I was an atheist when I first said that to a Christian more than 40 years ago. I must say it felt pretty good to say those words. It makes one feel superior to tell a person they cannot prove something they believe. Most Christians I said that to personally and on my radio talk show either crumbled or exploded at that point. Either reaction was fine with me.
I am no longer an atheist, but still believe the statement to be true. We cannot “prove” the existence of God, but we don’t have to.
Before I believed in God, I thought the only things that were real were those things I could prove through my senses–sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. I had never seen God, never heard God, never touched God, never tasted God, never smelled God, and didn’t know anyone who had. I dared God to sit down in a radio studio for a live interview during my afternoon talk show back in 1970. I gave him ten seconds to show up, but He didn’t appear. I sarcastically told the audience that God must be under the weather or away on vacation.
That’s the way many people think today. They believe some of what they see and little or nothing of what they don’t see. If it isn’t on TV or YouTube or some other visual media or they can’t see it with their own eyes, it doesn’t exist.
Why is it that God won’t show Himself to us? If God exists, He certainly must want people to believe He exists. Why doesn’t He show Himself to the world? Why no absolute proof?
It’s important to remember that God has shown Himself to lots of people in the past. That’s what takes up a lot of the discussion between Christians and atheists. Christians believe God did appear to hundreds of thousands of Israelites in the wilderness between Egypt and Canaan. Christians believe God did appear to scores of Hebrew kings and prophets and priests. Christians believe the Son of God did appear to thousands of people in Israel during a period of 33 years.
Atheists say “prove it.” They want to see God with their own eyes or at least in a video they can verify wasn’t altered. Why didn’t God come in the flesh now so He could be photographed and filmed and recorded and stamped with our approval?
God had His reasons to come to earth when He did. He didn’t come to satisfy the curiosity of today’s atheists or agnostics. He came at the perfect moment for His eternal purposes. His appearances have most often had to do with the nation of Israel – from Abraham to Moses to David to Jeremiah to John the Baptist to Jesus Christ. The Bible says God will appear again to Israel and to the entire world in the future. Atheists will get their “wish” to see God in person one day.
Atheists often ask me why I became a Christian. One atheist scolded me by saying that I must have been a very “bad” atheist to have become a Christian. He probably has a point if the definition of an atheist is someone who will never believe the truth even when there is strong reason to believe it is true.
Maybe atheism has changed since the 60s and 70s. I thought myself a member of a great group of “free thinkers.” We were free to think for ourselves, unfettered by the religious bondage of the masses. One difference, though, was that I thought of myself as being free to really think for myself. I wasn’t bound by the thoughts of anyone, even other atheists. So, as a free thinker and professional journalist, when I received new information I looked into it, asked questions, dug for answers. That’s what a free thinker does, right?
It’s interesting that atheists, agnostics and other unbelievers don’t use the same skills when asking for proof of the existence of God today. For thousands of years the human race had no idea what was going on in the “invisible” world of the human body or the solar systems so distant in the nighttime sky. The beliefs of science have changed through the centuries as scientists acquired new skills because of new information and technology. What they once thought could not be proven has been proven.
The same is true about the existence of God. I firmly believe that God exists and that’s based on acquiring new skills because of new information and technology. That technology is called Faith. The information is called Truth.
Faith is the “substance” of things hoped for and the “evidence” of things not seen. God will show Himself to those who seek Him. He wants people to know Him and become part of His family. The problem atheists and other unbelievers have is defining “faith” in their terms rather than the terms of the One Who created faith. If we want to understand the definition, we must seek the wisdom of the Definer.
Can you “prove” the existence of God? No. Can you establish strong reasons for believing in the existence of God? Yes.
Can an atheist “prove” that God does not exist? No. Can they establish strong reasons for not believing in the existence of God? No.
Many free thinking atheists have come to that same conclusion – that the reasons for not believing in God are extremely weak in light of the reasons for believing in God.
Here’s to thinking for yourself and being open to the Truth.