time, you have to rely on other people telling you the story – or not.

    Unless you are going to argue that God needs to perform an obvious and (ha!) indisputable miracle for each and every age and civilization of mankind – at some point you need to rely on what someone else has said about God to have faith God.

  • Second Michele

    (I'm laughing at the term indisputable because I can't imagine a miracle that wouldn't be disputed by someone and disbelieved by many – no matter how big a miracle it was. Remember, in the Bible, a LOT of influential people said Christ had a demon.)

  • S

    There is nothing short of thundering from the sky and ending life on earth as we know it, that would convince us, permanently, that there is a God. (Which, in time, will happen, as predicted in the Bible, right?) If God came today, for 10 minutes and yelled at us from the clouds, it would be disputed within seconds of his disappearance, wouldn't you suppose? Even Jesus knew that we could not be satiated for long and that many of us would dispute his holiness.

    Jesus healed, he performed miracles. May have not been today, in today's time. And if it were, many of us probably wouldn't believe it anyway.

  • http://www.youtube.com/morsec0de Morse

    "To me, that sounds like a God who wants pretty much EVERYONE to know He exists and is in charge."

    It does. Sadly, there is, as far as I know, no independent evidence for any of those events actually taking place. The last I checked, there wasn't even any archaeological or recorded evidence outside of the OT that the Hebrews were ever slaves in Egypt.

    Had god wanted everyone to know, wouldn't he have arranged for as many different sources to record what he did as possible?

    "at some point you need to rely on what someone else has said about God to have faith God."

    Here's where I have an issue. According to many Christians, they have had incredibly convincing person experiences of god. God has, in fact, come down and proved himself to them.

    And apparently he's very picky about this. Because no matter how many times I've prayed or asked for an answer, I've received nothing.

    Why should I rely on what other people say when all these people are walking around and saying their god is giving them personal experiences? Seems a tad unfair, doesn't it?

    S:

    "If God came today, for 10 minutes and yelled at us from the clouds, it would be disputed within seconds of his disappearance, wouldn’t you suppose?"

    Sure it would be disputed. But if your god actually cared about being proved true, he'd stick around to answer all the disputes. Being god, I assume he could do so.

  • S

    I hear ya Morse. I really do. I'm a cynical control freak.

    My guess on why God doesn't reveal himself in the obvious ways some of us would like him to is because it is Him and not us that is in control. And he has his own reasoning that is (probably) beyond what would make sense to me.

    Morse, do you have kids? Kids they like reassurance, proof.

    Mom, do you have my ___ that I gave you?

    Yes, I put it in my pocked.

    Let me see it, Mom.

    You saw me put it in my pocked a few minutes ago. I haven't touched it since.

    Let me seeeeeee it. I wanna seeeee it.

    Don't you trust me?

    Please? One more time, let me see it.

    (Heavy sigh.)

    They want proof, need it, I guess? Human nature. Reassurance feels good, even for the smallest things (like knowing your paycheck will arrive when it is supposed, knowing the garage door is shut, etc.).

    God's patience is greater than mine, but sometimes I wonder if he doesn't have that heavy sigh thing going on every now and then thinking, I just showed you, you need to see again… already?

    I like reassurance, too. And, sometimes wish God were sitting on his throne somewhere close enough to travel to, once in a while, see him. Yup, yup there he is. Go back to what I'm doing. How much that would change my life, I don't know. God seems to know, or I trust that he does. I might not like it, but it is what it is.

  • http://www.youtube.com/morsec0de Morse

    My point is that I don't need reassurance. I need the first sign.

    I'm not a child. If given a personal experience, I'm relatively sure I'd become a believer. But I've never received one.

    So please, when you have a free moment, ask your god why he seems to be hiding from the atheists.

  • S

    Morse, I do not believe he is "hiding" from anyone. There are signs all over the place. We just decide if we're going to believe and follow in faith, or not.

  • Matt V

    With the greatest respect I can muster I think the response to the question is incredibly naive and ridiculous. Let me explain.

    I am an atheist, but no atheists are fundemental (or at least they shouldnt be) because atheists have to say that if there were any proof of god (and I am not talking about the god of the gaps – a replacement for being brave and saying ‘i dont know’) then I would alter my opinions. The one easy thing for thsi to happen is for the laws of nature to be broken (objects floating, shapeshifting, animals talking etc), for god to appear in the sky to all at once etc etc.

