Why does God seem “hidden”?
One of the most common complaints that atheists use against the existence of God, is known as ‘why is God so hidden from us? Why doesn’t He make Himself more known? Why doesn’t He make His existence undeniably obvious? We Christians believe in Him, yet atheists do bring up a good point. Why isn’t God more obvious in providing proof of His existence?
Let’s consider the following:
1) Is there ANY evidence of God’s existence? First off, evidence doesn’t prove anything. It has to be interpreted. And any interpretation by us humans may lead to different answers depending on the information available, the person’s life experiences, their worldview, their biases, etc.
Just because God hasn’t made His existence undeniably obvious doesn’t mean that there’s no evidence of His existence at all. We Christians and atheists simply disagree over the interpretation of the available evidence.
2) Is there enough evidence of God’s existence? Some atheists say that there’s not enough evidence of God’s existence, especially if a person’s eternal destiny depends on it. But ‘enough’ is a relative term. What might be enough for one person may not be enough for an another. The problem is, are atheists being consistent in their demand for ‘enough’ proof? Are they demanding a lot more than, they would for, say, Julius Ceasar’s existence? My guess is that they demand way more proof of God’s existence than anyone else’s in history. This just isn’t fair.
When God doesn’t reveal Himself like an atheist may want Him to, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t “sufficient” evidence to prove His existence.
Atheists should ask themselves 2 questions:
1) Is their standard of proof reasonable? Are they being consistent in applying their standard of proof or are they demanding a lot more proof of God’s existence?
2) What is the best explanation for the evidence that we DO have? The question is not the amount of evidence that we would LIKE to have but what decision can we make with the evidence that we DO have? We often make decisions on much less evidence than what we have for God’s existence. Things like the origin of the universe, how gravity works, where do our emotions or our morality come from?
But the question remains as to why wouldn’t God make His existence more obvious, especially since our eternal destiny may depend on it. The answer may surprise you. It’s because God gave us free will. If He hadn’t, we’d be nothing more than robots, programmed or forced to love Him. Forced love is rape and God is not a divine rapist. If God gave undeniably obvious proof of His existence that we couldn’t deny, that would be the same thing as being forced to love Him, which would be a violation of our free will. He would be forcing us to accept His existence. Rather than coerce us into belief, He gives us the freedom to accept or reject Him. We have sufficient evidence to make a decision without being forced to make only one decision.
What about those who say that there’s just not enough evidence to convince them of His existence? The bible says that when we seek God, we’ll find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29). Romans 1:18-20 says that there will never be enough evidence for some people. In reality, there’s enough evidence to make a decision on God’s existence but they just won’t believe in Him, no matter what.
Aldous Huxley said that there’s enough evidence but he will not believe it because it interferes with his sexual lifestyle. The ancient Israelite’s witnessed all kinds of supernatural miracles, like the parting of the Red Sea, yet some of them still didn’t believe. Jesus performed miraculous signs, yet many people still didn’t believe Him (John 12:37). If God wrote about His existence in the sky supernaturally, there would still be people who wouldn’t believe Him.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) said that there is enough light for those with a desire to believe in God, but enough obscurity for those who will NEVER believe in Him. So, the amount of evidence is not the problem. It’s a heart problem. Some people just won’t believe no matter how much evidence they have. But it’s the Christian apologist job to provide the other people with the evidence that we do have.
For the sake of His Wonderful Name,
Author of “Random Thoughts on Life, Love, Laughter and Living for Jesus”, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Christian Book Distributors.