Sábado, 23 de Setembro de 2017
   
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Because I Believe in God

The effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything

G.K. Chesterton

The question “Do you believe in God?” raises so confusing answers and that’s the first thought that comes to my mind when I think about sharing my reasons for believing in God. Actually, the issue is less the affirmative or negative answer to such question and more the answer to the next question – the one about God’s description.

The confusion mainly exists because people have variable, confusing and contradictory ideas about what they think of God. It is often hard to know if they describing something or someone. And that may be easily checked in research reports about religion of the Pew Research Center.

The second thought that comes to my mind involves a journey back to childhood as I scavenge through memories looking for more vivid recollections of my belief in God’s existence. In fact, I do not recall a moment like “and then I started believing in God”. The big THEN in my life happened when I became a Christian, they day when I heard the Scriptures, when I repented of my sins and acknowledged Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died for my sins and rose from the dead so that I could do the same and live forever. That way, I had to learn about the gospel in order to believe and be saved.

Someone might say my belief in God is fruit of being raised in a Catholic home, with a religious zeal that did not allow me missing Sunday Mass or eating meat on Good Friday. Even though such argument may be socially valid, I can assure you “I was born already believing in God”.

This statement may sound quite astounding for those who expected something more elaborated from a scientist concerning God’s existence. That, though, is the truth: the conviction about God’s existence was already engraved in my heart by the time my intellect started to discover the world around me.

It is interesting to highlight that the Bible does not discuss the existence of God. Instead, without asking permission, it states that God exists in its very first verse (Genesis 1.1). An abrupt and sharp statement with no logical prelude that creates the perception of God’s eternity through its sudden literary appearance – someone with no beginning nor end – and a God with something in his hands – a creation and a purpose.

The Bible later says that we learn about God’s existence by two means: creation and providence (Acts 14:17; Rom 1:20). It was precisely in this context (that requires no scientific training) that my conviction about God’s existence gained more strength. Every time I looked up at the starry sky of Ribeirão Preto (countryside of São Paulo), or watched the complex yet harmonious explosion and maintenance of life in this world I knew he not only existed (cosmological argument) but that he was also the great ruler of the scientific laws I would later learn academically (teleological argument). Indeed, if there were laws, there had to be a ruler and the hope of meeting him consumed my heart.

However, something happened as I grew up: I came across my character flaws that showed themselves in manifold ways. And it didn’t take me long to suspect that such God was not only concerned about creating the laws in my science books (moral and anthropological arguments). He also created holy laws, showing man the way of life that pleased him.

It is also important to note that my belief in God is not due to some scientific theory or even to frustration with any of them. My career in science only made me better able to see how evolutionism is based on unverifiable assumptions, with contradictory ramifications and loads of interpretation bias. For better understanding of how these theories are not as solid as its proponents claim, I suggest the websites Answers in Genesis (www.answersingenesis.org) and Creation Ministries International (www.creation.com), which provide a good technical and semi-technical acquis.

In the book of Job, between chapters 38 and 41, God asks Job 77 rhetorical questions – very perplexing questions. All of them focus on his power of creating and orchestrating the Universe. It is the longest testimony coming straight from God’s mouth as a being who always existed and Creator of all there is. And such testimony addresses a person who already believed in God, not an atheist. Therefore, the largest creationist Bible sermon was addressed to a… creationist! This fact should make us think: why did God give such a testimony to someone who did not need any more reasons to believe in him? Answer: because believing in him was not enough, instead, to dip into in his knowledge, rising in a relationship of love and obedience.

As for the atheists, the Bibles calls them “fools” (Ps 14.1) for despising so great demonstration of the power of God and his willingness to receive them as repentant children. The Bible also explains the reasons for this foolishness (Romans 1): it is fruit of vanity that corrodes the soul and rejection of an authority that opposes the sinful desires that burn in the heart. Therefore, atheists should not expect rhetorical questions from God. This privilege only belongs to his children, who are in discipline and learning process.

Ev. Leandro Boer

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