The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." -- Psalm 14:1They prove God right every day. Case in point:
My friend trolls the atheist blogs and chat rooms looking for people to engage. The atheist missionaries do the same thing, so they go at each other, hammer and tong. One such fellow -- let's call him "Smoker55" because he thinks he is smoking the Christians while poking along at 55 or less -- seems to have less upstairs than most, but he studies the atheist advice columns carefully, and he knows what challenges work against gullible and uneducated Christians. Which, unfortunately, is most of them. Pastors are not doing their job. Sunday School teachers don't even know how to do it.
Anyway, my friend handed him off to me. Smoker55's preferred attack is to demand of every Christian:
Why is it reasonable in your eyes to assume a god-like being exists?This is his Big Gun pointed out over the field of battle, and his fortress is heavily fortified on that side. The atheists have spent many years and a lot of brain cells establishing to themselves that
No example of a god-like being can be found in our reality.and
No test for a god has been devised that's ever been proven successful.This totally ignores the fact that any Creator God there might be, by definition necessarily exists outside our universe. He cannot be a part of what He has not yet created, can He? The wording has been carefully crafted so that it does not address the possibility of a God outside "our reality" (universe). Furthermore, if God is God, then (again by definition) He gets to make the rules, what tests will work and what will not.
Fortunately, God has advised us on this question, in the Bible. The atheists in Jesus day (they are not called that, but they certainly acted like it) demanded proof, just like Smoker55 did last week, and Jesus told them
A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. -- Matt.12:39,40 [oNIV]His evidence is the Resurrection. It is very good evidence, but not good enough for people who choose not to bow the knee to God. In another context, Jesus said
If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets [the Bible], they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead. -- Luke 16:31Later we are told [Rev.9:20, 16:9] that even great astral disturbances will not be enough to persuade the wicked to repent.
If God is God, then we must come to Him on His terms, or not at all.
Similarly, if I am to reach this guy, I need to get out from in front of his Big Gun. It turns out he left the back door of his castle standing open. I went in there. I asked him:
Why is it reasonable in your eyes to assume a Smoker55-like being exists?I think he understood immediately the problem, but he didn't let on. He said I have email from him. Actually, what I have are pixels on my screen. My business is to write computer software that puts pixels on my screen. That doesn't prove there's a person behind it -- and in the case of my software, there isn't. He said I could verify the email address, that it came from a person. Actually, I cannot. I can only verify that it came from core-aea02.mail.aol.com using a source IP address [172.27.23.2] controlled by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority located on 12025 Waterfront Drive in Los Angeles. I have no way of knowing who they assigned that IP address to that day, nor who used it to send email. Maybe it was a robot sending spam, I get that all the time. He stopped pushing that argument after I pointed out that he (Smoker55) admitted to having received "email" (the Bible) from God, and that he had read it.
This is a very powerful rebuttal. Smoker55 has better evidence that God exists, than I have that Smoker55 exists. There is a small risk here, that he might show up at my front door as proof that he exists, but I don't make that easy, and the probability that he would drive possibly thousands of miles (I don't know where he lives) to win that minor point seemed small. Anything else he might propose is no better than the evidence he already has for God.
I worked it. Because Smoker55 does not exist, I don't need to prove anything to him. How did I jump from no evidence to the actual denial of his existence? The same as the atheists do with God. They may claim that "atheist" means indifference, but they act like it means proof of non-existence. Because Smoker55 does not exist, nothing he said to me had any meaning or significance. His own non-existance just as effectively put his claims and demands out of my reach as the same argument applied to God is presumed to do for the atheists. He said he could provide evidence that he exists, but he never did. From my perspective "will not" is the same as "cannot" until "will not" becomes "did." In his case that never happened. Short of ringing my doorbell and hoping I open the door (and even then I could deny anybody is there), he cannot. He abandonned that line of attack.
He retreated to the next line of defense -- he was way out of the comfort zone established by his atheist mentors -- was to demand that I tell him,
Please tell me how whether i'm a computer or not is relevant to the validity of your positionWhich I tested by asking back
Please tell me how whether "No example of a god-like being can be found in our reality" or not is relevant to the validity of God's moral demands on your life and mine.He made a muddled stab at it, but when I responded to his question with essentially the same words, he claimed I had not answered his question. Which is true, because he did not answer mine.
I think at this point he was well aware that he'd lost it. He's a "J" control freak (see my Oct.12 post on Judgers), so he does not want to lose. He made a few more nonsensical demands then stopped responding. Since he never gave any "hard evidence" (his term) that he exists, I could dismiss most of his complaints by pointing out that because he did not exist, he couldn't make those demands. Essentially he slammed the back door in my face and went back upstairs to shoot his Big Gun at more gullible Christians out there in front.
The bottom line is that either Smoker55 does not exist, or else he's a hypocrite, demanding more proof from the Christians than he himself is willing to give on his own behalf. A hypocrite is a liar, pretending to be what he is not, and without effect to those who know. More than anything else, the atheist missionaries do not want you to know they are liars, because it melts down their Big Guns. A close second is not existing. Smoker had both problems.
Don't try this at home kids, or you might find yourself in the same
pickle as the seven sons of Sceva [Acts 19:15]. Think of it instead as
one of these demons that Jesus referred to in Mark 9:29, which needs a
lot of preparation.