I spend a lot of time outside and I especially like the mountains. And I was sitting on a rock near the Sacramento River when I saw some of the most beautiful scenery. As I looked out over the river, I saw small little puff balls falling from the trees into the wind. At one point it looked so thick you would almost think it was snow. At the same time, there was a moderate mist floating over the water and beauty of it was simply amazing. I continued to sit on the river for about 15 minutes and I saw even more of the majesty of nature. There were little spinners (for lack of a better term) which looked like a small helicopter with a stem coming down from the middle. They were taking their place along with the puff balls. As I'm looking at this, I was thinking, God really does know what he is doing. There is nothing that man has been able to make that competes with the beauty and simplicity of what God has provided for all of us.
(Double Click on the Photo if you want a larger view.)
I believe in God because I can see His creation. When I go hiking, I always see something new and interesting. I notice how dependable nature is in providing for our necessities. Nature provides water, soil, food to eat, air for breathing, and everything that God created works in harmony with each other. In other words, our environment is perfect for our needs. Some of us may prefer one place over another, but all of it is incredibly beautiful in its own way. I am not a worshiper of the created, but I do admire it because it is the evidence of the existence of God. I see other people on the trail and most of them have smiles on their faces because they are outside in God's nature which is really more interesting that what we can get on a TV or a computer. My faith in God is based upon what I can see and experience, and not so much upon any writing. While some writings appear to reflect God's will, many others do not. So I believe in what I can reason for myself. The existence of God is evidenced by creation. Everything that God created is beautiful, dependable, organized, and it's even color-coordinated. Everything works well and looks good.
Contrast God's creation to the teachings of the world's religions. There is no end to all of the confusing doctrines. These religions create wars by instituting rotten governments who oppress people. By killing people, these religions claim that they do it in the name of God, but the fact is that God probably told them to do nothing of the kind. If you take each religion for what they say, the ones I have examined are just plain liars. They don't even believe their own religious writings. My experience with this has been mostly done with the Bible, although I have read a small amount of the Quran. And my opinion about the Judeo/Christian religions is that they are too fragmented and they are doctrinally inconsistent. If religion was an orchestra, they would get booed off the stage because they couldn't even play in the same key. If God created nature to be in harmony with itself, then it doesn't follow that these religions do nothing more than cause mankind more problems than they are worth and that they do not represent God. In other words, these religions are fake.
In my opinion, the existence of God doesn't depend upon any writing or religion. And any writing that is proffered has to pass my stink test. I believe that all of us men and women are only responsible for keeping God's commandments which are in compliance with the natural law. Natural law is what we can see and experience. We can't see God, but we can't see the wind, nor the air, but we experience the benefits and joy of life itself. Just because we can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.
The standards that I use are the commandments and nature. If a teaching doesn't line up with rational thought and reason, or with the commandments and nature, then I simply put it aside. For instance: It doesn't make any sense to worship anything that is created because it is just that; created.
It doesn't have any power of itself other than what God gave it. If I hear any teaching or observe any writing that contradicts the commandments and natural law, I discard it as I would my trash. If I don't understand the issue completely, I then just put it aside until I get the proper understanding. This method has kept me out of a lot of trouble. It's too bad I learned it so late in my life.
If the religions of the world were so good, then there would be no more wars. People wouldn't lie to each other, kill each other, commit adultery, they would honor their parents, and they would not commit idolatry. Most of these religions don't really teach the commandments nor do they teach much of natural law. It has been my experience, that I simply don't read many religious readings anymore because any writing is only secondary information. A writing has to be compared with the truth.
If all the religions teach something different, then the logic here is that they are all wrong. Yes, they may have a lot of the truth, but I believe that the writings have corrupted man's relationship with God because they are too inconsistent. If my responsibility to God is to simply fear Him and keep His commandments, then that is my only duty, and it gives me the proper structure for my life. This always worked to my benefit.
The reason is that I keep myself out of danger and trouble, and I don't have to worry about the eventual payback from my sinful actions. I don't want to be on the receiving end of God's wrath. It just makes too much sense to comply with the commandments. God's commandments are just common sense and they make everyone's lives more enjoyable. It makes more sense for mankind to assume his proper role in God's world order and to throw off the "new world order."
Walter Allen Thompson is the author of The Grace of Repentance: Keeping God's Commandments