Is There a God?
I was once out on a date with a guy I liked very much. He was a stock broker based in New York. We were having a great time until I said something about God and prayer. At that point his face darkened and with disdain, he asked me: “Are you one of those kinds of girls?” Baffled, I responded by saying, “What do you mean by one of those kinds of girls?” He said, “The religious kind!” He seemed angry. I tried to probe more deeply to understand why he seemed angry. With conviction, he said: “I do not believe in God. I believe in science!” I pointed out that these two were not mutually exclusive, that belief in one does not preclude belief in the other. But he just wouldn’t listen. It pretty much ruined what seemed to be a perfect night. Many years later I bumped into him again and we had dinner. He was relating his horrific experience during the 9/11 attacks on New York City, and how he was right in the middle of Wall Street, being a stock broker, when this happened. There was pandemonium everywhere, and people were running frantically to find a safe hiding place. The smoke around him was getting thicker such that it was getting harder to breathe or to even see anything. Finally, he was able to step into a small store where many had congregated to escape the noxious smoke. He said that in their desperation, all the people in that store got down on their knees, held hands and prayed to God; including him, the avowed atheist! In our moments of desperation, in a life or death situation, who or what do we call on? God or science?
Joseph Stalin, known for his violent propagation of communism, responsible for the deaths of millions, and a staunch atheist, undertook an unusual action right before he died as told by his daughter Svetlana Stalin. According to the story Svetlana related, while Stalin lay dying on his bed, he suddenly sat halfway up, clenched his fist toward the heavens, fell back upon his pillow, and died. Why would an atheist clench his fist toward the heavens? To whom was he directing that final act of defiance?
Seventeenth-century French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, former atheist who became a convert to Christianity, gave a very practical motivation to believe in God. He said, “Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate the two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.”
Are you willing to wager your eternity that there is no God?