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The Existence of God


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The Existence of God

If a Christian, and especially a Jehovah's Witness, is asked to provide proof of the existence of God, it is very likely that he will quote verse four of the third chapter of the letter to the Hebrews, "every house is constructed by someone, but the one who constructed all things is God".

The reasoning may be right, nothing came from nothing but everything on earth is due to the will of a designer, it is still good to note that Paul was not trying to argue about the existence of a Creator. He spoke to his Hebrew Christian companions who certainly did not question the fact that the universe was ruled by a powerful being who is behind everything. Moreover, in antiquity the problem was certainly not the non-belief in God but rather the opposite: people tended to believe in a multitude of gods. Furthermore, Paul, on one occasion, noticed that an altar dedicated to an unknown god had been made, certainly for fear of forgetting to revere a deity.

As always with the Bible, but the modus operandi is valid on all occasions, everything we read must be considered in relation to its context. In this passage, the apostle is talking about the house of God. This house is composed of the "holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling".

Christ "was faithful as a son over God’s house". As in the case of a building we honour the builder and not the house itself, similarly in this case the honour does not belong to those who make up the house but to its creator, God.

Does this mean that we cannot take Paul's illustration as a basis for reasoning? Of course not, the idea itself is valuable. We must simply be careful not to attribute to the apostle anything other than what he intended to say, so that we cannot be accused of distorting God's Word.

Although the denial of divine existence has been a particularly striking phenomenon since the second half of the nineteenth century, history tells us that atheism has always existed. Cicero had already pointed out that most philosophers said that the gods existed, but that Protagoras was in doubt while Theodore of Cyrene and Diagoras of Melos maintained that there was none. Heraclitus (535-475 BC) claims that the world was not made by any of the gods or men, but was and is and ever shall be ever-living fire. All this ends up giving birth to epicureanism, the search for individual happiness on earth in a human world without God1.

The psalmist tells us that the foolish one says in his heart: "There is no Jehovah". The rejection of God finds its roots in the immediately post-diluvian world where, to protect themselves from a new flood, men began to build a tower whose summit would reach the heavens2. It is not so much the existence of God that men have rejected, but the submission that he deserves. So, the origin is in the rejection of the authority. And how to justify this desire for freedom other than by denying the existence of the one to whom we are accountable? From the rejection of Jehovah (the Pharaoh himself to say: who is Jehovah?3), it was easy to proceed with the complete negation of a creator.

It was from the first half of the sixteenth century that the idea emerged that all religion is an invention of the powerful who take advantage of the ignorance of the humble (De tribus impostoribus4). Religious practice suffered a sharp decline, especially in the nobility and the bourgeoisie. In this case, it is centuries of tyranny on the part of religious leaders that generates this state. God was rebuffed, but in reality it was those who claimed to be his representatives that were rejected.

While philosophy is generally seen as the antithesis of the belief in God, as we have seen above the greatest Greek philosophers were theists. Voltaire himself questioned himself: the universe embarrasses me, and I cannot think that this clock exists and has no watchmaker. Chancellor Francis Bacon said: a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.

How can we convince ourselves and defend the existence of a Creator?

First of all, atheism is not as widespread as one might think. For example, according to a study, more than seventy percent of the Americans would be believers. It is a fact that some of those who pretend to be atheists never really thought about it. A simple discussion will reveal that most have not given serious consideration to the issue. People often reject God because they reject organised religion. The reason may also be that the person grew up in an atheistic family, just as children often continue to believe in God once adults because that is what they taught them. For example, the sons of members of a religious community generally become members of this community; in this case too a simple discussion will often reveal that there is not a sincere reflection upstream5. This is just the perpetuation of a family tradition. We will make the same observation in various organisations, such as political movements6.

Charles Darwin is often presented as the father of modern atheism. But his own writings show that he believed in the existence of a creator, an initial force at the root of everything, even if he rejected the Christian faith. If he wondered why life was full of pain, he did not see this as an argument against the existence of God. Towards the end of his life, he wrote that he has never been an atheist nor he denied the existence of God. This does not preclude Richard Dawkins, the high priest of twentieth-century atheism, from writing that he could never have been an atheist before Charles Darwin. In fact, it suits unbelievers to present Darwin as the one who opened the way to atheism, exposing his theory as a fact that put God at the forefront of the fables of dark times. By claiming that life has a chance origin, one think he can escape accountability.

It should not be understood that atheists have a less developed moral sense than theists; it is the kind of affirmations we've read in the Watchtower's publications7. One could even say that sometimes it is the opposite: abuse in the name of religion have led to the rejection of God by people who have had their moral feelings shocked. However, refusing to be held accountable to God could lead a person to think that he is free from certain constraints. Now, these constraints are usually those imposed by men and not by God himself. It is undeniable that believe in God entails obligations, if only by the duty to bear witness. But if we look closely, Christianity as preached by Jesus has only two commandments: you must love your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind, and you must love your neighbour as yourself. This is not a heavy yoke, to paraphrase Christ. – Matthew 11:29, 30

So, is science necessarily in opposition to religious faith? This is what many publications on the subject would like to lead us to believe. Even if the rate of believers is lower among scientists than in the rest of the population, we should not think that all are atheists8.

One can try to prove the non-existence of God by giving a rational explanation of the origin of the universe without intervention of anyone. If they did, it would not necessarily establish that God does not exist, but in any case it could be a serious blow to his defenders. However, despite decades or more of studies on the subject, we are still at the stage of hypotheses, which sometimes contradict each other and do not find consensus within the scientific community. The Big Bang, for example, still encounters oppositions (although weak, it must be recognised). It is nevertheless interesting to know that one of the initial promoters of this theory was a Belgian Catholic priest, Georges Lemaître. For him, there did not seem to be any conflict between the two parties, the religious party and the scientific party. Above all, the Big Bang does not explain the origin of the universe, but only the state where it would have been at a given moment. Nothing is said about what was before or what is the origin of this universe. We must admit either that it always existed, or that time did not exist, that it was initialised by this original explosion. It seems that this last explanation gains the most approval today9.

If God is at the origin of everything, then who created God?

In either case, whether the universe is the result of an initial explosion, whether it comes from another previous universe, or that it was created by an intelligent being, one must always admit that something had always existed. Each of the assertions only moves us one step backwards. Is it more scientific, or reasonable, to believe that for ages there existed matter, or some other substance, which a fine day gave birth to our universe, by some unknown force resulting from the most complete chance, rather to admit a designer living from eternity to eternity having intentionally done all that surrounds us? In all instances, it is a question of faith, if we want to give the word a meaning that is not its own10. – Psalm 90:2

We can read in some popular science book that with the "Big Bang" the time has come to existence. And so, that would solve the problem of what was before. Let us admit that before the beginning, time did not exist; and in this case it is wrong to say "before the beginning", since it is precisely the beginning of time, so there was no 'before'. This is exactly what the first book of the Bible tells us in his first chapter and his first verse: in the beginning God created… Yes, the Bible begins with a scientific assertion: there was a beginning, a beginning of time. God started by creating time as one of the dimensions in which we live. Does this contradict what the researchers tell us? It seems like no, since they claim that with the beginning of the universe time came to existence.

