I watched a video the other day featuring a debate between Christopher Hitchens, the notorious atheist, and four Christian apologists concerning the question of whether the God of Christianity exists or not. The believers on the panel included perhaps the most brilliant Christian scholar, William Lane Craig, and Lee Strobel. I’ve been a fan of both of their writing. The other two men held up very well in their contributions to the debate as well. I found it ironic however that none of these brilliant men failed to offer the most compelling evidence against the skepticism of Hitchens which seemed to be based on the unrelieved suffering in the world. The final answer seems so obvious to me.

The lone atheist on the panel stated the case of a woman who was imprisoned in the basement or perhaps dungeon for over twenty years by her husband. The man would visit just to rape her. Hitchens offered that if there were a god, for him to stand by and do nothing for this woman was amoral and possibly evidence that the deity enjoys watching people suffer (if he does exist). This one case study was supposed to be sufficient evidence that either God is a myth or he is not good. In either case, the Christian god was proven to be a fantasy if this small piece of evidence should prove to be acceptable.

It was mentioned, but not one of the four adequately hammered home the point that God’s promises are not for this world. People who have a concept that God is like Santa Claus and hands out special gifts to everyone who ask for them are very naïve and ignorant. No one pointed out that all of the apostles except John were martyred. Here is the kicker: the ultimate example is the suffering of Jesus Christ himself. If God could let His own beloved son go through the physical and mental torture of the crucifixion, how can we complain about a little discomfort and imperfection here on Earth? Ironically, it is through suffering that we learn compassion and humility. Could it be that the Father let Jesus suffer so cruelly so we humans would see that our burdens are indeed light. The cruel fate Jesus suffered also teaches us how much He loves us?

I will be devoting an entire column to discussion on prayer and healing and why not everyone is healed. Also we’ll delve into why “stuff happens” to devout believers where nonbelievers seem to prosper. Many people have walked away from God because they didn’t receive what they asked for. They come to the conclusion that He doesn’t exist. I have to point people to the prayer that Jesus told us to use when we speak to His father. “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” There’s no mention of praying for a new house or new wheels. Many people want to pray “my will be done.” And then they’re disappointed and disillusioned when their prayers go unanswered.
I came to the conclusion after listening to this that no amount of evidence for God will convince someone who doesn’t want to believe. Finding God involves a surrender of the free will that He gave us. Without embracing the concept that the universe does not revolve around us, man can never discover God. Ironically the atheists preach that mankind is not the center of the universe but they as individuals think their intellect is. Go figure.

You can watch that debate at this address:  Debate Video