As we know, many people adopt the faith of their parents, or some facsimile of it. That was true of me, too. My parents were non-religious, so I grew up not knowing anything about any faith. Even after we had lived in the Bible belt for several years, I was ignorant of the basic story of Christianity. At sixteen years old I became a follower of Jesus. It wasn’t apologetic arguments or by thinking Christianity through that was the key to my conversion. It was an act of the Holy Spirit in my heart.
But after a few years, after I began to really learn what Christianity was and who the person of Jesus was, my faith and my reason collided. Was there a way to harmonize what I was learning from the Bible with what I had learned about science? Was the Bible historical or fanciful in its nature? Could I really believe that God exists, that he loves me, and that he became man to die for my sins?
Before tackling those questions, I began with a more fundamental one: Does God exist? And by this I was meaning any Supreme Being, whether it was Allah or Jesus or Jehovah or any other name that may be ascribed to him, her or it. Only if the answer to the God question was “yes,” would I then concern myself with trying to determine his identity.
My conclusion was that (imagine a drum roll here…wait for it…wait for it…) God does exist. And though the framework has changed some over the last twenty-ish years, my fundamental reasons remain intact. So, here are my reasons for believing that a God exists.
1. DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid, the genetic material of all known life. There is no doubt that DNA is a code or language. It is information that is used to physically construct our bodies. Every code must have a code maker. There is an intelligence behind the code. This intelligence must be God.
2. The overall complexity of life – Golgi bodies, endoplastic reticulum, lysosomes, ribosomes, mitochondria. All these parts and many more work together at a microscopic level to perform the fundamental functions of all living things. These organelles have specific functions, such as energy production, molecular transport, waste elimination and recycling. Any city has analogies of these same processes. When we look at the complexity of even a small city, we know that the infrastructure, waste collection, power transmission, water and sewer systems did not assemble by chance. And while it is true that the city grew over time, requiring evolution of the various systems, those systems were not self-assembled. Likewise, I view the assembly and interaction of the various parts of a cell, and then trillions of cells working in concert with one another, as a compelling reason to believe in God.
3. Peoples’ need for purpose – “Why am I here?” This is a question that I think all people ask themselves, and often. Within us is this desire for there to be something more than living and dying and that being the end of our existence. We either wish to leave a legacy to the following generation, or make the world better, or be with God in the afterlife. If there is no higher purpose, if there is no real reason for living (other than passing on genes to our progeny), then there should be no reason for us to have a desire for purpose. But we have that desire, which I believe is the result of God instilling it within us.
4. The existence of morality – All societies have socially acceptable behaviors. These behaviors can be different between the societies, but they do exist, and they are recognized as just being differences. The British drive on the left side of the road, Americans on the right. There is no right/wrong dilemma here, just a difference. However, there are some behaviors that are not acceptable in almost any society. Why are things like murder, child abuse, stealing and lying usually viewed as wrong throughout most cultures? There is something in the way were as people live that tells us that torturing kids for fun is just wrong. Not socially wrong, but absolutely wrong. There is never a time that doing such a thing is right. The existence of absolute wrong is another reason that I believe that God exists.
5. The existence of religions throughout human history – Egyptians, Babylonians, Sumerians, Greeks, Romans.
All cultures throughout history have had religions. It is possible that religion is derived from some sort of evolutionary/biological survival mechanism, but the common desire of man to be connected to deity is evidence of the existence of God. Not only do we see this in the religions of ancient and modern religions, but it is also evident in the worshipers of evolution.
What reasons do you have for believing (or not believing) in God? What weaknesses do you see in my reasons? I look forward to hearing from you.