If, then, our knowledge of the origin of the universe does not allow us to invalidate or confirm the existence of a creator, will we have more chances with the other fields of science?

The theory of evolution may seem to have sounded the death knell for believers. Now, as we have seen previously, the father of the theory, Charles Darwin, believed in a god. Moreover, some religious denominations accept the idea of a world that has evolved under the guidance of an initial designer11. Even if one managed to prove the origin of life according to evolutionary theories, it would not call into question his existence.

Even today, about one hundred and sixty years after Darwin's book "On the Origin of Species", we still use the word theory when we talk about evolution. Why? Because there is no fixed explanation of this doctrine. According to its supporters, this is the most consistent interpretation found, yet the definitive proof is yet to come.

What does evolution mean? This is the transformation of living species over generations. That is to say, the fact that a form of life is modified to adapt to its living environment. Everyone may still remember the pictures posted on the walls of the science classes representing a large fish coming out of the water, which undergoes various transformations until becoming a man. And to explain to us that, one day, this fish decided to leave its aquatic environment to go on earth; and magically, legs sprouted. Later, he decided to fly, to jump in the trees, to walk on two legs, etc. We do not know why he wanted to get out of the water. We are told that this is adaptation to its environment. But what about the other fish that stayed in the water? Why did not they adapt too? If really it was a means of survival, why do we still see fish in the sea?12 If we admit that man is the most accomplished species, why in this case are there still other species that populate the earth? Why are not all individuals of one species transformed themselves? Man is certainly the species able to adapt to all terrestrial conditions. But he is still a human, whether he is an Inuit living in the extreme conditions of the north, or a Berber daily facing the heat of the desert. Everyone adapted to their environment, that is all.

Take the case of the Peppered moth (biston betularia). This moth has a colour that starts from gray to go to black. For proof of the evolution, evolutionists use this example:
in England, before 1850 gray individuals were preponderant. But things changed in the years that followed: there was a proliferation of black individuals. At the same time, it was observed that the bark of the birches was blackened by the soot deposited there due to the smoke of the surrounding factories. In the sixties, the gray moth revived, while at the time campaign was conducted to improve the quality of the air. It seemed to be the proof of the transformation and adaptation of a species to its environment. However, the explanation is simple, and moreover it is the one provided by the evolutionists themselves: when the bark is clear, the light moths merge with the colour of the tree and therefore the predators feed mainly on dark individuals. When the bark is black, the clear population is more visible and therefore more likely to fall into the hands, or rather into the beaks of the birds that feed on them. In one case or the other, one colour develops since less subject to pressure while the other collapses. But are these moths no longer moths? Did they turn into another species to escape their predators? No, they were moths, moths they remained. No doubt there has been natural selection but no evolution in another species. That individuals experience some variation from their environment is a proof of divine wisdom. Imagine that all men are cut out for arctic life, we would all be crammed into the far north while the tropics would be empty.

Years of genetic mutation experiments, especially on the fly, have only led to failures. No mutation has proved beneficial, on the contrary. Virtually all individuals are either dead, disabled or infertile. Really, there are no profitable mutations. Each one modifies an existing structure, but in a disorderly way. Each disorganisation causes the death of the individual13. The mutations found among the victims of Nagasaki or Hiroshima, as well as their descendants, or to be closer to us, among the victims of Chernobyl, generated only handicap, malformation and death. And in no case the creation of a new and viable species distinct from the human species.

The vapourware of paleontologists is obviously the famous missing link thought to be intermediate between the anthropoid apes and man. It has been missing for so long, despite regular announcements, that it is doubtful that it will ever appear. To this day, no evidence has been provided of a link between an apelike fossil and man. The proof is the controversy surrounding the discovery in Chad by Ahounta Djimdoumalbaye of Toumaï who, having all the characteristics of a chimpanzee, is undoubtedly a ... chimpanzee. Despite this, his discoverers insist to see in him the ancestor of the man14. Note that we rely on a skull, five fragments of jaw, a few teeth and a diaphysis of left femur probably having belonged to nine different individuals! With this, they reconstruct a skeleton, they give it a face (similar in any point to that of a monkey) and they decide that it is one of our ancestors.

But the goal is not to denigrate the work of scientists. It is not reprehensible to dismiss God from the field of hypotheses when we seek the explanation of a natural event. For millennia men have attributed to God actions that today have quite grounded explanations. If we had persisted to think that way, we would still believe that lightning is the expression of divine wrath. It is normal to ask questions or to be curious. Otherwise, God would not have created us with the desire to learn and understand.

Please do not get me wrong: there is no question of asking unbelievers to prove that God does not exist. So, I can very well argue that the laughing chicken exists. When I am asked for evidence, I can affirm that it is not up to me to provide it but up to those who refute my assertion15. Would it be honest on my part? Surely not! It is therefore our duty, as believers, to demonstrate the existence of God. On the other hand, what is valid in one direction must be valid in the other: when we are told that man is the result of an evolution from fish to all other forms of life, there so they have to be able to prove it. Otherwise, it is necessary to say that this is a hypothesis having the same validity as that of theism.

Evolutionists regularly accuse creationists16 of credulity. But what should we conclude when we are told that no competent person is questioning the evolution, that all reputable biologists admit that it is an established fact, or that anyone who is free from old illusions and prejudices has no need for additional evidence? Is it not the same kind of reasoning as saying that we believe in God because the church says it, all the great religious names admit that his existence is an established fact or that belief is a matter of faith and does not require additional proof? Out of a thousand evolutionists, how many have seriously studied the subject? Out of a thousand creationists, how many have seriously studied the subject? In either camp, it is important to know what we are talking about when we support something.

Is there more credulity in the assertion that God is at the origin of all than there is in the allegation that the universe appeared one day from nothing? Besides, how can it come from nothing? If I take a blackboard and ask a mathematician to write a series of zeros, multiply, add or divide them, from what point will he succeed in extracting a single unit? And yet, this is what we are asked to accept by some proponents of a universe that comes from nothing and who accuse us of believing in fairy tales17. Others will call us sweet dreamers if we maintain that God has always existed while they will have no trouble accepting that the universe, or what preceded it, had no beginning.

What is the evidence about God?

The fact is that atheists cannot prove that there is no God (but that is not what we ask them), and above all, they cannot prove the theories they put forward. Moreover, these theories do not necessarily demonstrate the absence of God, as we can see by observing that some religious feel that we can very well reconcile these hypotheses with a Creator18. But can we prove the existence of God?

Paul tells us that "his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable". What does nature reveal to us? Nothing but intelligent design, perfect harmony. To deny the existence of God is to say that mere chance is at the origin of our environment and of mankind. That this remarkable chance has happened millions and millions of times. Is it reasonable?