    (Religious people have no way of proving god does not exist, just as you cannot prove Thor or Fairies or the flying spaghetti monster do not exist, so it makes it easy to be a religious fundementalist).

    Your argument against this kind of reveleation is that ‘we wouldnt be able to cope’. Well guess what mr naive – people arent coping! Religious wars are going on everywhere in the world so who cares if some people faint or tear their clothes – we would know and agree and…well who knows what would happen after – but it would be proof, un deniable proof of something non-material and spiritual.

    But even getting away from ‘proof’ you go on to say that god has already revealed himself before. But how did he do it?? To a backward middle eastern country and to only a few local people – the rest needed to be taken on trust/faith/unreasonable sheepness.

    You continue by saying that we wouldnt want to know how the story ends and that we would get bored and stop progress. Well if that doesnt sound like Mr Anderson from the matrix i dont know what does. But I personally would want to know the truth, so I choose to be Neo thankyou very much!

    “And then — and in fairly short order, too – you’d become a zombie. Because there’d be no mystery left in your life” – good grief man, have you so limited your life that if that area was exposed to you you would have nothing else to do?? I pity that comment on every level.

    And so to my last point, let me take 2 quotes from you:

    “Our relationship with God needs to be, to us, a two-way, interactive, give-and-take, constantly exchanging sort of relationship — of essentially the same sort as we have with everyone else in our lives.”

    “God develops his relationship with us individually, from inside of us: God speaks to our heart, to our soul, to our experience, in the ways we most need to hear and understand him. God loves each one of us personally”

    These 2 quotes tell me that when you speak of ‘us’ you actually mean everyone who is born in the west and is lucky enough to be as healthy (?) as you. How does a child born with Downes Syndrome or Autism or any one of the hundreds of brain damaging illnesses develop a relationship with god??

    What about tribes in countries that have never heard of jesus or christianity until recently (or not at all)?

    What about people who have psychological problems and already have too many people talking to them inside their heads to make time to have a “a two-way, interactive, give-and-take, constantly exchanging sort of relationship”?

    And what happens to these people who never have a hope of finding jesus(or any other god) – well these much loved, personally cherished people go to hell according to your ridiculous conflicting, contradictory scripture.

    This is an ever present problem of christians who seem to think everyone is the same and has the same chance. You want to live in your box and not KNOW if god exists – so that you can keep up your mysterious ways which cause wars and split humans into groups and have everything on faith.

    To quote your own spiritual cliches: “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (proverbs!)

    discuss!

    Matt V

  • Gretchen

    religion is absolutely stupid. the bible was written as a form of government to control primitive human beings. i don't understand how adults can actually believe the silly little fairy tales in the bible. none of that crap happened. it's not possible. we're told as children that magic things don't exist…then why are we forced to have blind faith in some magical creature in the sky and believe these ridiculous magical stories? God is not real. Religion is not real. we have one life, and one chance to get it right.

  • Bruce

    Why debate why God doesn't prove He exists? Isn't it obvious that if an all-powerful creator or God exists He doesn't want us to know for sure, otherwise we would know, wouldn't we? Or do you think He doesn't want us to know just yet? But if He does exist, why wouldn't He want us to know now? Perhaps what you really want to know is whether it is even possible for a God to exist?

  • http://themasterstable.wordpress.com Clark Bunch

    Gretchen is right when she says we have one life and one chance to get it right. Life is short, and where we spend eternity depends on what we do with the very limited time we have now. Religion is real whether God is or not, however. There are 6 major religions in the world today, and they can’t all be right. But even the ones that are “wrong” are real.

    I recently wrote a post entitled Give us a Sign, and WordPress automatically suggested reading this post also. I know it’s a little old, but expect at least of couple of my readers to click over. This post is very good by the way.

  • raymond

    every one always answers a question with nothing but nonsense..to every one answering, you should admit you have not a clue as to why God doesn't show himself..I personally think he is ashamed of how we have evolved..maybe we should have stayed up in the trees for a few more centuries and were given a test by him before any of us were allowed to walk the earth..God only knows why he stays hidden and if we're lucky we won't have to die before we all have a chance to be in his presence..

