In my previous blog I quoted some words spoken by David Baddiel in a recent newspaper article. He said: “I wish there was a God. I’m desperate for that comfort.”
I mentioned that, given the opportunity, I would ask him to consider three pieces of evidence for the existence of an eternal, almighty, relational God, and went on to examine the evidence of Creation. Now we will look at the other two pieces.
The second piece of evidence I would ask Baddiel to consider is the conscience in each one of us.
“For when Gentiles who do not have the Law naturally do the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they demonstrate the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them” (Romans 2:14-15 LSB).
All of us have an inbuilt sense of right and wrong. We recognise acts that are “fair” or “unfair”. Where does this sense of right and wrong come from? The Bible claims that this is evidence of God’s work in every individual.
The moral argument for the existence of God is:
- If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
- Objective moral values do exist.
- Therefore God exists.
We know objective morals have existed through time and cultures. How these display themselves may vary but the underlying principles are the same. For example, theft and murder are condemned whilst telling the truth and keeping promises are admired. Even thieves expect their colleagues to act honestly towards them.
When we say things like, "How would you like it if someone did the same to you?", "Don’t lie to me", and "Come on, you promised", we are appealing to a standard of behaviour which we expect the other person to know about. Even for those who do not know the ten commandments, the core truth of many of them is written on the conscience.
If morality is just subjective within groups of people, then who are we to say other countries’ laws are wrong? How could we say that the Nazi holocaust was wrong? Was that not just an example of “survival of the fittest and strongest”? The answer is that we know such actions are wrong because we have a conscience (internal law) that tells us so.
Even Richard Dawkins, a prominent atheist, remarked “It is pretty hard to defend absolute morals on grounds other than religious ones." If there are absolute morals, they come from someone who is over us. There is an ultimate lawgiver whose laws reflect His character.
When these words appeared in the New Scientist magazine in 2007: “Morality appears to be hard-wired into our brains. It seems we are born with a sense of right and wrong”, they were just confirming what the Apostle Paul had written 2,000 years earlier, “We do have a law written in our hearts”. We all have a consciousness of right and wrong. Of course, that can be numbed by repeated wrongdoing, but it is still there.
Objective moral values are rooted in God. God's own holy and perfectly good nature supplies the absolute standard against which all actions and decisions are measured. These standards, or laws, are written into each of us.
But finally, and most importantly, I would ask Baddiel to consider Jesus Christ.
The third piece of evidence to consider is Jesus Christ. No one seriously disputes His existence, as there is too much historical evidence in support of it. The questions that must be asked are “who was He?” and “what did He do?”
Jesus Christ made amazing claims.
“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, “Show us the Father?”’” (John 14:8-9).
Some religious groups argue that Jesus never claimed to be God. But even His enemies understood that He stated that He was God. The Jewish leaders were so enraged when Jesus ascribed the name of God – “I AM” – to Himself that they picked up stones to kill Him (John 8:58-59).
Now many people can claim to be God but can they back it up? In the Gospel records we have independent accounts of the miracles He performed. These were mostly done before the public and could be easily verified or disproved if they did not happen. I would ask Baddiel and anyone else to read these accounts with an open mind and ask themselves if they are the product of overactive imaginations or eye-witness accounts of God on earth.
In all four Gospels and the book of Acts we read of His resurrection appearances. Men were prepared to die rather than deny what they said they had seen – the resurrected Jesus. Many people will die for their convictions, but people do not die for something they knowingly concocted. The evidence points to the fact that Jesus Christ did rise from the dead.
When friends tell me they cannot believe the miracles as they have never seen such things, I ask them how they think a man who asserted that He was God could prove that claim. The miracles are a key piece of evidence in determining who Jesus Christ is and whether there is a God whom we can know.
Jesus not only proved He was God through the miracles that He did and His authoritative teaching but also by the life that He lived. He demonstrated the holiness of God. He said to those who hated Him, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” (John 8:46) and none of them said a word. After continual scrutiny, not a word could be spoken against the sinlessness of His life. He was a man who was truly set apart and showed the attributes of God.
Jesus Christ taught that He came to die.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
The word “ransom” implies a price paid to free a slave or a prisoner and “for” means “in place of”. Thus, this verse teaches us that, in giving His life, He was paying a price in place of many.
Creation and Conscience do teach us that there is a God, but Jesus Christ shows us that there is a holy God who must punish our wrongdoing. This God loves us so much that he has provided a Saviour, and through Him a great and eternal salvation. That natural law written in our hearts, our conscience, does accuse us and reminds us we have sinned against God. That sin or wrongdoing will keep us separated from God and His justice demands that we are punished by Him.
However, God’s love sends His Son to this world. He takes the punishment from God, so that whoever turns to Him will never be punished for sin, but will be reconciled to Him.
To David Baddiel, who said “I wish there was a God. I’m desperate for that comfort”, I would say, “David, there is a God whom you can personally know and enjoy forever. Consider the evidence”.