Letter to the editor: Faith and unbelief
For many devout Evangelical Christians, the universe owes its very origin to a living, wise and all powerful God. Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” God is so awesome in nature that Scripture testifies of His greatness. The Book of Nehemiah confirms this absolute truth, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessings and praise. You are the LORD, you alone. You made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you” (9:5-6).
God willed the physical universe into existence. There is only one God. He is the Designer, the Preserver, and Ruler of all that exists. God possesses all excellent qualities and unto Him every creature owes God the highest devotion, love and reverence. In addition, all that exists is under His control. Before any physical thing existed, He was and continues to be the everlasting One, “Before the mountains were brought fought, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2). He simply exists endlessly. This is significant because any idols that get between God and His creatures is considered foolishness.
God and not, “Mother Nature,” produced the whole universe. God did not need pre-existing matter to make the world. Instead, He called the cosmos into being, “For he spoke it, and it came to be, he commanded, and it stood firm” (Psalm 33:9). This means that the cosmos could not come into existence by itself and matter itself is not self-governing. Scripture identifies God as the Sovereign creator of the laws of nature. In addition, the universe exhibits the wisdom of a unique Designer. Proverbs 3:19 states, “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens.”
To propose the universe is the product of chance is totally unreasonable. Chance cannot account for the rational order the universe displays. Chance is the absence of an explanation, and to contend the cosmos originated from nothing is absurd. Such a humanistic perspective robs God of His deserved reverence and honor. The universe is a witness to God’s continual presence. There is not an atom that does not have God’s handiwork on it. People have an inner witness of His being in their hearts of heart.
But wait, there are nonbelievers who are not theists. There are devout atheists who contend there is no transcendent being behind the cosmos. Christians have always maintained the existence of a transcendent God while atheists and nonbelievers alike exist and live at the expense of God’s mercy. They are not as autonomous as they really think. No one lives life without His permission, nor exists independently from His power. This includes non-Christian religions who live experiencing the benevolent benefits of heaven without knowing God. Acts 17:27 states, “In him we live and move and have our being.” Since heaven and earth cannot exist without God, neither can human beings live without Him; even those who do not believe that He exists.
Why do humans rage against God? They are under condemnation from the original sin nature of Adam, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12 ). This verse states that all mankind is morally bankrupt, cannot justify their unbelief, and are unable to meet God’s standard of righteousness. People need His grace, mercy, and love through Jesus Christ alone, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
George L. Arroyo