Belief in God?
So on the way in this morning, I had a realization that there's some inaccuracy in talking about "belief" in God. (As in "I believe/don't believe in God.") We talk like this as Christians, but I submit that no less a final authority than the Bible speaks differently(I'll have to explain that separately). The use of the phrase "I don't believe in God" is primarily found among those who doubt God's existence and who get into discussions about Him in which they are refreshingly, albeit heart-wrenchingly, honest about their stance against "belief". In spite of their firm position, I submit that there's a more logically accurate declaration that paints a clearer picture. This would be the statement, "I don't recognize God." I ask the reader to consider that such an individual, despite the amount of thought they put into their position, can only refuse to recognize God when confronted with the conviction of those that know Him. Let me unpack this.
Let's say there are horses running all over my country, I don't say I believe in horses. I recognize that there are such things as horses. Now, if I'm in a country without horses, and have never seen one, but hear others talk about their experiences with horses, I wouldn't say I don't believe in horses, but that I've never seen a horse. It wouldn't make sense for me to say I don't believe in horses. Furthermore, if I were in a conversation with those that have horses in their yard, but I had never seen a horse, I wouldn't approach them and question their understanding of horses, because it's not a matter of opinion that horses are real. I might have difficulty with the facts (imagine never seeing a horse, then seeing one for the first time.) But even if horses are not part of my experience, the experience of those in the horse country trump mine.
Let me go a step further. The existence of God is only purposefully deniable. That is to say, you can only willingly, deliberately deny or refuse to look into the existence of God. The proposition of James 1:17 is that "Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights, in who does not change like shifting shadows." That means, every time you or I smile, we are exemplifying the recognition of something good. There is a recognition of this good by every living creature, albeit with differing levels of appreciation. Those that have encountered God attribute those things, based on James 1, to Him. Anything that you can touch, taste, smell, see or hear, if it's good, they would say, it's from God. If I have a box of Nerds lying on my desk, and I didn't know where it was from, I couldn't deduce that it was from no one(although that could, I guess be a reasonable statement in a manner of speaking.) What I can't do is refute the experience of those that have seen a man going in and out of a classroom leaving similar treats on the desks of others. There explanation is simply more robust than mine. And, it logically explains where my candy came from. I would accept their explanation because they have more information.
For your consideration: If there are those who live in a heavenly kingdom, and who know the living God, isn't their knowledge and experience something that I, if I were a resident of a seemingly godless country, would need to look into, rather than patently deny?