The Existence of God

By the Late Lector Dennis Mirza

Introduction

Atheists cannot argue that God does not exist, because they cannot demonstrate the non-existence of God. Instead, they take a more Agnostic view, and can argue that unless they see God, there is no proof for His existence. The famous Russian astronaut Yuri Gagaran orbited the Earth in 1961. Upon his return one of the first statements he made was that he searched for God and never found Him. I would ask him, “Have you searched around Pluto and perhaps other Galaxies? Maybe God is there!” If you have to physically see God to be convinced and believe His existence, then you cannot confidently state that “God does not exist” just because you haven’t seen Him.    

We are constantly challenged by Agnostics and other sceptics to prove that God exists.

There are several reasons as to why many people refuse to believe in God. The most obvious is they have doubts due to not physically seeing Him. People in general don’t like to be in submission and obedient to anyone. Most people deny His existence because of the conviction of the pleasure of sin in their lives; Some claim that there is a “power out there” but deny to call Him “God”; and yet there are others who claim to believe in God, but they live as though He does not exist. How can you be sure whether or not there is a God? The answer can be given in three parts: Firstly, all people have an inner sense of God; secondly, we believe the evidence that is found in the Scriptures; and thirdly, that is evidence that points out from Creation.

Due to the advancement of science and technology over recent decades, man has made it a principle for himself to believe in something only when it is proven by sight and/or feeling. For this reason faith in God is diminishing.

As the world grows further away from faith in God, it is becoming difficult for a vast majority of people from many nations to believe in something that they cannot see, touch, and feel. The Bible claims that all people have a sense that God exists but it’s because of wickedness and the desire for sin there are those who claim, “There is no God”.

Romans 1:18-20

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Psalm 10:4

In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Psalm 14:1

The fool in says in his heart, “There is no God.”

Anyone who genuinely searches for God does find Him. They acknowledge His existence through various ways. Some find Him through calamities, sickness and suffering; others through wealth and materialism; some through poverty and turmoil; some through academic interests; and some through their cultural and traditional values. God is not restricted to only one or two sources. His ways and methods are invisible and mysterious. It is certain that if anyone seeks His existence earnestly, they will find Him.    

1. The Evidence from Moral and Conscience

Man is born with an inner belief of a Supreme Being. Every person admits the existence of a “Being” with supernatural intelligence and powers that supersede our knowledge and ability. Even the Agnostic and Sceptic call their god “mother-earth” or “mother-nature”. It is sad to hear at times Christians also use these ludicrous terminologies. Is it because they are ashamed of God? Or maybe they do not want any confrontation and ill-feeling in the ‘political correctness’ and ‘discriminatory laws’ that we have today? It is important therefore to grow in the knowledge of God through the studying of the Scriptures so that we, as Christians will always be prepared to give the right answers, “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)    

      

Romans 2:14-15

Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.

“Compelling evidence that points to the existence of God is our moral experience. Morality is an essential part of our human fabric. The very fact that humans believe in a high and just moral standard is conclusive due to the existence of God. It is because of the existence of God that humans experience moral conviction. No human is possible without subscribing to moral values. Everyday we observe politicians, doctors, lawyers, psychologists, judges, police, humanitarians, and citizens of all nations arguing for justice, fairness, equality, tolerance, honesty, responsibility, accountability, civil rights, human rights, women’s rights etc. We believe that it is right to treat all people with equal right. We condemn racism, rape, violence, child abuse, war, corruption, murder, treason, betrayal, abortion and other behaviour as evil and wrong. The reality of our moral commitment is unavoidable: we live in a moral universe.”1

If our conscience that is given to us by God did not direct us to know and understand the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, then humanity would have been subject to chaos resulting in a world no different to that of animals, where only the strong and fit would survive.

