Despite the efforts of several missionaries, I have never become a Mormon,
Or a Jehovah’s Witness,
Or Hare Krishna.
As a rule, when a missionary comes to my door, I surprise them by welcoming them inside. They always have a speech ready to go to try to convince me to join their church (though I wonder how often they actually get to give it.) The speeches are full of reason for belief, logical arguments and “proof” that God, or their version of God is true.
Of course, they start to see through my welcoming demeanor when I open my Bible start asking them unanswerable questions. I have had discussions and debates with friends and strangers go on for hours, for one reason:
Neither of us can actually prove God. Neither of us can land a knockout blow.
And I have wondered for a long time why God left himself so darn unprovable. Why leave things so open ended? Why leave things vague and cloudy?
The answer may be simpler than all the arguments we have for God’s existence.
Would You Like to Fundamentally Change Your Worldview Today?
Three questions about the door to door missionaries:
How many people actually change their entire worldview based on a stranger’s unannounced visit to their home, or their tract that they’re passing out on the sidewalk?
Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Do my heavenly brownie points get cancelled out if I welcome a stranger, and then try to destroy their proofs of the Almighty?
And most importantly…
How come Christians ridicule and mock the flawed reason and leaps of logic that other religions make, while they skate over our own leaps of logic and believe that strangers will easily be converted to mainstream Christianity with a tract or unannounced house call?
That last question is actually the important one. No matter what we want to believe, no matter how much evidence there is, or how much it demands a verdict, when it comes down to the barest essence of faith, faith is what we are left with because God cannot be unquestionably proven. And that’s good for apologists because it keeps them in business, arguing about the “proofs” for God.
In the story of Elijah, he goes to a mountaintop to find God.
While Elijah is standing on the mountain, a hurricane wind comes through, but the Bible says that God was not in the wind. Next, a powerful earthquake strikes, but God is not in the earthquake. And then a fire consumes the countryside, but God is not in the fire either.
Finally, Elijah hears a “still small voice.” He may have had to cup his hand to his ear or lean down toward the ground to hear it.
That was God.
Not a hurricane, not an earthquake, not an inferno, none of the loud, noisy, destructive, infallible “proofs” were God.
God was a barely audible whisper.
It makes me think that maybe God’s actually an introvert. Sure, He sent fire down for Elijah once, but when He actually speaks, He’s so quiet, Elijah might have missed it if he wasn’t listening. That’s pretty comforting since my wife and I are introverts.
God is Not in Your Proof
When we try to prove God by arguing and using logic and blasting our opponents, we often unleash the verbal equivalent of hurricanes, earthquakes and fires. We can blow holes through beliefs, wound people, wreck a lot of stuff. It’s pretty hard to argue with a hurricane or an earthquake. You can deny them all you want, but they will destroy everything.
Yet God doesn’t act like a hurricane or an earthquake or a forest fire. When God appears as a fire or a cloud of smoke, that’s unusual. He wasn’t in any of those things with Elijah. And He isn’t any of those things to us. And when we unleash an earthquake on our enemies, God won’t be there either.
God has left himself unprovable for the same reason He does everything else. It’s how He wants it. And no amount of theological nukes we drop on our neighbors will change that.
We live in a culture that values loud talking and louder arguing. We “fight” for our faith. We blast our opponents. We “take back” what is “rightfully” ours. We launch armies to fight culture wars. But God didn’t command us to do any of these things. He called us to love, not to prove.
We end up talking louder than God himself because we forget that God is a still, small voice.
Tell me what you think. Do we waste our time by trying to prove God? What’s the closest thing you come to “proof” for God?