They Cannot Learn by Observation – Stephen Settle

Stephen Settle

It is not uncommon these days to hear someone say, “I don’t believe there is any God.” Only a few days ago a German man past middle age came into the store my wife and I run to get a cold drink. While he was taking his drink, we talked. In his talk he used profane language. I pointed out a card on the wall on which I had printed, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” He promptly informed me that he did not believe such a being existed. Then I asked him who it was he was calling on to “damn” things. “Oh, tot is shust a habit,” he said.

Then I asked him if he thought the mind of man is the greatest mind in the universe. At once, he said he did not believe that. Then I asked him to tell me who has that greater mind and where he dwells. He evaded an answer by asking me if I believed the stories of Noah and Jonah. On receiving a direct affirmative answer, he left the store in disgust, saying, “Tot’s enough for me, tot’s enough for me.” And so it is. The unbounded faith of anyone in God’s word is enough, and too much, for the infidel. They will soon turn their backs upon you.

But why cannot these men learn from observation the same wonderful lesson that David learned? It was probably on some clear night when the moon was full, and the heavens were presenting the most glorious view to man. David, that humble, God fearing king of Israel was out viewing the overhanging glory of God. His very soul was so deeply touched that he was made to exclaim, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man that thou visitest him?” (Psa. 8:3-4).

The very sight of the heavens filled David with thoughts of the greatness and goodness of God, and of the littleness and dependence of man. How different it is with the “wise” men of today. They take a look at the earth only. They see only the achievements of men—the great inventions they have brought out, and the worldly wisdom to which they think they have attained, and they exclaim, “When we view the works of great men, the mighty deeds they have done, and the wonderful knowledge they have acquired, who is God that we should consider Him, or even believe in Him?” Then they boldly say, “There is no God.”

Well, it took this same David to rightly describe these men. He said, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good” (Psa. 14:1). They say in their hearts, “There is no God,” and they blaze it abroad by tongue and pen; yet there has never been even one argument in favor of the existence of God overthrown.

The infidel is on the negative side of this question, and it is his business to show that the position and arguments of the affirmative are untrue and unreasonable. He does not have to prove anything. It is his duty to disprove. But who among all the infidels of all ages has shaken the Bible doctrine that God exists and that He reigns supreme in this unbounded universe?

By his infidelity, the infidel has never done any good. He builds no schools, churches, alms houses, or hospitals. He does nothing to advance civilization, but rather retards its advance. He does nothing to restrain crime, but rather encourages it. The only real impetus to civilization, and the only real restraint upon crime is faith in God. Destroy that one element from the human heart, and chaos will reign the world over.

But the infidel may say, “Not nearly all of the nations of the earth believe in or know the God of the Bible.” Even if we admit that to be true, it disproves nothing of the Bible claim that God is. No nation has been found, and none exists without some kind of worship. Without exception, they all recognize the existence of some kind of supreme being and worship that being. They have had no revelations from their gods, but have devised their religion from their own hearts.

The principle of worship and the thought of a supreme being was planted in the human heart at creation, and no condition of civilization, or station in life has ever been able to dislodge that principle. The existence of false and absurd religions and false gods disproves no argument in favor of the True God and genuine religion, any more than a counterfeit dollar disproves the existence of the genuine dollar. In fact, there could be no counterfeit of anything if the genuine article did not exist.

What would the atheist think of the reasoning of a man who pointed to the many counterfeit dollars in circulation and argue from that premise that there is no such thing as a genuine dollar? Such a man would be a subject of ridicule wherever he might be.

Why can not these men, like David, look into the heavens and say, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork?” (Psa. 19:1 ASV). But instead of becoming wise by observation, they seem to become more ignorant. They seem able to accept anything that comes to them as scientific education, but reject all divine wisdom and revelation.

What a dark, gloomy and chaotic world this would be if atheism were universally accepted! But that can never be. Yet they can do—and are doing—much harm and will be rewarded according to their works.

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Author: Editor

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