If I were in charge of the universe, I would most certainly do things differently. Hey, this is a given. God already said that his ways are not my ways. I also know that his ways are better than my ways. I would just do some things differently.

I doubt there is anyone who has ever escaped the subject of “divine hiddenness.” Maybe you have not termed it as such, but you have often wondered why God does not reveal himself in a way that is more satisfactory to our longings for experiential intimacy with him. “With him” may not be the right way to put it. A better way would be to say that we long for experiential intimacy with “the other side.” As someone has once said, “One out of every one people dies.” These are pretty good odds. We know that one day we will die and experience that which awaits us beyond death. Yet this life is virtually void of “signs” from the “other side.” In a way, all we have to work from is what Phillip Yancey terms “rumors” of another world. There is quit a bit of mystery, even for Christians, as to what exactly “the other side” will be like. This can scare us. In fact, it can scare us so badly that we avoid death at all costs.

Of course, as Christians, we do have faith that this “other world” is real and that heaven is an actual place where God awaits us. We also have faith that God, from this “other world,” has spoken to us through Scripture. Yet we long for an experiential intimacy that parallels the norms of our lives today. We want to hear the voice of God. We have questions for him. We desire a sense experience that is often referred to as “empirical.” We want to see vivid signs of the other side that will solidify our faith and alleviate any residue of doubt that might does exist.

As Christians, God’s silence—God’s hiddenness—should not come as any surprise. Yes, I might do things differently. Were I on God’s board of directors, I might give him some gentle encouragement to be a little more open to showing himself, especially to his own children. But the fact is that we will not see God, hear God, or touch God in the way we so desire. If we did, the Christian worldview would be compromised as the Scripture tells us we should not expect to have our faith experienced though such empirical means.

Peter says, “And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (1Pet. 1:8-9)

You see, Peter here assumes that we have not seen Christ (or God or the Holy Spirit). At least visually. Peter’s point would be moot if he did not mean to include all other forms of experiencing God empirically. The fact is that when Christ ascended into heaven, that was the last we have seen or heard from him in such a way. The door to the “other side” was shut.

Please note: I did not say “That was the last time he was active in an evident way.” Big difference. The point is that we do not and will not directly experience God through our eyes, ears, or hands until Christ returns. 

Why does God stay so hidden?

Allow me to take an all too familiar turn here for a moment.

Following my sister Angie’s first attempt at her life six years ago, she felt great shame. The shame itself seemed to be enough motivation for her to try again. “I tried to kill myself, Michael!” she said when I tried to encourage her. “Everyone is always going to think I am crazy. I am crazy!” “You are not crazy Angie,” I responded, not really knowing what to say. She quickly answered, “Yes, but you have never tried to kill yourself.” I was not sure what this meant, but it was obvious that her definition of “crazy” was based upon a comparison of herself to those who, in her mind, were sane. “You are right,” I said, “I have not ever tried to kill myself. But there are circumstances where I might.”

Under what circumstance might I try to kill myself? When would I consider suicide?

You must remember that, among other things, death is a crossing point to the “other side.” It is the point where “rumors” of another world fade into the reality of the other world. I was watching my all time favorite show Justice League (!) with my son Zach the other day. It was an episode where Flash went so fast that he actually began to cross over to the “other side.” The molecules in his body were completely unstable and he was stuck between this world and the next. When prodded to come back, Flash had a hard time. He said, “But it is so beautiful over here.” You see, the lines were blurred between this life and the next and Flash wanted to go to the next. He could not concentrate on this world any longer due to his exposure to the next. In other words, he wanted to die due to his empirical exposé to the “other side.” He needed to have an experiential breach between this life and the next in order to remain here and accomplish his mission (gettin’ them bad guys).

I don’t think this make believe story is too far from reality. You and I also need an experiential (empirical) breach from the “other side.” We need not to see Jesus. We need not to talk to Jesus. We need not to hear Jesus.

The disciples, understandably, did not want Jesus to die. When he did, they were so bold as to desire to die with him. Thomas, of all people,—doubting Thomas—when he thought Jesus was going to die, said to the other disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him” (Joh 11:16). I love the simple faith this expresses. Peter was no different (Lk. 22:33). All who were with Jesus had experienced the “other side” in the person of Christ and they were not willing to let that go, even to death. In Acts 1:6, they still had hope that Christ had blurred the lines permanently: “Is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” But they had to watch as Christ was taken into the sky, never to be seen again until his second coming (Acts 1:9-11). The point is that the disciples would have gladly gone on a suicide mission with Christ if it meant a continuation of their exposure to the “other side” in the person of Christ.

