Apologize (02) - The Consistency of the Existence of God
The Consistency of the Existence of God
Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:11)
The success of “apologizing” for the hope that a Christian has must, by necessity, begin with an understanding of the existence of God. God has not left Himself without testimony: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). However, there are those who choose to attach themselves to the idea that there is no God. To begin the explanation of the hope within, the Christian must understand that God exists and be able to show others the illogical and inconsistent nature of faith that He does not exist.
Life Under the Sun
One need not even accept the Bible as the word of God to see Solomon’s astute declarations on life “under the sun”—that is, life outside of God’s existence. Observation yields the obvious conclusion that no one “under the sun” is permanent. Everyone that has lived in the past has done just that—lived in the past. They are no longer physically alive. If God does not exist, then all humanity—every individual life— eventually will be gone. Life will be gone because with this view, all that exists is the physical. If there is no God, and no life beyond the grave, then life can have no objective meaning, value, or purpose—it will be gone, never to return, and no other life to come after to engender a purpose.
What does the fact that all life would cease truly mean? It means that life has no ultimate significance and makes no difference to the world’s outcome. If God does not exist and there is no spiritual nature, the approach that, “I can make a difference in this world,” is a sham and an inconsistent and illogical thought. How can one make a difference in something that will not exist Without God there is no broader framework within which man’s life can be seen to matter.
In essence, then, life has no intrinsic value. There can be no concept of right or wrong other than what might arise through social conditioning. Where is the standard and consistency in that? Hitler’s concept of right was just as valid as the concept of right held by Mother Teresa. Without immortality there is no moral accountability, and your moral choices become inconsequential. There is no value, only delusion that emerges from evolution. By definition, evolution can produce no consistent value because there is constant change.
If life has no continuation and no inherent value, can it then have any purpose? Without immortality seen in the existence of God, the only destination is extinction in death. Without God and His consistency, there is no purpose for living in this world.
It is impossible to be happy and consistent living with the concept of no God—not just theoretically impossible—demonstrably and logically impossible. If one claims to live happily as an atheist, it is only by inconsistently affirming meaning, value, and purpose for life. How can that be if there is f foundation for meaning, value, and purpose? If one lives as a consistent atheist, he, by definition will be unhappy and desperate because of the lack of meaning, value, and purpose. After all, in considering life “under the sun,” “everything is futility and striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:17).
Man’s Own Observations
Existentialist, Jean-Paul Sartre and Absurdist, Albert Camus, each rightly concluded that life outside the existence of God would be absurd. However, since their predisposition was to reject God, they chose NO God and instead to accept as reality that life WAS absurd. Talk about a life with no value! If life is absurd and has no value and no standard, then the conclusion reached by the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky stands: “If there is no immortality … then all things are permitted.” There is no consistency. Historian Stewart Easton wrote, “There is no objective reason why man should be moral, unless morality ‘pays off’ in his social life or makes him ‘feel good.’ There is no objective reason why man should do anything save for the pleasure it affords him.” Notice what the modern atheist, Richard Dawkins, observed: “There is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference … We are machines for propagating DNA … It is every living objects sole reason for being.” All men are left with dreadful inconsistencies and despair, just that which Sartre described—“the bare, valueless fact of existence.”
Life in God’s Existence
God’s existence changes the whole view of the world. If God exists, there is then a spiritual nature to humanity. If there is a spiritual nature, then, by definition, there is something beyond the physical. The grave, though marking the end of the physical, cannot mark “the end” of life since there is something beyond the physical. The existence of God explains that life does not end at the grave. “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?’” (1Corinthians 15:51-55).
God is beyond the physical. What is beyond the physical caused the physical to exist. This is totally consistent and logical. That which is beyond the physical has that power—there is no constraint of physical limitations. “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host” (Psalm 33:6). “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:13-17)
Belief in God is logical and consistent. It affirms two conditions necessary for a meaningful, valuable, and purposeful life—God and immortality. It supplies a framework within which one can live consistently and happily. “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1Timothy 4:7-8). So, why not look to the truth and consistency of God?
—S Scott Richardson Sr.