  • Indagatore

    I feel most certain that if God "proved" his existence undeniably to me, that I would not be bored or feel "unplugged" as a result. Rather I would feel relieved and excited about the next phase in heaven and the New Earth. Whether he did it at once to the whole world "Hey! It's me!" or if he did it just to me personally, I would welcome it.

    However, until that happens we're left with faith. And believe me, I'm working on it, but it sure would be easier if He just popped in for a visit.

  • http://none gins lou

    God does prove His existence to those he wants to prove it to. However, in spite of what you have been told, God does not love everybody. Romans chapter 9 pretty much covers it. V13 states "Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated." V18 states "God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy and hardens whom he wants to harden."

    If Christians would accept this they would be less likely to browbeat others with the Gospel or to compromise the truth in an attempt to win them over. After all, v16 states, "It does not depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.

  • http://crosswalk.com Donna

    What I want to know and wonder about is why did it have to be such a violent way? Why couldn't God just have come like He did – as Jesus- tell us all that He did (the gospels) and then fill His apostles with His Spirit and go on back. Why did it have to be the cross? Why so much pain for Jesus? Some people still don't want to believe, so why did God make it that way? Does anyone else ever wonder about this?

  • mmafan

    if god was real he would show himself at least 1 time to every person because a god who knows all . knows man is corrupt and he can not use man to give a message to a 3ed party because his word would be twisted over time . the only way for every1 to get what they want besides satan is for god to prove he exist and me waking up and breathing is just a stupid example of proof

  • Shannon

    There – I read it smarty-pants! LOL

    Interesting take – I however fall into that category of loonies who personally believe God has "proven" his existence to me (on a most personal and spiritual level). I could care less about any ridicule when I share my faith with others – it is what it is. I'm not here to change hearts and minds – only God can do that. But I can testify to my own experience.

    I think you did miss one reason people ask why God doesn't "prove" his existence – usually they want something: something tangible or out of reach; thereby God's so-called proof would be giving them what they desire most. That motivation is usually what lies behind the "Why won't God prove to me that he exists?" query. Unfortunately, even when God does give some people what they want or need, it still isn't proof enough. Good post! :-)

  • JohnB

    I don’t know, John. It seems there are many things he could have done that were subtile, which could have given us some evidence that He exists. For example, putting a profecy in the bible that people couldn’t “self-fulfill”, putting something physical on the planet that cannot be explained by any other means than through creation by a higher power, or even putting something into our genetic code that contains a message that we could only decode with modern technology. I’d be pretty impressed if in a clinical trial, prayer was demonstrated to work better than positive thinking, a faith healer successfully laid hands on an amputee, or scientists were ever to document anything supernatural (like a soul). None of these things would be overpowering, as the masses already believe in this sort of stuff.

    I actually DO want some scrap of evidence to suggest that He exists. There have been tens of thousands of religions, and many of them contradict each other on how to get the reward. A little bit of supernatural instruction would be nice. I’d love to have a conversation with Him. I’d probably start with “what were you thinking?”

  • Paul West

    "I actually do want some scrap of evidence to suggest that he exists too. Without question there have been tens of thousands of religions, and many of them contradict each other on how to get that all-important reward. Yes, that is quite true there are certainly enough

    stupid religions out there, more than enough to confuse anyone seeking the so-called truth.

    Agree, it would be nice if this coward of a creator would share a little bit of that supernatural instruction as to why any soul should love him with all its heart & mind. It's not enough just to have a book of words that contradicts itself more times than it should from cover to cover. We as intelligent thinking beings already know that this universal standard of analytical thought has already proven itself viable down through the centuries. "That actions conclusively speak louder than words" I’d also love to have a one-on-one conversation with GOD too. Unfortunately that will obviously never happen in this pitifully short lifetime, since I honestly believe that this mysterious invisible selfish creator dude who is apparently in love with himself, has given up on this particular incredibly violent generation of misfits.