Let us imagine that I am on a height on a rainy day and that I haphazardly throw a million bricks and bags of cement down that mountain. Let us say that two bricks fall perfectly on each other and that the cement is impregnated with rainwater and joins in between. Let us go so far as to say that this occurrence repeats a second time. Let us be generous and go up to three! Will it ever result in a habitable house? Even recommencing the operation with a second million bricks, it is doubtful whether we could build a mere doghouse. In the meantime, two million bricks will have been reduced to nothing. If there were anything below, nothing will be left now, crushed under the pile. I could throw as many millions of bricks as I want and nothing good will come out. And would that be the case, I would have prove that it took someone to throw the bricks, they will not have thrown themselves alone!

Clearly, chance never produced anything good in a sustainable way. To repeat the example above, if I ever managed to mount an embryo of wall by throwing bricks and cement, it would be immediately destroyed by the following bricks. How can one seriously argue that a causality of events spanning billions of years can engender a functioning universe and an earth capable of harbouring millions of species? For one lucky event, how many billions of disaster?

It is therefore the order in the world that surrounds us that demonstrates the existence of a Creator. It is not even credible that this author simply started the process and then let chance do the rest. What kind of industrialist, wanting to manufacture a product, would rely on luck? Our environment and the way we, humans, are made denote wisdom, harmony and love. While evolutionists, on the basis of a conclusion, search for the facts that can prove it, believers take the facts and draw the only possible conclusion: there is a benevolent God who created our space. A God who loves us and proves it every day, while the majority of humans do not want to take him into account in everyday life. One is interested in him when misfortune occurs, but forget him when everything is fine. And yet, even the hairs of our head are all numbered; no sparrow will fall to the ground without his knowledge. – Matthew 10:29, 30; Psalm 52:1; Titus 3:4-7

Someone will argue that wars, diseases, famines, pollution, etc., give the lie to the statement that love rules our world. We cannot answer this objection in two words, but the Bible gives satisfactory explanations that we will have the opportunity to examine later. It is enough to take the time to read and study it seriously, while asking God to give us his spirit. If we are sincere, everything will become clear. – Romans 5:5; Psalm 52:8

Of course, with this essay I do not pretend to have convinced a single atheist. This belief is too deeply rooted for this to be done just by reading a few pages. I also did not want to do a scientific thesis, and it may be that some errors have crept into this text (I thank those who will report them). I only hope that the logic of the words strengthens the reader's faith, giving him some keys to defend his beliefs.

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1 Epicureanism does not deny the existence of God, but rather his involvement in the world. According to the proponents of this philosophy, God does not interfere with humans. (back)

2 The biblical text does not expressly say that this was the goal of the builders of the tower. Perhaps the desire was to rise to the level of God, in order to challenge him. (back)

3 Pharaoh did not question the existence of Jehovah. There is also a good chance that he knew his name as well as his actions. Indeed, the time of the Flood was not so remote and it would be surprising that at a distance of a few hundred years men had forgotten what was at the origin of the disaster that has left his mark on people's mind at the point that we find traces in the legends of most civilisations. Of course, he intended to demonstrate, as Nimrod and the builders of the tower did, that he had no intention of being accountable to the ruler of the universe. (back)

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5 It would be interesting to count the baptismal candidates at a Jehovah's Witnesses convention and to make the proportion of people arriving from the preaching activity (usually the oldest) in relation to the young children of Witnesses. (back)

6 It is a fact that in the capitalist states, many ardent defenders of communism come from communist families. (back)

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8 Allan Sandage, astronomer having determined the first reasonably accurate values for the Hubble constant and the age of the universe, said: The world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone. (back)

9 Alongside several other theories that generally receive little favorable echo, such as a universe of grapes (the bootstrap put forward by Edgard Gunzig), in which ours is only one of the grains having the ability to give birth to other universes by means of white holes, or the rebirth of an ancient universe that would retract to form a black hole that, after reaching the critical mass, eventually explode. Note also the theory of the "primordial instanton of size zero" of Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff as well as the scenario of the "pre-Big Bang" developed by the Italian physicists Gasperini and Veneziano. (back)

10 The Apostle Paul tells us that faith is "the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen". (Hebrew 11:1) It is not about being gullible, but about trusting in someone who has proven himself worthy. The Greek word "pistis" referred to a guarantee that was given. So, if we are told that it is faith that makes us believe in God, then we can take this as an argument for his existence, since our conviction comes from the guarantee that he has given us. (back)

11 In 1996, John Paul II asserted that evolution is more than just a hypothesis. For Benedict XVI, the world comes from an evolutionary process, while being derived from God. As for Pope Francis, he said that evolution is not contradictory to the notion of creation. (back)

12 In August 2003 a living coelacanth was found off the Comoros. It has been portrayed by some newspapers as the missing link between fish and man. This statement is still subject to debate. The following question arises: why have some evolved and other not? If it were beneficial to get out of the water and let the paws grow, why are there still today coelacanths that have remained in the "primitive" state, seventy million years later? (back)

13 Paraphrase of the remarks of Pierre Paul Grassé, former president of the French Academy of Sciences. (back)

14 According to some researchers Toumaï is actually a female. (back)

15 For the chronicle, the laughing chicken, Ayam Ketawa in Malay, is a breed of chicken native to the Sidenreng Rappang area in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. (back)

16 In this article the term creationist applies to anyone who believes in the creation of the universe by a God, whatever the school of thought. (back)

17 Paradoxically, the agnostic Jean Rostand, while affirming that one can only believe in the evolution, said that this is a fairy tale for adults. (back)

18 See note 11 above concerning papal declarations. (back)

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The Existence of God If a Christian, and especially a Jehovah's Witness, is asked to provide proof of the existence of God, it is very likely that he will quote verse four of the third chapter of the letter to the Hebrews, "every house is constructed by someone, but the one who constructed all things is God". The reasoning may be right, nothing came from nothing but everything on earth is due to the will of a designer, it is still good to note that Paul was not trying to argue about

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Am 1.11.2018 um 12:11 schrieb Baruq JW:

The Existence of God

If a Christian, and especially a Jehovah's Witness, is asked to provide proof of the existence of God, it is very likely that he will quote verse four of the third chapter of the letter to the Hebrews, "every house is constructed by someone, but the one who constructed all things is God".

The reasoning may be right, nothing came from nothing but everything on earth is due to the will of a designer, it is still good to note that Paul was not trying to argue about the existence of a Creator. He spoke to his Hebrew Christian companions who certainly did not question the fact that the universe was ruled by a powerful being who is behind everything. Moreover, in antiquity the problem was certainly not the non-belief in God but rather the opposite: people tended to believe in a multitude of gods. Furthermore, Paul, on one occasion, noticed that an altar dedicated to an unknown god had been made, certainly for fear of forgetting to revere a deity.

