Three Reasons Why I Believe in God

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universe

Three Reasons Why I Believe in God

By Loren L. Fenton, D.Min.

Importance of the Topic

What we believe about God – His nature, purpose, abilities, etc. – provides the foundation for all subsequent beliefs.  Our entire philosophical, theological, and spiritual bearings are summed up in this one question: Who is God?  Even avowed atheists and agnostics cannot escape this reality.  Their answers – “God doesn’t exist” or “I don’t know if God exists” still provide the underlying bedrock for their belief systems and resultant practices.

What we believe about God has a direct influence on our day-to-day choices, lifestyle habits, and all other relationships.  The very quality of life we experience on a daily basis is the product of life’s primary orientation – our ideas about God.  Thus, this topic is of utmost importance as we seek to live meaningful, productive, worthwhile, fulfilled, and satisfying lives.

To that end, here are three bedrock reasons for my convictions that God not only is real, but that He personally cares for you and me.

  1. The Fact of Being

The Universe is. It exists. Our solar system is a celestial fact. The Earth and all the planets obey strict operational laws of gravity and motion, and we who are part of this planet cannot deny our own presence with any force of reasonable logic. We are here. We exist. And, what an existence it is!

You may have heard it said from time to time that the human body is worth about 97 cents or so. However, a few years ago I read that recent studies show that if all the materials included in a human body were to be synthesized and sold at their market value, each human being would be worth over six billion dollars! And that is just the cost of the parts, not to mention the mystery of how the parts are put together or how they work.

Even the simple cell is impossible to find. Many years ago J.T. Bonner, a biologist at Princeton University, said that the average sized cell contains about 200,000 billion molecules. He said, “Enlarge the cell to the size of a reasonably large room, then each molecule within the cell would be about the size of a pinpoint. This staggering thought so severely taxes the imagination that any idea of seeing how this bagful of millions of molecules can work seems out of the question; there are too many parts to the machine to ever make any sense out of it.”[1]

But, work it does! The information contained in the DNA molecule of a fertilized human ovum guides the growth of every person reaching adulthood through an amazing succession of six billion steps until some sixty trillion cells are formed into a unique person with personality, physical features, abilities, and powers to reason which are distinctively his or hers alone.

A nearly identical quantity of DNA guides the development of the sperm whale until it weighs over 100 tons. Another leads to a giant sequoia more than 300 feet tall. And still another becomes the microscopic flagellate Euglena, whose single cell carries on all the functions of life.

Couple the fact of BEING together with the fact that the being WORKS, and I have to believe that (a) what exists had to come from somewhere, and (b) something – or Someone – had to set it in motion. There simply cannot be another way.

  1. The Fact of Morality

Let’s go a step further.

Human beings are more than just machines in motion, filled with all sorts of whirling gismos that carry on the functions of life. People think. People act. People do things. Furthermore, whatever a person thinks, acts or does, no matter how tiny or great the action, it is always done against the backdrop of some standard of right and wrong. Even the most primitive of jungle tribes in New Guinea or South America operates by group law. Without it they would soon vanish, and so would our sophisticated society in the post-modern world. We humans MUST have enforceable moral codes of conduct or we will cease to exist. The violent exhibitions of anarchy, destruction, and personal greed displayed at times of natural or man-made disasters only serve to underscore the point. Contrary to the fondest dreams of evolutionary theory, mankind in its natural state does not reach out to bigger and better things, but is instead the most destructive force upon the face of the planet. Moral laws are absolutely necessary for survival.

But, why should we want to survive? Why should some things be right and some be wrong? If we are no more than fancy boxes filled with highly advanced electro-chemical equipment that has just happened to evolve from eons of nothing into what it is today, why make any fuss about how the matter is arranged? One arrangement is as good as another. Who cares if someone’s hatchet splits someone else’s skull so that the killer can rape his victim’s wife and steal his goods? What difference does it make?

Yet we do care! We recoil in horror at such heinous atrocities, especially if the victim is particularly helpless and defenseless. Child molesters and abusers are close to the bottom rung on our collective list of despicable human rabble. We can’t help but care about their innocent victims, and some people can even bring themselves to care about the criminal himself! Every human being has a built-in “caring system” that speaks to his inmost soul. We want to care for others, and we want others to care for us. The “caring system” operates in the heart of every man, woman, and child, even though it may be nearly obliterated, grossly distorted, or warped beyond recognition. We care, and we can’t deny it.