    Now it's not hard to understand his selfish game plan here. Logically speaking, countless generations have already passed away since the creation of man. Now think about this exercise in logic? billions and billions of people have already died over the centuries & to God's further shame billions more will follow them in the centuries to come. Thus, the creator has become indifferent to mortal death, "overloaded by it". it's not hard to understand how this could be so. Were no different my comparisons you know.

    example: how much remorse would any of us feel towards the destruction and death of a nest of insects. Now honestly do you grieve when you smack that bloodthirsty mosquito ending its existence forever ? obviously not. Or how about that piece of rotting fruit cover with maggots,would that break your heart too destroy the fruit along with those defenseless living creatures that inhabit it? Of course not. So you see God by whatever name he goes by can afford to lose an entire generation earmarked for destruction in his own private Hitler approved intergalactic concentration camp = hell. why? because any entity whether it calls itself God or the Devil who would create a race of intelligent beings without a damn good reason to do so, most be considered incompetent.

    If there was a viable reason in the very beginning for the creation of man (noticed that this chauvinistic pig hardly never mentions womankind except too scorn) it was lost through the centuries. Hundreds of generations have already passed away therefore one must consider the obvious. With billions and billions of souls now on hold for a future judgment none of them actually deserve, the 8 billion that now inhabit this insect infested spinning piece of solar driftwood hold absolutely no value too God whatsoever. How could a mere mortal say that with absolutely no authority to scorned the Christian believer. that's easy I use their own words to convict their self-righteous perfect in his own mind God of heresy. According to the book of Revelation the word judgment appears countless times. human beings reduced to the value of insects as this all loving father kills with famine, pestilence and death. so logically speaking, he'd rather see us nuke ourselves into extinction, other than provide his so-called beloved children that one shred of concrete evidence to build a viable relationship of love on.

    end

    • Ang

      I enjoyed your post. I could almost feel the anger, frustration…and glimmer of hope that maybe…just maybe, God did create you in His image to fellowship with. The small hope that you do have a purpose, that you’re important and your life is not in vain, that there’s something better on the other side. You reminded me of a section of the book I’ve worked on (on and off) for some time now. If you get bored contemplating the meaning of life and purpose…maybe you’d like to read a few sections I’ll post. God bless and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      ______________

      She felt the warmth of his hand touch her arm. “Jesse,” he said softly, “I knew you were confused and frightened today. I wanted to comfort you, to say God will take care us…but I couldn’t. God gives peace to those who trust in Him. He doesn’t impose Himself on those who don’t want to know Him.”

      Her tears began to flow faster. “Did you come to say your God doesn’t care about me, Gabriel?”

      His hand moved to her cheek. “No, Jesse. I came to tell you that the creator of the universe loves you so much that He came to Earth and died for you.”

      Even in her state of sadness, she could hear the emotion in his voice when he said, “God loves you, Jesse, and regardless of what happens in this life, you can know that in the end everything will be all right if you’re a child of God.”

      How could she be a child of God when she wasn’t even sure God exists? She wished she knew but she didn’t, she couldn’t. Weariness encased her like a tomb. “I’m too tired to talk,” she whispered.

      “Will you listen then? Just open your mind and listen.” He took her silence for agreement before moving to sit on the edge of the bed. He leaned forward to rest his elbows on knees before saying, “At some point, every thinking adult asks themselves if God exists. I know you’ve asked yourself that question, Jesse.”

      “Yes,” she murmured.

      “Yes,” he said, “I know you have. The question carries profound significance, basic accountability. Once the question is asked, it has to be dealt with. Whether the response is deferral, denial, indifference or acceptance, once we respond to that question, there is a response to our creator on record. The question is the most important question any human will ever ask. Certainly, the most important question anyone will ever answer. Our response defines our relationship with God and determines our place in eternity.”

      She had mentally debated the question for weeks but she was too exhausted to think about it now. “Gabriel, I don’t want to—”

      “Think, Jesse,” he said with gentle urgency. “Just think of the perfection and complexity of the universe. Does order come from disorder? Even scientists say the universe was created at one point in time. Is it reasonable to believe the universe exploded into existence by chance from nothing?”

      She had never given much thought to the creation of the universe. “Big bang,” she mumbled.

      “What do you suppose caused the big bang?” he asked. “If there’s nothing outside the universe, what created the matter the explosion came from? Is it logical to believe a random, chaotic explosion designed perfection? Does an exploding bomb create ordered design? Think of galaxies, stars, planets, Earth, all plant and animal life, even the miracle of the human body. I would have to agree with Voltaire. If the watch proves the existence of a watchmaker but the universe does not prove the existence of a great Architect then I consent to be called a fool.”

