Why Believe in a God?

The holiday season is nearly upon us once again, and we are already being inundated with commercial advertisements.  It is never too soon for retailers to start selling their wares to the public, so the push is already on in early November.  It seems to come earlier and earlier every year.

This year, a new holiday advertising campaign is underway, and it has nothing to do with selling products.  On November 11, 2008, the American Humanist Association (AHA) launched a drive to promote atheism by advertising this slogan: “Why believe in a god?  Just be good for goodness sake.”  This logo has already appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and it will also be featured on the sides, taillights, and interiors of over 200 Washington D.C. Metro buses during the holiday season.

The AHA’s self-described “godless holiday campaign” is an example of the increasing boldness of humanism in our nation.  This is the second major advertising campaign conducted by the AHA this year, and there will certainly be more in the years to come.  Some of the offshoots of humanism (elimination of God from the public, evolution, abortion, sexual perversion, etc.) have been slowly and successfully injected into the American psyche ever since the publication of the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933.  Because these ideas have taken hold, now humanists are emboldened to move to the next level with these widespread and explicit attacks against belief in God.

Dear Christians, this attack is an affront to your faith and a challenge for you to answer.  Will you be silent?  The Scripture demands that each of us respond to the humanist’s question, for Peter wrote, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1Pet. 3:15).  We have been asked, and we must answer.  Our voices should be sounding forth with the word of the Lord (1Thess. 1:8), and our pulpits should be ringing with sober truth.  Think about it: if we will not give a defense for our hope, then do we really have any hope?  If we will not confess Christ before others, then can we expect Him to confess us before the Father in heaven (Matt. 10:32-33)?  Dead men are silent, and those who are dead in faith are silent also.

How shall we answer the question, “Why believe in a god?”  Let us be assured that the answers are in the Bible.  Of course, humanists have no regard for the Bible, so quotations from Scripture will not satisfy them.  Nevertheless, we can give Bible answers to humanists without giving them book, chapter, and verse quotations.  The Bible has sound reasoning that should appeal to any logical mind.  Let us try this.

(1)   You should believe in God because it is natural to do so.  The humanists must acknowledge that every culture of people throughout history has instinctively embraced the worship of deity.  The historical truth is that religion can be eliminated from a society only through the coercion of a powerful organization (such as the AHA, the ACLU, the communist party, etc.).  Of course, Christians know that belief is natural truth because the Scripture states it (Acts 17:27-28; Rom. 1:19).

(2)   You should believe in God because the great design of the world gives evidence of a Great Designer.  It is irrational to believe that everything came from nothing and that order came from disorder.  There must have been an original source for everything that is, and God is that source.  Of course, Christians know that the Bible states this idea in Psalm 19:1-6 and Romans 1:20.

(3)   You should believe in God because faith is the only foundation for goodness and morality.  The AHA’s advertising campaign is an attempt to convince the public that morality comes from the mind of man, but that idea is nonsensical.  The unguided mind of man produces only strife, division, and selfishness.  In every culture in history, morality has been connected with religion and the worship of deity.  Of course, the Bible tells Christians that God is the source of everything that is good and right (Ps. 19:7-14; Rom. 2:14-16; Jas. 1:17; 2Pet. 1:3).

(4)   You should believe in God because your life will be better for it.  This point is connected with the previous point, for the morality practiced by believers in God leads to better marriages and better relationships with children and others.  It provides for more stability and happiness.  Without the anchor of belief, atheists tend to become miserable, hopeless, and depressed.  Of course, Christians know that the Bible says that keeping God’s commandments and seeking His kingdom leads to longevity, peace, happiness, and provisions (Prov. 3:1-2; Matt. 5:1-12; 6:33; Phil. 4:4-7; Heb. 6:19).

Of course, this reasoning is only the beginning.  From this foundation, Christians should teach others why they should believe specifically in the God of the Bible and the gospel.  We should appeal to unbelievers on the basis of salvation and hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ.  The hollow attraction of humanism, atheism, and godlessness cannot compete with the enduring promises of God.  Instead of asking why one should believe in a god, humanists need to answer this question: “Why not believe in the true God?”  Are selfish indulgence and the denial of accountability enough to give humanists happy lives?  Make them think about it!

 Stacey E. Durham


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