The Case for God


John B


The case for God is actually very easy to argue.  Most of us were raised to believe in God and it's often difficult for those of us who no longer do so to remember that God isn't what we always thought he was.  I still catch myself wanting to pray about this or that, before reason kicks in and I remind myself that prayer is a crutch (for me, anyway). 

But I can't dismiss the concept of God, which is why I am a deist. 

Probably everyone who was once a member of WCG or one of the more recent COGs has had, or thought they had, some kind of experience that proved conclusively that God was out there, he was listening, and he did something just for us.  I've had a few of those myself; the third or fourth time I ever came to WCG services, my mother and I stopped for a hamburger on the way to church.  Before I even finished my burger, my stomach was hurting.  By the time we got to church, it was really hurting.  By the time services were ready to start I was in agony.  My mother asked Herman Hoeh to anoint me, and he did.  Within a half-hour, the pain was gone.  Mom told me later I probably had ptomaine poisoning, but God had healed me. 

A few years later, Dr. Ernest Martin anointed me for an unsightly wart on my forehead.  Three days later it fell off.  (It was years before I remembered that I had put Compound W on it a week before I was anointed.)  

And there were other incidents, like the time at the FOT in Squaw Valley when we were leaving the valley for Lake Tahoe after services.  I was following a dump truck around a winding mountain road, when suddenly a large granite rock fell off the dump truck, hit the road, bounced once, and hit the windshield directly in front of my face.  That rock, I swear, was as big as a cantaloupe, probably weighed 40 pounds, and should have come right through the windshield.  If it had, I'd have been decapitated.  Instead, it bounced off the windshield and ricocheted over my car, leaving only a scratch on the glass.  I gave God all the credit for my survival, and that of my mother-in-law who was sitting directly behind me. 

Did God do all those things for me?  Did he heal me of ptomaine poisoning?  Rip off the wart?  Place an angel against my windshield? 

Maybe.  I don't know.  It might not have been ptomaine at all (I never saw a doctor), it might have been the Compound W, and it might have been the engineers at General Motors who designed a superior windshield for that Oldsmobile. 

I have a cousin who is a born-again Christian, never darkened a WCG doorway in her life.  A few months ago she and her family were riding 4-wheelers in the Ozark Mountains; her speed got a little too high and she went over the side of a ridge and tumbled down a steep slope, crashing into a tree and shattering her leg.  She and a grandchild had to be rescued by helicopter, and she was dangerously close to death when she arrived at the hospital.  But she survived, and wrote me giving Jesus all the credit.  (I took the opposite point of view -- if Jesus was so concerned about her, why didn't he prevent her from going over the side in the first place? -- but she wasn't convinced.) 

Did Jesus save her life, and that of her grandchild?  Maybe he did. 


No Atheists In Foxholes

In 1944-45, my dad was a combat engineer in Europe (Siegfried Line, Battle of the Bulge, Rhineland Campaign).  One night he and a squad of other men blew a railway bridge over a small river.  They set the charges, then retired to a building downstream from which they would detonate them.  The building was a three-story with a basement.  The engineers went into the basement and pushed the plunger.  The bridge blew...and a length of steel rail came right through the roof of the building where they were crouched.  It ripped through the roof, the third floor, the second floor, and bounced off the ground floor.  If it had gone through the ground floor as well, some or all of the engineers might have been killed. 

Did God save my dad that night?  

My dad was in the 309th Combat Engineers, 84th Infantry Division.  He was no engineer himself -- his job was to drive his lieutenant around.  As a jeep driver, he was exposed on the back roads of Belgium and Germany most of the time, and more than once became the target of machine guns, mortars, and 88mm artillery.  On several occasions, he told me, he was driving down the road when streams of machinegun bullets kicked up dirt on either side of him, "just like in the movies" -- and only then did he see or hear the Messerschmidt that had strafed him.  The very first jet aircraft he ever saw was an Me-262...shooting at him. 

