Friday, October 25, 2013

Is God really real? Cosmological Argument

A large portion of our nation still believes that God exists. However, there is a growing number of people who claim that there is no God. Many people have the idea that science and evolution have proved that God does not exist. As Christians, we cannot avoid these supposedly "scientific" claims. We need to look into them, and see if there is any validity. We need to be people of truth. If God is really real, we will find this to be truer and truer the more we dig deeper.

I am a Youth Pastor in Rochester, MN, and I am taking our youth students on a journey to discover the truth. Many of them have a lot of questions about our faith--why does God allow suffering? Why did God create people, knowing that some of them would go to hell? Considering that there are thousands of religions, how can we know that the Christian faith is the right one?

Before we get to these questions, we need to start at the beginning. This starts with our basic belief of God. Is God really real? We are even going to take it a step back further, and ask if we can even know if there is any evidence for a supreme being of some sort.

Before we go any further, I want to make one thing clear. Anyone who says that science has proven that there is no God and that Christianity is false is ignorant of what science is. The scientific method is as follows:

1. Ask a question.
2. Do background research.
3. Create a hypothesis, or a educational guess that can be tested.
4. Test that hypothesis through observations and an experiment.
5. Analyze the data from the experiment to come to a conclusion.

So, is it scientifically possible to prove that a spiritual and invisible God (which is what the Christian God is)  does not exist? Absolutely not. Why? Because the hypothesis that the invisible and spiritual Christian God does not exist is not able to be tested by an experiment or through observation. So, by the definition of what science is, it is impossible to scientifically prove that God does or does not exist. However, we can still look at the universe, our planet, and organisms, to help us discover if everything came by chance, or if there is a God, a supreme being, or some sort of intelligent designer behind it all.

So, is there evidence for a supreme being? Can we know that there is a God of some sort behind creation? I believe yes. Last Sunday our youth discussed something called the "Cosmological Argument." This is something Lee Strobel discusses in: A Case for a Creator.

In ancient times, many people groups believed that the universe was eternal; that is never had a beginning point. Today we know that this idea is false. To summarize it, Einstein had the idea (or hypothesis) that the universe had a beginning point, and it was later validated by using the Hubble Telescope. Scientists found that galaxies and stars are all moving away from each other. If we were to rewind this, the stars and galaxies would come closer together, until everything is in one place.

So, we know that our universe had a beginning point. This is where the Big Bang Theory comes into play. The main atheistic view is that about 13 billion years ago, there was a "Big Bang," of the matter which existed at the time. This big bang was the beginning of the universe, as everything that was created from this beginning point went flying away from each other. A couple other views include wormholes, multiple universes, and even aliens....

The Christian view is that God created the universe, and put it into motion.

From these viewpoints, and from pure logic, one can conclude that one thing is for certain: there has to be something that is eternal, without beginning or end. If you take a moment and think about it, there must be something or someone who never had a beginning. Some ancient cultures thought this was the universe itself. As Christians we believe that God is eternal. However, what do atheists believe today? Is the matter which collided together to create the big bang eternal? Are gases that created a reaction eternal? The interesting thing is, there has to be something that never had a beginning point. What was this thing? Or could it be a being? I think so.

It might just be my Christian bias, but I believe it is much more logical and even scientific to say that there is an eternal God who created the universe, our planet, and everything on it, than to say that matter has always existed, and one day it randomly collided together to create the universe, which includes everything we see here on earth.

Through experimentation and observation, science tells us the requirements for life to exist on a planet. This includes things like: the perfect distance from the perfect type and size of sun, the right amount of oxygen in the air, the perfect tilt of the axis of the planet, and liquid water, just to name a few. With the many other requirements needed in order for life even to exist, the odds of this happening are 1/1,000,000,000,000,000. How you pronounce that number I don't know, but I do know that life is extremely rare, and logically impossible if the universe is just an accident which came about by chance.

However, the idea that a God created everything, and created the Earth to sustain life, is not such an illogical or non-scientific thought after all! Unless one truly believes that what we see today, the complexity of life and our universe, happened by chance.

We have gotten to this point without talking about something very important, which is the fact that there must have been something or someone to cause the universe to come into being. The idea that the matter which already existed randomly and by chance exploded is ridiculous. There is always a cause when we have an effect (Kalam's Argument). When we look at the universe today, it would be quite ignorant to say that it all happened without a cause of some sort, along with some serious direction and designing!

What conclusion have we come to today? There is definite evidence for a supreme being of some sort, and intelligent designer. Logic and science tell us this, unless you truly believe that matter is eternal. The complexity of our universe, our planet, and ourselves also shows evidence for a creator. While this will not change the mind of the atheist, it should at least provoke some thoughts. It will also strengthen our faith as believers, to help us truly believer what we claim we believe, which is the fact that God is really real.

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