Some people would rather not know if God exists: they’re afraid of having their lives transformed…
I first noticed this “willing ignorance” after reading the first two books I’d ever read by a creationist. I’d been a Christian for a year, and by good fortune and coincidence (ha!) I discovered “God, Science and Evolution” and “Christ and the Cosmos” by Prof. E.H. Andrews. At the time Andrews was Professor of Materials at the University of London, and formerly the Dean of Engineering at Queen Mary’s college. He had a long list of scientific credentials.
(This is an edited version of a post I published in 2012).
Not long after reading these works I had a discussion with a new friend who challenged me to show him proof that God exists. I offered him my favorite answer then and now, “You’re looking at it!” This wasn’t a good enough answer for him, although in God’s economy, it’s all the evidence we need. My friend went on to insist that all scientists believe in evolution and not in God, and therefore the only logical conclusion was that there must not be a God. I offered my friend one of Prof. Andrews’ books, telling him that Andrews was well qualified and a fascinating read, and would at least help to get him thinking about the possibility of the existence of a creator.
“No thanks”, replied my friend with a sneer.
The views of Andrews, and similar expressions made by countless other brilliant people before and after him, are intentionally blocked out of the education system and the public eye in general. Why? What are those who do the blocking afraid of?
A few years later I had something of a debate, along similar lines, with a Geology/ Geography high school teacher I knew. At that time I had in my personal library a book by Dr. A J Wilder-Smith, an Englishman with three earned science doctorates from Oxford. It discussed and refuted many claims taught in schools as “evidence” for evolution. I offered to lend the book to her, as a way of letting her know that Creationism wasn’t just for “semi – insane fundamentalist American preachers”.
“No thank you”, she replied firmly.
The reason, or excuse, the teacher gave for declining the book offer was that she liked her world just as it was, and she didn’t want it changed. In this admission was a wealth of honesty and information.
As time went on my book, video and then DVD collection has grown. Not wanting to hoard the faith-building insights I’ve benefited from, I’ve offered them to family members, teachers, tutors, friends and strangers, who’ve almost without exception not been interested in having their minds and their lives changed. One book, called “In Six Days”, containing the comments of fifty scientists who believe in Biblical Creation, was rejected by a young man on the grounds that Richard Dawkins, who is after all on TV (and we all know that the TV only tells us the truth) said that evolution was a proven fact and that anyone who questioned it was ignorant and deluded. Is Mr. Dawkins a god? If he’s the purveyor of all truth and knowledge doesn’t that make him God? Hasn’t he disproved his own assertion that there is no God?
It’s virtually law now that scientists are not to even consider God in their studies or their presentations, since “that’s religion”. If they do, their work will be ignored or mocked. Once the Creator is reduced to a dispensable fantasy, He can be conveniently contained on a hard-drive in the “religious education” room and forgotten. As scientists study the intricacies of our world and universe, constantly amazed and astounded by what they find, it doesn’t occur to most of them (it does to some) that they’re looking at the very evidence for God’s existence, character and power that they claim is nowhere to be found. Oh, and by the way, He’s not just on that hard-drive, because “…the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him” (1 Kings 8:27).
Many people are far more interested in discovering the football results than they are in searching for God and for meaning in life. The most perplexing, soul-searching questions they could and should ask themselves are not being asked or answered, or when they are asked they’re not being given the benefit of a two-sided argument. Why? What does this say about human nature?
Scripture discusses this problem. Peter, in his characteristically direct and no-nonsense fashion, hit the proverbial nail right on the head. He said that people are “willingly ignorant” of God’s work of creation and the subsequent world-wide flood (2 Peter 3: 5-6 KJV). The NIV translation says that “they deliberately forget”.
Paul also comments on this willing ignorance:
“…the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1: 18 – 20).
Paul’s contention is that it’s man’s love of sin that drives him to intentionally ignore God (verses 18 to 32). They’re afraid of having their lives changed.
Zeroing in to the heart of the problem, Jesus Christ explained it this way:
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into it for fear that his deeds will be exposed” (John3: 19– 20).
Ironically, while the skeptic and the atheist mock believers for being ignorant and deluded, the Bible says that it’s the atheist who is deluded:
“The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).
The problem is not lack of evidence, it’s the heart of man. It’s the fear of living life God’s way instead of their own way. At best we could say that the majority of willing unbelievers (I’m not speaking of those who haven’t had a chance to hear and consider the gospel) ignore God, and comfort themselves in the conviction that “all scientists” believe in evolution and not in God. People not only fail to search for God because they do not want to: they actively turn their backs on any light there is for fear of having their worlds changed.