UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), is an updated version of his blog first posted on March 24, 2013.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Amazing ‘Faith’ of Atheists”
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Many years ago, I met a university professor at his home— quite drunken at the time— at the urge of his student who attended my church; she was concerned about his mental health. Distraught by loneliness (living alone after the divorce) and backstabbing at work, he was quite despondent.
As we spoke, I quickly learned that his father was a pastor of the same denomination where I received my ordination and that he grew up adhering to the Christian faith. Somewhere along the way however, this doctor of music lost faith in the Bible because he was convinced that science had disproved it as nothing more than myth. For instance, he insisted the Big Bang proved that the creation story was not true. In response, I asked him, “Where did the very ‘stuff’ (e.g., ‘singularity’, ‘infinite density’ or ‘physical laws’) within which the implosion of Big Bang occurred come from? How did inorganic matters suddenly become self-replicating molecules?” The professor responded, “That’s one problem that science hasn’t solved.” I retorted, “That’s one problem it will never resolve.” Then he muttered to himself, “But we all have to be honest with ourselves and to our intellect even though what we believe may lead to despair. I must believe it because it is the truth.” The Bible says the truth will set you free (Jn. 8:32) but the “truth” of Nietzsche and this professor led to insanity and despondency.
We humans are created in such a way that without hope and purpose, life loses its meaning. The Christian belief that the infinite-personal God individually made us imbues such hope and purpose in us! Christians and atheists/scientific rationalists do have one thing in common: faith in something to begin their inquiry.
In the movie Beautiful Mind, John Nash, the brilliant mathematician who won the Nobel prize in economy, is about to propose to his girl friend Alicia. Presumably, because of Nash’s scientific orientation, he asks her for some evidence or proof for love. Therefore, she asks him, “How big is the universe,” to which Nash answers, “Infinite.” Then, when Alicia asks him, “How do you know that,” Nash confidently responds, “Because all the verifiable data indicate it.” However, when Alicia asks, “Have you seen it with your own eyes,” Nash, after a brief pause, admits, “No, I simply believe it.”
Like Nash in the movie, Christians readily admit that their starting point is faith, in God’s existence, which is backed by plausible evidence (Ps. 19:1-4). What atheists do not want to admit is that statements such as, “God does not exist” and “the universe has no beginning,” are founded upon faith as well! Given those choices, I personally will choose the one that gives me hope and purpose instead of the other choice that guarantees misery and despondency. Celebrate this knowledge today; worship the Lord with more passion; be more caring of others in his honor.
Prayer: Father in Heaven, thank You for the gift of faith. Thank You that You have enabled me to believe that which the so-called “smart” people of the world find it beneath their intellect. “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children” (Matt. 11:25). Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Haggai 1-2