Good catch, that was just a sloppy attempt from me. I should have used earth-centric belief to get my point across. But thought of another great example. People were even willing to, and attempted to kill Jesus when He attempted to shake their foundation that was the legalistic laws of God. Their foundation wasn’t in God, rather clearly in either the law, or more likely the pride of their position (which requires them to at face value uphold the law to maintain their position/pretige). I believe they had great knowledge on the history of God in the OT, but knew very little about the person of God on a relational level. I do believe Paul’s foundation was in God, though he witnessed in approval or participated in the stoning of Christians, God/Jesus got his attention real quick, and transformed his life. But when the Pharisees were angered at Jesus’ perceived attempt to usurp their authority or disobey their laws or were embarrassed and pride was on the line, they tried to have him killed. Yet Nicodemus, who probably had his foundation in God too, wasn’t as insecure or defensive (but inquisitive of the truth of God), he saw who Jesus could have been/was, and then came to be transformed by Jesus too.
The shortest answer I could give on that, is that He has revealed himself to me. Not physically or in special visions or anything tangible or that science can measure. But with an unexplainable certainty and peace.
The long answer…
I believe that those who earnestly seek Him, will find Him. Matt 7:7, Luke 11:9, and Heb 11:6, and Rev 3:20.
This isn’t to say that I believe that you must seek the God of the Bible (whom I believe is the one and only true God). But to first see the beauty and majesty of our world and universe in both the big and the small, or even better if you see God through a person He used to reflect God through them. But to want to know more about why we are here and what is the purpose for life. Not seeking to prove the Qur’an to be right, not seeking to prove science right, or even to seek to prove the Bible to be right, but earnestly seeking the the truth, from the Being that created everything and us.
That is when I believe God will begin to reveal Himself more and more to you and He allows us and encourages us to use our logic and He blessed us with logic. When you see the God of the Bible happens to be the God of creation is the only one out there that created us to be with Him. The only one that cares about your heart. He doesn’t care about what you do outwardly or what you bring to the table (love you unconditionally), what is displayed outwardly is fruit of what came from inside. He knows us and loves us, the ultimate acceptance. If God just loved us, without knowing us, it is sentimental and hookey. If He knew us and didn’t love us, that would be rejection. But He knows AND loves us in spite of who we are.
That is why these Pharisees were simply following the outward rules and laws, they thought that was what mattered, or again, were just lying about that even, and enjoyed the prestige and praises of men that were achieved from outwardly obeying these laws. That is when Jesus came to explain the laws in the first place. The 10 commandments were always supposed to be a thermometer (any measuring device) of the heart. It says don’t murder, but if you are angered at your neighbor, your heart is cold, and this commandment shows how cold your heart is. And to many Jews and Paul and Nicodemus, who seeked God (but were still flawed and sinful humans as we all are), had these truths revealed to them, and came to know Jesus who was from God, and only those who knew the Father could know/recognize or receive revelation of who the Son is/was. John 8:19.
So in seeking God and having the Bible revealed to me and using logic to see that this is the only book/religion that has such a logical and loving good God who cares about us and out hearts and not just our outward actions (which as far as I have known no other religion has). and then having had revealed to me the Son is the only way back to this loving God. That this Son is one who belonged to all the splendors of heaven, the King of Kings came down to save us. But not just to come as a mighty powerful king, but to come as a servant to us filth of man, and to demonstrate and reveal the truths of God to us and then to atone for all of our sin, so we can be with Him again!
I can’t even begin to attempt to explain the freeing redemptive power of God. And now having been justified through my faith in what Jesus did for me, I can now shine the light of this God who loves us so that all the world will see it in hopes that they come to know Him too!
