Consequences of God (Part 3)
By Pastor Sandy Huntsman
This is the third in a series considering the issue of “God” and his existence. One of the first evidences for the existence of God is the universal belief in God.
Anyone who is familiar at all with human history know
s that man is religious. Humans at all times and in almost every place have believed in the existence of God. Prehistoric structures (Stonehenge in England, Hagar Qim and the Hypogeum in Malta, etc.) all testify to the fact that man is a “religious animal,” distinct and radically different from the beasts and all living creatures upon the face of the earth. The earliest civilizations (Sumerians, Egyptians, Incas, etc.) all without exception had a strong sense of religion. And even today, with all of our technological and scientific advancements, according to Oxford University Press World Christian Encyclopedia, 84 percent of the world’s population belongs to some form of organized religion, which at the end of 2009 equals 5.7 billion people who belong to about 10,000 distinct religions.
To some, belief in God seems to be a process of natural evolution
In his 1871 book, The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin noted that anthropologists conclude that “a belief in all-pervading spiritual agencies seems to be universal; and apparently follows from a considerable advance in the reasoning powers of man, and from a still greater advance in his faculties of imagination, curiosity and wonder.”(Darwin, C. 1871. The Descent of Man. London: John Murray, Vol. 2, 395.)
Along similar lines, Michael Shermer, noted skeptic, states, “around 5,000 to 7,000 years ago, as bands and tribes began to coalesce into chiefdoms and states, even before the invention of government, religions were the first social institutions to codify moral behaviors into ethical principles, and God evolved as the ultimate enforcer of the rules.” (Shermer, Michael. 1999. How We Believe. New York: Henry Holt/Times Books.) Mr. Shermer believes the gods will always be with us because they are hard-wired into our brains.
According to the Bible, this religious nature was placed there by God
The writer of Ecclesiastes referred to God as having “set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecc. 3.11). Blaise Pascal, the great seventeenth-century mathematician, wrote of “the God-shaped vacuum” in every person.
For all of modern man’s sophistication and advancements, the issue of God just won’t go away. “The conclusion we reach in our reflection on this question has the most momentous consequences in the orientation of our thinking and our daily living” (Ways of Thinking About God, Edward Sillem, p.1). If there is a God, knowing Him will be the ultimate key to our existence. If there is a God, morals, laws, conscience, our constant appeal to right and wrong, all make sense. “Belief in God is genuinely coherent with all we know about ourselves and our universe. It contradicts no known facts and it makes sense of many things that would otherwise be inexplicable” (The Quest for Faith: Pointers to God; C. Stephen Evans, p.131).
Augustine, the fifth-century church father said it best: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.” The fact that a vast majority of humanity has believed in God or gods does not prove His existence, but it becomes a beginning reference point to keep in mind as we evaluate the other evidences. The question the reader must consider is not whether the majority of men believe in God, but why do they believe, and how did that concept get there in the first place?
Pastor Sandy Huntsman
Boca Glades Baptist Church
10101 Judge Winikoff Rd.
Boca Raton, FL. 33428