Seeing is Believing


So goes the skeptic’s creed. Applied to matters of faith, they don’t know how right, or wrong, they are. The author of the Biblical letter to the Hebrews defined faith with poetic brevity and impact: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) In fact, we call Hebrews chapter eleven, “The Faith Chapter,” so if you want to know more about the Biblical teaching of faith, just click on the link.

Please bear with me for a (hopefully) brief aside. Notice my qualifying adjective in the last sentence of the paragraph above: “Biblical.” That’s a crucial qualifier because so many Christians cling to non-Biblical beliefs about faith, such as the “blab-it-and-grab-it,” Word of Faith doctrines. A very few Bible passages, taken out of context, seem to support it, but to its preachers it’s simply a cash cow.

Now, back to our program. We all typically see what we expect, or want to see. Just ask police officers about the vast variety of answers they get when questioning witnesses to an event. Religious people want to see evidences of God’s existence, but atheists, with verbal vitriol, refuse to see such evidences. In fact, they both see exactly what they want.

CaptureWitness the koala cartoon, which is the Australian Skeptics’ mascot. Though they don’t realize it, that magnifying glass illustrates the fallacy in skepticism; such optical instruments are ideal for close inspection, but limiting ones sight to its minuscule field of view prevents taking in the big picture. And that’s where you find God.

Take, for instance, the old cartoon character, Mister Magoo. Though he was practically blind, he gleefully proceeded through life as if he could see clearly. Similarly, skeptics, though they see all of nature’s evidences for God’s existence, can’t see the connection that’s so obvious to believers.

As a Christ-follower, I see God in a beautiful spring day, a child’s innocent face, the night sky, a moving cloudscape, the scent and beauty of lilacs in bloom, in fact, everywhere I look. Even this world’s ugliness demonstrates God’s beauty and power, as in perceiving ugliness, which is sin’s product (not necessarily individual sins, but humanity’s sinfulness), we recognize the beauty of God’s holiness.

Yet, those who don’t believe are without excuse:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:18-23)

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