President declares, "Prove God exists and I will resign!"
This past week as I was driving home from Church, I heard over the radio that the Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte said he would quit if someone could prove that God exists, specifically asking for proof of God’s existence through a selfie.
“You do that today,” said president Duterte, “one single witness, that there is a guy, a human being was able to talk [to] and to see God. Of the so many billions, I just need one. And if there is one, ladies and gentlemen, I will announce my resignation immediately.”
Of course the backlash was pretty swift and strong from the predominantly Catholic country. But the divine diss, while outlandish coming from a national leader, I fear expresses the sentiment of many in our world today. Many feel there is no God and that faith in Him is foolish. Yet the scriptures speak to such a faith condition on many occasions. So, based on President Rodrigo’s invitation, here we go:
Let’s have Romans start us out:
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” -- Romans 1:20,21
This speaks to what is called “General Revelation”. That’s the concept that the existence of God and some of His nature is evident in what is seen around us. In other words, the created order or “nature” is itself evidence of God’s existence.
President Rodrigo wanted photographic evidence of God’s existence, so let’s offer some. While I doubt the following photographic evidence will do much to sway the mind or heart of one who will not see it already, perhaps you will be encouraged and strengthened in your faith as you consider that faith in God is not based on an absence of evidence. Quite the contrary.
Let’s take a little time and consider the evidence. Hopefully, at the end, we will all be reminded that considering God is not as difficult as some believe.
Exhibit A: The Microscopic Testimony
In Darwin’s day, the cell was the great unknown of the scientific world. Generally it was assumed to be a basic blob of simple protoplasm and proteins. Science at the time, had no way to crack the inner-workings of the cell. But now we know that in each living cell we find a vast network of microscopic machinery working together from utter simplicity into unbelievable complexity to carry out the functions of a cell that in turn works cooperatively with countless other cells to make a living structure. If you do not see God’s fingerprint on this concept, let me make it clear: a machine must have a mechanic. A watch does not spontaneously materialize randomly out of dust and twigs, even if a million or 100 billion years pass. Expose the dirt and grass and twigs to radiation, gravity and unlimited time… you will NEVER “naturally” end up with a watch. You need a watch-maker to construct such a machine. So with our micro biotic world- it shows evidence of design and information.
The image to the left is not a computer chip. Although it resembles something out of a Hewlett-Packard lab, this is a microscopic image of the small green Liverwart plant (Lepidozia Reptans).
You have perhaps heard of Laminin– the basic protein structure holding all life together.
A recent scientific discovery of this protein chain lead to Christian leaders connecting its likeness to the work of Christ in creation and His active influence in the continuation of all living things:
“All things were created through [Jesus] and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
While certainly this scripture was not referring to this foundational protein chain, it is certainly a joyful reminder of the truth that without an intelligent designer (and facilitator), the order and complex inter-dependence of all life would be impossible.
How the body works on a microscopic level is a glorious testimony to a brilliant designer.
Exhibit B: The “Scopic” Testimony
“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)
Exhibit C: The Macroscopic Testimony
Just as the microscopic world demonstrates glory and design with complex structures and machines inter-working in a world of order and information, so the Macroscopic world testifies to order and information as we see the dance of powers and mass, light and energy conform to and follow laws.
Exhibit D: The Selfie
The previous exhibits give you a taste of how God has made His existence evident. It is beyond reason to reject the conclusion that there IS a God. But president Rodrigo asked for a selfie. A photo of a man who went to heaven, saw and touched and talked with God.
Jesus Christ is both the man who saw, touched and talked to God, AND is the image of God Himself. If you want to see God, look to Jesus. As the Apostle Paul said, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature, upholding all things by His powerful Word.” -Hebrews 1:3.
While this is as close as we can come to an actual image of Jesus, Rodrigo wanted a photo. A photo of someone who is in the midst of seeing, and talking with God. So let’s give him that too. I have one photo right here that fits the bill:
President Rodrigo specifically asked for a selfie of someone who had seen and was talking with God. And while the last photo fit most of the bill, it wasn't a selfie. So I’ll grab my phone and offer the selfie of someone who was seeing, touching and talking with God. In Jesus all of these things are taking place and through His Word, I see, and hear Him, and through Communion, we touch his body and receive His blood.
There is evidence far more profound than just a photo. There is evidence of God all around us. And not only that but God has also come near to us in Jesus Christ so that we would not just see the evidence but know Him personally.
I don’t expect President Rodrigo’s resignation, in fact I hope he continues serving his country. Though I also hope that he will accept the evidence and serve in thanksgiving to the God he seeks.
Whether he does or not, Let’s make sure we do.
All blessings to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,