      Voltaire? She didn’t know who Voltaire was. Philosopher? Her eyes moved to the shadows of Gabriel’s face during the silence that followed. When he spoke, she could hear a sense of awe in his voice for the God he serves when he said, “The complexity, the organization of creation is incredible. Think about the Earth, perfectly sized, perfect distance from the sun, rotating on its axis at nearly one thousand miles an hour to be heated and cooled daily. Just imagine living on a planet traveling around the Sun at nearly sixty-seven thousand miles an hour.”

      The thought of the Earth hurling through space at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour was startling. “Sixty-seven thousand,” she whispered.

      “Yes,” he said, “but the most amazing creation of all is the human that God created in His own image. Man will never create a computer like the human brain that can process more than a million messages per second or a camera like the human eye. Just think about DNA, a digital code in every single cell. Every human has trillions of cells and in each tiny cell is a three-billion-letter program telling it how to act. That’s not chance, Jesse. That’s not evolution. That’s the work and design of almighty God.”

      She had wondered what he based his belief on. Now she knew. He had obviously given the matter a lot of thought. “Jesse,” he said, interrupting her thoughts, “I know you’ve asked yourself if God exists. You’re the type of person who appreciates reason. I’ve mentioned a few facts but if you take time to review the evidence, I think you will come to the same conclusion I have. God exists. God created the universe we live in. God created you. He came to Earth in human form and died for you. God loves you, Jesse.”

      What she was hearing made sense but she wasn’t sure. She couldn’t organize her thoughts. His voice broke through her confusion. “Creation testifies of God’s existence and there is more than enough evidence that the Bible is the infallible Word of God but it’s up to us to make a choice to believe. It’s up to us to make a commitment. I have followed the evidence to its rational conclusion. I am more convinced of who Jesus Christ is than I am of my own identity, and I know who I am, Jesse.”

      “That’s a lot to think about,” she said.

      Moving to kneel by the bedside, he covered her hand with his. She watched his face in the moonlight as he talked. “Earlier, you said when we were young you would have believed me if I told you it was going to snow in August. Well, I’m older now. I like to think a little wiser but I’m still the same person. I’m still the same person who would never lie to you. I haven’t told you things I should have in the past, but I’ve never lied. You wonder how I know God exists. To some, believing in God seems foolish, like having an imaginary friend, but I can tell you in truth, Jesse, I know God exists. I can tell you that because I know Him personally. I talk to Him every day. God strengthens me, gives me hope for the future when there seems to be none. God is my courage, my patience and peace.”

      He squeezed her hand gently before standing to look down at her. “You said it’s a lot to think about. I guess it is. If you want to talk about it later you can come to me.”

      The argument Gabriel made was logical, well thought out. He said she should consider the evidence but she didn’t need to. He already had. He was right. She needed to hear the facts, the reasoning, but that wasn’t what convinced her. What made her push the blanket back was hearing him talk about his personal relationship with God. She wanted what he had. He said he knows God exists because of his personal experience. She believed him. “Gabriel, don’t leave,” she called. As she stood, the white nightgown floated to the floor around bare feet before she knelt by the bed. “I need to know how to accept Jesus.”

      He came back around the bed to kneel by her side. “God is holy, sinless,” he said. “The only way we can approach a holy God is to accept the gift He gave to cleanse us. God gave his only Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Salvation is a gift of mercy and God’s grace. Confess your need for God’s mercy as a sinner, accept Jesus as your Lord and savior and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.”

      Bowing her head, Jesse said, “Dear God, I am a sinner who could never be good enough but You made a way for me to be saved. I believe You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die for me. I believe You raised Him from the dead.” The lump forming in her throat was becoming painful. “Please forgive me. I accept Jesus. Amen.”

      As Gabriel helped her to her feet, she asked, “Did I do it right?”

      His eyes appeared to glisten in the soft light of the moon. Was it tears? She couldn’t tell. His arm came around her shoulder to pull her lightly against his side. “You did it just right.”

      She pulled in a deep breath and exhaled. The smothering heaviness was gone. She could breathe. “I feel different, relieved,” she said.

      “Another captive set free,” he said.

    • Robert

      I have thought about the same things you have said. It doesn’t make any sense at all that a so called loving God would create us and sit back to see what choices we make for the end to be judged and damned into eternal hell fire and torture if we did not accept and follow the Bible that has been written by humans. We have no proof what is in the Bible is fact no more than how word of mouth from one to another gets all distorted and turns out in the end to be rumors which are lies.