You and I would do the same. Were God to show himself in the ways we so often think he should—were he to do things the way we would do them, we would never be able to accomplish our mission. We would continually be wanting to die in order to cross over. We would be like Flash, having empirical involvement in the world to come, but still having one foot in the previous world. However, unlike Flash (who had Superman and Wonder Woman pulling him back), we most definitely would cross over. Why wouldn’t we? The mysterious would be unmysterious. The lines between this life and the next would be so blurred that we would not hesitate to take that extra step of death, even by our own hand.

It is odd to say, but God’s silence may actually preserve his mission for us. The ability to be stable here in this life is actually facilitated by God’s (empirical) silence. I am not saying this is the only reason God is silent, but it does make sense.

Would I do things differently if I were in charge? I am sure I would, to my own detriment. That is why I am not in charge. What are the circumstances that I might kill myself? If God was empirically evident and the lines between this world and the next were too blurred.

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C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger.

Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminar (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I’m a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminar (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    44 replies to "Why is God So Silent?"

    • Jonathan

      Michael,

      You seem like a man who is struggling with his faith. It is hard to maintain faith when intellectually it doesn’t make sense anymore. Is this where you are at? Just wondering.

    • Stuart

      Thank you Michael, thank you…..

    • C Michael Patton

      Jonathan,

      No. Well, no more than usual! This is not a new thought I have had and, at least the way I meant it to come across, it is meant to strengthen faith. I hope it does. It strengthens mine.

      I would say that my faith is stronger today than it has ever been (and I can’t always say that!)

      God bless.

    • Stuart

      For what it’s worth Michael, I find you truly encouraging and strengthening and uplifting. The honesty, the integrity, is so refreshing…I could go on…..I really could…..

    • Carol

      Michael said:” You see, Peter here assumes that we have not seen Christ (or God or the Holy Spirit). At least visually. Peter’s point would be moot if he did not mean to include all other forms of experiencing God empirically. The fact is that when Christ ascended into heaven, that was the last we have seen or heard from him in such a way. The door to the “other side” was shut.

      Please note: I did not say “That was the last time he was active in an evident way.” Big difference. The point is that we do not and will not directly experience God through our eyes, ears, or hands until Christ returns.”

      John, the disciple Jesus loved, saw Jesus after his ascension. Paul saw Jesus more than once after his ascension. Stephen saw Jesus. I have heard testimonies from others who have seen Jesus. Though I haven’t seen Jesus, I haven’t ruled out the possibility that I might see him someday before I die or He returns.

    • Scott F

      “We also have faith that God, from this “other world,” has spoken to us through Scripture.”

      It’s funny that we assume that “heaven” is the same place where God “lives”, that when we die we go to God’s home and experience an existence similar, in a small way, to what God experiences. Does this jibe with the common conceptions of God being beyond space and time? Will even glorified bodies with glorified minds/souls be capable walking “with” God or will heaven be a place, like earth, that is in many important ways separate from God’s plane of existence?

      Or will the afterlife be a post-resurrection kingdom on Earth? The Earth is God’s handiwork after all.

      Now I have to finished reading Michael’s post …

    • mbaker

      Thoughts on suicide:

      (1) I am too big a coward to do that. Admit it, 100%, without remorse. Not that it would hurt the way that I would do it, but it is because my faith is only 99.9 % sure that I would make it to heaven, or not. That’s my big worry. So I get doubting Thomas completely.

      (2) Honestly, even as a Christian, it is the ‘if at all’ part that worries me, or to put it bluntly, do we really have anything to look forward to after death? Who can be 100% sure that we have believed rightly or wrongly?

      (3) But, in the end, right or wrong, I have to believein the resurrection, even with the outside chance that some folks claim Jesus is the devil instead, and believing in Him will put us in hell.

    • Stuart

      I posted some thoughts on suicide, following a heartbreaking event that happened not so long ago.

