Article of the Month

March 2012

IS THERE "PROOF"?

 

For centuries, people have asked questions like, “Can you prove to me that there is a God?” In the first place, if such “proof” were readily available, the question would have stopped being asked long ago. In the second place, what is it that constitutes “proof”?  Even the court systems have not found the answer for that one; they rely more on statements like “beyond reasonable doubt”—(whose reason, they don’t define!)  the point is this:  some things (at some times) are beyond the kind of proof that can convince all beyond ANY doubt.  That is not to say that that can’t change!  But it is to say that we all process evidence in our own personal ways. Unfortunately, when many ask, “Can you prove that to me?” what they seem really to mean is, “You can’t prove that to me.” Skepticism rarely is rewarded.
 

—  BUT...  —


Those who search honestly (as opposed to skeptically) can frequently find convincing evidences to build their convictions until that day when undeniable “proof” will confirm their conclusions.

Many treatises have been written to ”prove” the existence of God.  Some of them are very good.  But this is not a treatise; it is a short article.  And sometimes brevity carries more power than lengthy discourse.

What we wish to present in this little article is just one little item which, when honestly considered, can greatly enhance the faith of those who want to be convinced of God’s existence—because (right now) it IS a faith function, not an absolutely provable fact.   The Following EVIDENCE, however, is something which cannot easily be dismissed or shoved aside—even by an obstinate skeptic. 

—  JOB 38:31, 32  —

These words, recorded in the book of Job over 3,000 years ago, have gained some notoriety in the recent past.  Note three references in this passage to astronomical observations:

 

(1)   “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the

        Pleiades,

(2)   “Or loose the bands of Orion?...

(3)   “Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?”

Note the three verbs, BIND, LOOSE, and GUIDE. They are important because they represent factual information about these star groupings; but they are MOST IMPORTANT because this factual information was not discovered by astronomers until the middle of the 20th Century.

This span of time between the factual observations recorded by Job, and their CONFIRMATION by science 3,000 years later, poses a STRONG EVIDENCE (“proof” to some!) that God exists, since man (until now) has had no available means of determining these facts.

—   THE FACTS   —

The facts clearly stated by Job, but not confirmable by man until now, are these:

 

1. The Pleiades, a group of about 250 stars, (appearing TO US as a group of seven stars), are BOUND together with a SYMMETRY of movement so that they never vary.  Thus, God asked Job, “Can YOU do things like this?  Can YOU make 250 stars dance together over the MILLENNIA so that they never seem to move?  Can YOU bind so many units to influence each other in perfect, sweet, undisturbed unity?”

 

2.  Orion is a constellation familiar to many grade- school students.  It is easily discernible in the sky by the three lined-up stars which usually are called “Orion’s Belt.”

 

   The unique, and now confirmable characteristic of this constellation is that it is FALLING APART. The stars in this constellation are ever-so-slowly, but surely, moving in different directions so that EVENTUALLY the constellation will cease to exist.  Unlike the Pleiades, this constellation is temporary.

 

Hence, God asked Job, “Can YOU loose the bands of Orion? Can YOU, even if it takes a million years, design this star group so that it slowly deteriorates into oblivion?” 

 

Only the most modern astronomical measurements have been able to determine the validity of Orion’s disintegration. How was it recorded in the days of Job?

 

3.  The third part of our consideration of evidences, which for many come close to “proof,” is Job’s words concerning “Arcturus and his sons.”

 

Arcturus is a large run-away star.  It is plunging headlong through the visible universe accompanied by a retinue of other run-aways—as Job records it, “his sons.” Job records this renegade grouping of stars—again, thousands of years before astronomers confirmed it.

 

The verb God chose to use in this passage is “guide.” That seems to be the secret of this passage. Even though Arcturus and company are running wild through an orderly universe, they seem to be “guided.” They are not, as would seem inevitable, running into anything!

 

Thus, the BINDING of the stars of the Pleiades, the LOOSING of the elements of Orion, and the GUIDING of Arcturus and “sons” all combine as a FORCIBLE TESTIMONY (“proof”?) to the existence of a Creator who not only put all of this into motion, but shared the information with us long before we could come to an intellectually demonstrable apprecia-tion of it.

 

—  SKEPTICISM WILL VANISH  —

The power of only two verses in the Old Testament is only now efficacious upon those willing to let such testimony qualify as “proof.”  We are not discouraged that most have little faith. That will not be a problem when the visible establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth erases all doubt.  Faith now is a necessary tool for the building of God’s “church” which will participate with Jesus in blessing all the families of the earth.  Proof, right now, is something we can leave to the technicians of this world.  If they cannot accept a chain of evidences regarding wonderful things, it IS NOT TO THEIR DETRIMENT. It makes them a little poorer now, but it will not detract from the riches that will be theirs once “the knowledge of the Lord covers the earth as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9) Meanwhile, for those who hunger for it, the truth is available through a multitude of witnesses and evidences. As Galileo said,  “The truth is simple once discovered. The point is TO  DISCOVER  IT.”  Unfortunately, he was Excommunicated for finding it!                    

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