“But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (Romans 1:18-20 NLT)
Why is it that some of us can look at a magnificent sunset, the starry night sky, or any other of the countless beauties of nature and say, “There has to be a God!” while others will look at he same wonders and dismiss any possibility of a transcendent Creator by saying that it is all the result of an unguided process that began with the Big Bang? Why do some look into the night sky and see the Divine while others look up and see a random collection of super-heated gases and space rocks?
Don’t be fooled for a moment by someone telling you that it was the scientists and their scientific evidence that led them to disbelieve in God. There are too many other scientists who look at that same evidence and interpreted it in a completely different way, seeing the clear tokens of an intelligent Designer behind the wonders of the cosmos. The fact is, there’s more to what make up our beliefs than the evidence in a test tube or the empirical data of researchers.
The Bible tells us that God has left a clear witness of Himself in all that He made. As the Psalmist said, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). It is as though the stars, and all that God has created, cry out and bear witness to the reality of God. Yet there are those who profess a skepticism, and more than that, an adamant disbelief in God. I don’t doubt that they mean what they say, but what I DO doubt is that they are fully aware of what is truly behind their lack of faith.
The Bible clearly says that God has given evidence of Himself. What then? How do we reconcile this with the fact that there are so many who refuse to acknowledge what many of us would call the reality of God? Paul, in the passage quoted at the top of this article, says that God’s wrath burns against sinful people, NOT because they misread the evidence, but rather because they “suppressed the evidence by their wickedness.” They weren’t incapable of reading the signs, rather they didn’t want to read the signs!
If we are all honest, we know that we all bring our presuppositions to any discussion or debate, along with our biases and prejudices too. We hear it in the old joke, “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with facts!” While we laugh at this, there is a great deal of truth to it. If there weren’t, it wouldn’t be a cliché! All this is to say that we believe what we believe, at least in part, because we want to believe it that way. What this entire passage in Paul’s letter to the Romans is saying is that man, being a wicked, fallen being, simply wanted to live by his own dictates, pursuing his own ungodly lusts, and in order to do so with some measure of moral impunity, he simply took God out of the picture. He denied or suppressed the truth, denying his conscience the opportunity to be enlightened to its own sinful condition. After all, if there is no transcendent God to which I am accountable, then I can do what I want without worrying about those pesky consequences that come from doing something “sinful.” In fact, if there is no God, then there is no objective moral law to break, and so there is, in fact, no such thing as sin! How wonderfully convenient!
According to God’s Word, the denial of God’s existence is not the result of the “evidence,” which the Bible says clearly points to the existence of God, but in the willful interpretation of the evidence to exclude the possibility of a transcendent Creator. The efforts by atheistic scientists to produce theories to eliminate the need for a Creator can be extreme and even a little amusing at times. For example, to avoid the implications of the fine tuning of the universe to support life (an undeniable scientific fact that strongly supports Intelligent Design), leading scientists, including Stephen Hawking of Cambridge University, have posited the multi-verse theory. This little whopper of a theory proposes the idea that our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes, one of which was bound to have just the right properties to support life. Wow, lucky us. That’s going a long way to avoid the idea of a Creator. In fact, I would say that this theory, along with others I have heard, take more faith than our belief that God simply said, “Let there be light,” and it was so.
Even better is the far-fetched theory of panspermia. (You’ve really got to remember this one, folks, because you won’t hear anything that sounds this crazy coming from genuinely intelligent people in all your life!) This theory suggests that since life is entirely too complex to have emerged from the meager elements of the primordial soup, as Darwin’s theory states, it must have been “seeded” here by some extra terrestrial intelligence long ago. The late Nobel prize winning British molecular biologist, physicist, and neuroscientist Professor Francis Crick, along with British chemist Leslie Orgel, proposed this theory of “directed panspermia.” In other words, E.T. is our Dad. There are other iterations that have these “life seeds” coming in on meteor showers, etc. However, none of these various theories explain whom (or Whom) was responsible for creating the complex life in those seeds!
I think you see my point. If you torture the data long enough, it will tell you whatever you want to hear, and if the issue is trying to avoid moral accountability to God, it seems that men will indeed go to extreme measures. The truth is, however, that all such attempts to run from God are like lost wanderings in the woods. They only take one in circles that lead right back to the starting point. Man is a sinner in need of a Savior. God pierced through the veil of time and space to reach us in our fallen state. Through the person of Jesus, God came, revealed Himself to us, bore our guilt and shame, and through His selfless death, paid the price that would bridge the gap between a holy God and sinful man. That’s it. That’s the simplicity of the gospel. Simple enough for a child to believe but profound enough to have transformed human civilization for over two thousand years.
The ultimate discovery is this: Jesus is the answer, or as John said it long ago, He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). This discovery, however, demands a response. The good news is that this is an open book test. Say “yes” to Jesus. After you get that one right, a lot of the other questions will answer themselves.