Does your faith need strengthening? Are you confused and wondering if Christianity is really "The Truth?" "Fight for Your Faith" is a blog filled with interesting and thought provoking articles to help you find the answers you are seeking. Jesus said, "Seek and ye shall find." In Jeremiah we read, "Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall seek for Me with all your heart." These articles and videos will help you in your search for the Truth.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Is There Enough Evidence to Believe?


“Willing to appear openly to those who seek him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee from him with all their heart, God so regulates the knowledge of himself that he has given indications of himself, which are visible to those who seek him and not to those who do not seek him. There is enough light for those to see who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition.” 

Blaise Pascal, French Mathematician and Philosopher from his book “Pensées” 

Paul of Tarsus said it a bit differently: 

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, 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 people are without excuse.”[1]

Paul tells us that the evidences for God are “clearly seen” so that all men are “without excuse.” He says unbelievers are “suppressing the truth.” In another discourse in Athens at the famous “Mars Hill” or the Areopagus Paul argued in this manner: 

“I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. 

“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 human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c

“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”[2]

We see here that Paul is making a reasonable defence of belief in the Almighty God and uses the “fact” or evidence of the resurrection as its “proof.” 

But like Pascal notes, some men “flee from Him with all their hearts.” In other words, they willing do not want to believe. Something has happened in their lives that they reject the existence of God. For me, as a young adult, it was the fact that my girlfriend left me for someone else that caused me to reject my childhood faith and God with it. At the same time I was in university and one course after another was attacking the principles of my Christian belief system. 

In Geology, I was learning evolution and millions of years of earth time which I accepeted readily and came to the conclusion that if evolution was true then I need not believe in God. My new “Creation Myth” in scientific clothing was intellectually rewarding and freed me from the moral code I had adhered to throughout my childhood. I was free. God was dead and so I could do what I wanted to and that extended to how I interacted with the opposite sex. 

What did my new found freedom and belief system result in? It resulted in a sexual behavior best described in today’s terms as attempted date rape. Afterwards, I was discussed with myself for acting like an animal, though if we come from monkeys and there is no God why should we be surprised when we actually act like monkeys. Dostoievski , the Russian writer, wrote, 

“If there is no God, then everything is my will and I must express my will.”[3] Or as it is often stated today, “If there is no God, then everything is permissible.” The idea of Nike’s “Just Do It” is a catch phrase for mankind to just do his will and forget there is a God. We’ve been taught to “just do it” and are upset that some people are following that thought process to the extreme even to the point of killing others to fulfill “their will” and express there “divinity.” 

The Apostle Peter about two thousand years ago predicted that men would be “willingly ignorant” or ignorant on purpose in the last days. When we fall into unbelief, we don’t want to see the evidences, we don’t want God in our lives. We willingly reject Him. 

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires (or lusts in the KJV). They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”[4]

When we reject the knowledge of God, we reject the creation story, the flood record, and the belief of a final judgment. We change our initial belief system into naturalism and exclude the supernatural from our way of thinking. Therefore, we look for only natural explanations of events that take place in the present or in the past. The supernatural is not in our thinking any longer and even if evidence seems to point in the direction of the supernatural, we ignore it. We cling to our naturalistic thinking even though it may not have a very convincing argument or explanation for the evidence at hand. We say, “Well, we don’t understand it now, but in time science will figure it out.” 

Here’s a funny and sad response from Richard Dawkins one of today’s outspoken atheists when he was pushed to answer what evidence would convince him that God exists. 

“Well, I used to say it would be very simple. It would be the second coming of Jesus or a great, big, deep, booming, bass Paul Robeson voice saying, “I am God, and I created.” But I was persuaded…that even if there was this booming voice coming in the clouds of glory, the more probable explanation is that it’s a hallucination, or a conjuring trick by David Copperfield, or something….A supernatural explanation for anything is incoherent. It doesn’t add up to an explanation for anything.” 

