You know that feeling when it seems like God keeps mentioning the same thing to you over and over through different people, readings, events, or whatever, but that one particular message is always popping up in some form or fashion and it suddenly hits you that God is trying to tell you something? That’s the feeling I got yesterday.
It started when a friend of mine wrote a note on Facebook. She was talking about God’s mercy and grace and how God had changed this one man’s life for the better. Well, a friend of hers who is an atheist started saying some mean things to her about the story she told. She could have stood on her own, but I hate to see friends persecuted alone so I wanted to “stand up” with her on the message she was trying to convey.
When I started typing up a response to the atheist, I knew that he would probably respond in the same way that many atheists have towards me in the past: he would probably insult my intelligence, tell me I was a lunatic (just like my friend), and that I was not even worth having a good debate with. Well, he said all of those things and, as a response to a personal testimony I gave of God’s mercy in my life and my grandmother’s life, he also asked me if I wanted to ask him to kill me so that I could be with my Creator since “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). However, even though this is true, Christians have been called by God to be messengers in this world–to be in the world but not of it.
After I read the atheist’s threatening response, I started thinking. I know that I have blogged several times about freedom of speech (or the lack thereof) and about responses that I have received because of my writings or blogs that are similar to those of this particular guy. Admittedly, I was a little overwhelmed with the extent of this guys hatred towards me that would go so far as to threaten my life. But, after a while, God kept bringing some things to mind. What He was trying to show me can best be explained with a story–a story that a friend reminded me of last night. At the risk of having some nasty replies to this story, I am going to go ahead and post it. It goes like this:
There once was a young Christian man who attended a college philosophy class taught by a professor who was an atheist. The professor told the class that he was going to explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ. He asks the Christian to come to the front of the class for a discussion–a demonstration. The professor begins by asking the boy several questions to establish the fact that this boy does in fact believe in God, believes that God is good, believes that God is all-powerful, and that he believes that God can do anything.
The professor then asks, “Are you good or evil?” The boy responds that the Bible says that he is evil. The professor starts getting excited. He comes up with a situation–there is a sick person who needs help–and he asks the boy, “Would you help him?” The boy replies with a “yes” and the professor exclaims, “So you are good!” And, again, the boy says that is not good.
The professor goes on to say that anyone who helped the sick person would be good. He said that most people would try and help if they could, but, he said, God doesn’t help. The professor elaborated, “What if that sick person was a Christian? What if he prayed for God to heal him and God never intervened? Is God still good?”
The Christian answers “yes” but answers “no” to the following question when the professor asks him if Satan is good. The professor asked the young man where Satan came from and he answered, “From God.”
“That’s right. God made Satan. Is there evil in this world?” The professor asked.
“Who created evil then? If God created everything, then God created evil and since evil exists,according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil. You believe in Jesus, right? Science says that you have five senses to help you identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen, heard, touched, tasted or smelled your Jesus? If not, then science says that your God does not exist. All you have is your ‘faith’. That’s the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only ‘faith’.”
The student during most of this exchange has remained mostly quiet, answering questions but nothing more. But then he asks the classroom, “Has anyone in the class ever seen, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled the professor’s brain?”
The class laughs and replies “no.”
“So, according to the established rules of demonstrative protocol, science says that the professor has no brain. So, we have to take it with faith that the professor DOES in fact have a brain. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey, Professor?”
“Well, if you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, then yes, I do.”
“Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes?”
“No,” the professor replied.
“Since no one has actually SEEN this process of macro-evolution, are you then believing it with faith? Are you then teaching your faith, which is your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?”
The professor was silent.
The student then asks the professor, “Is there such thing as cold?”
“Yes, of course,” the professor replied.
“No, sir, there isn’t. You can have lots of heat, more heat, super heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat, and no heat, but there is no such thing as ‘cold’. We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is ‘no heat’, but we cannot go any colder than ‘absolute zero’ because objects can only be studied when it has or transmits energy and ‘heat’ is what is used to measure energy. Absolute zero is the total absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Cold is not the opposite of heat. Cold is just a word that we use to describe the absence of heat. Is there such thing as darkness, Professor?”
“Yes, without darkness, we would not have night.”
“No, sir. There is no such thing as darkness. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, piercing light, but if you have no light, if you have an ABSENCE of light, then you have what we call ‘darkness.’ You cannot make darkness darker or night night-er.”
The professor began to wonder what the student was trying to say and so he asked him. The student replied, “Your philosophical premise is flawed so your conclusion is also flawed. You are working with the premise of duality. You say there is life and death and a good God and a bad God. You are explaining God as something finite, something we can measure. Science cannot even explain the process of thought. We know that it uses electricity and magnetism but we have never seen or fully understood these processes. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life; it is the absence of it.
“Now, one last question. Is there evil in the world, Professor?”
“Yes, we see it everyday. There is the daily example of man’s inhumanity towards his fellow man. There is crime, violence, and many other manifestations of evil in the world today.”
“Evil does not exist, Sir. Just like with life and death where death cannot stand alone, evil cannot stand alone either. Evil is not the opposite of good. Evil is the absence of God. Evil is a word just like ‘darkness’ and ‘cold’ that people created to describe the absence of something. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when people do not have the presence of God’s love in their hearts. It’s like the cold that comes with no heat or the darkness that comes with no light. When there is no God, there is what we call ‘evil’.”
I do not know if this story is real or what happens after the student made his point about evil. But despite the fact that the story may not have really happened and despite the fact that I got the story from an email, there are some revealing truths in what is said between the professor and student. This story depicts the messages God has kept bringing to my attention the past few days. I hope that no matter what you believe–whether you agree or disagree with this story–that you think about it. May it challenge you in your faith as it has in mine.