Late in the war, as the Wehrmacht fell back in hasty retreat before the Allied onslaught, the roads were choked with British and American convoys racing to catch up (what Dad called a "rat race"); one evening his division was ordered to reach a particular small town by midnight, but because of some kind of foul-up, they didn't arrive until morning.  When they got there, they found it already crowded by elements of the 2d Armored Division.  While shaking hands and exchanging cigarettes with the tankers of 2d Armored, one of the 84th men mentioned their failure to arrive at midnight.  The armored guys exchanged glances and turned pale.  "It's a good thing you didn't make it," one of them said.  "We were told to expect nobody, and shoot to kill anything that tried to come into town." 

If the 84th had arrived on schedule, the tankers of the 2d Armored would have slaughtered them. 

My dad always believed that God was looking out for him. 

And maybe he was. 

But Dad wasn't a particularly religious man in those days, so what about all the young men who got killed in the war?  Many of them were devout men, and they prayed just as hard for protection as my dad, probably harder.  Why didn't God save them? 

As compelling as they may be, the stories I've related above, and others like them, don't make the case for God in my mind.  What does make the case is the creation itself. 


The Case for God 

If you want to convince me that there is a God, just point out the creation.  Don't bother with the universe, because it's too big for me to grasp.  But show me the flowers, the trees, the birds and the bees, the ecology of this great planet.  Show me the delicate and intricate balance of nature.  Show me how the earth is one big life support system that sustains millions of varieties of life, all in perfect balance (skip the rants on pollution and destruction of the rain forests -- I know). 

In its natural state, the planet is a perfect creation.  You have predators in small numbers that are carnivorous.  To feed those predators, you have smaller, herbivorous animals in great numbers.  The disparity of numbers serves two purposes -- the predators prevent the food animals from overpopulating, yet the sheer number of young borne by the smaller animals (rabbits, for example), assures the survival of the species while providing sufficient food for the predators. 

The animal life on this planet requires oxygen to survive, and emits carbon dioxide.  Plant life requires carbon dioxide to survive, and emits oxygen.  The oceans also release oxygen, acting as the lungs of the planet.  

Temperature is an important factor for life on this planet.  Humans are able to survive a range of temperatures, the coldest being around 70 below zero (Fahrenheit), the hottest being around 125 above zero.  Go much beyond those extremes, and you'll die.  But think about it -- those two extremes represent a range of only 195 degrees.  The generally accepted perfect median is 72 degrees F. 

To maintain those life-sustaining temperatures, the earth is positioned 93 million miles from the sun; the earth rotates on a tilted axis, so that during its annual orbit, whichever hemisphere you live on will be, at one point, either closer to or farther from the sun than the other hemisphere.  During winter, we are a few miles farther from the sun than we are in summer.  How many miles make up that difference I don't know (I could look it up, but one of you out there probably already knows, so maybe he or she will save me the trouble with an email).  Let's suppose it's only a matter of a hundred miles.  What would happen if the earth were 1000 miles closer to or farther from the sun?  Where would we be then?  That extra 900 miles (discounting the hypothetical 100 miles of tilt) would leave us either frozen solid or burnt to a crisp. 

The earth is like an incubator for life.  It has everything we need.  That tilted axis is responsible for the seasons, which makes agriculture possible; different crops grow at different times of the year.  Certain oranges grow in summer, others in winter.  Cherries ripen in spring, peaches and plums in summer, grapes in late summer, pumpkins and cotton in the fall; grains and vegetables all have their optimum growing season -- if the earth wasn't tilted, the same temperatures would prevail year-round, making certain crops impossible to grow, or at least causing poor yields. 


What About Evolution? 

Did all that just happen?  Is it the result of evolution?  

I don't reject the possibility of evolution, but neither do I swallow it whole.  Certainly there is evidence of evolution within species.  For example, it seems that the average height of Americans in the 19th Century was less than six feet; people are much taller now than they were then.  Just look at some of the monsters in the NBA -- when I was a kid, I only remember one NBA player who was seven feet tall.  Today there are many, and thousands more playing high school and college basketball. 