      If I may be so bold as to link to it, in case anyone’s interested:

      Breaking the Silence

      Hope that’s OK Michael.

    • mbaker

      I’m also wondering this. Sometimes life on earth gets so overwhelming for us personally, don’t we start thinking that we could just leave it all behind and have a better life for ourselves personally by just ending it all to have a better life some place else? And what if God is not ready for us to do that? Doesn’t He want us as His children to get that He has a bigger plan for us,as His people to carry out His will whether we like or not? A biggie, for me, at least/

    • Boz

      The problem for me, as an atheist, in wanting to believe that life after death exists, is that the christian God’s hidden-ness is completely consistent with the hypothesis that she does not exist.

      Also, throughout history, there have been thousands of charlatans talking about life-after-death. They are all false. This gives me a very low initial expectation(prior probability) that the christian life-after-death story is true.

      • Paula

        Don’t be confussed about what some people said concerning when you die. the truth of the matter is this..the bible said ,
        The living are conscious that death will come to them, but the dead are not conscious of anything, and they no longer have a reward, because there is no memory of them. Ecclesiastes 9:5 many other places in the bible God told us that the dead in dead and is not conscious. Also the story of the The Resurrection of Lazarus, here his a man whom Jesus rose from the dead . he was dead and burried for four days , than Jesus rise him from the dead after he was already in the grave for days. well if Lazarus was in heaven or some other world ,dont you think he would rememeber . and do you think he would want to come back to this misarable world…i know i wouldnt. The grave is silent …when your dead , you are dead .you simply cease to exist . your breath goes back to GOD who gave it, and your body goes in the ground and rot. you as a person or soul does not exist no more, in heaven nor on earth. Now when Jesus comes again on judgement day.Now If you died a true christian believing in Jesus ,when Jesus come again he will resurrect you…Jesus said , “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies……For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.1 Thessalonians 4:16. . than the dead who die ,and were not christian they will rise after the first resurrection. to face God. As for now the dead or in their grave unconsious. “Don’t act so surprised at all this. The time is coming when everyone dead and buried will hear the voice of the son of God . Those who have lived the right way will walk out into a resurrection Life; those who have lived the wrong way, into a resurrection Judgment. John 5:28-29. God bless.

        • Paula

          Also Jesus himself when he died he didnt go to heaven or to any other world for that matter ,he stayed in the grave for three days and then he rose back to life right here on earth and then he ascended to heaven with all the disiples watching. Acts 1:11 . But there was a difference with Jesus Christ the son of God , His body did not rot (see corruption) like we humans do when we die . God the father, rose Jesus from the grave before his body rot.Acts 13:35

    • C Michael Patton

      Boz,

      I get what you are saying. The hiddenness (at least of the present emperical sort) is consistant with atheism. But it is also consistant with Christianity. I think that this is my point above.

      Of couse, I would argue that while God may presently be emperically absent, this does not mean that he is historically absent. The claims of Christianity are based on his historic interference in such ways. And, as I said above, having God breach this silence does damage biblically (as Peter’s testimony says he won’t) and practically (as I have argued above).

      Obviously I believe that there are sufficient reasons to truly believe in the Christ story without having ever seen him myself (and I have not, blast it!).

    • C Michael Patton

      Thanks so much Stuart.

    • Brian C

      Michael,

      How do you rectify Paul’s testimony of “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows.”?

    • C Michael Patton

      Brian, I think that the uniqueness about Paul is that he was an Apostle. In order to be an Apostle, he had to see the risen Christ. He is certianly unique.

    • Brian C

      So is that considered cessationist?

    • C Michael Patton

      No, cessationism only has to do with the gifts of the Spirit.

    • Brian C.

      Dispensationalism?

      What concept would be applied that would suggest blurring the lines between heaven and earth would only happen with an apostle?

      Given that Paul’s encounter contradicts your position, then God must have a certain criteria for when it’s allowed to happen. And one assumed to be no longer fulfilled.

      How is it then that Stephen, not an apostle, would see Jesus seated at the right hand of God while he was being stoned?

      Would you argue that it was because he was dying from the stoning?

    • C Michael Patton

      Brian, do you think that Peter is making an undue assumption that his audience has not seen Christ and is not seeing him now?

    • Brian C.

