Thursday, April 28, 2011

Questioning the Faith of Atheism

Most people consider their opinion as the truth. However, their opinion may change, but the truth never changes. I wrote this essay about atheism based on the book by Ray Comfort called "God Doesn't Believe in Atheists: Proof the Atheist Doesn't Exist" (creative title, don't you think?). I reference page numbers in case you want to verify the information. I will admit the essay is a bit long, but if you would take the time to read it, I think you will find it very interesting and full of valuable information. =D I don't go into a lot of detail, but I give the gist of the inconsistencies with atheism as presented in the book. Please give me your thoughts!

Questioning the Faith of Atheism

“It has been rightly said that the ‘atheist’ can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman” (God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists, p. 15). Admitting the existence of God is automatically admitting the requirement to obey His commands. Not only is the belief of atheism an inconsistent argument, but no atheist can possibly exist. With evidence of design all around us betraying the idea of God’s nonexistence, the only logical conclusion would be that God does exist, and that we have a responsibility to do what He says.

Atheism is the belief that God does not exist. However, disproving the existence of an entity such as God, requires of the atheist both omniscience and omnipresence. Every person knows that he does not possess even a small percentage of the world’s knowledge. He is not familiar with every grain of sand across the earth and he can’t tell you the exact number of water molecules in any given cloud. Thomas Edison once said, “We do not know a millionth of one percent about anything” (p. 14). Therefore, wouldn’t it be possible that, in the large percentage of information the atheist doesn’t know, there could be all the evidence to prove God’s existence? Ray Comfort used a great analogy: to say there is gold in China does not require all knowledge. One merely needs to know that one article of gold exists somewhere in China. However, saying that there is no gold in China requires absolute knowledge of every tiny part of China. The only thing needed to disprove that statement is one gold earring or one pebble of gold underground (p. 15). Similarly, to say that there is no God, one would have to possess all the knowledge of the universe and simultaneously exist everywhere in the universe—thereby being God. The atheist can only truthfully say that, because he does not know everything, he believes that God does not exist (p. 15).

Since atheism denies God’s existence, evolution is the only other alternative for answering the question of our origin. However, we would find it absurd to believe that any man-made object arose by chance. For example, if you see a painting hanging on a tree in the forest, you automatically know that it had a painter, even though the painting is made up of earthly elements (p. 5). Every aspect of creation shows evidence of design—from the apple that gives you its luscious flavor and produces apple trees from the seeds in its core, to the banana that is color-coated to give you an indication of when it is perfectly ripe, too early, or too late (p. 18, 19). The human hand, for example, is obviously designed for holding. The human lungs are designed for filtering air with its 300 billion capillaries (p. 32). Even without seeing the wristwatch’s designer, no one would question the fact that it was designed, and that it didn’t evolve by chance. Even if we never saw the builder of a building, we know he exists because of the building we are looking at (p. 20-21). How could we want better evidence for the Creator than the creation right in front of us?

Every creature is programmed with information that it couldn’t have put there itself. For example, whenever we sneeze, we automatically close our eyes. Chance can’t account for why the hair on our head is different from the hair on our eyebrows. Imagine if both grew at the same rate! Even though a baby snail has a small shell, as the snail grows, its shell becomes larger. He never discards it for a new one (p. 31-32). How could creatures have programmed information if they were just the product of chance?

In fact, nature itself reveals the unlikelihood of the transitional processes required for evolution to occur. Blood clotting, for example, is a twelve-step process, every step of which is needed to occur—in that order. However, the first creatures would have bled to death, if blood clotting had evolved over time (p. 33). Even the eye cannot be reduced to anything less than it is, making its evolution impossible. This fact Charles Darwin himself recognized: “To suppose that the eye could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree” (p. 34). If a tornado went through a junkyard, we know that a fully working airplane would not be formed (p. 35). The chances of such mutational advancements by transitions are countless times less than the chances of an impossibility.

Atheists also have trouble accepting the existence of God simply because His existence is not able to be disproved. However, one’s perception of God does not give any credibility to his viewpoint. Simply because it appears to the atheist that some prayers are “unanswered” and that answered prayers could have been coincidental, they say that God does not exist. On the other hand, inability to contact the manufacturer of a vehicle does not prove their nonexistence. Someone’s perception that the sun does or does not exist has no effect on whether or not it really does (p. 46). In the same way, God’s existence cannot be disproved by one’s perception of whether or not prayers are answered.