Life expectancy has grown from around 50 to well over 70.  As diet and environment changes, human physiological characteristics seem to change as well, and are passed on to future generations.  Today we are better fed, taller, fatter, and weaker than we were 150 years ago.  

Such changes, of course, aren't real evolution.  Real evolution is when one specie changes into another and disappears in the process.  This is what many proponents of evolution believe, and to prove it they are still looking for the "missing link".  

But that's ridiculous, when you think about it.  One missing link isn't going to prove anything.  If that kind of evolution ever occurred, you'd need millions of missing links, because they tell us that such

changes required millions of years.  To prove that animal A evolved into animal Z, you need more fossils than just animal B or animal M.  You need a fossil for each step along the way, starting with animal A, then animals B, C, D, etc. right on down to animals X, Y, and Z.  If you can find even ten percent of those missing links, then I might think you've got something.  Especially if animal A had fins and scales, swam in the ocean, and ate fish, while animal Z has feet and feathers, walks on dry land, and eats bugs. 

Sorry, until you produce the missing linkS, I'm not buying it.


The In-and-Out Urge 

Then there's the matter of reproduction.  How did male and female evolve?  Especially when the first single-cell animals apparently reproduced by cell division (and still do)?  How did evolution, in its mindless wisdom, decide that each of the literally millions of individual species on this planet needed X and Y chromosomes to reproduce?  That the male would produce a sperm and the female an egg, that the male would fertilize the egg and the female gestate it?  How did evolution determine to instill a mating desire so powerful that most animals (including humans) will face almost certain death to answer its call?  

And how is it that every mammal seems to have the same kinds of organs, from lungs to heart to liver to kidney?  There are different types of muscle; the cardiac muscle, for example, never needs to rest the way other muscles do.  Ever notice the different types of flesh?  The flesh that comprises the lips is different from that of the eye; the mouth and tongue can handle hotter temperatures than the underside of your arm.  

And there’s more.  No need to talk about erectile tissues, since we all know about them.  The eye is a special miracle all by itself, not to mention the central nervous system, the brain, and the circulatory system.  All that by accident?  Please! 

Every creature, from the deepest sea-dweller to the giraffe, from the microbe to the human, in its proper ecology, is perfectly suited.  Some species exist only in one remote region of the world, while others are common on many continents.  In their natural state, they are always in balance; they live in a climate suited to their survival, their food source intact; they live, reproduce, and die in a harmonic cycle. 


Give me a break.  If I told you that I used to have a calculator that, over many years, evolved into a laptop, you'd laugh me to scorn, and rightfully so.  "But!" the argument goes, "mechanical objects can't evolve!  We're talking about a life form!" 


Well. . . DUH! 

If a mechanical calculator can't evolve into a laptop (both of which were designed and created by an intelligence too powerless to create a life form), how can a life form even exist without a much higher intelligence getting involved? 

No offense to anyone who embraces evolution -- I ain't saying it didn't happen, but I just haven't seen the proof. 

I haven't even scratched the surface.  Hell, I can't even see most of the surface.  Anyone who studies anatomy or astronomy or ecology can come up with tons of examples I don't even know about.  We haven't talked about fungi or molds or the cycle of decomposition in which microbes feed on dead creatures, returning the elements to the soil, or the scavengers that make their living clearing the planet of the corpses of living things. 

The bottom line, for me, is that none of this happened without a blueprint.  You don't build a house or car without a blueprint, and you sure as hell don't create life without one. 

So I can't be an atheist -- an atheist is one who believes there is no God, or no evidence of one.  I see evidence everywhere.  Agnostic?  Yes, because I admit I know very little.  A deist?  Absolutely.  There had to be a designer.  Who or what that designer is or was I have no idea.  I'm fairly certain he or she doesn't care whether I know or not, because if s/he did, s/he would have sent me an email.  I don't buy the Elohim of Genesis, because the Bible is a flawed fiction written by politically motivated men, so I can't trust it.  All I know for sure is... 

The truth is out there. 








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