Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Proving God's Existence

“Prove God’s existence to me” is the request, even the demand, of many unbelievers. Many Christians have tried over the years to do exactly that. The great Thomas Aquinas offered five proofs for God’s existence. I don’t.

When challenged to prove God’s existence, I respond by asking what the challenger accepts as evidence. Miracle stories, of course, are out. “Stories” and “myths” from the Bible they will not accept as proof. As it usually turns out, the only acceptable evidence would be on the level of calling down fire from heaven. Not that hurts anyone, of course, but that puts on a really good show.

While I have no doubt that my God could easily send down fire from heaven that doesn’t damage a thing, I have never felt the call to ask God for this. Neither do I think God is interested in being treated like a dog that does tricks.

What I offer as proof is this: I am part of a body of people whose lives are based in finding hope and peace and forgiveness in God. These people live their lives in response to God’s love. Were it not for the love of God, we would be without hope, without peace, and without joy. We would know moments of happiness. We would know times of laughter and light-heartedness. We would not, however, know the deep-seated joy that comes from knowing and living in the love of God.

They would, and they have, then challenged me to “prove” to them how this group of people, the church, is better than other groups of people who worship other Gods. They want me to prove to them why my God is the right one.

The only proof I can offer is the proof some are unwilling to accept. “Come and join us,” I say, “and you will find all the proof you need.”

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