Regardless of your viewpoint, statistics show that you have a 100% chance of dying sometime in your lifetime. Whether or not you believe in God, you will face death. Consider this analogy: a plane was secretly hijacked during flight. The pilot quickly wrote a note telling the passengers to put on the parachute under their seat, since he knew that if the White House did not give in to their demands, the hijackers would force everybody off the plane. As the note was passed along to each passenger, some refused to believe that there was a parachute under their seat. Some considered it a joke that the plane was hijacked, and others that the plane even had a pilot in the first place. But some put on the parachute, knowing that the least they could lose was their pride at the possibility of saving their lives. Finally, when everybody was forced off the plane, only those who had parachutes survived (p. 47-48). By not taking heed to the instructions of the Pilot, you are risking your eternal future. Even if you don’t believe there is a Pilot, reality is not changed by your belief. By not believing that there is even a parachute, you are deriding the One who wants to save you. The Law that will judge you will not spare you unless you have “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14). You will fall to your death if you do not accept the reality of Jesus as your Savior.

“This life is the shadow of death” (p. 58). In other words, our whole life is leading up to our death—it is in death’s shadow. Think of how much you would sell your eyes for. Would even a million dollars be worth it? If your eyes, the “windows of the soul,” are priceless to you, then think about how important the soul is that sees through them. Jesus is offering eternal life for you, yet many hold back because of earthly pleasures. For some, their stumbling block is money. Others hold back in fear of what others will think about them. Still others think that they are “good enough” to enter heaven. Nonetheless, God’s standard is so high that He sees hatred as murder and lust as adultery. Perfection is His standard, and Jesus is the only Man who ever was without sin. Therefore, the only way to be free from eternal death is to accept Jesus—the Source of eternal life.

In summary, the faith of atheism is a self-destructive argument based upon the nonexistence of God. As an absolute negative, it cannot be substantiated. Evolution, the backing force of atheism, is an improbability that can be discredited simply by the evidence of design in the world around us. The overwhelming evidence demonstrates that there is a God, and that we must find out what He wants us to do—to accept the free gift of the Savior Jesus Christ, who alone can save us from eternal death.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Quote on Atheism

Check out this very interesting quote by C. S. Lewis on atheism:

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course, I could have given up my idea of justice by saying that it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too--for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist--in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless--I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality--namely my idea of justice--was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.--C.S. Lewis

Complete Obedience

You ever find yourself reading the Bible and applying it to everyone else but you? Who doesn't find themselves doing that at one time or another? Check out this verse:

"For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." Romans 15:4

Notice that it says for "our" learning...not "their" learning. It is each of our responsibility to compare ourselves with the mirror of God's Word. Now that you know where I'm coming from, check out this passage:

Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God" --'then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" Matthew 15:1-9

When I would read this passage so many times over, the first thing that came to mind was, "Yup, the Pharisees were doing something wrong again..." But, since we know that it was written for OUR learning, we must find out what God is telling US through this passage.

You probably see it as a big deal for the Pharisees to make up an exception to God's command, and rightly so. But do you ever check to make sure you aren't making exceptions to God's Word? For example, the Bible says that all liars will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. But, sometimes we think that if we are telling the truth in just a slightly deceptive way, then it's somehow ok. Or even the example presented in the text itself: "Honor your father and your mother." We think that if they aren't treating us the way they should, then it's justifiable to dishonor or disobey them (although, if a command is directly contrary to God's Word, that is the one exception based on God's Word). Or what about if we "borrow" something, and don't return it. We don't always believe that is as bad of an action as outright stealing. Yet, that is merely OUR exception to God's rule--not one He gave to us.

Check out that last part of the Scripture: "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me..." That's a strong statement! Doesn't that sound a whole lot like the average American Christian? God's telling us that is useless to worship Him in word but not in deed--such as by making your own exceptions to His law. How can you really believe something if you don't fully act on it?

Beginning to see how this passage pertains to you? Just because something is the way you, or even your church, has always done it doesn't make it right. Jesus is warning us (not just the people of the past) that we can't let tradition get in our way of obeying His Word. If something goes against the word of God--even if it's tradition--we must adjust OURSELVES so we can daily look more and more like Christ as we look into the mirror of His Word.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Baby

Summer is here!! Well, almost. I finally pulled my bike out and started cleaning it up for riding. Here she is!

My Dirt Bike1

My Dirt Bike2

It's not the most powerful dirt bike in the world, but it certainly is a good-looking bike! :) This is one BIG reason I love summer! Isn't she amazing?