For instance, what is there about a well-told story that absolutely compels a reader to find out what happens next? The skilled writer simply tells about a character with such charm that we’re enchanted, enough weakness to see ourselves in him, and puts him in enough danger that we’re scared silly over what might happen. Together we will send thousands, if not millions of dollars to the pockets of the writer and publisher. That is, if it is done well enough to really appeal to our sense of caring. We will laugh, cry, shout, get angry, and thrill with excitement. Then we’ll tell someone else about the fantastic story we just read or saw or heard. All because we have the ability to care built into the very fiber of our being.

So, then, because we do care, we make laws based on morality. There is no way to explain the fact of morality except that a moral Creator made us with caring hearts. A matter-in-motion machine will never care – but a person does! A caring Creator gives us – who are creatures made in His image – moral standards by which to live. Thus the existence of moral law is in itself evidence for the existence of God. Without God, there would be – in fact could never be – moral laws for mankind.

  1. The Fact of Communication

It is because of morality and caring that my third reason for believing in God is so extremely important. Caring must be communicated to be of any value at all! It is no mean accident that the greatest conglomerate empires in the business world are those that major in communication. Intelligent communication between living persons is as basic to life as breathing and a beating heart. Clinical experience has demonstrated repeatedly that without some kind of communication happening in a patient’s life, the life itself is in extreme danger. Old people in nursing homes pine away and die because their families have abandoned them. Life becomes totally meaningless when there is no word whatsoever from family or friends. When a marriage disintegrates into total blockage of all messages, no matter what the form or content, more than one heart-broken soul has jumped from a bridge or put a bullet through his own head. The wise friend who sees a severe communication crisis in someone else’s life will do everything he can to let that person know that someone cares. A listening ear could save a life. Communication means life.

Communication can only take place between living, intelligent persons. Machines don’t talk to each other. Even those that seem to communicate, like computers, are not really speaking as one mind to another. They are merely tools created for the purpose of assisting human minds to analyze data and make decisions. Computers can only do what they have been programmed to do. People think. Genuine communication, even on the subliminal level, happens only when genuine thinking happens.

Nevertheless, thinking does happen, and so does communication. This, too, is undeniable.

The only viable answer to the fact of COMMUNICATION is that a thinking God created thinking creatures. There are no other reasonable possibilities. Even given unlimited time, unlimited space, and unlimited accidental arrangement of matter in space, never – never – never will impersonal rocks, dust, gases, or whatever produce a personal being that thinks, chooses, and acts. Only a personal being can create another personal being. The original Personal Being has to be God.

Now comes the best news.

Conclusion

God, who created the Universe, and us as part of it, loves and cares for each one of us personally. He knows you and me and cares for every detail of our lives. His heart understands all about every trial we are ever called to bear, every struggle, every ache and fear. He yearns to communicate with us and let us know that He cares. He even sent His Son, the Word of God, as the ultimate, infinite, complete statement of His own love and care. “The Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 NIV). We know this “Word” as Jesus Christ.

Complete harmony with God and all of His Creation is available in Jesus. Communication is not complete until that which is sent is received. Through the person of the Holy Spirit, God sends His son Jesus to us. As we receive His divine statement (the “Word” of God), we receive His message of love and care, forgiveness and grace. By accepting Him we receive His power into our lives and become complete, fulfilling His design and purpose for our being.

[1] Bonner, John Tyler, The Ideas of Biology, New York, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1962, page 3.

Jesus, The Gift of Heaven

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Jesus, The Gift of Heaven

Pastor Loren L. Fenton, D.Min.
©2014

Memories of Christmas Past

In my childhood Christmas Eve was without doubt the most exciting moment of each year.  Early in December the countdown started, published every day in the local newspaper:  “15 . . . 10 . . . 9 . . . 8 . . . more shopping days ‘til Christmas.”  My excitement grew with every passing day.  Some years the stack of presents under the tree in the living room grew large and colorful with brightly wrapped packages.  Other years the realities of dirt farming kept the tree and number of gifts more modest.  There were actually a few years when no tree appeared at all until the very last.  But always, without fail, after supper on Christmas Eve our family gathered around the tree to give and receive the hidden treasures.

