A Year 12 Pupil at St Patrick’s College reflects on her faith and how she responds to difficult questions it poses.
What do you say to people when they declare the words “God isn’t real because…”? This is a contentious subject for me, but I have a few arguments prepared.
I was taught by my granny that God is real, that Jesus is real! I believed this growing up, but at one point I became one of those who would say “I don’t believe in God because…”. One of the reasons was the many horrible things that happen to good people, and it didn’t matter if they were young or old. This made me question, “Why?” And there is no easy answer. For some people it’s as easy as deciding that badness in the world equals no God. But it’s not that straight forward.
For a long time, I had this concept in my mind of who God was but also questions like who made him? I haven’t come to a full understanding of how he manages to do everything, and maybe I never will. What I do know is that he is real, proving that however is not always so easy.
The ones who think they know it all, always begin with “bad things happen therefore God can’t be real”. For a long time, that thought did implant itself in my mind as a result of the tragedies that occur around the world. But how ridiculous to blame God! Humans are in charge of many occurrences that have turned into disasters such as wars, illnesses, diseases, debt… You may ask, where is God in this? God is everywhere a human is, but human beings make all of this happen. We can’t blame God for all the bad things, we must look at our own responsibility as well. So to say either everything must be perfect or else God can’t exist is a simplistic, dangerous and very ignorant way to think!
People often deny the existence of God because they dislike religion and mix the two up. The God you want to hear about isn’t always found in organised religion! People may think that because they feel disappointment, or have felt rejected or judged by people in the church that the simplistic action is then to disbelieve in God. This is an excuse in my opinion, a classic case of it is easier to “hate the ones who hurt you” because you feel unwelcome. Perhaps this is because you didn’t follow the rules, perhaps this is because you met someone who was horrible, perhaps you don’t know how a real believer of that religion should behave. What I want to say is that the organised Church is made up of people and they make lots of mistakes. God will always love you, even if the religious people you meet don’t.
God made everything. You probably have heard that energy can’t be created or destroyed. Where did that energy come from? God! While some people may still think of the universe as a random assembly of billiard ball-like particles, that still doesn’t prove how the universe was created. It’s ok to know that God made the Big Bang happen, it’s okay to believe in Science and God. People say ‘Science is truth’ and it is – but it can still match with believing in God. After all evidence has been accrued over the years to prove that the events stated in the Bible are factual. For example the real Noah’s Ark has been found buried in the Turkish mountains and experts say 3D scans prove the Biblical ship’s existence. The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient manuscripts that were discovered which proves all that the Bible states. The existence of Jesus – as a living man – pops up in all Holy manuscripts. But why aren’t all ancient microbes now humans? Because God took a hand in his own creation and made us. If God wasn’t the creator of all of this – where did we come from? Scientists may argue against the existence of God but the science proves he’s real.
Society is scared of change. If God is real – people fear their behaviour will have a change. A classic way to behave is to blame and hate upwards. This means not taking responsibility for yourself but instead blaming the person above you. For example, if you do badly in a test – blame the teacher, they hate you anyway; if you don’t get the present you want – blame your mum, she doesn’t love you enough; if something goes wrong and people get hurt – blame God, he isn’t real anyway, if he was, this wouldn’t have happened. This type of behaviour is seen in our everyday life from thinking badly of someone, to being rude to the one who made you. It’s so common we don’t even notice we’re doing it. When your expectations are too set and they don’t go your way, you respond in a sinful manner either this being cursing, wanting people dead and out of your way or hating them for the sin you commit. It’s time we start taking more responsibility and not making God the scapegoat of all that we do or that happens to us.
We live in a world that demands seeing before believing. Is this necessary? Perfect examples are simple things that are found in our day to day life: air you can’t see it but you can feel it, you can’t see oxygen but it is necessary for you to breath it; you can’t see carbon dioxide but carbon dioxide is destroying the planet. We believe in Global Warming which is so hard to see, but we can’t believe in God? I think it’s time we got our priorities straight!
So there you have it, everything I wish I could say in an RE debate but can’t. At least I can rest assured that I know the truth, even when others are still arguing over it.