      No. I think what Peter said is very valid. Then and now. This is an issue that I think many Christians haven’t grappled with. It’s certainly one that I am dealing with.

      But, I’m not sure what Peter said negates in any way the questions I asked. To somehow take Peters one statement and project it over the whole of scripture doesn’t sound right. To create concepts that explain Paul’s experience and Stephen’s experience to fit what Peter said, doesn’t sound right either. (Not that you are doing that)

      Also I’m not certain I distinguish between having a physical encounter with the other side as a separate thing from having AN encounter with God in any manner. For me the encounters we can note with our conscious mind as being “from God” I look at along a range.

      On the one end of the range I see the simple pleasures we draw from His creation all the way over to full-blown “I was caught up to heaven” moments. To me its just a matter of degrees. Or where on the spectrum the experience lands.

      And truly I think every being is encountering God if we are believe the whole of scripture. The difference only is that some are aware of it, while others are not.

      I’m not taking a position either way. My position is I don’t know. All I know is that God didn’t behave the way I was told He would when I was in Charismatic circles. And He still doesn’t behave the way that most christians theoretically think He is suppose to.

    • Boz

      CMP said: “Of couse, I would argue that while God may presently be emperically absent, this does not mean that he is historically absent.”

      Yes, I agree. There could be all kinds of deities doing all kinds of magical actions in the past, and we would never know!

      I find that I’m agreeing with you on many things!

    • anita

      I love questioning. I think it is an evidence to faith rather than just believing everything you’ve heard by people you have trusted. The more secure I feel about God, the more questioning I do. The bigger my God gets, the littler I realize I am. The paradox is feeling more confident and more little.

    • Hesiodos

      I think it was God’s hiddenness that finally drove me over the edge into non-belief. God is not there because God is not. Our relationship was entirely one-sided. If God were a human lover no one would stay with him. At least that is what I concluded.

    • Sam

      Also, wouldn’t an openly beholding Him experience demand that we would have to leave…

      (1 John 3:2) “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

      I think if we are to believe even a minimum of those who have experienced a “visitation” from the Lord, every one of those accounts (at least the ones I’ve heard) also is accompanied by a direct command of the Lord that, “You must return and fulfill your mission.”

    • Cadis

      Hesiodos,

      “If God were a human lover no one would stay with him.”

      what does that mean?

    • Scott F

      The trajectory of the Bible, with God moving from walking with and talking to humans in the Garden, then sending only prophets, then a Holy Spirit and finally very little undeniable contact whatsoever, conveniently makes the hardest to prove claims the most distant in history.

      Of course, plopping Jesus down right in the middle of the time-line causes, shall we say, an anomaly but if Jesus was originally viewed as a representative taking the Name of God and not God himself – where’s Jim McGrath when I need him 😉 – than the blip is a bit less severe.

      Unfortunately the Silence leads to many thoughts and few answers.

    • Hesiodos

      Cadis,
      I just meant that he doesn’t answer when we call, allows harmful things to happen he could prevent, leaves us alone in the dark when we most need him. If a human woman (since I am a man) treated me this way, I would be hard pressed to stay with her or be at all sure of her affection since she would show so few proofs of it. Like St. Theresa of Avila said after complaining to God of some misfortune and having Him tell her, “This is how I treat all my friends”, she replied, “then it’s no wonder you have so few.”
      That’s all I meant.

    • TDC

      I just wanted to say…

      I love the justice league, and that scene you’re talking about is one of my favorites in the entire series. The Flash has heart, and that makes him awesome.

    • bethyada

      I posted on the hiddenness in Scripture just last week. But addressing the hiddenness of God (which is slightly different) I have a different take to you Michael.

      I am not so certain increased revelation would always entice us over to heaven. In fact I think it more likely that we would want to be more effective in our mission. Paul stated thus. He wanted to go to heaven but he wanted to preach the gospel. Sure he wanted heaven more, but he was more determined to share the resurrected Jesus with everyone.

      But I suspect the hiddenness is probably not related to keeping us on task.

      There may be several reasons for hiddenness but one is likely holiness. We know that God did reveal himself to Adam and Eve, but sin changed things. Isaiah called woe is me, Moses could only see God’s back, and John wanted to worship a lesser creature. Some of the hiddenness of God must certainly be related to our nature.

