In the comments of a recent blog post on my blog, Linda Lee answered questions of an atheist. I am sharing her inspiring comments. Linda also writes a thought provoking blog that is a great resource for her readers. Linda’s Blog.
Atheist: so, what is this evidence you think supports your argument?
In March of 2020, I served as a juror on a trial. Based on the evidence that was presented by the prosecution and the defense, my eleven fellow jurors and I unanimously agreed that the defendant was guilty of the lesser charge, and not guilty of the far more serious charge. I feel confident that our verdict was correct. But there is no way that I could adequately explain all the evidence, and our reasoning, in a comment on a blog.
When it comes to the question of ultimate reality, the evidence and my reasoning are far more complex. But it all begins with answering the jury summons.
I was an agnostic-atheist for much of my life. With my 156 Mensa IQ, I thought I was much too intelligent to believe in ‘God and other fairy tales.’
Eighteen years ago, in the year I turned 50, I made the decision to believe in Christ Jesus as my Savior and my Lord. Why? Because the preponderance of the evidence compels me to believe.
You sound so much like me, during my agnostic/atheist years. I did not want to believe in God. I have witnessed miracles, one in particular was amazing, an immediate, direct, humanly impossible answer to prayer. This miracle was undeniable. I saw it with my own two eyes, as did the three people that were with me. Yet I still chose not to believe in God!
Why didn’t I want to believe? For many reasons. One: all the suffering and injustice in the world. Babies born horribly disabled and deformed, children with cancer, wars, abuses, thousands of civilians of all ages killed in a single moment by an earthquake, a tsunami, an atomic bomb. How could an all-powerful, all-knowing, righteousness God of LOVE allow these evil things? Another big reason for my unbelief: hypocritical, abusive people who claimed to be Christians, beginning with my father, a church pastor who was arrested when I was 12 years old for nearly murdering my mother, and then my bible -thumping mother reacted to that trauma by trying to gas herself and the five of us kids to death, a few weeks later. And the hypocrisy and abuses continued, from both of my so-called Christian parents, and — as years passed — by several others.
Then there is the Bible itself. Some parts of the Bible, particularly in the old testament, are horrifying, as I discovered when I read the entire Bible from cover to cover.
Last but not least, I did not want to believe in God because I wanted to live my life my way, thank you very much. I wanted to be able to have sex outside of marriage, for one thing. Who did it hurt? Whose business was it, but mine and the other consenting adult?
No amount of debate, no evidence pro or con, and no big blazing miracle happening right in front of my face, could change my mind.
What changed my mind? I met a group of Christians who were genuinely loving, compassionate, respectful, and empathetic. Then I prayed and asked God to please show me if He exists and if Christianity is true. The answers did not happen overnight, but they did happen.
I still don’t understand a lot of things, like why my baby grandson died and why my firstborn grandson was born so severely and permanently impaired. I still don’t understand a lot of the Bible. But… for me, personally, the Bible is NOT my God. Still, I do believe in Christ Jesus. He is my Savior and the Lord of my life. Why? Because the preponderance of the evidence that I have personally witnessed and experienced in my life, compels me to believe.
By the way, I have had two near death experiences. One happened when I was 15, the other when I was 39. My soul left my body, both times. The first time this happened, at age 15, as my body collapsed on the floor, I kept standing there, wondering how this could be? Two nurses saw me collapse, ran over, and knelt down beside my body. I was floating above their heads when I heard one nurse say “I can’t find a pulse.” The other nurse said “Her lips are blue.” And then, BOOM, I went back inside my body.
My second near death, at age 39, happened because I had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I did not know I had that, it was discovered as a result of tests that a cardiologist prescribed, to determine why my heart was beating so erratically. That second near death was AWESOME. I was in a hallway or tunnel between here and heaven, and the overwhelming LOVE and PEACE and JOY I experienced in that place, was indescribable. The experience was more vivid and real than anything I have ever experienced here on earth!
And yet, I continued to call myself an agnostic/atheist, because I still did not want to believe. I told myself that I must have dreamed what happened during my out of body experiences.
This is how I know that debate is useless with you. I used to be right where you are.
The mind-blowing miracle I witnessed… Wow Wow WOW. I was 27 years old when that happened. But I did not become a true, believing Christian until shortly before I turned 50. I don’t even know how I could have been so stubborn and stupid for so long.
I will tell you what my miracle was, although I know it won’t convince you of anything. You will assume that I am lying, or that I hallucinated this experience. Certainly, if anyone else were to tell me this story before I experienced it, that’s what I would have assumed.
This happened when I was in my late twenties. A violent, mentally ill man threatened to kill my three children and me. My oldest son was almost ten years old. My daughter was six and a half. The youngest, a baby boy, was just a few months old.
I was in the baby’s room at the top of a staircase that led from our living room to the top floor of a tri-level house. I was changing the baby’s diaper. My daughter and my older son were down on the second level of the house. The man was staying down on the lowest level of the house. Suddenly I heard the man yelling, screaming, and saying words that did not make any sense. Worried for my children, I called my older son and daughter to come upstairs to the baby’s room. They promptly did so. I quickly finished getting the baby’s diaper on him.
Just then, the man — a homeless, 19 year old relative that we had taken into our home several months earlier, with no knowledge that he had a tendency to be violent — came up to the second floor. He began shouting “You’re all going to die! You’re all going to die!”
I handed the baby to my oldest son, and told him and my daughter to stay behind me. Then I walked out of the room to the top of the stairs, thinking that I would reason with the man, talk gently to him, ask him what was wrong, what did he need, what could I do to help him? But he was in a full-blown rage and he would not listen to me. “You’re all going to die!” he screamed, as he started walking up the stairs toward me, with his hands raised. He was much taller and stronger than me. What was I going to do?
The only thing I could think of to do in that moment was to pray! Just in case there was a God. When death is staring you in the rage, you get desperate.
As soon as I began to pray aloud, asking God for help, I saw something that looked like a glowing, pulsating force field come down from the tall ceiling in the middle of the staircase. The crazed man, still screaming that we were all going to die, walked right into the force field. He smacked into it, as though he had just walked into a wall. But instead of falling backwards, he flew up into the air, and then he fell down onto the floor of the living room.
As soon as he landed on the floor, he had what looked like a grand mal seizure. To my knowledge, he had never had seizures before. He shook so hard that the change in his pants pockets scattered from one end of the long living room to the other. When he finally stopped shaking, he sat up and said “What happened?”
My son, holding the baby, and my daughter were a few feet behind me, and they saw this happen, too. I did not dream it, I did not hallucinate it. It really, truly happened. Dear Lord, I don’t know how I was able to call myself agnostic-almost-atheist for years after that! It’s embarrassing to admit that! How could I doubt God’s existence and goodness after that? I mean, how stupid can a person get?! But here is what I did: I just did not allow myself to think about the amazing miracle that saved my children and me. Whew. Stupid, that was me. Mensa IQ and all.
God’s grace and love are beyond amazing. But until you are ready to believe in a Lord and a Savior, and until you are willing to submit your life to Him, no amount of proof will suffice.
I know. Because I have been there.
God’s grace is truly amazing. I know that He is love and so I trust Him — even when I do not understand. Linda Lee