As always with the Bible, but the modus operandi is valid on all occasions, everything we read must be considered in relation to its context. In this passage, the apostle is talking about the house of God. This house is composed of the "holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling".

Christ "was faithful as a son over God’s house". As in the case of a building we honour the builder and not the house itself, similarly in this case the honour does not belong to those who make up the house but to its creator, God.

Does this mean that we cannot take Paul's illustration as a basis for reasoning? Of course not, the idea itself is valuable. We must simply be careful not to attribute to the apostle anything other than what he intended to say, so that we cannot be accused of distorting God's Word.

Although the denial of divine existence has been a particularly striking phenomenon since the second half of the nineteenth century, history tells us that atheism has always existed. Cicero had already pointed out that most philosophers said that the gods existed, but that Protagoras was in doubt while Theodore of Cyrene and Diagoras of Melos maintained that there was none. Heraclitus (535-475 BC) claims that the world was not made by any of the gods or men, but was and is and ever shall be ever-living fire. All this ends up giving birth to epicureanism, the search for individual happiness on earth in a human world without God1.

The psalmist tells us that the foolish one says in his heart: "There is no Jehovah". The rejection of God finds its roots in the immediately post-diluvian world where, to protect themselves from a new flood, men began to build a tower whose summit would reach the heavens2. It is not so much the existence of God that men have rejected, but the submission that he deserves. So, the origin is in the rejection of the authority. And how to justify this desire for freedom other than by denying the existence of the one to whom we are accountable? From the rejection of Jehovah (the Pharaoh himself to say: who is Jehovah?3), it was easy to proceed with the complete negation of a creator.

It was from the first half of the sixteenth century that the idea emerged that all religion is an invention of the powerful who take advantage of the ignorance of the humble (De tribus impostoribus4). Religious practice suffered a sharp decline, especially in the nobility and the bourgeoisie. In this case, it is centuries of tyranny on the part of religious leaders that generates this state. God was rebuffed, but in reality it was those who claimed to be his representatives that were rejected.

While philosophy is generally seen as the antithesis of the belief in God, as we have seen above the greatest Greek philosophers were theists. Voltaire himself questioned himself: the universe embarrasses me, and I cannot think that this clock exists and has no watchmaker. Chancellor Francis Bacon said: a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.

How can we convince ourselves and defend the existence of a Creator?

First of all, atheism is not as widespread as one might think. For example, according to a study, more than seventy percent of the Americans would be believers. It is a fact that some of those who pretend to be atheists never really thought about it. A simple discussion will reveal that most have not given serious consideration to the issue. People often reject God because they reject organised religion. The reason may also be that the person grew up in an atheistic family, just as children often continue to believe in God once adults because that is what they taught them. For example, the sons of members of a religious community generally become members of this community; in this case too a simple discussion will often reveal that there is not a sincere reflection upstream5. This is just the perpetuation of a family tradition. We will make the same observation in various organisations, such as political movements6.

Charles Darwin is often presented as the father of modern atheism. But his own writings show that he believed in the existence of a creator, an initial force at the root of everything, even if he rejected the Christian faith. If he wondered why life was full of pain, he did not see this as an argument against the existence of God. Towards the end of his life, he wrote that he has never been an atheist nor he denied the existence of God. This does not preclude Richard Dawkins, the high priest of twentieth-century atheism, from writing that he could never have been an atheist before Charles Darwin. In fact, it suits unbelievers to present Darwin as the one who opened the way to atheism, exposing his theory as a fact that put God at the forefront of the fables of dark times. By claiming that life has a chance origin, one think he can escape accountability.

It should not be understood that atheists have a less developed moral sense than theists; it is the kind of affirmations we've read in the Watchtower's publications7. One could even say that sometimes it is the opposite: abuse in the name of religion have led to the rejection of God by people who have had their moral feelings shocked. However, refusing to be held accountable to God could lead a person to think that he is free from certain constraints. Now, these constraints are usually those imposed by men and not by God himself. It is undeniable that believe in God entails obligations, if only by the duty to bear witness. But if we look closely, Christianity as preached by Jesus has only two commandments: you must love your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind, and you must love your neighbour as yourself. This is not a heavy yoke, to paraphrase Christ. – Matthew 11:29, 30

So, is science necessarily in opposition to religious faith? This is what many publications on the subject would like to lead us to believe. Even if the rate of believers is lower among scientists than in the rest of the population, we should not think that all are atheists8.

One can try to prove the non-existence of God by giving a rational explanation of the origin of the universe without intervention of anyone. If they did, it would not necessarily establish that God does not exist, but in any case it could be a serious blow to his defenders. However, despite decades or more of studies on the subject, we are still at the stage of hypotheses, which sometimes contradict each other and do not find consensus within the scientific community. The Big Bang, for example, still encounters oppositions (although weak, it must be recognised). It is nevertheless interesting to know that one of the initial promoters of this theory was a Belgian Catholic priest, Georges Lemaître. For him, there did not seem to be any conflict between the two parties, the religious party and the scientific party. Above all, the Big Bang does not explain the origin of the universe, but only the state where it would have been at a given moment. Nothing is said about what was before or what is the origin of this universe. We must admit either that it always existed, or that time did not exist, that it was initialised by this original explosion. It seems that this last explanation gains the most approval today9.

If God is at the origin of everything, then who created God?

In either case, whether the universe is the result of an initial explosion, whether it comes from another previous universe, or that it was created by an intelligent being, one must always admit that something had always existed. Each of the assertions only moves us one step backwards. Is it more scientific, or reasonable, to believe that for ages there existed matter, or some other substance, which a fine day gave birth to our universe, by some unknown force resulting from the most complete chance, rather to admit a designer living from eternity to eternity having intentionally done all that surrounds us? In all instances, it is a question of faith, if we want to give the word a meaning that is not its own10. – Psalm 90:2

We can read in some popular science book that with the "Big Bang" the time has come to existence. And so, that would solve the problem of what was before. Let us admit that before the beginning, time did not exist; and in this case it is wrong to say "before the beginning", since it is precisely the beginning of time, so there was no 'before'. This is exactly what the first book of the Bible tells us in his first chapter and his first verse: in the beginning God created… Yes, the Bible begins with a scientific assertion: there was a beginning, a beginning of time. God started by creating time as one of the dimensions in which we live. Does this contradict what the researchers tell us? It seems like no, since they claim that with the beginning of the universe time came to existence.

If, then, our knowledge of the origin of the universe does not allow us to invalidate or confirm the existence of a creator, will we have more chances with the other fields of science?

The theory of evolution may seem to have sounded the death knell for believers. Now, as we have seen previously, the father of the theory, Charles Darwin, believed in a god. Moreover, some religious denominations accept the idea of a world that has evolved under the guidance of an initial designer11. Even if one managed to prove the origin of life according to evolutionary theories, it would not call into question his existence.

