Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What I Would Like My Athiest Friends to Know

I have several athiest friends that I have talked to about religion over the years. Most of them rely on science to explain every phenomena. In their mind, every religious feeling can be explained away by science. But there are some things I would like them to keep in mind before making a final decision about God. And by the way, most of them say there is no God, but then add, "If I saw God, or a miracle, then maybe I would believe." So I don't think they are so much athiests, as unconverted Christians. So I would like to speak directly to them.

First I would like you to know that I, and many of my friends, have had direct answers to prayer. I have prayed to find an item, and been shown in my mind where to look. And it wasn't in a convenient location, where anyone could see, it was pushed through the crack of the back of a drawer, so that it wasn't visible from the inside of the drawer. But I was shown that to find it, I needed to take the drawer out of the nightstand. I don't say these things to boast, but to show that unless you are willing to believe I am psychic, the only other explanation is God. Just this past Sunday, another friend spoke of a time that he prayed to find something he had been searching for in the lawn. A voice told him to look in his pocket, and that is where he found the item. You might say he was lying, but if the same thing happened to you, (and with faith it could,) you would have to accept that there is no point in lying. Lying doesn't help your own faith grow.

I have had feelings to prompt me to help others who were in need. I didn't know they were in need, but kept feeling they needed my help, so I stopped by. I have a friend who had this same feeling, only to find that the person was contemplating suicide. If this only hapened to me once in my life, I might could explain it away, but it has happened many times.

I have had the experience of being prompted to study or think about a certain subject, only to find that the lesson being taught in church was the same. Again, if this only happened once, I would think it coincidence. But as I have seen it happen again and again, coupled with a feeling from the spirit, I have no doubt that these thoughts came from God.

Most importantly, I have prayed for forgiveness, and have felt the sweet grace of God distilling upon my mind and heart, taking away my guilt, and helping me to change. I know God lives because I have felt Him. My faith has increased through these experiences. If I had seen God, my faith would not be as strong. Even miracles can be explained away. But when you develop a relationship of faith, your belief transcends physical proof.

While the unknown is uncomfortable, and not having proof or data for every thing we see is uncomfortable for some, surely everyone can admit that science isn't perfect. I think if we were shown in vision how the world was created, we would see that science can't even begin to explain it all. The same goes for spiritual experiences.

While I respect your right to disbelieve, I hope that you will think twice before discounting God all together. Just because there is no physical proof, doesn't mean He doesn't exist. And when you die, and find that your spirit still lives, and that God is real, I hope that you will turn to Him, and believe.


Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? God lets innocent children die from murder and fatal disease but he tells you to pull out a drawer and your friend where to find his keys!

Delirious said...

God allows us freedom to choose, and that includes doing bad. He allows people to treat each other badly, but at the judgement day, those who have done so will receive their punishment. But He must allow us to choose in this life so that our judgement is just. If we didn't have freedom to choose, then how could God know if we were truly worthy of heaven?

As for little children dying of fatal diseases, they return to Him, and are far better off than those who remain here and choose wickedness.

Anonymous said...

"I though thou shalt not kill", but it's ok for God to inflict innocent children with a disease to suffer a slow pain full death in the merciless way because those kids will be in a better place. What if they didn't have the chance to accept him as their God?

I can't believe I've spent time responding to a guy who decided to pull out a drawer and found what he was looking for. And who has a friend that checked his pocket and found what he thought might be there and they both chocked it up to an act of God. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this why your faith is so strong. You seem to attribute the most mundane occurrences that happen to everybody all the time to miracles from God.

I'm pretty sure you both found those things using your brains. But if you insist your brains are incapable of such amazing feats, I would have to agree.

Anonymous said...

I appoligize for assuming you were a guy. I wrote that before I read your profile. You just came across as so positive about knowing the intentions and mind of God. I've found that it's usually men who are so sure they are right even when wrong.

Delirious said...

Actually, you raise some very important questions in your response. One is, "What about children, or other people who didn't have a chance to accept God?" In our religion, we believe that little children are innocent, and that the atonement of Jesus Christ covers them, and they are perfect in the eyes of God. We also believe that we can do baptisms for the dead for those others who didn't have a chance to accept it in this life. They then have the choice, in the spirit world, to accept or reject the baptism.

The other thing you mentioned, that many people in this world believe, is that God inflicted the disease upon the kids. I have a little different view of this. It might sound a little bizarre at first, but hang with me and I hope it will make sense. :)

Did you ever watch Star Trek? Remember the one rule that the Star Fleet had about contact with planets that had never been contacted before? They called this the "Prime directive". Wikipedia describes it this way: "Prime Directive dictates that there can be no interference with the internal development of pre-warp civilizations." They needed to let the people develop their civilizations in a natural way. Okay..that sounds a little weird, but in some ways God does this too. He allows civilizations, and people to develop according to their own plans. He also allows the mortal experience to happen to us all. He allows us to feel pain, and to become ill, and to die, and to have wars, and abuse. If we didn't have the bad, we could never fully appreciate the good. God sometimes does interfere if it is important for that person to live for some reason.

So God allows us on this earth to develop according to our own initiative. How would it be if God always interfered when someone was sick? No one would ever die. What if he interfered each time someone was experiencing trials? They would never learn from the trial. As painful as they might be, trials help us grow. The one exception is if someone comes to him in faith, then He often does respond in the way we have desired. But not everyone that prays to God is healed, or not every prayer is answered in a dramatic way. Most answers are so subtle that they are not discerned by those without faith. Finding something in a pocket might seem trivial to some, but to the person who had to exert the faith to pray, it is a small affirmation that God is there, and that He does care.

I don't expect you to believe in God because of what I wrote. That wasn't really my intention in writing. My intention was to urge you to not be so quick to judge our beliefs. You may not understand how finding something that is sticking out the back of a drawer can make a person believe in God. But to the person who feels...in a literal and real way, a feeling directly from God, it is a strength to the faith we have already been growing to develop. Just because you haven't felt these things, don't assume that no one else has.

agnostic said...

There's no absolute reason we need trials to grow. Why couldn't God just help us grow without such harsh trials?

Whatever benefits you might see in our suffering, God could give us those benefits without requiring us first to suffer.

Delirious said...

If I have to have trials in this life, and I do simply because of being mortal, I sure would much rather God choose the ones for me that I need most. He knows which areas need improvement and strengthening. We simply can't grow without trials. It's the trials that teach us to put down roots. But most importantly, we can't develop faith in God unless we have an opportunity to use the faith. Faith isn't something you gain just by reading about it. It's more like a muscle that only grows when it is used. Trials are the perfect way to grow faith.