It is always a joy to see young people who love the Lord and are passionate for the truth. The following blog post is from 17 year old Aaron Viland. It was too good not to share!
I hear so many Christians say, “I cannot prove God’s existence. If I could, it wouldn’t be faith.” This is a complete misunderstanding of what faith is. If we could not be sure of this, then why would we die for it, as so many have throughout history? Hebrews 11:1-3 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” We can’t see God, but that does not mean we don’t have reason to believe He’s there. The beauty of faith is not in our blindness, but in Christ giving us the ability to see through our blindness. So we must find out the reasons why we believe what we do, and not ignore questions and arguments that inhibit further faith, in fear of disproving it, because if it can be disproved then we shouldn’t waste our time with it. Likewise, if our questions can be answered, and arguments refuted, we’ll truly be able to believe in a way we couldn’t before.
Christianity is not at all a religion of blind faith.
Now I’m sure you’re expecting from me a very logical argument, and if not, nothing I write will provide any assistance for the believer, nor any reason to reconsider for the atheist. But of course, what does logic matter if there is no order to the Universe? If our planet, your best friend, my baseball mitt, and so on are all just meaningless stardust banging into more stardust, then why do I need to give you a logical explanation? Wouldn’t “beep boop bop” mean just as much? Because if there is no order, logic can’t exist. In that case, everything is equally true. I could say I’m a cheetah, and I’d be just as right as someone who insists I’m a human. But if you’ve met me, there is no denying that I am indeed, in spite of my oddness, a human. And if you tested my DNA, your observation would be proven correct. It’s the truth. This means truth is a real thing, apart from opinion or preference. If this is true, then what is behind truth? Is it just chance which caused everything to work out in a way that’s logical? How could it? That’s completely illogical! Chaos does not produce order. It requires someone or something that is able to make sense of things to manipulate it into order.Which leads me to my second proof; creation.
Humans, trees, planets, ants, etc. are all completely complex things, containing a motherlode of order. Humans can come together and make new humans. Is that not proof enough? In fact, all living creatures can do so. A chicken lays eggs, a dandelion scatters its seeds, a zebra gives birth, and so on. Everything living keeps itself alive through reproduction! And on top of this, humans have minds. They can use logic and even talk about logic, as I’ve done as an example in the previous paragraph! We have minds that can observe, comprehend, love, hate, be bored, etc. Not only living things, but the stars and planets, mountains and valleys, rain and sunsets show divine intelligence and providence. The earth rotates around the sun, in a very predictable fashion, causing the sun to rise every morning, and set every evening. And there’s also a perfect distance between the earth and sun, in order to create an environment in which we can survive. Water, which we need to survive, is dried up and sent into the clouds to come back down as rain so we can consume, or re-consume it. The heat does not cause us to melt or catch fire, and the cold, as long as we are mindful, does not freeze us to death. Fruit grows on trees, all serving a nutritional purpose. How in the world could chaos by chance turn into something in such order that it creates a being with a mind who can then find another being with a mind and with them create another being with a mind, in a world fashioned perfectly for itself? You must have even greater faith in atheism than that of the greatest of Saints in Christ to believe this!
My third proof is morality. We hold ourselves and every person around us to a moral standard. Everyone in the world believes that, in regards to behavior, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. That there is a correct way to behave which is apart from a person’s actual behavior. For example, if someone were to push you down, you wouldn’t like it and would think that what that person did was wrong. But how could it be wrong if it was simply stardust bumping into stardust? Some would argue that “wrong”, in this case, would mean simply what is inconvenient to you, but what if this person had accidentally bumped into you and knocked you over? Have they done anything wrong? This has inconvenienced you, but it wasn’t morally incorrect. But let’s say this person tried to push you down and missed. It hasn’t inconvenienced you in any way, yet they are not excused of the blame. They are guilty of rebelling against some sort of moral law, which is not affected at all by one’s convenience or inconvenience. Also, we have a concern for wrong done to others, not just ourselves. For example, seeing a man walking down a back alley and getting shot by another man would certainly disturb you. You would think that what the one man has done to the other man was quite awful and is morally wrong. This means that you are holding him against some sort of measure of morality, implying you do indeed believe in morality, and that this was not simply just stardust putting holes in stardust. Some will then go on to argue that right and wrong is just what is beneficial to society. But why is benefiting society right? There is no logic behind this, because there is no explanation as to why benefiting society is the correct thing to do. If someone were to ask you why they should benefit society, your only answer would be, “Because it’s the right thing to do,” which would then imply that there is a moral law outside of benefiting society, which tells you to do so.
Now we know that anyone who witnesses this will be quite disturbed and it may evoke tears. Does the Christian have any basis for mourning? Yes. We are completely justified in feeling horrified by seeing one image bearer of Christ violating another image bearer. But what about the atheist? If it was simply stardust blowing holes in stardust, then what reason is there to cry? What reason is there to demand justice? There is none because there was no meaning to what just happened. It was just chemicals firing and matter moving about. Yet those who hold this world view will still cry at the sight of murder. They will demand justice. This is because they truly, in their hearts, know Christ is Lord and that his law is just. And it is our job as Christians to be able to explain why we believe what we do, and to point out to all who do not believe, that they do know and rely on the very God that they reject. And we have proof in the death and resurrection of our Christ, our savior, that this gospel we believe is true, and that Jesus is Lord, and that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. This is the most amazing news ever spoken, and it is our great privilege to be able to preach it to the nations. So let’s do so.
Aaron Viland is a high school student from Batavia, IL. He attends church regularly and is an active abolitionist. Some of the influences on his faith include C.S. Lewis, Watchman Nee, T. Russell Hunter, David Platt, Paul Washer, Jeff Durbin, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He plays keyboard and guitar in a local band and composes music for the band, as a solo artist, and with friends.