    • […] Parchment and Pen – Why is God so silent? […]

    • C Michael Patton

      TDC,

      That is awesome. That is my favorite episode as well. (ahem…I kinda cry each time I see it).

      I am so excited that you are a Justice League fan!

    • J.R.

      So, if we could only see God or wet our finger in His kingdom (empirically speaking) we would desire death over life in this world, sounds reasonable. Which in turn through deductive reasoning keeps mankind from committing suicide because our desire would be the Kingdom over Kingdom work? Interesting thought, something to ponder I suppose.

      Why is God so silent? If I had divine knowledge to that question maybe my sister wouldn’t have shot herself. In my wildest dreams I would have never thought I would have to type a sentence like that.

      This will sound cold and heartless to some but this is where I’m at in my grief right now. I no longer look at the misery, pain, or suffering mankind goes through in this world or facing death. Like you said “One out of every one people dies.” It’s not when, how, or why they die but how they lived. Did they live with a saving faith or without? If they died without and we knowing it, yet having done nothing, stand condemned.

      We have a promise not sealed by the blood of bulls or goats but buy the precious blood of Jesus Christ. And we know God’s word is true, fore He can only swear by Himself for there is no one greater. Either we believe His promises or we don’t. Needing empirical reassurance from God as to why, how, or when displays to a certain degree a lack of faith, faith in God’s providence.

      Please pray for all of us who have or are questioning God’s providence.

    • Dave Z

      CMP,

      The first comment asked if you were struggling with faith. It seems to me that in many of your recent posts, you are chipping away at a block of marble as a sculptor would, digging past fears, assumptions and preconceptions to find the true beauty that will be revealed when all that is not God is removed. (I’m not really putting that well. Maybe I should just say I appreciate your willingness to chip away, trusting the Master Sculptor to guide the chisel, and therefore not afraid of what you might find. Many people are afraid to swing the hammer.)

      In my early days of faith, God was much more evident to me. He spoke very clearly to me in many ways, and I experienced things that I can only call miraculous. But those “signs” began fading within a couple of years, and now are mostly non-existent. I’ve wondered if the problem was in me. Am I losing faith? It seems many others have gone through this as part of the “dark night of the soul.” Mother Theresa experienced it, stating that she had not felt the presence of Jesus for many years.

      There are still signs, little subtle miracles, easily missed or written off as coincidences, and those are fairly common. Kind of like you “just happening” to turn into the parking lot of the hotel where Angie made her first attempt.

      While it may seem God is not speaking or is not evident, he has spoken and has been evident, not only in scripture but in our own lives and we need to remember that and allow our faith to rest on it.

      continued below

    • Dave Z

      Your explanation for why God seems silent makes sense. Even now, I long for the mystery to be fully revealed, meaning I long for death. At least in a certain way, though I am by no means thinking about speeding up the process. I just want to KNOW. I want the mystery to be over, and I want to experience the glory that I believe awaits us. My dad died a few years ago. He now knows for certain what awaits us across that threshold and I’m a little envious of that.

      In reality, the Bible tells us almost nothing about heaven, most of our understanding (or misunderstanding) is drawn from the book of Revelation. Our imagery is usually that of the New Jerusalem, which may not even exist yet, so we’re left with almost no information about what heaven is right now. Your idea fits in well with that. Too much information in the here and now might not be a good thing, so God withholds it and we continue our physical life trusting in him. Great article.

    • Ray

      Thanks Mike, your illustration and analysis of God’s hiddenness is going straight into my file for future use when I witness to people without faith. In fact you’ve given me inspiration to write on it myself.

    • Brian C.

      Dave Z: “In my early days of faith, God was much more evident to me. He spoke very clearly to me in many ways, and I experienced things that I can only call miraculous. But those “signs” began fading within a couple of years, and now are mostly non-existent. I’ve wondered if the problem was in me. Am I losing faith? It seems many others have gone through this as part of the “dark night of the soul.” Mother Theresa experienced it, stating that she had not felt the presence of Jesus for many years.”

      Tell it brother. You say others go through this. Huff, they are few and far between it seems to me. Most think they relate in that they have some momentary “disconnect” or trial that makes them feel alone. Trials and feeling without God are one thing. But when things just go dark for no apparent reason? Its pretty nerve raking if you don’t know why this is going on. Can’t say I do. I’ve read as much of St. John of the Cross as I can to understand. Still don’t.

