The full title of this post should be: ”A Conversation With Anton and Testimonial To The True Power of Jesus Christ”
What follows are answers to a post by “Anton”. I have copied his post and edited the post to appear as a conversation between Anton and me. Note that the content of Anton’s post were not altered by my editing, at least not intentionally.
You can see Anton’s original post here: http://mylordisjesus.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/atheism-science-higgs-boson-and-the-godhead/#comment-1017
Anton: Sorry for my delay, and as I told Ged, this is unfortunately how it goes for me.
John: That’s quite all right Anton, we all have lives, and I can quite understand how delays, even long ones, can develop.
Anton: I have a couple of questions for you. What kind of church did you grow up in?
John: I grew up in a Methodist Church. In fact, my Father, a carpenter who helped to build the church building, and my Mother, were founding members.
I attended that church from as early as I can remember, probably about 4, until I made it quite clear to my parents that I wanted nothing more to do with the church, at the age of 12 or 13. The problem was, they weren’t telling me anything I wanted to hear, it was all just a bunch of meaningless ritual. I thought it was worthless at the time, and my opinion of the ritual hasn’t changed, it is still worthless as far as I am concerned.
Anton: How was it different from your faith now?
John: The only things I knew then were the stories of the Bible, the rituals that I mentioned already, and the preaching of the Pastor, telling me how I needed tobe a better person and such. There was never any mention of The Gospel of Jesus Christ, no mention that Jesus is a living person that I could have a relationship with, and no mention that I was a sinner in need of salvation, all things that I consider to be of primary importance today.
Anton: How were you confronted with “the living Lord Jesus”?
John: In high school and in my years of “higher education” I learned to think analytically and pursued a well-paying and highly technical career path. Even in my early years I considered myself successful. I was able to provide myself with pretty much anything I wanted, and in my youth that ended up being partying, which meant alcohol and drug consumption, and relationships with women. I was involved in that lifestyle for over 10 years. I wasn’t hurting anyone, and I felt justified in what I was doing. After all, I was doing just as I pleased.
The only problem was, I was not happy. My solution was, of course, to immerse myself more and more in my chosen lifestyle. But that was no good either. You see, I was beginning to become convicted of my actions. I knew, from my early training, that adultery and fornication were sins. I knew that lying was a sin, and if you’ve ever been involved in drug use, you are probably familiar with how easily one lies when it suits him or her. I also was in heavy rebellion against my parents, and I knew that my behavior was not at all honoring to them.
I did not know it then, but it was Jesus who was convicting me, and I was not able to escape His conviction. I was on a downward spiral, and when I reached the bottom, Jesus was there. I was at a point in my life where I did not want to live it any longer. I was not suicidal, but I desperately wanted to change my behavior, and was trapped!
And it was then that Jesus showed me the way out. Jesus showed me that He died for my sins, those that were in the past, and those yet in the future. He showed me that all I needed to do was to admit my need for a Savior, and to trust in the sacrifice He had made on my behalf , His death on the cross, He died for me, taking the punishment I deserved.
Anton: How was this relationship missing in those early years?
John: In my earlier encounter with church, I knew only a religion, a dead religion that had no ability to give life. What I learned much later had nothing to do with religion, or even with church, but with a relationship with Jesus. Note that this relationship only began after He revealed Himself to me.
Anton: What do you mean Jesus confronted you with “His Life”?
John: See above
Anton: What do you mean by “heart knowledge”?
John: As I am sure you are aware, the reality of Jesus’ existence is not something that can be proven objectively. One either believes that He lives, or he does not. I, through the interactions I have had with Him am thoroughly convinced that He lives, even though I have not seen Him. I have “heard” His voice many times in prayer and He has communicated with me in many ways. How can it be that I would believe He is real without any evidence? One might well ask me another question: “How can you be sure this Anton fellow exists, without any real evidence?”. And my answer would be the same, “Perhaps you have not proof that Anton exists, but I know in my heart that he is real.”.
So, you see? Many things in our lives we know by faith, from the mundane to the supernatural. Think about it some time, and you might surprise yourself how much faith you have that various things are true.
Anton: Sorry, but I have intention on beginning to seek Jesus no more than I intend to seek Heracles or Thor. I already sought Him, didn’t find him, and realized that was because, like Heracles and Thor, there is no Him.
John: I understand your position entirely, and I will not ask that you seek Him. Always keep in mind though, I never sought Him either. The fact of the matter is, Jesus was the furthest thing from my mind, but He sought me, and found me.
Perhaps one day He will seek you out as well. My prayer is that if that day comes that your heart will be open to His prompting.
My best wishes,
Since then, there has been a lot of discussion as to whether this can in any was be used to prove the existence of God. Now, my knowledge of sub-atomic physics is nearly non-existent, but I will say this, from my perspective the arguments I have heard are shaky at best, and that is probably being overly generous.
But the controversy, if one can call it that, does serve to bring one thing to light, and that is the constant tension that occurs between Christians and atheists. Christians will stubbornly insist that their God exists, while atheists will just as stubbornly insist that there is no god, let alone the God of the Bible.
Without sufficient scientific evidence to back up their claim, Christians are left to defend their belief based on their own personal experience. And, as one who has had his own encounters with the Almighty, I can vouch that the experience is indeed compelling. In fact, I would go so far as to characterize it as overwhelming.
On the other hand, there is no scientific evidence supporting God’s non-existence either. Therefore, atheists are left with such arguments as the notion that the need for a god in their scientific model is so vanishingly small as to be insignificant. The problem there of course, is that the lack of need is far from proof, a fact which the atheist must admit. And this leaves the atheist with a very weak argument indeed.
I feel very comfortable in saying that, given the lack of evidence supporting either position that holding either one view or the other can be done only as an exercise of faith.
Another argument that I hear from atheists on occasion is that a belief in God conflicts with science. It seems as though to some that science itself is elevated to the point where it becomes a substitute god for those who hold such beliefs.
From my perspective, there is no conflict between God and science. But for those who have raised science to such a high position, I can see why there is perceived conflict.
The solution is simple! There must be a hierarchy, either science belongs at the top of the pyramid, or God does, or something else does. All conflicts that appear with science in the top spot simply vanish if God, who is the Creator of all things, including intelligent beings capable of contemplating their origin and coming up with a system of observation and experiment that they call science, is placed in His rightful place, simply vanish away. All conflict that result from the confusion of what belongs in the pre-eminent position, vanish!
As far as the third contender for top spot, “something else”, untilit is named, it will be left from consideration.