One common question that non-Christians often get asked is (in some form) “What evidence would convince you that God is real?” I want to turn that question on its head. What sign or response to prayer would make you doubt the existence of God?
I ask this question not to cause people to consider doubting God, but in part to discuss the disparity when it comes to signs and prayers. When there appears to be something positive that even remotely points to God’s existence believers are quick to point to it, dismissing the notion of coincidence. Yet, when something negative occurs there’s never the same suggestion of divine intervention.
For example, if there is a building fire and everyone makes it out safely God is given credit. If only a handful of people or even one person makes it out, it’s a miracle and God is given credit. If no one escapes but a religious artifact survives (like a Bible or crucifix) then it’s a sign from God. If there are no survivors and no straws to grasp, then God is still real and his plan is a mystery.
There doesn’t seem to be the same level of allowance for changing an opinion that most non-Christians have when asking the question as to what sign might make one believe.