April 9, Thursday

UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), is an updated version of his blog first posted on February 7, 2013.

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“COVID-19 Proves that There is No God!  Really?”

Psalm 14:1-3

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”  They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

sarah-dorweiler-2s9aHF4eCjI-unsplashSoon, some atheists will proclaim that COVID-19 pandemic, the hitherto unforeseen catastrophe of-biblical-proportions, proves that there is no God.  And that is the sort of argument Richard Dawkins makes in his bestselling book, The God Delusion (2006): “The existence of evil, especially natural catastrophes such as earthquakes and tsunamis, counts strongly against the likelihood that God exists” (p. 135).  In fact, the authoritative Oxford Companion to Philosophy gives the problem of evil as “the most powerful objection to traditional theism.”

The New Atheist Dawkins, who has written several books to refute what many Bible-believing Christians uphold, is no fool; for, he taught biology at Oxford for a long time.  But, by virtue of rejecting God, he opened the floodgates for evil to inundate the world.  Recall what Fyodor Dostoevsky, the famed Russian novelist, once said: “If there is no God, everything is permitted.”  Being aware of this, Dawkins raises the question, “What matters is whether atheism systematically influences people to do bad things.”

And it is at this point, Dawkins, a very smart person—according to the standard of the world—makes a foolish response: “There isn’t the smallest evidence that it does” (i.e., atheists do bad things).  What? Don’t Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, three of the most notorious atheists in the 20th century, qualify as evidence?  Of course, atheists aren’t all mass murderers, but as Nietzsche (of the “God is dead” fame) noted, once God is tossed out, so should the “delusion of morality,” which makes it that much easier to do the unthinkable!  Yes, as Dostoevsky asserted, if there is no God, then there is no moral restraint to rein us from doing whatever we want.  Consider what Robert Tulloch, a reader of Nietzsche who killed two Dartmouth professors in 2001, said:  “I was especially impressed with the idea that, without God, there were no absolute moral values   A powerful individual could decide what was right including murder and do it” (Ramsland).

Certainly, not every believer in God acts like an angel.  Neither is the belief in the Creator God of the Bible sufficient for becoming a virtuous and moral person; but—don’t be foolish—it is necessary as the center piece for a virtuous life.  A question to us: Do your actions indicate that you believe in God?  In many ways, COVID-19 has shown our true colors.  (Are you listening, toilet paper hoarders and price gougers?)  In view of that, let’s be mindful of Hebrews 12:14b that says, “Be holy [i.e., be different from the world]; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

Prayer: Father, I confess that I take You and my faith for granted.  But with so many people in this world who refuse to acknowledge You, it’s a privilege that I was given the gift of faith to believe in You.  Thank You LORD! Remind me daily to live out that faith in such a way that others would want You!

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 9


Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 1:18-20: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,  in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Questions to Consider

  1. Some claim there’s lack of evidence to believe in God, but what does the Bible say about that (Rom. 1:18-20; Ps. 19:1-4)?
  2. What is additional evidence for God’s existence that the Scripture presents (Rom. 2:14-5, 1:32; Matt. 7:9-11)?
  3. What is one reason why some people reject God’s existence (Jn. 3:19-20; Acts 19:23-7)?

Notes

  1. “The heavens declare the glory of God” means that God’s existence is self-evident at least in two ways. First, the teleological argument posits that the fine-tuning of the universe (for intelligent life) or biological complexity (of cells) point to a designer (a.k.a., God).  Second, the cosmological argument posts that, (a) everything that begins to exist has a cause, (b) the universe began to exist, (c) therefore, the universe has a cause.
  2. Rom. 2:15 says that the requirements of the law are written in the hearts of all men.  Thus, an evil person knows how to give good gifts to his children. The existence of conventional morality in all cultures (e.g., some aspects of the Confucius ethics and the Laws of Hammurabi) point to the same source: God.
  3. For some, they reject God behind some intellectual arguments, but the true reason is a very personal one: They don’t want to be under someone’s rule where their pleasure and profit would be hampered with; also, they don’t want to admit that they have done wrong.

Evening Reflection

kara-eads-FbXp5aOX-fs-unsplash

So how was your day today?  We don’t believe in God’s existence simply because it is the most logical view.  Some of us may have begun that way but as we experience His goodness in our lives, our belief in Him becomes more personal.  Reflect on how God has been so good to you.

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