I was once like the AIG, and believed in what the Bible said and what the church I grew up in said, and had my foundation in those words/thoughts. I felt like I was just a coincidence that I was brought up into the ‘correct’ religion, I didn’t really own it or understand it, much like I believe many children are indoctrinated into whatever religion their parents or community holds. It wasn’t until i was out on my own in this world, that I began to see God my creator, not the God of the Bible. So I greatly understand when your foundation is in some words, how defensive you get when those words are challenged or ‘proven’ wrong by the scientific community. 10 years ago, I would have told you this movie is going to convert so many people and would have been excited for it and I thought my goal is to save the world and force or convince everyone to believe in my God of the Bible. I would have said the scientist are all wrong and evil and have an agenda and skew data thanks to Satan and try to deceive people and scientist are evil. I never believe science was evil, but I thought scientist were, or any scientist that proclaimed evolution and I literally thought they skewed data to fit their bias. I know exactly what AIG feels.
Thanks and glory to God the Father that I no longer think that or have such a shallow easily shakable foundation anymore. But now you have seen as explained slightly in this post, but more above of what my foundation in life, and my Biblical basement is made of. Though the levels after that are more like branches. Like if you you try to tell me that dancing in church is bad or something. that is like the 20th floor of the west branch. That has so little effect on my overall beliefs and purpose in life. But a recent (as of a few weeks ago thanks to this site, and God who can use all things to bring about his glory, even if that is to increase in my knowledge about Him) I have recently come to believe in EC and evolution and how it is most likely that the Genesis account is not a literal historical account. A why we are here rather than a how we got here.
I have to search for a quote, but I remember hearing a story about how Darwin (moved by Paley’s Natural Theology) discovered his theory and excitedly showed it to a fellow theist, and was overjoyed and said something to the effect of (God gave us the why, and you have discovered the how). What turned him atheist I have heard was the death of his loved one, and the concept of suffering that turned him, not the discovery of evolution.
Which I too have had the death of a mother, (though I think it was his quite young daughter). I would hate to assume I knew him or what he went through. But if His foundation was in God and the goodness of God, I don’t think that would have turned him. We know that God is good, that is a given (for Christians), so God either had no role in the death of his daughter, or was able to use this death in His divine plan. Sure I mourn when a loved one is lost, and enjoyed the time I had with them and will miss not being able to have that time with them again here on earth. But I am also thankful for the time I had with them and blessed to have had that long with them. Why do I feel so entitled to have had any amount of time with them or as much time as I did have? Why do I deserve good health or intellect? I don’t, but I am thankful it was given to me and wish to use it to glorify God with my gifts. A great example of suffering was a man who lost his land, his animals, his children and his health. His response “The Lord gives and He takes away”. Later on was worn down and required revelation and assistance and restoration from God as He was beginning to question, as we all grow weary. David grew weary and prayed constantly for God’s help, and also praised God constantly for His gifts and provisions and security. If your foundation is is your family or health or anything other than God, it can be shaken and taken away, leaving you frightened and scared. Some turn to God when hitting rock bottom. Others have hearts that grow hard and bitter and claim they are the only thing that can bring themselves out and turn atheist. Theism and atheism when it boils down to differ in one key thing, a point of pride. Am I in control of me, do I want to have control of me? Or do I know that God who designed me knows what is best for me and I want him to have control.
I think becoming an atheist because of suffering, or being an atheist due to suffering, is circular logic like being a Christian because the Bible says we should be. If you do not believe the Bible or there is a God, then you do not believe he is good, then suffering can’t be blamed on Him. If you are a Christian and believe the precepts of the Bible in that God is good, you can’t refute His goodness in your perception of bad, because by Biblical definition, He is good. His goodness isn’t circumstantial, it is a truth. Much like a child who gets punished (and is simple minded) sees the parents as mean in causing them to suffer punishment. But the wise parent, is not making the child suffer, rather using punishment as a deterrent and reminder to not do that potentially harmful thing again. Not to say that God is always using punishments and disciplines to help us learn, but to say that, one has higher meaning, and our feeble minds can’t always see the big picture.
I could expand more if requested but want to respect peoples time as much as I can despite how much I tend to ramble. I’m sorry. But that in a nutshell is “how I know God”.