Even today, about one hundred and sixty years after Darwin's book "On the Origin of Species", we still use the word theory when we talk about evolution. Why? Because there is no fixed explanation of this doctrine. According to its supporters, this is the most consistent interpretation found, yet the definitive proof is yet to come.

What does evolution mean? This is the transformation of living species over generations. That is to say, the fact that a form of life is modified to adapt to its living environment. Everyone may still remember the pictures posted on the walls of the science classes representing a large fish coming out of the water, which undergoes various transformations until becoming a man. And to explain to us that, one day, this fish decided to leave its aquatic environment to go on earth; and magically, legs sprouted. Later, he decided to fly, to jump in the trees, to walk on two legs, etc. We do not know why he wanted to get out of the water. We are told that this is adaptation to its environment. But what about the other fish that stayed in the water? Why did not they adapt too? If really it was a means of survival, why do we still see fish in the sea?12 If we admit that man is the most accomplished species, why in this case are there still other species that populate the earth? Why are not all individuals of one species transformed themselves? Man is certainly the species able to adapt to all terrestrial conditions. But he is still a human, whether he is an Inuit living in the extreme conditions of the north, or a Berber daily facing the heat of the desert. Everyone adapted to their environment, that is all.

Take the case of the Peppered moth (biston betularia). This moth has a colour that starts from gray to go to black. For proof of the evolution, evolutionists use this example:
in England, before 1850 gray individuals were preponderant. But things changed in the years that followed: there was a proliferation of black individuals. At the same time, it was observed that the bark of the birches was blackened by the soot deposited there due to the smoke of the surrounding factories. In the sixties, the gray moth revived, while at the time campaign was conducted to improve the quality of the air. It seemed to be the proof of the transformation and adaptation of a species to its environment. However, the explanation is simple, and moreover it is the one provided by the evolutionists themselves: when the bark is clear, the light moths merge with the colour of the tree and therefore the predators feed mainly on dark individuals. When the bark is black, the clear population is more visible and therefore more likely to fall into the hands, or rather into the beaks of the birds that feed on them. In one case or the other, one colour develops since less subject to pressure while the other collapses. But are these moths no longer moths? Did they turn into another species to escape their predators? No, they were moths, moths they remained. No doubt there has been natural selection but no evolution in another species. That individuals experience some variation from their environment is a proof of divine wisdom. Imagine that all men are cut out for arctic life, we would all be crammed into the far north while the tropics would be empty.

Years of genetic mutation experiments, especially on the fly, have only led to failures. No mutation has proved beneficial, on the contrary. Virtually all individuals are either dead, disabled or infertile. Really, there are no profitable mutations. Each one modifies an existing structure, but in a disorderly way. Each disorganisation causes the death of the individual13. The mutations found among the victims of Nagasaki or Hiroshima, as well as their descendants, or to be closer to us, among the victims of Chernobyl, generated only handicap, malformation and death. And in no case the creation of a new and viable species distinct from the human species.

The vapourware of paleontologists is obviously the famous missing link thought to be intermediate between the anthropoid apes and man. It has been missing for so long, despite regular announcements, that it is doubtful that it will ever appear. To this day, no evidence has been provided of a link between an apelike fossil and man. The proof is the controversy surrounding the discovery in Chad by Ahounta Djimdoumalbaye of Toumaï who, having all the characteristics of a chimpanzee, is undoubtedly a ... chimpanzee. Despite this, his discoverers insist to see in him the ancestor of the man14. Note that we rely on a skull, five fragments of jaw, a few teeth and a diaphysis of left femur probably having belonged to nine different individuals! With this, they reconstruct a skeleton, they give it a face (similar in any point to that of a monkey) and they decide that it is one of our ancestors.

But the goal is not to denigrate the work of scientists. It is not reprehensible to dismiss God from the field of hypotheses when we seek the explanation of a natural event. For millennia men have attributed to God actions that today have quite grounded explanations. If we had persisted to think that way, we would still believe that lightning is the expression of divine wrath. It is normal to ask questions or to be curious. Otherwise, God would not have created us with the desire to learn and understand.

Please do not get me wrong: there is no question of asking unbelievers to prove that God does not exist. So, I can very well argue that the laughing chicken exists. When I am asked for evidence, I can affirm that it is not up to me to provide it but up to those who refute my assertion15. Would it be honest on my part? Surely not! It is therefore our duty, as believers, to demonstrate the existence of God. On the other hand, what is valid in one direction must be valid in the other: when we are told that man is the result of an evolution from fish to all other forms of life, there so they have to be able to prove it. Otherwise, it is necessary to say that this is a hypothesis having the same validity as that of theism.

Evolutionists regularly accuse creationists16 of credulity. But what should we conclude when we are told that no competent person is questioning the evolution, that all reputable biologists admit that it is an established fact, or that anyone who is free from old illusions and prejudices has no need for additional evidence? Is it not the same kind of reasoning as saying that we believe in God because the church says it, all the great religious names admit that his existence is an established fact or that belief is a matter of faith and does not require additional proof? Out of a thousand evolutionists, how many have seriously studied the subject? Out of a thousand creationists, how many have seriously studied the subject? In either camp, it is important to know what we are talking about when we support something.

Is there more credulity in the assertion that God is at the origin of all than there is in the allegation that the universe appeared one day from nothing? Besides, how can it come from nothing? If I take a blackboard and ask a mathematician to write a series of zeros, multiply, add or divide them, from what point will he succeed in extracting a single unit? And yet, this is what we are asked to accept by some proponents of a universe that comes from nothing and who accuse us of believing in fairy tales17. Others will call us sweet dreamers if we maintain that God has always existed while they will have no trouble accepting that the universe, or what preceded it, had no beginning.

What is the evidence about God?

The fact is that atheists cannot prove that there is no God (but that is not what we ask them), and above all, they cannot prove the theories they put forward. Moreover, these theories do not necessarily demonstrate the absence of God, as we can see by observing that some religious feel that we can very well reconcile these hypotheses with a Creator18. But can we prove the existence of God?

Paul tells us that "his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable". What does nature reveal to us? Nothing but intelligent design, perfect harmony. To deny the existence of God is to say that mere chance is at the origin of our environment and of mankind. That this remarkable chance has happened millions and millions of times. Is it reasonable?

Let us imagine that I am on a height on a rainy day and that I haphazardly throw a million bricks and bags of cement down that mountain. Let us say that two bricks fall perfectly on each other and that the cement is impregnated with rainwater and joins in between. Let us go so far as to say that this occurrence repeats a second time. Let us be generous and go up to three! Will it ever result in a habitable house? Even recommencing the operation with a second million bricks, it is doubtful whether we could build a mere doghouse. In the meantime, two million bricks will have been reduced to nothing. If there were anything below, nothing will be left now, crushed under the pile. I could throw as many millions of bricks as I want and nothing good will come out. And would that be the case, I would have prove that it took someone to throw the bricks, they will not have thrown themselves alone!