Paul in Athens amongst many Philosophers:

Acts 17:23

For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

Conscience told the Athenians that there was a God even though they did not know Him personally. Sceptics who claim that their conscience does not tell them about God are people who have suppressed and silenced their conscience by their disbelief only for the reasons of selfish gratification. Many people who sternly deny the existence of God are afraid to face the responsibility of being accountable to Him after death.

Romans 1:18-19

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

“To look up into the skies and observe the universe and claim that there is No God because we cannot see Him, is as ridiculous as seeing a passenger airline fly over us and saying it is pilotless because we cannot see the pilot”. 2

2. The Evidence from Scripture 

The evidence that God exists is found throughout the Bible.

Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

The beauty and glory of creation; the heavens; and all that we can see points to a “Creator” – God.

Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Creation even teaches us about the sovereignty and eternal power of God,

Job 26:7

He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.

The Earth “Hangs” upon nothing.

Scholars claim that the Old Testament book of Job was written approximately 1500 BC. The main point that is made in this verse is that some 1500 years BC we were told that God “HANGS” the Earth on Nothing! The Earth is hanging out in empty space and is not placed on any foundation. While Believers were informed by their God that the Earth was hanging out there in the empty universe, modern day sceptic Scientists never knew of this fact until some 450 years ago. They believed that the Earth was flat and had its foundations and somehow everything else like the sun, stars, moon, and planets revolved around it.

Job 38:4-5

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? Tell me, if you understand.

Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know. Who stretched a measuring line across it?   

‘Measuring line’ across the Earth?

The Earth’s Northern and Southern hemisphere’s are separated by The Equator. In approximately 1500 BC, the Bible informs us of this separation and calls it, “measuring line”. It is set at zero degrees exactly across the centre of the Earth’s circumference dividing it into equal parts. One of its main purposes is that seasons are set by it. Whatever season it is in the Northern hemisphere, the opposite season is in the Southern hemisphere. It creates order for seasons. It also does serve for other purposes. Could this “measuring line” – The Equator, perfectly situated upon the centre of the Earth at zero degrees Longitude have come as a result of the “Big Bang Theory?” Could the revolving of accumulated particles of dust and debris in the outer space that’s in a state of imperfection, come ever to a formation of a Planet and function perfectly in its design and order even if the process ran a course of a Quadrillion (1015) years? Can any perfection in whatsoever form exist as a result at any imperfection? A young child will even tell you, “Only in Cartoons!”

More on this point is written in point 3 – “The Evidence from Cosmology”.

Isaiah 40:22

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth.

The book of Isaiah was written around 750 BC. Isaiah records that the Earth is a globe. The word ‘circle’ in this verse means ‘globular’ not ‘a flat circle’ as some have commented to be.

It is recorded that the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) argued in his writings that the Earth was spherical, because of the circular shadow it cast on the Moon during a lunar eclipse.

In approximately 1500AD after sailing around the globe, Christopher Columbus discovered the Earth was round. Isaiah was no mathematician, nor a philosopher and certainly no sailor, but he wrote some 2750 years ago that God is seated and enthroned upon His global creation, Earth.

There are numerous verses and passages we can look at throughout the Bible to prove the existence of God. The person who accepts the Scriptures will readily acknowledge the existence of God. Paul does state that “All Scripture is inspired by God and it is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God can be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). However, people will not accept the Bible as today the authentic word of God. The Sceptic of this century demands evidence of the existence of God from other sources other than the Bible.

3. The Evidence from Cosmology

The Cosmological argument is the study of the existence and function of the universe. Everything that we see has a cause and a point of existence. We see the world and study the universe. It must have come from somewhere. Somebody or something must have been the cause for it to come into existence at a point in time. We look at everything the eye can see and know that there is a Designer who formed it. Cotton jumpers do not come into existence as a result of a cyclone that whirls through a cotton farm. We look at our watch and know that at one point in time someone sat down and carefully studied and planned to create a watch. Do the Sceptics believe that by placing some metal fragments in a jar then shaking the jar for billions of years will create a watch perfect in shape and size which works in harmony in accordance to the rotation of the Earth, Moon and Universe that rotate around the Sun? Can ever the Sceptic believe in such a Theory? What is the Mathematical probability of such a thing to come into existence? Impossible is the answer! We can only witness such things in cartoons. Nothing can be created from disorder, but everything created comes from an orderly Designer.

