I often wonder how anyone can look at the natural world around them — at the trees and flowers, the grasses of the field, the variety of birds, fish, and animals, the sun, moon, and stars in the sky — and not see God’s artistry. How can someone think that all of this interconnected and complex world happened by random accident? In short, I do not understand atheists.
I can understand agnostics, those who believe there is a creator but that they don’t know who He is and don’t know which religion is correct. There is so much information, and misinformation, about various religions that it can be difficult to find God in all of it. Even within the Christian faith there are different views of God, some of which are not in accordance with the scriptures.
But the person who says there is no creator of this world seems to me to simply be illogical and irrational. The Bible tells us, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Psalm 14:1 and Psalm 53:1. Thinking of this inspired a short story that I wrote for the blog Idylls for the King that I contribute to. It’s called “The Artist.” Even if a person does no know God, to believe that this world has no creator is akin to believing a painting can come into existence without a painter, or a watch without a watchmaker, or a house without a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber, a carpet layer, and many more.
I recently read a comment on a fellow blogger’s post in which the commenter claimed to have been a Christian for many years, and to know all about the Bible and to have read many Christian books. But now, she wrote, she was an atheist. I almost cried when I read this. It seems though she had gained head knowledge of the scriptures over the years she had not gained a heart knowledge of God Himself. And she had forgotten the wonder of the world He created for us to enjoy and care for.
Since this is Music Monday, I have to admit that part of what got me thinking about this whole topic was a song by Revive, whose music I was listening to a lot last week. This song is called “Something Glorious” and is set to some beautiful photographs of our wonderful world in this video.
So how does someone look at something as glorious and beautiful as a sunset, or the rainforest, or a snow-capped mountain in the distance and not see God? I think maybe it is because they focus too much on the evil in this world and can’t see the good just beyond their view. I’ve often heard the argument that if there was a God, there would not be so much violence, famine, sickness, and pain in the world, because a good and all-powerful God would just fix all the problems. But this argument completely discounts the role humans play in taking care of (or failing to take care of) the wonderful gift God has given us.
Imagine you were given a beautiful watch. The watchmaker tells you that you can’t put it under water or it won’t work as well. He also says it needs to be cleaned every year or it will gather dust that will cause it not to work properly or keep good time. You also know that if you don’t want the watch face scratched you have to be careful when you wear it.
Nonetheless, you wear your watch all the time, even in the shower or when you swim. You live an active lifestyle and you are often hitting your watch against tools or other objects. Last month you went skiing with it on, and when you wiped out you hit it against a rock that was protruding from the snow (thank goodness you didn’t hit your head!). You’ve had the watch for five or six years, but you’ve never had it cleaned. When you put it on this morning you noticed how dingy and banged up it looked, and that it had lost quite a bit of time. In fact, it was barely running.
What do you think at this point? Do you blame the watchmaker for how poorly your watch now runs? No, because it was your lack of care for the watch that led to it running poorly. Do you complain that the watchmaker didn’t come knocking at your door every time you abused the watch and fix your mess, or come insist on cleaning it when you didn’t ask him to? No, it’s your watch and it’s in your care, it’s your responsibility to take care of it and ask the watchmaker to clean it when necessary. Do you decide that there was no watchmaker in the first place? Of course not, that would be foolish.
So why, then, do some people think that what we have done to this earth and what we as humans do to each other is evidence that there is no God? Why do they expect Him to just come fix everything even when they don’t ask Him to, or even believe that He cares or exists? Such attitudes are things I ponder and do not understand.