Thursday, January 17, 2013

Evidence Without Proof

I believe in God and I don't have to prove it.  I don't have to prove there is a God to make my believing in Him rational. God is not a question of rationality. I can no more prove my own consciousness than prove there is a God. But that doesn't stop me from believing.
I heard Rabbi David Wolpe make this point in a debate with an atheist on the podcast Debate God.  He said there is evidence of God, but not proof.  And, strange as it may sound, he didn't have a problem with that.  Why? He said God is not a question of science. God is someone / a being that goes beyond the scientific method, that is outside of it, unbound by it, or at the very least - beyond our own minds' capability to understand.  The fact that we can even ponder the concept of God, and yet not show scientifically HOW we are able to ponder Him is proof that not all things can be proved. Some things are meta-physical.  Spiritual. For example - - what is a thought? The will? A motive? Love?  Hard to say.  Impossible to determine or define completely in scientific terms. But boy, is there a whole lot of evidence for all of those, just as their is evidence for God. Just don't confuse it with proof.  Evidence doesn't emphatically prove, it just shows, points, hints, directs, gives reason for, draws our attention to a possibility, a very, very REAL possibility...

After listening to this Debate God podcast on my Ipod at the gym, I had a lot swirling in my mind.  I came home and as I put away my sneakers, I thought, "Well, I'm with you Rabbi Wolpe.  I can't prove it, but I believe it.  I believe it because I see and feel the evidence.  I see it in nature; I feel it in my heart and I see it and feel it in others both present and past. But yes, it doesn't mean that believing is easy."  Then I lifted up a short prayer to God (one I use often):  "God, help my unbelief."
I went upstairs and opened up the "One Year Bible" I am working my way through and turned to the reading for the day.  Here were the verses:

Matthew 11:7-30 (I included only verses 20-30 below.)
20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God. 21 “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. 22 I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you.
23 “And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today. 24 I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.”
25 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
27 “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Psalm 14:1-7
Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
not one of them does good!

2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.
3 But no, all have turned away;
all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
not a single one!
4 Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to the Lord.
5 Terror will grip them,
for God is with those who obey him.
6 The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed,
but the Lord will protect his people.
7 Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
When the Lord restores his people,
Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.
Proverbs 3:19-20
By wisdom the Lord founded the earth;
by understanding he created the heavens.
By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth,
and the dew settles beneath the night sky.

I remember hearing that God answers all prayers that are in line with his will for your life.  If he wants you to have it, do it, know it, believe it and you pray for it - it is yours. Evidently, God does not want my knee to be completely healed yet because this morning's "run" was more like a "limp-jog", but he does however, want me to BELIEVE IN HIM. For goodness sake, could the verses above address my unbelief any more specifically?!?  
And that is precisely one of the reasons why I believe in Him.  I cannot tell you how many countless times this sort of thing happens.  If my faith starts to wander into the deep sea of doubt or despair, God fish-hooks me back. Especially, if I pray for Him to help me believe. It happens WAY too often to be a coincidence.  Sometimes it's the Bible verse he puts in front of me or in words from a pastor or podcast, or some entry I stumble upon in a spiritual blog, or the kind words of a friend, a unexpected note from a co-worker I find on my desk...SOMETHING or SOMEONE delivers a message from God directly to my despairing, disbelieving heart: "Hope, believe it!  You are not getting away from me!  I love you and here's proof!"
OK, God, maybe what you're showing me is not proof, but it is definitely evidence that you are real, you are there, you are listening, and you don't want me to wander away.
Don't worry God, I haven't.  I believe.  Help my unbelief.

-Hope Horner, 2012
Twitter: HopeNote

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