The Apostle Paul speaking to the Greek philosophers of his day argued that the existence of the universe provided good and sufficient reason to trust in the existence of God:

Acts 17:24, 25, 28

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

18th Century French writer and philosopher Voltaire quoted, “You see many stars at night in the sky but find them not when the sun rises; can you say that there are no stars in the heaven of day? So, O man! because you behold not God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God.”

The universe is a remarkable evidence of a Creator. Its very existence points out to the reality of an omnipotent God. King David understood this truth when he wrote 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

The perfect creation of the universe and its design points to the evidence of an intelligent purpose. Through its design, beauty, complexity, harmony and order, Man is able to discover God and reside in the universe enjoying its benefits. “A watch not only exists but it has a designer who created it for a specific purpose. A watch was not designed for mosquitoes to live in it. It was designed by a keen intelligent mind for the purpose of accurately telling the time”.3

Voltaire also supports the existence of God by the design of the watch, “I shall always be convinced that a watch-maker, and a universe proves a God.”

An examination of the universe and the things that it comprises both large and small shows that each is designed by an intelligent mind for a specific purpose. Albert Einstein quoted, “The mathematical precision of the universe reveals the mathematical mind of God.”

Astrophysicists declare that our Planet is incredibly unique in its position, function and existence.

➢ It is located at the right distance from the sun for human life to exist. If it were any closer it would be too hot, if further away, it would be too cold.

➢ Its tilt at 23.5 degrees provides gravity. If the tilt were more or less, then there would be no gravity.

➢ It rotates on its axis once every 24 hours = One Day.

➢ 365 times in one Year

➢ And once around the Sun = One Year.

➢ The rotation provides Day/Night and Seasons created for Man’s purposes.

➢ Consists of many elements, minerals and other resources for Man’s sustenance.

➢ Its design and operations work all together in harmony and order.

All this harmony and order could never have resulted into existence by ‘chance’ or a ‘big-bang’. That’s why they call it the “big bang theory” because a theory is not factual.

One of the greatest minds of Science, if not the greatest scientist, Sir Isaac Newton declared, “When I look at the solar system, I see the Earth at the right distance from the Sun to receive the proper amount of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.”

After returning from his flight around the Moon with Apollo 8, Astronaut Frank Borman was questioned by a reporter. The reporter pointed out that the Soviet cosmonaut who recently returned from space flight said that he did not see God or Angels on his flight. “Did you see God?” questioned the reporter. To his question, Frank Borman gave a brilliant response, “No, I did not see God either, but I saw His Evidence.” Brilliant Answer!

Conclusion

The only sensible answer to the explanation of our existence and the existence of the world and universe is the existence of an intelligent Being Who created it and Whom we call God.

In this modern day world, Atheism somehow seems to be “cool”. Atheism only leads to confusion and despair as it never provides solid and sound answers built on fact and truth. It only leads to an imbalanced life without answers. Ultimately, the belief in God and in particular in Christianity is not a confusing philosophy. It is the most simplistic of beliefs. It requires faith to believe and acceptance of the truths of the Scriptures. This is certainly not blind faith, but faith that is built upon evidence, logic, and truth.

God Bless

_________________________

References:

1. Christianity for Sceptics (Steve Kumar) page 24.

2. Christianity for Sceptics (Steve Kumar)

3. Christianity for Sceptics (Steve Kumar)

An Introduction to the Divine Revelation

Reverend Fr. Dr. George Toma

 

The doctrine of the Apostolic Faith came from Divine Revelation. “Divine Revelation” is a doctrine which God Himself has revealed to mankind. God revealed the doctrine of apostolic faith to mankind so that mankind will rightly serve Him and will worthily give to Him due honor and praise.

