Proof That God Exists.

I have been a Christian for about 33 years, and I have had the question asked of me many times. What is the proof that God exists? I have heard many variations of the same question as well. All the variations have the same idea in mind, when asked by certain questioners. The argument is usually that there is no valid proof of the existence of God.

One of those times that I was asked whether I could prove God’s existence, I answered that I could. The gentleman who asked the question almost rolled his eyes at me, but instead smirked and challenged me to prove God to him. I smile at him for a moment, and told him that he was confused. I explained that I said I could prove the existence of God, not that I could prove the existence of God to others. He argued that I knew what he was asking, but I argued that I could not read his mind any better than he could read mine.

The real question of proving God’s existence, at least in my own opinion, has more to do with whether the believer himself or herself can explain what proves God’s reality to them, not others. Though we are exhorted in the Scriptures to share “the word with others.” There is no part of the Bible that obligates believers to prove the existence of God to those same people, or anyone else for that matter.

People who will not believe in God will believe no proof presented to them anyway. The Lord could appear to each of them, heal people, walk on water, turn water into wine, and they would explain all of that away. The people weren’t actually ill, they just believed they were, and Jesus just coaxed them into thinking they had been healed. They would claim it was a “mind over matter” situation. As for walking on water, they would point out that Criss Angel, the magician, did the same thing on YouTube, and that he is no God. As far as the turning water into wine, they will argue that slight-of-hand was probably the real culprit there. There are some magicians who are so proficient in their craft that they can do their magic in front of you, and sometimes even slowly, and you will have real trouble proving that it was not real.

We live in a wondrous time, especially when it comes to special effects in movies, television shows, and then there’s Photoshop. We have flat panel computer and TV screens, just years ago, that was something fantastic. I am old enough to know that if someone had shown me a device, when I was nine years old, which could make phone calls, play music, show movies and TV programs, be used as a flashlight, and could guide me through the streets as I searched for an address, I would have thought your cell phone was a miracle. Now, with all of that said, try convincing people that someone is God because they can do this or that.

I have no interest in even trying to prove God to anyone. The real question, concerning His existence, is whether I can prove Him to myself. Is there proof that God exists? Yes. The problem, though, is deciding what the evidence will be that will be acceptable as solid proof.

Scientists used certain standards for establishing acceptable and valid proof or reality. Common sense, which is one of the Christian standards for proving God’s existence, is not an acceptable standard. Why? Well, common sense depends on certain things, which can change depending on the perspective of the person, circumstances in his or her life, the culture they come from, the color of their skin, whether they are male or female, and so on. Common sense is supposed to be that which is understood similarly by all people. For example, we all “know” the world is round, but from the view of a person standing on the ground, it can seem flat. We all know that the earth rotates around also circles the sun, but from an earth point of view, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. We all “know” that the earth spins at over 1000 miles per hour, but for the average person the earth seems not to move at all. All of these things are why common sense is not a good measure of proof.

On the other hand, science uses what is referred to as “evidence for the unobservable via inference.” (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/sciproof.html) This is where they “demonstrate the existence of phenomena that cannot be observed directly.” In other words, they believe that they can prove that something exists, even though it cannot be seen directly. One can argue that many of the most important scientific discoveries were “inferred” using this method. For example, humans cannot actually see a black hole. This is a phenomenon that supposedly exists in the center of galaxies (like our own (Milky Way Galaxy), which suck everything into themselves. The scientists say they know that a black hole is there because they can see the stars and planets which circle the black hole, as they slowly are drawn into it. The argument is that you can prove something by using merely the symptoms or causes of the thing. I believe that I can prove that God exists, using the same method, at least to me. I do not have to prove God to anyone else, but I can share with you what I believe does prove God exists to me.

I once was eating lunch at one of my jobs, and I was reading my Bible at the time. A lady I had seen in another department, asked me if she could sit at the table I was at. I said sure. She prepared her lunch, and raised her sandwich to bite it, when she asked me a question. “You do realize that the Bible was written by men, right?” I looked up, smiled and said, “Of course.” “That means,” she went on, “that it could have errors and just be wrong.” I pondered her statement for a moment, and asked, “Have you ever been to Hawaii?” She wrinkled her brow and answered, “No.” “How do you know it exists,” I asked. She smirked and said, “It’s clearly on the map of the world.” I smiled and said, “And, who drew up the maps we see, monkeys or humans?” “It’s not the same thing,” she complained. I smiled and continued, “So you are saying that if men write the Bible then it must have errors and possibly be wrong, but if men make maps they never err and would never lie to us about places that might or might not exist?” She did not say anything, so I continued, “The question is not who wrote the Bible, the question is does it work the way it says it does.”

