Are you a believer? Do you believe in a God? Have you stepped beyond scripture and tried to objectively examine the evidence of God, our Creator, and ask yourself the why to your faith?
Christmas has been under attack in America for some time. We’ve all heard of the “War on Christmas.” Christmas is a target because it is the most public and widely celebrated of the Christian holidays. We’ve heard of the nativity scene with the two Josephs, representing a gay couple, the “gaytivity” in pink, with no Mary.
As David Emery explains:
“All over the country, Christmas is taking flak. In Denver this past weekend, no religious floats were permitted in the holiday parade there. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled the holiday tree and no Christian Christmas symbols are allowed in the public schools. Federated Department Stores, Macy’s, have done away with the Christmas greeting, “Merry Christmas.”
Now, all of this anti-Christian stuff is absurd, and may even be a bias situation. But the real reason it’s happening has little to do with Christmas and everything to do with organized religion.
Secular progressives realize that America as it is now will never approve of gay marriage, partial birth abortion, euthanasia, legalized drugs, income redistribution through taxation, and many other progressive visions because of religious opposition.
But if the secularists can destroy religion in the public arena, the brave new progressive world is a possibility. That’s what happened in Canada.”
It isn’t just the holiday Christmas that is under attack, it is Christianity as a whole. Throughout it all, I’ve stuck to my Christian faith. But why? Why am I a Christian? I’ll address this in two parts. The first part, presented here, is why I believe in God at all. How do I know there is a Supreme Being.
Growing up, I took the existence of God without question. It was simply a matter of faith. I am still there. However, as this nation, indeed as the whole of Western civilization seems to drift away from all matters of faith, it may be time to think a bit deeper on faith and examine it more objectively.
Last Easter Sunday, I was in church when the preacher, a real fire and brimstone kind of guy, was working to dispel what he deemed the myths held by secular people about Christians. One of those was that Christians are not intellectual people.
He didn’t really elaborate on the point at all. It was simply mentioned in passing between two other points he really wanted to make that I don’t even remember now. The idea just hung in the air without being addressed. As I walked out of the church that morning and back out into the morning sunlight cast on me that Resurrection Day, I couldn’t shake it. Unintellectual? Me? Us? Just because I believe in God I’m not intellectual? Of course, that would me the reverse is also true: If you are intellectual, then you couldn’t possibly believe in God either.
I felt, in words used all too often now, offended. I didn’t need to go find a safe space. I didn’t’ need my blanket and cookies. No, I felt that needed to be addressed. No, confronted is the right word. I needed to confront this accusation that we, as Christians who take the Word and the existence of God as true as a matter of faith, are unthinking and unintellectual.
Before I even had formulated how I was going to tackle this, I marched back into the church. I asked the pastor if I could address this point publicly in a sermon before the congregation. He was thrilled. It wasn’t so much that he wanted this topic discussed, but in his words “Good, everyone will get a Sunday off from listening to me.”
Ok, so there it is. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Now what?
Well, “Begin at the beginning,” the King in Alice in Wonderland advises, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
I happen to love science, always have. I remember reading Albert Einstein when I was in 6th grade. At the time I did it mostly to impress my oldest brother, Randy. Randy was a backyard astronomer. He always had telescopes and we would spend countless hours in the yard at night, staring at the stars. He would describe how far this or that star was away and how long it would take to get there.
The sheer immensity of the universe mesmerized me. Not only that, but how these stars seemed to arrange themselves in the sky to form all the astrological horoscope signs. Then the North Star. It never moved in the sky and how the biggest formation in the sky, and the easiest one for me to find, the Big Dipper, always pointed at it. It couldn’t have been an accident.
In time I read the works of Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Galileo and many others. I was also drawn to any documentaries and shows about physics and space. One of my favorites is How the Universe Works. The very first episode of this show examined The Big Bang.
The Big Bang is how everything began. It was the birth of the universe. Everything was created in this one singular event. In the words of the show, everything started from “the tiniest of specks.” There was nothing and in a split second there was everything.
Think of this for a moment. It isn’t that in the beginning there was something and then it blew up into more that grew into the universe. No, according to science, there was nothing and then all of a sudden, in one massive cosmic explosion, there was everything. All matter that exists. All matter that has EVER existed came from this one explosion in the middle of nothing, out of nothing, in one split-second event.
A void. Nothing. No planets. No form. Nothing. Then, everything. From nothing everything was created. From the tiniest of specks, everything that is and has ever been, in a flash. In the documentary, scientists say the big bang still remains the greatest mystery of all time.