Clearly, chance never produced anything good in a sustainable way. To repeat the example above, if I ever managed to mount an embryo of wall by throwing bricks and cement, it would be immediately destroyed by the following bricks. How can one seriously argue that a causality of events spanning billions of years can engender a functioning universe and an earth capable of harbouring millions of species? For one lucky event, how many billions of disaster?

It is therefore the order in the world that surrounds us that demonstrates the existence of a Creator. It is not even credible that this author simply started the process and then let chance do the rest. What kind of industrialist, wanting to manufacture a product, would rely on luck? Our environment and the way we, humans, are made denote wisdom, harmony and love. While evolutionists, on the basis of a conclusion, search for the facts that can prove it, believers take the facts and draw the only possible conclusion: there is a benevolent God who created our space. A God who loves us and proves it every day, while the majority of humans do not want to take him into account in everyday life. One is interested in him when misfortune occurs, but forget him when everything is fine. And yet, even the hairs of our head are all numbered; no sparrow will fall to the ground without his knowledge. – Matthew 10:29, 30; Psalm 52:1; Titus 3:4-7

Someone will argue that wars, diseases, famines, pollution, etc., give the lie to the statement that love rules our world. We cannot answer this objection in two words, but the Bible gives satisfactory explanations that we will have the opportunity to examine later. It is enough to take the time to read and study it seriously, while asking God to give us his spirit. If we are sincere, everything will become clear. – Romans 5:5; Psalm 52:8

Of course, with this essay I do not pretend to have convinced a single atheist. This belief is too deeply rooted for this to be done just by reading a few pages. I also did not want to do a scientific thesis, and it may be that some errors have crept into this text (I thank those who will report them). I only hope that the logic of the words strengthens the reader's faith, giving him some keys to defend his beliefs.

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1 Epicureanism does not deny the existence of God, but rather his involvement in the world. According to the proponents of this philosophy, God does not interfere with humans. (back)

2 The biblical text does not expressly say that this was the goal of the builders of the tower. Perhaps the desire was to rise to the level of God, in order to challenge him. (back)

3 Pharaoh did not question the existence of Jehovah. There is also a good chance that he knew his name as well as his actions. Indeed, the time of the Flood was not so remote and it would be surprising that at a distance of a few hundred years men had forgotten what was at the origin of the disaster that has left his mark on people's mind at the point that we find traces in the legends of most civilisations. Of course, he intended to demonstrate, as Nimrod and the builders of the tower did, that he had no intention of being accountable to the ruler of the universe. (back)

4

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5 It would be interesting to count the baptismal candidates at a Jehovah's Witnesses convention and to make the proportion of people arriving from the preaching activity (usually the oldest) in relation to the young children of Witnesses. (back)

6 It is a fact that in the capitalist states, many ardent defenders of communism come from communist families. (back)

7

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8 Allan Sandage, astronomer having determined the first reasonably accurate values for the Hubble constant and the age of the universe, said: The world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone. (back)

9 Alongside several other theories that generally receive little favorable echo, such as a universe of grapes (the bootstrap put forward by Edgard Gunzig), in which ours is only one of the grains having the ability to give birth to other universes by means of white holes, or the rebirth of an ancient universe that would retract to form a black hole that, after reaching the critical mass, eventually explode. Note also the theory of the "primordial instanton of size zero" of Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff as well as the scenario of the "pre-Big Bang" developed by the Italian physicists Gasperini and Veneziano. (back)

10 The Apostle Paul tells us that faith is "the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen". (Hebrew 11:1) It is not about being gullible, but about trusting in someone who has proven himself worthy. The Greek word "pistis" referred to a guarantee that was given. So, if we are told that it is faith that makes us believe in God, then we can take this as an argument for his existence, since our conviction comes from the guarantee that he has given us. (back)

11 In 1996, John Paul II asserted that evolution is more than just a hypothesis. For Benedict XVI, the world comes from an evolutionary process, while being derived from God. As for Pope Francis, he said that evolution is not contradictory to the notion of creation. (back)

12 In August 2003 a living coelacanth was found off the Comoros. It has been portrayed by some newspapers as the missing link between fish and man. This statement is still subject to debate. The following question arises: why have some evolved and other not? If it were beneficial to get out of the water and let the paws grow, why are there still today coelacanths that have remained in the "primitive" state, seventy million years later? (back)

13 Paraphrase of the remarks of Pierre Paul Grassé, former president of the French Academy of Sciences. (back)

14 According to some researchers Toumaï is actually a female. (back)

15 For the chronicle, the laughing chicken, Ayam Ketawa in Malay, is a breed of chicken native to the Sidenreng Rappang area in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. (back)

16 In this article the term creationist applies to anyone who believes in the creation of the universe by a God, whatever the school of thought. (back)

17 Paradoxically, the agnostic Jean Rostand, while affirming that one can only believe in the evolution, said that this is a fairy tale for adults. (back)

18 See note 11 above concerning papal declarations. (back)

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    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Bonjour Eric merci pour cet exposé.
      Bonne journée Michel
      1LE BATEAU.pdf
      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      La sagesse est plus précieuse que l’or et la crainte envers Jéhovah est notre salut.
       
