I'd Believe If God Would Just...

I’d Believe If God Would Just ____.  Insert your proof here.  “God, if you would just appear to me, I’d believe.”  How many times have you heard those words? This is one of the most frequent requests that non-believers make of God.  And Devine Hiddenness is also one of the most common objections to Christianity.  After all, if God exists, shouldn’t it be more obvious? 

Even as an atheist myself, this seemed to be a major problem.  I looked around and simply didn’t see any evidence for the existence of God.  Of course, if I’m honest, I wasn’t really looking for evidence of God.  I just expected that if God was real, and really wanted a relationship with me, then He would make Himself known. 

Eventually He did make Himself known to me.  But not in a way I expected.  If you’ve never read my conversions story, you can read it here.  It turned out that my perception of the hiddenness of God was largely of my own making.  There was plenty of evidence for God, I simply wasn’t interested in looking. 

I’ve heard several suggestions of how God could choose to reveal Himself.  I’ve been assured that if God did one of these things, then the person I’m talking to would 100% believe in God.  To be honest, I’ve always doubted this assertion.  Let’s take a look at 3 examples and see how someone might still be able to reject God.

God Should Write His Name In The Stars

Why doesn’t God just write his name in the stars?  “I’m here believe in Me!”.  That would surely be a sign, right? 

Ok, to start with, which language should God use?  Should he use an ancient one that is now extinct?  English? Chinese? You see the problem.  Language is fluid.  Having a permanent message written in the sky would be gibberish to the majority of people throughout history.  

I'd Believe If God Would Just...

The counter to this is we do have evidence for God in the stars.  The universe had a beginning. Something caused it to come into being.  Whatever that thing was, it must have been timeless, spaceless and immaterial.  Where might that line of reasoning lead? 

God Should Write His Name in DNA

“Made By Yahweh”.  Wouldn’t that be a cool thing to see when we examined DNA strands under a microscope!  Yes, it would.  But again, this technology has not existed until recently.  It would have been meaningless to previous people groups.  And as our scientific knowledge increases, we are likely to change our understanding of how DNA works.  What language would “Made by Yahweh” be in? The same problems that exist with our first premise exist here too.

DNA itself is remarkable in the amount of information it contains.  According to New Scientist online “Just 1 gram of DNA is theoretically capable of holding 455 exabytes – enough for all the data held by Google, Facebook and every other major tech company, with room to spare.” That’s a lot of information!  To imagine that all this information was produced from purely natural forces strains credulity.  Information is the product of a mind.  No one would trust information that occurred by pure random chance.  

God Should Appear To Me

This is the most common proof that people want from God.  If God would just reveal Himself to me, I would believe.  My simple question is, “Why should I believe that?”.  My suspicion is that if a non-believer had an experience where they thought they saw God, they would run to a psychologist, not to a Church.  Many have said as much.  Martin Rowson put it this way:

I'd Believe If God Would Just...

“And that’s why, even if God now came down in fiery splendour and proved beyond question his, her, its or their existence, I still wouldn’t believe in him, her, it or them, because I’m unconvinced by the spiel and I don’t like the way his, her, its or their brand takes a previous contingency from thousands of years ago and concretes it into certainty.”

So, in essence, Rowson has no desire for God.  By his own admission, he is not interested in truth.  He’s just interested in what makes him feel good.  To be fair, not all atheists believe this way.  And it simply wouldn’t be intellectually honest to lump all atheists into this group.  I will maintain my belief that a simple appearance by God would not sway many people at all.  

The reason for this is simple.  All we have to do is see how people reacted to Jesus. He appeared to a good portion of the population of Israel, and very few actually followed Him.  He was rejected by His own hometown.  And the religious leaders of the time refused to give up their status and follow Him as well. 

What Would It Take? 

So, if none of these so called “proofs” would actually convince people that God exists, what would?  From my own story, I can tell you I was never open to looking at evidence for the existence of God.  It didn’t interest me. Something had to change in me before I would even give God a fair shake. There had to be a change of heart first. 

We offer all sorts of arguments for the existence of God.  I tend to shy away from using the word “proof”.  Proof is a very subjective bar to set.  What will prove something to one person will be dismissed out of hand by another.  I was only able to examine the evidence for Christianity after God worked in me.  I can’t explain it any other way.  

I’d believe if God would just____.   God would just what?  What do you think it would take?  And would that thing really convince you?    

Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here.