    • Dave Z

      Brian, C.S. Lewis wrote somewhere that in our early days of faith, as baby Christians learning to walk, we need God right there to hold our hands and keep us from falling, but as we mature, we learn to walk on our own, and God desires to see us walk with confidence. To mix metaphors, at some point we take the training wheels off.

      Lewis says we are most pleasing to God when we cannot sense his presence and yet live in obedience. (That’s my paraphrase, offhand I’m not sure where the reference is )

      I think the whole scenario is pretty common. We’ve all seen the excited, effusive faith of the new believer, but in time, that element always tapers off. I think that’s normal. Some try to regain it, to live their lives with that element of exciting newness, but I don’t think it’s healthy to pursue that.

      I think that, to some degree, we all go through this, some much deeper than others. The thing is that not many are willing to talk about it so openly, as CMP has. Mother Thresa’s “night” was not known until after her death.

      And I don’t think God is ever really silent, but his presence is communicated through less obvious ways. It becomes subtle and more nuanced, harder to see distinctly, but still there.

    • rayner markley

      Scott F (25),
      An interesting trajectory, and we the church have even extended it by considering Scripture as our primary or only source of knowledge about God, thus seeming to push the Holy Spirit into an indirect function.

      And yes, Jesus was a blip of reality, but on thinking about it we can see that even He was hidden from most of the world. Jesus came and did his work and left. It all happened rather quietly; the world scarcely noticed. On the surface, life went on just as before—people lived and died the same way. The church did exhibit some miracles of its own and grew like a weed, but soon it fell into the patterns that befall any organization—divisions, politics, vanity, etc.

    • […] Patton on misfits in the church; the silence of God; and Christian conduct […]

    • Renju Philip

      A question not related to topic, is there any provision to link this to facebook

      Love and Prayers
      Renju

    • Robin

      I have been going through a sequence of disapointmets in my life lately and I have been wondering too where God is, what is the point, why are all my youthful hopes dashed as I reach middle age (were they all just crazy ideas?). I don’t really have answers, the only thing I can think of is that it was never meant to be easy (following Jesus). Maybe He chooses to be hidden and let us do our best, maybe he lets bad happen because it is necessary for a free creation (though He constantly works to undo it). One thing I notice blogging on Christian blogs is how dissapointed most Christians feel at life in general, maybe all this communication about our beliefs sort of gives us license to collectively give in to our doubts. Maybe some things are better dealt with in our own way, by ourselves. I avoid it, it just muddles my thoughts. Maybe we shouldn’t dwell too much on philosophical ideas and get to the business of simply living our lives and finding God there.

    • Dave Z

      Stumbled across this today. Awesome song by Andrew Peterson – The Silence Of God

    • Rene

      Thanks for writing this Michael.

      I think I’ve come to the same conclusion – if God proved to everyone that He was 100% Complete and Total Love and that people had something much better than they good ever ask or imagine when they died, everyone on earth would be suicidal.

      It’s very ironic. God has proved him/her/itself (since God is beyond gender) to me, and told me the best news I could have ever dreamed of. It happened after a year of studying theology. I had just returned from a missions trip where people were being healed by God’s power, and then God gave me an amazing experience lasting half an hour.

      Ever since then, I’ve been 100% sure that God exists. However, it has ironically made me feel that all I ever want to do is die…because the next life is so much better, all I can see in comparison to the next life is an awful world of suffering and sadness.

      Perhaps too much good news is bad for us? When I first went to study theology I really wanted to know what the good news was for the early Christians. I dug so deep, that eventually I saw it and couldn’t believe it. Then God showed up and told me that what I had discovered in Early Christianity was correct…it really was good news.

      But my experience has made me so sure of the good life to come that I am always wanting to die. But I cannot for the sake of my family. Honestly, to live is the sacrifice that I must make. To die is wonderful. Perhaps that is what Paul meant? “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain”.

      In all truth, it is much better for God to be silent and not prove that heaven is real. It saves our lives. But every once in a while God gives one of us an experience to remind others that it really is real. These stories give others hope, and maybe my story will give others hope in the reality of God and the wonderful next life. But if he proved it to you, you might end up like me…just wanting to die.

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