For the Christian deconvert or even the Christian who is active in their faith, the title of this post is probably quite relatable. Despite the fact that I could intellectually come to terms with the total incongruity and ultimately the absence of God (as described in my last post), the emotional loss was at times devastating. So many times I laid in bed at night pleading with God to just give me something, anything. But, alas, God did not come knocking at the door of my heart, not even the faintest whisper of the Holy Spirit was offered. There was nothing but radio silence, which leads us into our next apologetic dilemma, divine hiddenness. Natasha Crain, author of Keeping Your Kids on God's Side, addresses this problem in Chapter 7 of her book, "Why is God so hidden?"
To begin, Natasha provides the skeptics' logic regarding God's hiddenness, of which I wholeheartedly agree:
*If God exists, He would make Himself more obvious to us.
*God has not made Himself obvious to us.
*God must not exist.
In reference to the first point above, Natasha informs us that "we have to acknowledge that we're not in a position to know anything about how God would act if He were to exist." Are you kidding me? I'm astounded. Natasha has just spent the past six chapters of this book describing the character and nature of God only to completely backpedal. Suddenly we're not in a position to know how God would act? Sorry, but you can't have it both ways.
I may not be in a position to know how God would act, but if God created me, then he is in the exact position to know what it would take to convince me to believe in him again. In fact, I'm certain that there are many skeptics out there who are not resistant to believing in God, given sufficient evidence; and God should know exactly what that is for each and every individual. That makes it his responsibility, especially given the high stakes consequence of eternal damnation. I guess hiding is easier?
So, why the hide and seek game? It's that darned free will again! Well, I should have known that God certainly wouldn't be culpable. "If God revealed Himself too much, He would take away our freedom to make morally significant decisions--decisions like choosing to love Him." Since when does gaining knowledge take away someone's ability to freely choose? Satan himself had full knowledge of God, yet he chose to be his adversary. Furthermore, in what other area of our lives would this illogical reasoning be acceptable or ever utilized? Would a parent longing for a personal relationship with his child hide from that child or only partially reveal himself and then eternally punish the child for not understanding his nature? In what type of relationship would one say No, I don't want to reveal myself too much. Otherwise, they might feel coerced into acknowledging my existence; and well, that just wouldn't be fair?
Natasha then moves on to the skeptics' second point--God has not made Himself obvious to us. She notes that "atheists are quick to state there is absolutely no sign of God in the world. They say He is completely absent and therefore there is no reason to believe He exists." Thankfully, for the Christian, God has revealed himself in multiple ways--the universe's existence, objective morality, intelligent design, fine-tuning, authentic Scripture, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Sure, if you were indoctrinated into the correct faith and born on the right continent, God will reveal himself to you in extraordinary ways! Amazing how that works out! She goes on to say, "For some people, no amount of revelation is enough, short of God making a personal visit to their house." In other words, if you can't figure out why someone can't see it exactly the way you do, just build a straw man.
Matthew 7:7-8 (ESV) 7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
I tried. It didn't work.