Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Stop this chalk from breaking!
I see from a Facebook post that another “warm & fuzzy – feel good – silliness over substance – there I forwarded it on” emotional video is making its rounds. The video plays tear jerking music in the background while it tells the story of a “bully” professor from USC who tormented believers for twenty years by calling them fools for believing in God. He then proceeds to prove his point by telling God, “If you exist then stop this chalk from breaking as it hits the floor. The object apparently is to have 1 million viewers watch the video.
Usually these types of arguments that God does not exist center on, “If God strikes me dead in the next five minutes, or let lightening strike me dead if God is real.” Naturally when neither phenomenon happens the idea is, “Well, I told you God didn’t exist!”
These stories, including, this latest one about a professor at USC are both so silly and so beneath our God that they honestly don’t need a response. However, I am compelled, not to defend our God because He certainly doesn’t need any defense, but to hopefully help somebody understand the foolishness of these types of arguments.
First, of all, I dare say that this is an urban myth. I really question that this story has taken place as it is presented in the video. No doubt there are colleges, universities, and higher learning institutions all over our land who have challenged the existence of God, Faith, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We have allowed our higher learning institutions to be high-jacked years ago by agnostics, atheists, shamans, spiritualists, and anyone else who gives us the “heebee jeebees.”
Second of all, even if a professor has challenged a class to prove the existence of God by dropping a piece of chalk, do you really think that no one in over twenty years ever stood up? Over the last thirty-eight years of having been a Christian I have known scores of individuals who love “combat”, especially “Christian Combat” so much that they would have enrolled in his course just to stand up.
Thirdly, let’s face it; you cannot prove the existence of God by hoping to sucker God into a cheap display of supernatural ability. Come on, think about it – God spoke and the universe came into existence in full maturity and functionality. God is not going to (from what we know about Him) in the majority, heck, the super-majority of these cases strike someone with lightening on the courthouse steps or stop a piece of chalk from breaking.
Why? You can’t prove God exists to a spiritually dead man. He cannot respond to your arguments and logic. He is immune to your reasoning. Spiritual things, such as God, scripture, faith, and Jesus Christ are spiritually discerned.
The only thing that this professor or any other atheist will ever respond to is the work of the Holy Spirit as He opens their heart and regenerates them by His power and the effective working of the Word of God. Illustrations about throwing up the parts of a watch and having them fall to the ground as an intricate and working timepiece are lost on spiritually dead people.
They need the gospel, the scripture coupled with our prayer for the working and moving of the Holy Spirit. Didn’t Paul say that “faith comes by hearing?”
Fourthly, my heart breaks because we think we are doing God a favor. We think we are striking a blow against atheism. We think we can forward these types of emails, videos, and what have you with the idea that we actually did something. May I suggest to you that most of our witnessing and testifying is not done in the venue it was designed. We spend a lot of time witnessing to the choir, to those who already may be believers and who for the most part agree with us.
Let’s forget about heart tugging stories and videos and preach the gospel. Let’s let the chalk hit the floor and proclaim that you sir, are under the condemnation and judgment of an angry God. However, before you leave this place, breathe an earnest prayer to God, saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner. Lord, I need to be saved. Save me. I call upon thy name." Join with me in prayer at this moment, I entreat you. Join with me while I put words into your mouths, and speak them on your behalf-"Lord, I am guilty. I deserve thy wrath. Lord I cannot save myself. Lord, I would have a new heart and a right spirit, but what can I do? Lord, I can do nothing, come and work in me to will and to do of thy good pleasure."
(From the sermon “A Free Grace Promise delivered 10/11/1888 by Charles Haddon Spurgeon from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit.)
How do I know there is a God?
1. By faith, creation shouts to me that the universe, stars, moons, earth, sun, and all that is in the universe was the work of God.
2. By faith, God through His Holy Spirit and His Word has opened my eyes and made a lasting impact and change in my life
3. By faith, I have seen, observed, heard, read, or otherwise been made aware of the impact and change that God has made in the lives of millions of people around this world today and throughout history
4. By faith, the Word of God, energized by the Holy Spirit as a living, powerful and sharp-two edged sword has convinced me that God exists
5. By faith, the Holy Spirit of God who has taken up residency in my life bears witness with my Spirit that God exists
6. By faith, I have observed for almost 39 years the extreme lengths that the enemy of God has gone to convince me and the rest of this world that God does not exist.
7. By faith, you sir are standing there demanding that God strike you dead, that lightening strike you, or that piece of chalk not hit the floor because as predicted you have said in your heart, that God does not exist.
You, beloved, it is by faith that we believe God exists. Not by argument, tangible proof or theater. Wait until the seven year tribulation when God unleashes the vials and bowls, you will see divine theatric proof then.
So, Mr. “Chalk dropping” atheist, let me say, unless you give me $40,000.00 in the next seven days, I do not believe that you exist. Better than that, I told George Jones to come to my house for dinner and he did not. Does that mean that some 50 years of being the greatest country singer ever born is a myth?
I leave you with this quote from Gregory Koukl: “These kinds of questions give a bad name to atheists. There are atheists who are careful and who would never be caught dead making this kind of statement. When you hear an atheist saying something like this, you know that he's silly and small-minded. He doesn't care about being careful about his point of view and he is just saying silly things. He doesn't even take his own atheism seriously. If he did, he'd be a lot more careful than to say a stupid thing like that. Because, obviously, the existence of any conscious being is not contingent upon their obedience to my frivolous commands.”
(From a transcript of a commentary from the radio show "Stand to Reason," with Gregory Koukl)
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 5:50 AM