Thursday, March 31, 2016

Proof of God

The old hymn says, “You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.” Some conversations with atheists have caused me to think about that. It doesn’t matter what you say to some atheists, they’ll eventually get back to the claim that we’re just making stuff up because we want to feel good. It shouldn’t surprise us that they would believe that, but if we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, shouldn’t the song we true? Shouldn’t we have inside knowledge that they don’t and can’t have without that same relationship? What does that look like and how can we know it isn’t just a feeling that we’ve made up?

It is natural for people to argue that their beliefs are true. That is something we share with atheists. We look at the evidence and it looks like it points to the God of the Bible. An atheist looks at the same evidence and interprets it very differently. But in both cases, we keep pointing to the evidence as proof. It is also natural for people to support organizations that attempt to prove their beliefs. We give money to church and an atheist gives money to some research organization. So, where is the difference?

One preacher made the statement, “When I got saved, my guitar got saved.” Take an outside view and observe what happens when people accept Christ. The music they play changes. They start going to church. They start giving money to church. Their language changes. Their communication contains less vitriol. As an outsider, there is an easy way to explain this that has nothing to do with God. People have invented religion and they think that if they do all these things that it will make God pleased with them. Follow these ridiculous rules and the big sky fairy will give you everything you want.

But here’s the thing: I’m not following a set of rules. Oh, sure, there are some things that are taboo, but when I have a conversation with an atheist and I choose words that are kind rather than returning the vitriol of their words, I know my reasons. It isn’t because of the rules, but because of a genuine love for that person. When I share the gospel with one of them, it isn’t because some preacher told me I have to do that, but I really want to see them accept Christ. How do I know that he lives within my heart? Because of love. Not because I feel like he loves me, but because I have love for a stranger who curses me and ridicules me for my beliefs. Anyone can love someone who loves them, but to love someone who hates you requires God.

Unbelievers will never understand the love that motivates the Christian. We can tell them about it, but they won’t understand. They’ll understand the words we use, but they won’t believe us. Their whole concept of love is limited to what they feel for their friends and family. People are looking for proof that God exists. Why wouldn’t he prove it? The interesting thing is that the only thing we can be certain exists is our mind, because everything else could be artificial stimuli. So, where did God put proof of his existence? He put it within our mind. Love which originates in the mind of God takes shape in our mind and becomes actions that we do for people who give us every reason not to love them.