Maybe, but living our lives with little more than faith that God is present can be a challenge. Is there a God? I’m convinced there is because there is, indeed, a design evident in the world. I’m not talking about “Intelligent Design,” the concept that some Christian fundamentalists are promoting as a companion to Darwinian Evolution for teaching in public schools. I am not familiar with the gist of its tenets. (You read that right: “gist of its tenets.”) I’m referring to evidence I see with my own eyes. There is a design to life, and to call it “intelligent” is redundant. If it’s a design, it automatically involves thought: intelligence.
The design of which I speak is visible to anyone with eyes. The sun rises each morning and sets each night, its brilliant rays lighting another part of the world as the moon rises to illuminate the night. Flowers bloom in spring; the leaves die and fall from the trees each autumn. The seasons themselves are symbolic of the stages of our lives: winter, spring, summer, and fall each have their charms and chastisements. Except for those who suffer from horrible deformities, the human face has a pattern: a forehead, a nose, cheeks, lips, and a mouth with ears on the side of the skull. These anatomical parts serve the same function in every person. We breathe through the nose, see with the eyes, hear with the ears, and speak, as well as eat, through the mouth. Male and female bodies are different, but though men come in a variety of builds and heights, their parts do not vary. Same with women.
Clearly, there is intelligence at work behind the scenes of the world. This intelligence can only belong to a Supreme Being. But who?
Christians believe it to be the God of the Old and New Testament. Jews reject the New Testament and its claim that the Messiah whom they await has already appeared, but believe in the same God who passed down the 10 commandments to Moses, and flooded the world, wiping out the entire population of earth save Noah, his family, and one male and one female representative of each animal.
There are other religions whose followers worship other gods, such as Islam whose adherents believe Allah is the only true god, and there are even religions that serve no deity, Buddhism for one.
What to believe?
Bible prophecy gives us clues to the Second Coming, and those who study and interpret it insist that most prophecies concerning the end times have been fulfilled or are about to be. The countdown to Armageddon has begun.
Prophecy is important because signs of its fulfillment strengthen and, in some cases, inspires faith. I may believe in God without the evidence that fulfilled prophecy provides, but I might not believe God’s promise that salvation will lead to eternal life in His kingdom beyond the clouds. Too many of God’s actions betray a cruel, unforgiving nature, as well as an imperfect one. How did Lucifer ever come to rebel in the first place? Did God not anticipate that His creations might turn against Him? Did He not think it wise to take precautions to prevent such rebellion? And His requirement that one suffer and die to atone for sin does not bespeak a compassionate nature.
But the Father and the Son are one and the same, the Bible says. God’s abandonment of Jesus as He died on the cross was abandonment of Himself, and we, the wretched disobedient flock whose sins required that Jesus act as savior, are the beneficiaries of His torment. And doubts about God’s character, and worries that He won’t keep His promises, are the whispered wishes of the devil.
© 2013 Brian W. Fairbanks
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