Science admits this is how the universe began. One singular explosion that created everything. What they cannot explain is how it happened. They can’t explain what triggered this event. They can’t explain what existed just one second before the big bang, or one week, one year or a trillion years before. Was this “tiniest of specks” just floating around in the absolute void of infinity all by itself forever then with nothing to hit it, nothing to change it, this tiniest of specks, which contained absolutely every bit of matter in the entire infinite universe, just blew up, all by itself, and created everything?
OK, I’ll play along. If it was a completely natural event that can be explained by science, do it again. This is my challenge to the entire global scientific community. If the big bang was a natural occurrence that can be completely explained scientifically then replicate it. Make something out of nothing. Take a whole bucket of nothing and from it make something. I won’t even challenge the world’s scientists to make everything, just make something – one rock, one single atom or a basketball – from nothing. Ready? Go! I’ll wait.
In another episode of How the Universe Works, they described Dark Matter (3). In this episode, scientist and professors said following the big bang, there hasn’t been enough time for all the heavenly bodies to form. Without getting too scientific, I am not a scientist, let me just summarize the theory. Following the big bang, the resulting material from the explosion was too evenly distributed in the early universe for gravity to effect any one or all of this material to effectively form that stuff into the galaxies, planets and the rest of the universe as we observe it today. Something else had to happen. Science calls that something else Dark Matter.
Something interacted with the stuff that came out of the explosion of the big bang that was without form. It turned this matter into planets, galaxies, comets, and everything else. They can’t see it. They can’t directly measure it. They can only guess at the existence of dark matter because of what they can’t otherwise explain that happened. Without something acting on the material coming out of the big bang, nothing would have formed in the universe. It HAD to be something. Scientists can’t explain it. Otherwise they wouldn’t call it “the biggest mystery of the cosmos.”
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. – Genesis, Ch. 1 (NKJV)
Of all the stuff that came from the big bang, something critical was missing. The big bang created everything in the universe. Every speck of matter that is and has ever been came from it. Still, one thing was missing. Life. There was nothing living when the big bang happened. No life was created in the big bang.
Yet, here I am writing this and there you are reading it. I’m pretty sure I’m alive. I’m guessing you are too. How did that happen?
The prevailing scientific view on the beginning of life on earth is the Primordial Soup:
The Primordial Soup Theory suggest that life began in a pond or ocean as a result of the combination of chemicals from the atmosphere and some form of energy to make amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, which would then evolve into all the species.
Again, my challenge to the world’s scientists. If all life began in the universe from an electric spark or other stimulus on chemicals in a primordial soup, do it. Replicate the conditions and then replicate the results. Take anything, or a combination of anything you’d like that isn’t alive and has never been alive, do something to it and make life from non-life.
So, again, to the world’s scientist, I’ll offer up the entire periodic table of the elements as your building blocks and any and every natural process you can dream up as your experiment. The rules are simple. Take stuff that has never been alive, totally naturally occurring inorganic matter, subject it to natural processes and make life.
Take your bucket of stuff and bake it in the lava of a volcano. Freeze it with liquid nitrogen or in a glacier. Sink it in the bottom of the Marianas Trench, put it in the CERN super collider or blast it into space. Replicate taking non-life and making life. Ready? Go! I’ll wait.
To extend the challenge even further, once you create life, have that something, on its own, turn into something else. Have your newly created species transform into a different species.
Where did life come from then?
As the saying goes, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
If the existence of the universe, the formation of the heavenly bodies we find in the universe and life itself cannot be explained by science, that is, naturally, what remains is that it was done supernaturally. God.
If you are scoffing at this concept, then wait with me for scientists to replicate the results. I hope you’re patient.
The fact remains that you, a living being, are standing on this earth that was created from nothing when all matter in the universe was created from the tiniest speck which no one can explain.
The more I learn about physics, the birth of the universe and the origins of life, the more convinced I am in the existence of God. Something existed before the big bang. Something sparked the tiniest of specks to create everything in the universe. Something then molded that into all the planets and galaxies. Something then created life, to include me and you, out of nothing. I don’t have to wonder what that something was; who that someone is. I know. God.
To me all of the evidence points to the existence of God. That explains why I believe. The fact that I can’t see Him doesn’t alter or diminish my faith at all. From my perspective, to believe that the tiniest of specks, after floating around in the nothingness of space for time unmeasured suddenly burst to create absolutely everything that has ever been from essentially nothing, then have that material form into everything and inexplicably create life that eventually transformed into me and you all was nothing more than a string of lucky coincidences, all of them natural, scientific processes would take more faith than believing in an intelligent design and a divine creator. This is especially true with the evidence, or lack thereof, that all of this did come from purely natural processes.
There’s more. Why am I a Christian?
For that answer, you’ll have to wait for part II. Don’t miss it. Click the “Subscribe” button and we’ll let you know when it’s published.
Excerpt from Joe Gilbert’s Of Faith and Freedom: God, Family, Country.