That was the question that I had to consider from then on. I still don’t know if Hawaii exists, but I will accept the evidence provided by men in form of maps. As far as God is concerned, that is His existence, I set out to prove it. I asked myself what the evidence standard needed to be. I realized that the implications of the woman’s question were valid, and worthy of healthy argument, but the main problem with her perspective is that it was based on her common sense. H¬er “common sense” was not mine. My common sense was affected by my new epiphany: I was no longer just a human, but I was now a human who had God living inside of him as well. If my understanding of who I now was, was in fact real, then I was not limited to a “common sense” of people who did not have God living in them. Either this was true or it was not. I did not allow any other possibility in the matter. As well, I found that all other persons who also believed that God lived in them tended to have a similar “sense,” therefore, they and I have a more common “common sense.”

From the perspective of people who believe that God lives in them, the impossibility becomes not as impossible. We tend to accept that what we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste, are “real,” but that with God in the equation, even these senses can fail to tell us the truth. For example, just because I cannot see God, that does not prove that God does not exist. On the contrary, if I use just the scientific method of using “evidence for the unobservable via inference,” I find tons of proof that God exists. The only question I have to answer is what evidence I will accept as valid.

I cannot see the wind, but I can feel it. It has a physical effect on me. The wind can make me feel cooler than the temperature of the day. So I accept certain evidence as proof that the wind exists:

1. You can physically feel it, but I can take measures to cover myself, and so then I would not feel it.
2. It affects other physical objects, such as trees, though it may not always affect them in the same manner.
3. It can cause me to react to it by responding with shivers, due to the temperature it can affect.
4. If used in a specific manner, I can depend on it to have the desired results. For example, to blow out the candles of a birthday cake, or knock down a building.

If I use just these four criteria as evidence the proof for the wind’s existence, I believe that I can prove to myself that the wind exists, and I have.

Now, let’s apply the same criteria to proving God’s existence.

1. You can physically feel it, but I can take measures to cover myself, and so then I would not feel it.

Many Christian believers give witness to physical sensations when they came to salvation. Some speak of chills they experienced, others claim a sense of peace that engulfed them, and other proclaim other physical manifestations. I did not experience those things at the time I was saved, instead I noticed an emboldening in me. I was suddenly more confident about how I would deal with Christian “truths” that I had seriously doubted before. This confident feeling, or sense, was as real to me, as the wind I could feel.

2. It affects other physical objects, such as trees, though it may not always affect them in the same manner.

One of the practices of Christianity (and maybe all religions) that I had always had a problem with was getting money from the believers. I had told myself before I was a believer that the church was just one giant scam that fooled people out of their money. As a believer, I decided to put the practice to test. The Bible itself urges the test as well (Malachi 3:10), so I did. I started tithing immediately after conversion, and continued.

Just as scientists will repeat an experiment over and over until they are convinced that it either worked or did not, I chose to keep the “experiment” going until I could make a fair and mature judgment. Months later I was driving along and my car broke down. Apparently the strut on the right wheel had finished out its days as a useful part of my car. Due to that, the car was further damaged when the strut broke, and it left my car leaning and not drivable. When I finally got it to the repairman, he told me that I was facing a high charge (about $1,500) for the repairs. I told him to check out the car and to give me a final amount. I knew that I had to get the money either way. Interestingly, I had just gotten my pay check and I seriously considered not tithing that time so I could add the money to the repairs I needed, I told myself that if I did, God would understand.

Later that evening, at church, I decided not to withhold the tithes, and turned them in. I prayed and asked God to show me what I needed to do to bring in the money I needed, without getting further into debt. The next morning the repair guy called me and mentioned that the total cost was actually $1,750. I started to complain that I did not have the money on hand, when he interrupted me to tell me that when he checked with the dealer to get the parts, that he was told that there had been some recall or something like that. They told him that because the part was known to break and cause damage, they would cover the cost of the repair, and that they had no problem with him doing the repairs himself. He finished by telling me the only charge he had for me was for the towing of the car.

