So, I’ve been thinking about a question. It’s a question that I believe has only one logical answer. It is a question that I am sure many people, especially former believers, have had at one time or another. That question is this:
If a god exists that wants every last one of us to know and experience their presence, how could there be anyone who doesn’t believe?
This question is one I used to wrestle with. Now, I don’t lose any sleep over it because the answer is rather obvious. Anyone familiar with the story of a personal god would know that atheists shouldn’t exist if a personal god does. So what’s the issue here? Are atheists’ hearts just hardened by Satan to convince them that God doesn’t exist? Do they believe in God deep down, but outwardly deny it for some reason? Or is the existence of atheism the result of something else entirely?
In the Christian Bible, God is said to be personal. He is said to interact with us on a daily basis. At one time, the father was personally involved. Then, his son. Now we are told that the Holy Spirit does most of the heavy lifting. So why is there a disconnect between God and his children? Have they lost faith and are disobedient because of sin? Is it deliberate or just a side effect of “the fall”? There are endless questions that could be asked when it comes to this debate. But there is only one question that is really worth asking:
If a personal loving god exists who wants every single one of us to love him back and to be faithful to him, why doesn’t he eliminate all doubt and come out from hiding?
That is the real question. Many people, like myself, lived and breathed faith. Some of us spent the majority of our lives this way. We were certain that we were walking hand in hand with God every single day. Then for one reason or another (or several) we lost that faith. God seemed more and more distant. The “truth” became suspect and eventually became less and less probable. We had no choice but to move on. Despite pleas to the almighty, no answers came. Regardless of our desire to keep the faith, grow in it and be the best children of God we could be, God remained hidden. More and more believers no longer believe. The number of theists is dropping. The number of atheists is growing. That should be alarming and it should be a call to action. But not by us…by God. So where is he and why the reluctance to step in?
The fact that we have a lot of atheists living on this Earth isn’t really relevant. It honestly doesn’t matter what the actual number of nonbelievers is. There is, however, a number that completely debunks the idea of a loving and personal god who is grieved when we turn away. This number should get God to step in and right the ship immediately. It should make him reveal himself, remove the mystery and stop with the games. That number? Well, that number is one. Even one person who is unconvinced of there being a god of the universe that wants to be intimately involved with us is one too many. That number disqualifies any god who is said to be personal. It disqualifies any god who is said to be obvious and everywhere. That number is enough to spark a debate over whether a god exists or doesn’t. If people are debating the existence of a personal, obvious, involved and loving god…he doesn’t exist.
But there isn’t just one atheist, is there? There aren’t a dozen or a hundred. There are hundreds of millions…and that number is growing all the time. Millions upon millions of people “down here” are testifying to the fact that god has not revealed himself in any detectable way to them. He hasn’t answered prayers, restored their faith or proven the stories written about him to be true. Anyone who says otherwise is not being honest. Their personal experiences with God should be observable by others. If not, then what makes them any different than the experiences of a Schizophrenic? If someone hears voices, but no one else does, are they real? How can you know? What about dreams, visions and alleged answered prayers? Without being able to be detected by others, in what possible way can these things be confirmed?
I won’t drone on and on about this, but I just wanted to add this:
The moment the first atheist appeared should have been the same exact moment that religion ceased to be. The fact that it has continued is proof that people are willing to exchange truth, evidence and common sense for wishful thinking and for whatever makes them feel good. That doesn’t make any of it true.