Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Is There a God?


No one can prove to you the existence of God, as in a mathematical proof. But you still will be able to be certain of His existence: There are many good, rational arguments. We will make them in a moment.But if you do not want to believe in God, you never will. There can be no scientific proof, simply because God is not physical or material, He is spiritual and infinite. Science is the observation of material phenomena in this universe, and then applying our reason and logic to understand and control them.

By definition, God cannot exist as part of this universe, cannot be composed of matter, and cannot even exist in time. We will explain why later on this page. But even things in this world cannot really be proven with 100% certainty. Entire books have been written about how the U.S. space program has been faked by the government. All you have to do is set the standards of proof high enough, and absolutely nothing can be proven. Proof is a tricky subject. As the old Greeks like Euclid discovered, all proofs have to rely on at least several assumptions (which they called postulates) which cannot themselves be proven. So a person who demands hard proofs is doomed to failure.

It is a doctrine of the Church that faith does not come to us through reason alone, but by the grace of God. If a person opposes even the possiblity of God's existence, then any arguments or evidence can be rationalized away.Since it is impossible to "prove" with absolute certainty, any amount of belief in God has to come from your own spirit, from within your own heart, because it is the spirit of God that we are trying to find. The paradox is, you will only find this faith if God gives you the grace to find it. A person of faith already knows why they believe. It is not for any selfish reason, or because they want to be "saved." It is because they know they are a true child of God, and that we naturally seek Him and know Him as only a child can know their true parents. It is a completion of our lonely existence. It is a feeling of coming home. And it is a certainty that goes far beyond all efforts at "proof." Our faith is a pure gift from God. It is the result of our having accepted the gift of His grace.

Still, there are some very persuasive arguments, and we will make them just after this: The following is a true personal account, and I remember it like it was only yesterday.
"I am sure there is a heaven, and that my Grandpa is there. Here’s why:When I was a boy, my mother gave piano lessons to augment our small income. Our piano was an old upright that was so decrepit that it couldn’t be tuned, and had several keys that didn’t play at all. We couldn’t afford a better one. My grandfather, whose name was Joseph Weber, came to spend the last few months of his life with us. I don’t know what he was suffering from, but he was very ill and couldn’t get up from his bed. He would hear Mother talk about how difficult it was to teach on our old piano. Just before he died, he told her that when he got to heaven, the first thing he would do would be to make sure she got a new piano. Mom told him that she had been saving for years, and that all she was able to put aside was $50.00, not nearly enough even then. “Don’t worry, Ruthie,” he said, “ I’ll make sure you get one. I’ll send it right down from heaven.”A few days after Grandpa died, Mother got a call from someone who was moving out of our small town. It seems that they had a nice grand piano, almost new, and they had seldom used it and did not want to move it. They had heard that she was a piano teacher, and they wanted to know if she would like to purchase it for $50.00. Only after it was all set up in our living room, and Mom sat down to play it for the first time, did she notice the brand name of the piano, written in big gold letters above the keyboard. It was a little known maker, the only one of that make that I have ever seen. Mother sat motionless, staring, before bursting into tears.It was a Weber. So that is how I know that my Grandpa is in heaven. And that is why I returned to God after a long absence." [If you are thinking that a coincidence about a piano is not a good enough reason to have faith, please know that remembrance of this incident, many years later, only caused me to open up my heart and mind to the possibility of God, after a long and firm denial. My faith is a gift from God.]--Website Editor

But what if we are wrong, and there really is no God?

If it turns out to be all just a fairy tale, and you go out like a candle when you die, you will never know. There is no penalty for believing the wrong things all your life. In fact, psychologists will tell you that strong faith in God and leading a moral life is the best way to achieve happiness here on earth for ourselves regardless of what happens when we die. So it is a win-win. On the other hand, suppose you choose not to believe in God or lead a good, moral life and you are wrong! You will have all eternity to regret turning your back on God. And in addition, your life here will (in all probability) be much less happy. It is lose-lose. The best you can hope for is that in His infinite love for you, God will somehow lead you to Him.We are not asking you to "pretend" to believe in God. But this is a good reason to open up your minds to the possibility of His existence, and to pray for His grace to find faith.

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