I knew at that moment that God had helped me. I believed that He had somehow orchestrated the world of cars, and the manufacture of my specific car, so that I would have the charges covered. Just as the wind can cause something to happen, which will have repercussions much later on, God did the same for me. This was only one situation of this type, it was years later that I came to the conclusion that I arrived at.

3. It can cause me to react to it by responding with shivers due to the temperature it can affect.

When I had been a Christian for about two years, my pastor decided that I should be trained to preach. I responded to the training like a duck reacts to waddling, I just did it. I did so well that during one of our church meetings the pastor announced he would be going on a trip to preach at another church. The date was for two weeks away, and I was chosen to preach both the morning and Sunday evening services.

The next week, at the meeting, the pastor surprised us all by stating that he had come to a new conclusion, regarding practices at our church. He said that from then on he had decided that anyone who preaches there would have to wear a tie. I did not respond well to his decision. I complained that Jesus did not wear a tie, and he told me that if Jesus refused to wear a tie then He would not be preaching there either. I became incensed. We were only two days before the pastor would leave on his trip, and I felt it was unfair that he would suddenly bring up something he already knew I would not receive well. Due to my reaction, he decided to cancel his trip. I became even more angry, I had invested much time and research into preparing the sermon, and he just took my opportunity away so easily.

I complained to my wife, who agreed with me. I searched out the Scriptures for something that would help me argue my point, but instead I found the opposite, Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”

The next Sunday I showed up at church, not only with a tie on, but in a coat. I noticed a smile on my pastor’s face. The wind (God in this case) caused me to shiver (react to it) because of temperature change (circumstances that are uncomfortable to me).

4. If used in a specific manner, I can depend on it to have the desired results. For example, to blow out the candles of a birthday cake, or knock down a building.

Throughout the Bible there are many principles. These principles are presented as teachings. These teachings are intended to provide humans with direction for their lives, as well as instructions from God on holy living. All of this is nice, but the question here is do they work? Can we depend on these principles to function as advertised?

I have counseled people for over 27 years, and have seen much success and failure in people’s lives. Over the years I have paid attention to why those who had succeeded did so. Success, as you may agree, is relative. It depends on what the person considers as success. In the case of the individuals and couples I have counseled, the criteria for success was that the problem they came to counseling for was resolved.

To help people resolve issues and make positive changes in their lives, I teach the principles which are found in the Bible, and others which have proven effective for the situations involved. For example, Galatians 6:7 states, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (NASB). Even if you leave the first part out, you are still left with counsel that works. If a man sows potatoes, he will reap potatoes, right? So if the man wants to actually reap potatoes, he knows not to plant yams. Some people will argue that this is so simple that it did not require mentioning, in other words “common sense.”

Counselors anywhere will tell you that it is far from “common” sense. A vast number of people repeat bad behavior, over and over, but keep expecting things to turn out better. Too many times in those people’s minds, they are doing the “right” thing, because they are doing what they want to do. Once these persons come to understand that they are in fact working against themselves, they open to the possibility of change. If they are able to capture the concept the principle teaches, they will start having different results. Therefore, if they realize that repeating bad behavior (sowing) will always have the same bad results (reaping), then they will change their behavior (sowing) and benefit from changed results (reaping).

Therefore, using the scientific “evidence for the unobservable via inference” process, which they say proves that something exists even though it cannot be seen, just because of the evidence available. I have given real evidence, and shown actual results, and have inferred the reason for the results; God.

If you are a believer, this means you have had that epiphany which allows you to have the perspective necessary to recognize the above as evidences which are valid. If you are someone who chooses not to believe, then your perspective will be tainted by the lack of willingness to accept the criteria as I have described above. In either case, we have to agree that any person who looks at the evidence, and is willing to accept the possibilities that the evidence implies, will probably arrive at the same conclusion: it is possible to prove something not observable by the observable evidence via inference.

It is this way that I can prove God exists to myself. I came to the clear and unequivocal conclusion that God exists because His Word works as it is taught in the Scriptures. That is, that when the principles taught in the Bible are applied as intended, they will produce the results which were intended, and that the person applying the principle can depend on the results. If God’s Word works then He exists, to me.

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