      La vraie sagesse de Dieu est un cadeau inestimable, car seul ceux qui obéissent et suivent ces préceptes en recoivent les bienfaits. En Psaume 111:10 déclare ceci: “La crainte de Jéhovah est le commencement de la sagesse.”
      Qu’est-ce que cela veut dire? La sagesse est la capacité d’utiliser efficacement sa connaissance et son intelligence pour résoudre un problème, éviter un danger, atteindre un objectif. Elle sous-entend un bon jugement. Le commencement, la première partie, le fondement de cette sagesse, c’est la crainte de Jéhovah. Pourquoi cela? Bien que toute création est l’œuvre de ses mains et dépend de lui. Il a accordé aux humains le libre arbitre, mais pas la faculté de diriger leurs pas avec succès sans tenir compte de sa direction (Josué 24:15; Jérémie 10:23). Nous ne connaîtrons le succès durable qu’à la condition de bien saisir ces idées fondamentales sur la vie, et de nous y conformer. Si notre connaissance de Jéhovah nous donne la ferme conviction que la volonté divine est promise au succès, et qu’il tiendra sa promesse de récompenser ses fidèles, alors la crainte pieuse nous poussera à agir sagement. — Proverbes 3:21-26; Hébreux 11:6.
      Prenons un exemple: Il y a quelques dizaines d’années, un jeune homme fréquentait l’université de Saskatchewan, au Canada. Au programme de sa formation figurait la biologie, et on lui a enseigné l’évolution. Après avoir été diplômé, il s’est spécialisé dans la physique nucléaire, profitant d’une bourse pour continuer ses études à l’université de Toronto. Au cours de ses études, il a constaté dans la structure des atomes révélaient des témoignages stupéfiants d’un ordre et d’une finalité extraordinaire . Mais personnes ne répondait pas à ces questions: Qui a conçu tout cela? Quand? Et pourquoi? Sans ces réponses, pouvait-il utiliser sagement ses connaissances dans un monde remplis interrogations ? Qu’est-ce qui le guiderait? Le nationalisme? Le désir de gratifications matérielles? Avait-il acquis la vraie sagesse?
      Peu après avoir été diplômé, cet homme ainsi que sa femme se sont mis à étudier la Bible avec les Témoins de Jéhovah. Dans la Parole de Dieu, ils ont peu à peu trouvé les réponses qui leur manquaient. Ils ont appris à connaître le Créateur, Jéhovah Dieu. En étudiant ce qui est arrivé à Moïse à la mer Rouge, à Daniel et à ses compagnons à Babylone, ils ont appris l’importance de craindre Dieu, et non les hommes (Exode 14:10-31; Daniel 3:8-30). Cette crainte pieuse mêlée d’un amour sincère pour Jéhovah a commencé à les animer. Rapidement, leur vie a changé. Enfin cet homme connaissait Celui dont il avait étudié l’œuvre en biologie. Il a progressivement compris le dessein de Celui dont il avait constaté la sagesse dans ses cours de physique. Au lieu d’employer sa connaissance à élaborer des instruments de destruction, il a choisi, avec sa femme, d’aider autrui à aimer Dieu et son prochain. Ils ont entrepris le service de prédicateurs du Royaume de Dieu à plein temps. Par la suite, ils ont suivi les cours de Galaad, l’École biblique de la Société Watchtower, et ont été nommés missionnaires.
      Bien entendu, tout le monde ne peut pas être missionnaire. Mais tous nous pouvons bénéficier de la sagesse fondée sur la crainte de Jéhovah. Si nous cultivons cette sagesse, nous ne consacrerons pas le meilleur de notre vie à étudier les philosophies humaines, qui n’échafaudent que des suppositions sur le but de la vie. Nous nous appliquerons à l’étude de la Bible, livre inspiré de Jéhovah Dieu, la Source de la vie, celui qui peut nous donner la vie éternelle (Psaume 36:9; Colossiens 2:8). Au lieu de nous rendre esclaves d’un système commercial chancelant, au bord de la ruine, nous écouterons Jéhovah, qui nous conseille de nous contenter de la nourriture et du vêtement, et d’accorder à nos relations avec lui la priorité dans notre existence (1 Timothée 6:8-12). Au lieu de nous comporter comme si notre avenir dépendait d’une belle situation dans le monde actuel, nous croirons la Parole de Jéhovah, qui nous affirme que le monde est en train de passer, de même que le désir du monde, alors que celui qui fait la volonté divine demeure pour toujours. — 1 Jean 2:17.
      Dans le livre de Proverbes 16:16, Salomon nous encourage par cette déclaration certaine: “Acquérir la sagesse [la sagesse qui commence par la crainte de Jéhovah], oh! combien cela vaut mieux que l’or! Et acquérir l’intelligence est préférable à l’argent.” Poussés par cette sagesse et cette intelligence, nous considérerons l’accomplissement de la volonté de Dieu comme le premier centre d’intérêt de notre vie. Et quelle activité Dieu a-t-il confiée à ses Témoins en cette période de l’histoire humaine? Faire connaître son Royaume par la prédication et aider les personnes sincères à devenir de vrais disciples de Jésus Christ (Matthieu 24:14; 28:19, 20). Il s’agit d’une activité dont on retire une satisfaction véritable et un grand bonheur. C’est donc à propos que la Bible dit: “Heureux l’homme qui a trouvé la sagesse, et l’homme qui acquiert le discernement.” — Proverbes 3:13.
      Elle nous retient de commettre le mal
      Un deuxième bienfait que nous procure la crainte de Dieu est qu’elle nous retient de commettre le mal. Celui qui respecte profondément Dieu ne détermine pas par lui-même ce qui est bien et mal. Il ne tient pas pour mauvais ce que Dieu déclare bon, ni ne considère comme bon ce que Dieu déclare mauvais (Psaume 37:1, 27; Ésaïe 5:20, 21). De plus, celui que motive la crainte pieuse ne se contente pas de savoir ce que Jéhovah déclare bon ou mauvais. Une telle personne aime ce que Jéhovah aime et elle hait ce que Jéhovah hait. En conséquence, elle agit en harmonie avec les préceptes divins. Ainsi, comme le dit Proverbes 16:6, “par la crainte de Jéhovah, on se détourne du mal”. Cette crainte pieuse devient une motivation puissante qui permet d’atteindre des résultats qu’on n’obtiendrait pas même si une personne commence tout juste à l’éprouver, la crainte pieuse peut lui donner le courage de ne pas faire quelque chose qu’elle regretterait le restant de ses jours. Au Mexique, par exemple, une femme enceinte a demandé à une chrétienne Témoin de Jéhovah ce qu’elle pensait de l’avortement. La chrétienne lui a lu plusieurs versets bibliques, puis lui a tenu ce raisonnement: “Pour le Créateur, la vie est très importante, même la vie de ceux qui ne sont pas encore nés.” (Exode 21:22, 23; Psaume 139:13-16). Des examens laissaient entendre que le bébé serait anormal. Néanmoins, après ce qu’elle avait vu dans la Parole de Dieu, cette femme a décidé de garder son enfant. Son médecin a refusé de la revoir, et son mari l’a menacée de la quitter, mais elle a tenu bon. Elle a finalement donné naissance à une magnifique petite fille, normale et en bonne santé. Par gratitude, elle a recherché les Témoins et s’est mise à étudier la Parole de Dieu avec eux. Moins d’un an après, son mari et elle se faisaient baptiser. Quelques années plus tard, à une assemblée de district, tous deux ont été enchantés de rencontrer la chrétienne qui avait parlé à la femme la première fois. Ils lui ont présenté leur jolie fillette de quatre ans. Incontestablement, le respect de Dieu et le désir puissant de ne pas lui déplaire exercent une grande influence.
