Some time ago, I read an article somewhere that was written by (what seemed to me was ) an academic explaining how the historical evidence for Jesus didn’t quite add up. He cited arguments and other studies by other academics who claimed a similar premise to support his conclusions. He poo-pooed the reasoning of Christians and pretty much concluded that Christian-based works and research were, essentially, fact-related opinions rather than hard fact.
Isn’t it interesting how…
Doubters believe Doubters and doubt Believers…while
Believers believe Believers and try to persuade Doubters.
Non-believers give God the burden of proving Himself to them. Only then, maybe, just maybe, they’d probably be willing to accept that He exists. But they’d like a refund on that acceptance, just in case it was a fluke…or a bad reaction to lunch…or some other logical explanation, you know….because they’re really not ready to accept Him anyway…even if He did prove himself.
The World gives Believers the burden of proving that there is a God worth acknowledging, let alone someone worth worshipping, let alone “joining a church” for. But, like Non-believers, they may or may not accept that proof….because they never really wanted to know nor cared to know anyway
Want-to-Believers have the burden of proving God, to see if, by following particular instructions, they would actually get some sort of response…some blessing…from Him. Want-to-Believers must be ready to receive that answer, regardless of the consequences.
Unsure-“Believers” and Trying-to-“Believers” have the burden of proving themselves to God, to show their commitment to Him, their willingness to try and trust Him, and their persistence in trying to discover Him…especially when things didn’t turn out the way they expected.
Believers have the burden of explaining their very personal experiences with God (their personal proof of Him) to people who may doubt them, people who may listen, people who will reject them, people with a grudge with God, and people who don’t want to listen and have any part of it. Believers also have the burden of strengthening others who have had their own experiences with God, of bolstering and confirming what they have experienced, and of sharing those experiences with others…together.
The burden of proof…then…depends on the person. No amount of evidence of universal cosmic proportions about God will open a willfully locked heart, but the tiniest of evidence will thrust open the doors of a willingly open heart. How could we expect to see the face of God if we’re unwilling to see His Hand in our lives? God will not force Himself upon the one who doesn’t really want to know Him….unless that person really needs a good kick in the right direction. And even then, the responsibility and accountability afterward comes at great personal risk for that person. Think of Saul who became Paul in the Bible who, after his incident with Christ, became blind, then saw, then suffered persecutions and a variety of difficult events while being a missionary in and out of prison up to his death. Even Pharaoh of Egypt, who didn’t want to know God but was forced to know His power, finally let the Israelites go with Moses, but not without a fight. He lost his first born son, his military might, and eventually, his slaves and economic power.
Do we really want to give God the burden of proof to prove Himself to us? Or do we take it upon ourselves to “prove Him out” on whether or not He’ll do as he promises to do? And do we prove ourselves to Him…that we’ll trust Him, regardless of the consequences, even if we can’t see or understand “the road ahead”?
But sometimes, even that is too much of a burden for many of us.
Still, God gives us a small enough challenge…one that each one of us can all start out with….it is the burden of proving to God that we’re interested in Him…enough that we’d even want to discover Him, get to know Him, trust him daily, and ultimately want to be with Him.
Only when we show interest in Him does He reveal Himself in ways we never thought of.
The LDS Lamplighter