God made His revelation known to all mankind. Because it is necessary to all of humankind, alike; and, it is capable to give salvation to all.  However, since all humankind are not capable to receive a divine revelation immediately from God, He has utilized certain persons, or gifted ones as heralds of this revelation in order to deliver it to all who desire it and wholeheartedly receive it.

Owing to sinful impurity of both body and soul all men are not capable of receiving the “Divine Revelation” from God. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Melchizedek, Moses and other prophets; received the beginnings of the Divine Revelation and they in turn proclaimed the same to humankind; but, it was The Incarnate Son of God our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, who brought the revelation to earth in its fullness and perfection.

The Divine Revelation has been spread throughout the whole world by His great commission to the Holy Apostles, which is:

 “ . . . Go, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:19-20).

St Paul the apostle to gentiles teaches that God the father at the end of time revealed His Divine Revelation to mankind through His only begotten son Jesus Christ. It is written:

“God, who in sundry times and in diverse manner, spoke to us in times past unto The Father, by the Prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, by Whom also, He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2)

Again Saint Paul the Apostle says:  God has revealed the Divine Revelation unto the Holy Apostles by the Holy Spirit. It is written:

 “. . . but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory; which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory; but God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.”  (I Corinthians 2:7, 8, 10)

According to St John the Evangelist, the only Begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father has revealed God to mankind. It is written:

 “ . . . No man has seen God at anytime; the Only Begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”  (John 1:18)

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself, by His own Divine Lips declared and confirmed that He has revealed the fullness of divine revelation to mankind. It is written:

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”  (Matthew 11:27)

 It is possible for man to have some knowledge of God. This knowledge of God can be gained by the consideration or contemplation upon the creation (such as the trees, flowers, the cosmos, etc); however, this knowledge is imperfect and not sufficient to reveal the totality of God.  It will only serve as a preparation for faith; or, as a help towards learning about God and His divine revelation.  Saint Paul says:

“Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse;” (Romans 1:20)

Saint John Chrysostom regarding knowing God from His creation says:

“The Prophets also said: “The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalms 19:1).Will the heathens say at the judgement that they were ignorant of God? Did they not hear the heaven sending forth a voice while a well ordered harmony of all things spoke out more clearly than a trumpet?  Did you not see the hours of night and day remaining constantly unmoved, the good order of winter, spring and the other seasons remaining both fixed and unmoved? …. Yet God did not set so great a system of teaching before the heathen in order to deprive them of any excuse but so that they might come to know Him. It was by their failure to recognize Him that they deprived themselves of every excuse.” (Homilies on Romans Chapter 3)

St Luke writes:

“From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we too are his offspring” (Acts 17:26-28)

Saint Basil agrees with the teachings of the Sacred Scriptures and the commentaries of the Church fathers that we can learn from creations about the existence of God.  It is written:

“With regard to faith in God, it is preceded by the idea that God IS which idea we get from the things which have been created.  Attentively, examining the creation of the world, we perceive that God is wise, powerful, and good; we perceive, also, His invisible properties.  By these means we are led to acknowledge Him as the Supreme Ruler.  Seeing that God is the Creator of the whole world, and we form a part of the world, it follows that God is also our creator.  On this knowledge follows faith, and on faith adoration.”  (Basil. Magn. Epist 2:32)

By meditating at the beauty of creation, how everything has been working harmoniously since the beginning we need to confess that it must have a creator who is not just created it and rested but rather He has been supervising it constantly.  Saint John of Damascus says:

“The very creation, by its harmony and ordering, proclaims the majesty of the divine nature.”(Orthodox Faith 1.1)

 

Written by Reverend Fr. Dr. George Toma

Assyrian Church of the East

Lent 2016