Dawkins was further pushed to answer the question about evidence and concluded, 

“Well, I’m starting to think NOTHING would, which, in a way, goes against the grain, because I’ve always paid lip service to the view that a scientist should change his mind when evidence is forthcoming.” [5]

In other words, Dawkins is confessing that nothing would persuade him. Even if Jesus appeared in the clouds with the holy angels Dawkins would consider that he was delusional and needed pyschiatric help. 

Paul of Tarsus, however, has explained what has happened to people like Dawkins. 

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”[6]

Pascal says there is enough obscurity for those who have a contrary or disbelieving disposition to not believe. But Paul tells us that actually in their rejection of God, Satan has blinded the understanding of the unbeliever so that they cannot see God. Paul even goes as far to say that God allows them to believe a lie. If that’s what they want, God lets them have it. 

“…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”[7]

In the writings of Job, the oldest book in the Bible we find Job saying, 

“But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”[8]

In other words, Job is explaining that in our study of animal life, of birds, of geology, of marine creatures we will find that they testify to a Divine Being. Our scientific research should lead us to God. The famous rocket scientist Verner von Braun said, 

“My experiences with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?”[9] The next quote is by George Washington Carver famous African American scientist:

An honest scientist will go where the evidence leads him. But the trouble is there are very few “honest” scientists. Most are confined within their philosophical belief system and will not accept evidence that is contrary to what they believe. They will always interpret the evidence in accordance to their belief system even if they don’t realize they are doing so. They can’t see the evidence any other way. 

C.S. Lewis was one of those rare atheist who followed the evidence of Christianity and came to belief in God even though it was contrary to his initial belief system. He later wrote about his new Christian world view in his essay “Is Theology Poetry?” and said, 

“I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen. Not only because I can see it, but because by it I can see everything else.” 

His Christian worldview gave him an understanding that he hadn’t had before hand. He saw things differently than he had before. A very similar experience had happened with Saint Augustine who had been a libertine until the time of his finding God. Augustine said, 

“Seek not to understand that ye might believe, but seek to believe that you might understand.” 

Augustine is telling us that belief in God helps us to have a better understanding of the world around us. Therefore, we should seek to believe. We should investigate to find the truth, to find faith. Like God has said that if we should seek Him, we would find Him, if we would search for Him with all our heart.[10]

Simon Greenleaf the founding father of Harvard’s Law School said the following after his investigation into the evidences of Christianity: 

“Of the Divine character of the Bible, I think, no man who deals honestly with his own mind and heart can entertain a reasonable doubt, For myself, I must say, that having for many years made the evidences of Christianity the subject of close study, the result has been a firm and increasing conviction of the authenticity and plenary inspiration of the Bible. It is indeed the Word of God.”[11]

British scholar Sir Frederick Kenyon after twenty-fives years of intense study of the ancient texts avaiable from the Holy Land including the Dead Sea Scrolls said, 

“The Christian can take the whole Bible in his hand and say without fear or hesitation that in it he holds the true word of God handed down without essential lost from generation to generation throughout the centuries.”[12]

King David also had something to say about the evidence. 

“The heavens declare the glory of God the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”[13]

The evidence is there for those who seek for it with an open and honest heart.

Notes:


[1] Romans 1:18-21 (NIV)
[2] Acts 17:22-31 (NIV)
[4] 2 peter 3:3-7
[6] 2 Corinthians 4:4
[7] 2 Thessalonians 2:10b-11
[8] Job 12:7-10
[10] Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
[12] Kenyon, Sir. Frederick, “Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts” found in Gowens, Michael, L., “Be Ready to Answer,” p.36
[13] Psalm 19:1-4 (NIV)

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Universe's Natural Laws Give Evidence of God's Design

 A Compilation                                                                    

When talking with others about our faith, I find it is good to have or know quotes by famous people on the subject. Here’s a few quotes made by some famous men on the topic of “Intelligent Design” or the idea that there must be an intelligent Creator.

