“You kissed when you were married,” remarks four year old Elena, looking with fascination at our wedding photos.
“Was I there?” she wanted to know.
“No, we were married before we had kids.”
Before dinner recently her dad and I exchanged a kiss not far from a framed wedding picture. Elena interrupted that kiss with a remarkable flow of logic: “You kissed when you were married. You were married before you had kids. Now you have kids, so you aren’t married. No more kissing!”
Goodness, she almost had me convinced…almost. My lips are still puckered.
Odd as it may seem, that conversation generated much thought about the arguments of my atheist friends. Many of their arguments contain true statements just like Elena’s. Some of those statements can be compelling, such as there is great evil in the world. My friends in China, almost without exception, were quick to point out that they couldn’t see God. Because they can’t see God, He cannot exist is their conclusion.
Why am I impressed with the atheist’s faith? He or she must believe in the statement: Because of…(whatever the observation, fact, or argument), therefore God must not exist. How do they know that to be true? They can’t know it in any provable way; they accept it by faith.
Interestingly, while I still was pondering these things, Elena and I had the rare opportunity to be home just the two of us. We were enjoying time upstairs when she heard something below. She called downstairs, “Is somebody down there?” No answer. Hmmm. How could she really be sure there was no one down there? Perhaps one of her siblings had returned but didn’t hear her call. Maybe they were playing a game with her and not answering.
It was going to require a great amount of faith to accept no one was downstairs. How do you prove a “nothing?” How do you prove there is no God?
When Elena hears her siblings loud call from downstairs, it will be easier to accept there is “somebody down there.” Frankly, I can’t claim great faith because I believe in God. I have experienced Him.
Recently, I heard an interview of Richard Dawkins in which he quoted the other famous atheist Bertrand Russell. Someone asked Russell how he would respond if he met God upon his death. “Why did you take such pains to hide yourself?” will be Russell’s question.
It makes me wonder if Russell then took pains to find Him. Have you? I believe what the Lord says in the Bible, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
If you’re willing to seek, have you considered immersing yourself in the book of John? The author of this gospel says in John 20: 30, 31, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe the Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
My atheist friend, I am eager to see the result of your great faith when you find Him.