      La crainte pieuse peut nous garder d’un grand nombre de mauvaises actions (2 Corinthiens 7:1). Cultivée avec soin, elle est capable d’aider quelqu’un à mettre un terme à des péchés cachés, connus de lui seul et de Jéhovah. Elle peut l’aider à se libérer de la dépendance de l’alcool ou de la drogue. Un ancien drogué d’Afrique du Sud a raconté: “Au fur et à mesure que j’apprenais à connaître Dieu, la crainte de le décevoir ou de lui déplaire grandissait en moi. Je savais qu’il m’observait, et je désirais ardemment son approbation. Cela m’a incité à me débarrasser de la drogue qui était en ma possession en la jetant dans les toilettes.” La crainte pieuse a aidé des milliers de personnes de la même manière. — Proverbes 5:21; 15:3.
      La crainte salutaire de Dieu nous préserve également de la crainte de l’homme. La plupart des humains connaissent, à des degrés divers, la crainte de l’homme. Les apôtres de Jésus Christ l’ont abandonné et se sont enfuis lorsque les soldats se sont emparés de lui dans le jardin de Gethsémané. Plus tard, dans la cour du grand prêtre, désarçonné et en proie à la crainte, Pierre a nié faire partie des disciples de Jésus et même le connaître (Marc 14:48-50, 66-72; Jean 18:15-27). Mais grâce à l’aide qu’ils ont reçue, les apôtres ont retrouvé leur équilibre spirituel. Par contre, aux jours du roi Jéhoïakim, Urie, fils de Schémaïah, fut terrassé par la crainte au point d’abandonner son service de prophète de Jéhovah et de fuir le pays, ce qui ne l’empêcha pas d’être capturé et tué. — Jérémie 26:20-23.
      Comment vaincre la crainte de l’homme? 
      Après nous avoir prévenus que “trembler devant les hommes, voilà ce qui tend un piège”, Proverbes 29:25 ajoute: “Mais celui qui se confie en Jéhovah sera protégé.” La réponse tient donc dans la confiance en Jéhovah. Cette confiance s’appuie sur la connaissance et l’expérience. L’étude de sa Parole nous démontre que les voies de Jéhovah sont droites. Nous découvrons des événements attestant qu’il est digne de confiance, que ses promesses sont sûres (y compris celle de la résurrection), qu’il est amour et qu’il est tout-puissant. Lorsqu’ensuite nous agissons conformément à cette connaissance, accomplissant ce que Jéhovah demande et rejetant fermement ce qu’il condamne, nous commençons à constater dans notre propre cas qu’il prend soin de ses serviteurs avec amour et que l’on peut compter sur lui. Nous acquérons personnellement la certitude que sa puissance est à l’œuvre pour que s’accomplisse sa volonté. Notre confiance en lui s’accroît, de même que notre amour pour lui et notre désir sincère de ne pas lui déplaire. Cette confiance est bâtie sur un fondement solide. Elle est un rempart contre la crainte de l’homme.
      Notre confiance en Jéhovah, alliée à la crainte pieuse, nous rendra fermes en faveur du bien dans le cas où un employeur menacerait de nous renvoyer si nous refusions de participer à des pratiques commerciales malhonnêtes (voir Michée 6:11, 12). Grâce à cette crainte pieuse, des milliers de chrétiens persévèrent dans le vrai culte malgré l’opposition de membres de leur famille. Elle donne aussi aux jeunes le courage de se faire connaître comme Témoins de Jéhovah à l’école, et elle les affermit face aux moqueries de leurs camarades de classe qui méprisent les principes bibliques. Ainsi, une adolescente Témoin de Jéhovah a dit: “Ce qu’ils pensent m’est bien égal. L’important, c’est ce que pense Jéhovah.”
      La même conviction donne aux vrais chrétiens la force de rester attachés aux voies de Jéhovah lorsque leur vie est en jeu. Ils savent qu’ils risquent d’être persécutés par le monde. Ils sont conscients que les apôtres ont été fouettés et que même Jésus Christ a été frappé et tué par des hommes méchants (Marc 14:65; 15:15-39; Actes 5:40; voir aussi Daniel 3:16-18). Mais les serviteurs de Jéhovah sont assurés qu’il peut leur donner la force d’endurer, qu’avec son aide ils peuvent remporter la victoire, que Jéhovah récompensera sans faute ses fidèles, si besoin en les ressuscitant dans son monde nouveau. Leur amour pour Dieu ajouté à la crainte pieuse les pousse puissamment à éviter toute action qui pourrait lui déplaire.
      C’est parce qu’ils étaient animés d’une telle motivation que les Témoins de Jéhovah ont supporté les horreurs des camps de concentration nazis dans les années 30 et 40. Ils ont pris à cœur le conseil de Jésus consigné en Luc 12:4, 5: “D’autre part, je vous le dis à vous, mes amis: Ne craignez pas ceux qui tuent le corps, et qui après cela ne peuvent rien faire de plus. Mais je vais vous indiquer qui vous devez craindre: craignez celui qui, après avoir tué, a le pouvoir de jeter dans la Géhenne. Oui, je vous le dis, Celui-là, craignez-le.” Par exemple, Gustav Auschner, un Témoin qui avait été interné dans le camp de concentration de Sachsenhausen, a écrit plus tard: ‘Les SS ont exécuté August Dickmann et ont menacé de nous passer tous par les armes si nous refusions de signer un document par lequel nous abjurions notre foi. Pas un seul n’a signé. Notre crainte de déplaire à Jéhovah était plus forte que la crainte de leurs balles.’ La crainte de l’homme mène aux compromis, mais la crainte de Dieu nous affermit pour faire le bien.
      La préservation de la vie
      Noé a connu les derniers jours du monde antédiluvien. Jéhovah avait décidé de détruire le monde d’alors en raison de la méchanceté des humains. Toutefois, en attendant, Noé a vécu dans un monde où régnaient la violence, l’immoralité sexuelle choquante et le mépris de la volonté divine. Noé a prêché la justice, et pourtant “ils ne s’aperçurent de rien jusqu’à ce que le déluge vînt et les emportât tous”. (Matthieu 24:39.) Noé n’a cependant pas renoncé à l’activité que Dieu lui avait confiée. Il fit “selon tout ce que Dieu lui avait ordonné. Ainsi fit-il”. (Genèse 6:22.) Qu’est-ce qui a permis à Noé, année après année et jusqu’au déluge, de toujours agir comme il convenait? Hébreux 11:7 répond: “Par la foi, Noé, divinement averti de choses qu’on ne voyait pas encore, fit montre d’une crainte pieuse.” Pour cette raison, sa femme, ses fils, leurs femmes et lui ont été sauvés du déluge.
       Notre époque ressemble de bien des manières à celle de Noé (Luc 17:26, 27). De nouveau un avertissement est lancé. Révélation 14:6, 7 parle d’un ange qui vole au milieu du ciel et invite les gens de toute nation et tribu et langue à ‘craindre Dieu et à lui donner gloire’. Quel que puisse être le comportement du monde autour de vous, obéissez à ces paroles, puis transmettez l’invitation à autrui. À l’instar de Noé, agissons avec foi et manifestons une crainte pieuse. Par cela, des vies peuvent être sauvées: la vôtre et celle de nombre de vos semblables. Lorsque nous considérons les bienfaits dont profitent ceux qui craignent le vrai Dieu, nous ne pouvons que souscrire aux paroles du psalmiste divinement inspiré qui chanta: 
      “Heureux est l’homme qui craint Jéhovah, dans les commandements de qui il prend grand plaisir!” — Psaume 112:1.

      · 0 replies
    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      I can not open study material 
      · 0 replies
    • Darlene  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Can not open weekly study material 
      · 3 replies
    • Deborah T. Calloway  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Thank you so much for the meeting work book. I really appreciate your hard work 
      · 0 replies
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