“A scientist’s religious feelings take the form of rapturous amazement at the harmony of natutal law, which reveals an Intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificante reflection.”[1] Albert Einstein

“We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent being toward God. We see a universe marvellously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand those laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations.”[2] Albert Einstein
                                             
Another famous scientist writing long before Einstein said something similar.
“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being…..This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world [as the New Age philosophies teach], but as Lord over all [as the Bible teaches]; and on account of His dominion He is want to be called Lord God, or Universal Ruler.”[3] Isaac Netwon

More than a hundred years later, an American President would echo Newton’s words as if he had been reading from Newton’s writings.

“So irresistable are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent, that, of the infinite numbers of men who have existed through all the time, they have believed, in the porportion of a million to one, in the hypothesis of an eternal pre-existence of a creator, rather than in that of a self-existent universe.”[4] Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson, you may remember, was not a traditional Christian, but a Christian Deist. As a Deist he believed that some invisible, powerful, intelligent “Agent” had created the universe. But he did not believe in the miracles of the Bible, nor in a resurrected Christ. He is known to have cut out all the supernatural events from his Bible. But even with this doubts about the Bible, he still confessed to an Intelligent Designer and believed that the teachings of Jesus constituted the “outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man.”[5]

Werner Von Braun, the rocket scientist who helped put the first man on the moon, was asked to give testimony  at a court case involving the teaching of creation in the high-school classroom. In his deposition to the court he said, “For me, the idea of a creation is not conceivable without invoking the necessity of design. One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all…My experience with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we light a candle to see the sun?”[6]

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, also had similar thoughts to Newton and Einstein. He said, “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist.” I guess we can all understand that thought when we see man’s inhumanity to man on a daily bases. Lincoln continues, “but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heaven and say, ‘There is no God.’”[7]

The Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote, “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.”[8]

Some three thousand years ago the poet and musician King David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”[9]

The Apostle Paul in the New Testament made a similar observation: “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 people are without excuse.”[10]

C.S. Lewis, the great Christian speaker and writer, had thoughts on why he didn’t agree with the idea that the universe was a result of  random, purposeless processes. He wrote, “If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of man was an accident, too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents—the accidental by-products of the movements of atoms, and this holds for the thoughts of the materialist’s, and astronomer’s, as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts, that is, of materialism and astronomy—are merely acidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing one accident should be able to give a correct account of all the other accidents.”

In 1968 one of the astronauts who had traveled to the moon and backed was asked by a reportor if he had seen God as a Russian astronaut was repórted to have said he hadn’t seen God.  Frank Borman answered quite distinctly, “I can’t comment on what he didn’t see, but I saw  evidence that God lives.” About seeing the earth rise for the first time on the moon he said,“This must be what God sees. I was absolutely awe struck.”[11]

Are you seeing God in His creation? He’s speaking loud and clear if you’ll listen.



[1] Einstein, Albert; The World as I See It, 1934
[2] Einstein, Albert; Interview, 1929
[3] Newton, Isaac; The Principia: Matematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, 1687
[4] Jefferson, Thomas; Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1823; https//founders.archives.gov>From Thomas Jefferson; Retrieved 2019-07-16
[5] https//en.m.wikipedia.org; Religious views of Thomas Jefferson; “Jefferson’s Religious Beliefs,” monticello.org. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
[6] Von Braun, Werner; From a letter to the California State Board of Education, 14 September 1972
[7] Lincoln, Abraham; https//www.goodreads.com; Quote by Abraham Lincoln; Retrieved 2019-07-16.
[8] Kant Immanuel, Critique of Practical Reason, 1781
[9] David, Psalm 19:1-4, NIV
[10] Apostle Paul, Romans 1:20, NIV
[11] Borman, Frank; https//cprovstgaard.blogspot.com; Men on the Moon: Apollo 8; Retrieved 2019-07-16

Monday, July 8, 2019

Give and it shall be given unto you!