  • monolyth

    Christ you’re an idiot.

  • Adam

    I’m sorry, but there are too many assumptions in this for me to take any part of it seriously.

    I wouldn’t “lose my initiative” if I knew that god existed. I would go on with my life. I despise mystery. I think any being that needs to keep himself a secret is one I don’t need to bother with.

    You need to remember when you write these posts that your audience also includes people who find the notion of an all-powerful being to be, at best, both amusing and ridiculous. You must get beyond those assumptions before the people in that group will hear you.

    As it stands now, I have no proof. Until I have proof – real proof, not vapors and assumptions – I will continue to operate on the premise that god was made up by a bunch of people who couldn’t handle reality.

  • http://whydosntgodproveheexists emily

    After reading this I still believe that if God wanted us to have full Faith in him he could come down here and tell me he exists. Because if there is life after death were going to find out if he exists anyway. So why dosnt he come show us now instead of waiting for us to die? Does he think we wont be as shocked when were dead? And how does he expect us to believe the bible when it has been translated over and over by man.

  • Robert

    Simply said I talk to God almost everyday even if he doesn’t exist because I really want and hope there is a God that will one day take away all our sins, pains and miseries we deal with everyday here on earth because of some so called Devil that use to be Gods highest angel has fallen to earth and is trying to destroy us all. None of this really makes any sense at all. I have loving parents and I see love in them towards me I don’t even see God doing for all his children on earth. The Bible says God is Love; but in the Bible he or man has written his punishment for sin is death. Why should we all suffer the cycle of sin because two people they call Adam and Eve disobeyed God. That is like beating your innocent new born child for what your older sons or daughters did that was wrong that day. Many things in the Bible just don’t add up; but I do believe if we all followed the Ten Commandments that there would be no more fighting ans wars amongst any of us. We are too barbaric of a race for that to happen unless this God does appear and fix this mess he created in the first place.

  • Bud Charles

    I don’t see why mystery would be destroyed. God could just say “hi, I exist” and we still wouldn’t know everything about the universe, we’d still have wonder and imagination. We’d all be more secure, and have enough faith to communicate more with God than ever before.
    And as for preferring to talk to us spiritually rather than physically, and sending us to hell if we can’t do that, that’s basically like burning someone alive for not using Skype instead of Facebook!

  • Scott Schirkofsky

    What a typical B.S. Christian answer. There are only two possible answers. 1. There is no God. 2. We have no clue why God has decided to remain a mystery but it’s frustrating.

    Those are the only two answers.

  • james banner

    So, if you’re right then why did he ever appear? It seems to kill your entire point.

  • azamonra .

    So you’re saying that god is a bad thing? :P
    Seriously though, this is a completely copout and overlooks one important thing. God can do anything! He’s the omnipotent, omnipresent ect creator of the universe. By definition he can no only prove his existence irrefutably to every single human on the planet in any way he so chooses, be it manifestation, verbal or just implanting the fact that he exists directly into our brains as an absolute certainty, but he can also control our reactions to his existence. If he wanted to he could make us cluck like chickens as a response to his existence.
    There are only three scenarios that explain a world in which god exists but there are those that don’t believe he exists. Frist that he simply don’t want/care if he is believed in. This scenario is not so since it is stated, according to his follows and writings that that god does wont to be believed in.
    The second is that god does want to be believed in but lacks the means to prove conclusively that he exists. This is also not so as god is defined as havening limitless power and influence and no act is beyond his ability.
    The third is that god wishes to be believed in but accepts the choice of those that do not and is content to let them be. This is again not so as god is depicted as being vested in the all peoples belief in him and punishes those that do not believe in him. More over the very idea of choice is logically impossible in a world that has a deity which is omnipresent and omnipotent as nothing can occur in such a reality that is not directly the will of that deity without exception. This includes thought and choice as all choices, including the “choice” not to believe in that deity is the will of that same deity.
    This also invalidates the point that irrefutable proof of god would lead to spiritual entropy since the ability to choose would be an illusion anyway.
    So there are only two possible conclusions as I see it. Either god exists but the religions devoted to him and all writings attributed to him are wrong or god never existed in the first place.
    As it stands the later is the most likely based on all available scientific evidence.