He has done so before with Abraham, Moses, the disciples etc. He seems to be more prevalent in the ancient days than he is now. I just don’t understand why he has become so quiet in this day and age with our constantly growing secular culture.
What made you think that God has fallen silent? Miracles still happen, and the Church is as prominent as ever.
God founded the Church for the purpose of carrying on Christianity; He doesn’t need to be constantly active in the world for the true religion to be spread.
would we even recognize Christ if He did present himself to us ?
God is no were near silent, though i agree there are parts of the secular society that is working very hard to silence God, God doesn’t need to grandstand to make a point or to put society to shame or make them humble we as humans tend to do that on our own an then at last minute turn around begging for God.
it is all perspective i suppose, does one say the cup is half empty or half full ?
He doesn’t need to be constantly active in the world for the true religion to be spread.
I would argue that God is still very and constantly active in our lives on this world still to this very day, if He weren’t miracles would not happen, prayers would not be answered, how could God love us so much only to sit idle ? Men an Women wouldn’t accept calls to religious life.
An I think I would be more fearful of seeing Christ or the Blessed Mother face to face, those instances in history tend to prove be one of those oh boy moments, where the message is not “hey you are doing such a great job and I was stopping by to say hi an let you know to keep up the good work”, but more of calls to proceed forward on a very scary looking path that is to bring people closer to Christ and God.
So in one way no news is good news.
I believe it comes down to the notion of free-will. If God were an undeniable presence that could be proven by science and known easily through the senses there would be nothing to believing. It would be like believing in gravity. I do believe that God continues to make himself known though, but he also expects us to make the effort to open our eyes to him and accept his presence.
God may have seemed more prevelent in the old days, but stop and think for moment as to why you think this. You read in the Old Testament about Abraham, Moses, etc. I don’t know the exact number, but it’s a couple dozen prophets. Now stop and consider that these stories were spread over the course of a couple thousand years. Suddenly twenty to forty people doesn’t seem like much, when there’s thousands of years.
It should also be noted the times that these miracles happened. The Jews were a relatively small group of people, and a lot of the events of the OT happened when the Jews were about to be wiped out. It’s not like there was an internet back then to preserve teachings, so if the Jews got wiped out, they’d be nothing but an obscure blip in history. Obviously God didn’t want that to happen to His people. However, take into account modern day. While the world is quickly being secularized, we still have over a billion Christians, and nobody currently has both the will and the means to wipe us out. Having said, miracles do happen daily.
Another reason is that, it seems in Biblical account that it does not seem as though God wants us to believe in Him because of a fancy show. Many miracles that Jesus performed, immediately after performing them, He in fact tells the benefactors not to say anything to anybody. And a lot of the more impressive miracles were before people that already believed (even if they believed, yet reject Him, similar to the Egyptians). God wants you to come to Him out of love, not He is a proven entity that everybody knows.
So many atheistic scientists beg for proof. But really, they would never truly be happy, no matter what proof they had, because there will always be some loophole. No matter what miracle could be done would be passed off as a scientific fluke. Even then, it’d only last as good as one generation. Then the next generation would demand proof, and then the generation after that, etc.
If God always comes down to us, why should we go up to him?
Firstly, that’s what Jesus did. Also, we all have our own relationships with God. In a relationship, one person doesn’t always do all the work, right? If you do the work and give to God, he’ll give so much back to you.
If God existed as an undeniable presence (though I think he does to me), then yeah, like was said, there wouldn’t be anything to faith. He does exist as this undeniable presence, but I think that’s only if you’re willing to do the work to hear him. He’s not always so loud.
A quick final note–if he existed as an easily proven, seen, and believed entity, people wouldn’t be able to deny it. On one hand, in an increasingly secular culture, this might sound great. But it doesn’t give people the chance to say no–it’d be like me walking up to you and saying I don’t believe you exist. It’d just be silly. You can’t say yes unless you’re entirely free to say no.
How do you account for Satan? Satan had direct relationship with God yet chose to rebel.
He makes Himself known all the time. The Catholic Church which is His mystical body guides us all and is known to all throughout the world.
What do you mean how do I account for Satan? I do know he chose to turn away; we all have the choice to do that.
You made it sound if we had irrefutable evidence of the existence of God we would lack some component in our ability to chose to love and serve God or turn away. Satan had irrefutable evidence yet choice to turn away. If God gave us irrefutable evidence we would still have the same choice. We could still say no or choose to serve Him.
Oh no, sorry, that’s not what I meant! My bad. I know we have the choice to love God or not. I was trying to address the point of believing whether he exists or not. If he made himself known all the time, beyond a doubt, then we wouldn’t really be able to choose to believe in him or not would we? I think it’s a two-step process: you have to believe in God, and then you make the choice to love him or not.
I’m not sure if I just made any sense, but from what I can tell we’re on the same page. I’m just not the best at explaining myself via forum posts.
I think we are on the same page. I don’t see any hinderance to our ability to love and serve God if He would make Himself known irrefutably. There is always the option not to serve. It wouldn’t affect our free will.
Why He doesn’t make Himself known is a mystery.
If he’s never going to make himself really obvious, then I’ll be forever indecisive.
God is calling you to believe because of faith, not to be forced into belief by a miracle.
Knowledge rather than faith doesn’t negate free will. If it did then the free will of Abraham and Moses would be negated.
It does, actually. Atheists declare that God does not exist. If God suddenly appeared to the world and proved his existence, atheists could not maintain their belief and retain any level of credibility.
In the case of Abraham and Moses, the purpose of his visit was not to force them to believe but to give them his command to do some great thing that would lead along Jewish history. It is an entirely different issue.
No actually it doesn’t
Satan had direct knowledge of God and said “I will not Serve” - Free Will
Moses Had direct knowledge of God and served - Free Will - he could have rejected the call as could have Abraham.
An Atheist could have direct knowledge and say - “no thanks” - it’s still an exercise of free will. He could deny the experience, deny divinity or simply chose not to serve God. All free will.
Funny how you changed the angle of the conversation.
I never said anything about people’s personal convictions as to the existence of God. As a matter of fact, I believe that many self-proclaimed atheists actually DO have an inner belief in a deity; however, their proclamation that there is no God gives them power. It gives them the power of pride of knowing better, and the power to embrace relativism. As long as there is not OBVIOUS proof for God, they can hold on to this stance, and remain in denial.
The point which I am trying to get across here (which you had dodged quite nimbly) is not that God showing Himself would force people to convert, but rather, that it would force those who proclaim that He does not exist to rescind their position. He would be forcing the world to believe, whether they like it or not, that He is God, simply because His existence would be absolutely undeniable. It would make it impossible for atheists to say, “God does not exist,” without becoming a laughingstock.
To know of God’s existence by faith has more merit than to know of His existence by visual proof, and God wishes to let us have that merit, and does not wish to force His love upon those who do not wish to have it.
If Ganesh appeared to you in your living room I doubt you would convert to Hinduism. You would probably dismiss it as an hallucination, trickery or a demon. The same options are available to an atheist. They could have direct contact and still not believe or serve. They would be exersizing their free will. Free will isn’t dependant on no direct knowledge. Satan had free will to reject God.