By Dennis Edwards

I walked into the local newspaper and tobacco shop to do some photocopying. Glancing at the list of prices on the photocopy machine, I noticed that if I printed in color it would be 0.15 cents each. Since I only needed 20 colored pages that would come to 3.00 euros, a price I could afford. I needy to do some 100 black and white fotocopies also, which would cost me at 0.03 cents each 3 euros or 6 euros altogether for both black and white and color work. 

The shop girl started the machine and I stepped back to wait patiently for the job to be done. As I waited, one of the poor village alcoholics came into the shop. He had five euros in his hand and wanted to charge his phone. I was standing right behind him and was listening as the shop clerk repeated back his phone number to him to make sure she had gotten it right. 

“Yes, that’s it.” He responded. 

The shopgirl made the on-line transaction and handed him his receipt. He slowly shuffled from the shop, telefone in hand, waiting for his 5 euros to register. 

But suddenly, he was back. All worried and frustrated, with tears in his eyes he exclaimed, “It didn’t register! It didn’t register!” 

The shopgirl took his phone and checked again what his number was by using his phone to call the shop. Yes, he had gotten two of his numbers mixed up and had given her the numbers in the wrong order. He was emotionally shattered. 

“You’ll have to call the company to see if they can transfer your money to your number.” 

That seemed like an impossible task for him to accomplish and again the tears welled up in his eyes. The shop started to fill up with other clientes and the shopgirl became noticably worried as she was taking a lot of time with this one man. 

“Don’t worry,” I interrupted. “When you get home see if someone can help you call the company. I’ll pay 5 more euros right now,” as I handed the money to the shopgirl to again make the proper transaction to the poor man’s phone. 

He was soon on his way and I felt good having done a good deed and been a good example publicly. 

By this time, with a backlash of customers, the manager of the shop had come out of her office to help with the movement of clients. My fotocopies had also finished up and it was time for me to pay. 

The shopgirl then asked the mamager what price she should charge me for the color printing I had done. 

The manager came over to the photocopy machine to check the list of prices. I was standing right there and pointed to the price 0.15 cents for A4 color print text. But the manager responded, “But it’s not that price.” 

I didn’t understand what she meant. Since I had done over 100 copies I could get the discounted price on the black and white at 0.03 cents. The color text discount for 100 copies was 0.12 per copy. But I wasn’t asking her to give me a discount on the color work. I told her, “It’s alright, I’ll pay the 0.15 cents because I only did 20 in color.” 

Again she responded, “But it’s not that price.” 

I repeated again, “It’s alright. I’ll pay the 0.15 cents per copy. It’s okay with me.” 

Again she responded, “It’s not that price, but okay, today we will give you that price. But don’t expect that price when you come next time.” And she left for the back of the shop to her office. 

It was then the shopgirl showed me what had taken place. I had been looking at and pointing to the list of prices for A4 colored text, which indeed was 0.15 cents per copy. But I had actually photocopied very little text. My color photocopying was almost completely pictures with a small text under each picture. I had not photopied A4 colored print. I had photocopied A4 colored image, and the price was very different. 

She moved her finger down the list of prices and found A4 colored image and said, “You see, it should be 1.00 euro per copy. You should be paying 20 euros just for those 20 color photocopies. 

“On my Lord,” I said. I finally realized what the manger was trying to say with her, “It’s not that price.” 

I looked up at the shopgirl and said, “God has done a little miracle right here in the shop before our very eyes. I helped that man with the 5 euros for his phone and right now, only a few moments later God has given me back that 5 euros and even more. I’ve been given a 17 euro discount on my bill.” 

“It’s really true,” she responed, “God did a little miracle right here,” and she smiled as she went back to attend another customer. 

You can’t outgive God, my friends. He says, “Give and it shall be given unto you; pressed down and shaken together, and running over shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete withal it shall be measured unto you again.”[1]

That’s the little miracle God did in the newspaper and tobacco shop today. “He who considers the poor, shall not lack.”[2]

Notes:

[1] Luke 6:38 
[2] Psalm 41:1-2 “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.” 

Friday, July 5, 2019

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