The Rules of the Christmas Tree

There were rules, though.  The routine was always the same.  I guess it must have been written somewhere in stone, but being the youngest of four children I didn’t ask questions.

  1. First, the outdoor chores had to be done.  The animals were always cared for before we washed up for our own supper.
  2. When the meal was finished the table was cleared, dishes were washed, dried, and put away. 
  3. The floor was swept and everything had to be in order.
  4. Then we changed into our nice clothes before gathering around the tree.  This was an important ceremony!

The gifts were usually of a practical nature.  A new shirt, warm socks, that type of thing.  I don’t really remember very many of the gifts themselves.  The most important thing was being together – a family tradition that bonded us with love and loyalty.

The Greatest Gift of All

As the years have unfolded from those long-ago Christmas memories, I have come to realize with ever-growing conviction that the heart of God was revealed in His gift of Jesus to us.  For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6,7 NKJV).  “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT).

The greatest story ever told is the story of Jesus coming to our world as a tiny, helpless baby born in a rough stable, cradled in a manger bed, and worshipped by shepherds and wise men.  But it wasn’t just about the Baby Jesus, or Mary, or Joseph.  The heart of God longed for connection with the people He loved.  Jesus was the way.  Sin and rebellion caused a great gulf separating man from God.  Jesus was given to all humanity so that through Him we might once again be united with the Father.  The Word of God became Immanuel, “God with us,” for all time and eternity, reuniting the family of Earth with the family of heaven.  What an unspeakable gift!  What indescribable love!

Thank You, Father, for Jesus

It is only a few more days ‘til Christmas.  When you give and receive your gifts this year, don’t forget to give thanks to our Father in heaven for Jesus, the greatest gift of all!

Praise God For All The Rainbows!

Praise God For All the Rainbows

This song has inspired and blessed thousands of people since Loren first wrote and recorded it in the early 1980s. It has been sung in concerts, worship services, informal jam sessions, funerals, and memorial services for audiences large and small.

We hope you will enjoy listening to Praise God For All The Rainbows today!

Click HERE to listen!

And . . . if you know someone who will also enjoy hearing this wonderful song and its message of hope . . . please share it by clicking on one of the links displayed at the bottom of this screen!

Thanks, and God bless! Keep looking for HIS rainbows!

Freedom of Moral Choice – A Gift From God . . . and Parents

Freedom of choice beach pic
What Will You Choose?

A Sacred Gift From God

The most sacred gift God gave to the human race, following the gift of life itself, was the freedom of choice.

The very moment the Creator breathed the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils He bequeathed a power not unlike that of His own.  God had freely chosen to make the planet we call Earth to be Adam’s home.  When it was complete He then said, “Let us make man in our own image” (Genesis 1:26).

Both male and female human beings were “made in the image of God” (v. 27), capable of choosing a course of action, making decisions, determining their own future and fate.  This awesome power of freedom was given unconditionally, without reservation or restriction.

And it is ours yet today.  Even when Adam and Eve chose the way of sin and rebellion God honored His gift of freedom to the human race, He Himself choosing the route of sacrifice and redemption rather than obliteration for the disobedient pair.  God chose the way of love.

A Sacred Gift From Parents

The most sacred gift parents can give their children is to help them develop foundational skills for healthy, positive choices.

Every individual has a life to live which no other person can live for them, be they parent, teacher, pastor, friend, or foe.  We all make myriads of choices every day.  Strong abilities for making good decisions form the most important resource in a child’s survival toolkit.

A parent’s task is to equip the child for success by training the freewill muscles through exercise and loving discipline. This is done by allowing children to wrestle with issues important to them, coaching them in the decision-making process, honoring whatever decisions the child makes, and standing by them as they live with the consequences – positive or negative.

Following this practice is often nerve-wracking and stressful for parents!  Nevertheless, the fruit resulting from this parenting protocol is that whatever the challenge in life beyond the nest, children are thus empowered to live productively within or across the cultural boundaries of their world.