Is there really a God?

There are nations that believe in no god. There are some religions that believe in many gods. There are other religions that believe in one God. Is there a God at all?

Christ Jesus taught us about God. He said that God is our Father. He also said: "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." John 7:16, 17. Jesus challenges us to know God, not abstractly or hypothetically but by living what we know. That test alone—doing God's will—proves we're coming to know truly that there is a God.

The challenge of Christ Jesus comes not in the form of "I dare you to do the impossible." Rather he invites us, "Follow me; I will show you how to do God's will." His three-year ministry was filled not with pedantry or theological arguments about God but with healing, encouraging, comforting, and teaching. Jesus' life enabled others to come to know their heavenly Father. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that after Jesus had called his twelve disciples he went out "healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people," Matt. 4:23. including insanity and palsy. Next the book of Matthew presents Christ Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, some of the most significant teaching about God the world has ever known. Following this, Matthew records, Jesus came down from the mountain and healed a leper. To know God is to do His will.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, knew only too well that down through the centuries the world had had thrust upon it numerous presentations of God and explanations of the teachings of Christ Jesus. As she began discovering the divine Science behind the deeds and words of our Master, she realized that any science is valid only if it can be proved. No one would want to know more about the God Christian Science presents unless this enabled one to be a better person, to do God's will, to reflect His power. Consequently, as Mrs. Eddy was coming to know the one true God better and writing down what she was learning, she knew she had to prove Science before publishing works on the subject.

Only after about a decade of healing work did Mrs. Eddy publish her major work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Through studying this book, thousands have come to know God and to practice what they have learned of Him. Mrs. Eddy writes of her discovery, "If Christian Science lacked the proof of its goodness and utility, it would destroy itself; for it rests alone on demonstration." Miscellaneous Writings, p. 365.

The need for proofs of God's existence and love became evident to me in college. I sat week after week in a Philosophy of Religion class, where we read works of religious thinkers who attempted to prove the existence of God through logical argument. Although the class discussions were rigorous, I could tell that no one was being convinced of the ontological truth that God is. Science and Health states: "Mortal man has made a covenant with his eyes to belittle Deity with human conceptions. ... That God is corporeal or material, no man should affirm." Science and Health, p. 255. But this is exactly what we were doing in the class. We were trying to know a God created by human intellect.

During an especially long class discussion, one question stood out starkly to me: "Is there a God at all?" For a few moments I felt I was in an atheistic vacuum. I saw faithful attendance at Sunday School; early testing times, during which my parents had read to me from the Bible and Science and Health; and my own strivings to learn and do God's will—I saw all this as a total fraud, perpetuated by mortals and void of divine authority. But into this seeming vacuum suddenly came the Christ—the true idea of God—and a glimpse of God's spiritual creation, perfectly loved and complete.

I remembered that the God I had been coming to know and love through the teachings and practice of Christian Science had completely healed me of a malformation of my legs, evident from infancy; that my tongue had been perfectly healed through prayer after having been all but severed in a childhood accident; that an extreme allergy, which had often left me weak and with little breath, had been totally healed through Christian Science treatment. This evidence of God's great love stood in the face of both atheism and a material view of God.

Science and Health declares: "The finite must yield to the infinite. Advancing to a higher plane of action, thought rises from the material sense to the spiritual, from the scholastic to the inspirational, and from the mortal to the immortal." Ibid., p. 256. This is what I had been experiencing for the first eighteen years of my life as I learned of God, Spirit, through Christian Science. The understanding I had gained was not based on human opinion. It was not based on a material, finite sense of Deity. It came through God, revealing Himself to His own child. I knew God because I had experienced His healing love. In turning radically to Him for all my needs, I had been doing His will.

Every day the world still asks, "Is there a God at all?" It may not ask in just those words. But behind the questions "Can we find lasting peace?" "Can my sister ever be completely healed?" "Can every refugee find a home?" is the underlying question "Is there a force for good that can bless all mankind? Is there really a God who is solely good, who loves, who cares?"

Christian Science, standing squarely on the Bible, answers with an emphatic yes! But being Science, it is useful only as it is practiced and so proved. Mrs. Eddy writes: "In order to apprehend more, we must put into practice what we already know. We must recollect that Truth is demonstrable when understood, and that good is not understood until demonstrated." Ibid., p. 323.

How do we demonstrate more? How do we live a life of love for others, helping them too to know "our Father which art in heaven"? Matt. 6:9. God will show us how as we sincerely pray to know Him and thus to do His will. Christ Jesus tells us, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matt. 5:16. Then when we are asked, "Is there really a God?" our lives will answer louder than our words.

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September 24, 1984
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