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Why does GOD hide Himself?

Generations of agnostics and religionists alike have been baffled.
Hot debate has raged for centuries. Philosophers have long inquired about God's whereabouts.
Theologians have long made excuses for His absence. But must we make excuses for God?
Why has God hidden Himself?
It's time to get a straight answer.


AGNOSTIC Arnold finally "got" Religious Ralph. After years of late hours and rigorous discussions, Religious Ralph was hacked into a corner. He couldn't refute Agnostic Arnold's argument.

Could you? Try.


"’Your God' claims to be the all-powerful `Creator' of the entire universe. But man doubts Isis very existence! And supposedly man is ‘your God's' greatest creation. That doesn't make sense.

If 'your God' really exists wily doesn't He show Himself? If He openly made Himself known to all mankind, nobody could question, 'Does God exist?' — Nations would be at peace, our problems would be solved, and man would he happy. But 'your God' has conveniently chosen to hide! Come on now, tell me why!"

Religious Ralph was stunned. All those years of Sunday school went "down the drain." He fidgeted and mumbled — "God is trying to save the world. Look at all His churches."

Instantly a confident smile erupted on Agnostic Arnold's flushed face. Poor Ralph was stuck. Sensing a "kill," Aggressive Arnie pressed his attack.

"All right, Ralphy boy, I'll look at 'all His churches.' What a bickering mish-mash of contradictory concepts, superstitious incantations, hypocritical ministers and unconcerned members. Open your eyes, Ralph. You look at 'all His churches' — closeted in steepled sanctuaries and fighting among themselves about every absurd interpretation of every irrelevant doctrine. And all the while society tumbles from very bad to even worse. Ralphy boy, mankind is going to exterminate himself — and `your God' is just going to watch!

"You admit that 'your hypothetical God' could appear to the whole world if He wished to. He could clear up 'His mess' if He wanted to. So I guess He just doesn't care. Because He's staying safely hidden. Maybe He likes the world the way it is!

"'Your God' must have made a very willful decision to obscure His presence. Therefore, Ralphy boy, we can only conclude that what your God does want is for man to doubt His existence. Obviously he enjoys gazing upon little men running around blindfolded in the dark — forever questioning but never knowing, forever searching but never finding.

"'Your God' professes to be merciful — yet he creates man with a burning desire to comprehend Eternal Truth and at the same time makes it impossible for him to ever attain it. Like a child holding a beetle on its back watching it thrash its way to death, 'your God' has conjured up man merely to be the butt of a colossal cosmic joke. And that, Ralphy boy, my dear friend, is outright sadism.

"So what about your archaic notion of an 'all-wise, loving Father'? Why has He run off like some high-strung woman with a hair-trigger temper? Out of spite? Disgust? Tired blood? Perhaps He felt slighted — and 'tucked His tail' and slinked away like a forsaken lover whose weak advances were ignored. Or maybe He got frustrated — muttering show them' as He scampered off to plan His revenge.

"Why does God hide Himself? The answer seems simple to me: Either He doesn't exist, or He's a vindictive sadist — take your choice!"

Religious Ralph helplessly answered, "I know God exists by faith!" With that he pretended to dismiss Agnostic Arnold's argument. But they both knew that Offensive Arnie's reasoning prevailed. So with a condescending slap on the back and a brisk walk to the door, Triumphant Arnie departed. And a whipped Religious Ralph stumbled back to his chair and slumped into it.

Why does God hide Himself? A dejected Reluctant Ralph had to confess that he just didn't know!


What About You?

Could you have answered Obnoxious Arnie's arguments? God tells us not to debate — but we should be able to convict (not convince) the gainsayers. We should be ready with an answer to any who ask a reason for the hope that is within us (I Peter 3:15). Don't be satisfied with being "just simple folk" who aimlessly idle about under the protective shelter of blind faith like Religious Ralph.

You CAN have that answer. This article will give it to you. This article is written for you — to back up and prove your faith!

You don't need to fear the lofty proclamations of "educated" skeptics and "lettered" philosophers. You won't have to make feeble excuses for God's "absence." You can know — and know that you know — exactly why God hides Himself!

We are not going to feed you some wishy-washy, pseudo-spiritual, halfhearted "possibility." We are going to answer the question once and for all. And it's going to be easy. Let's get that straight! You won't have to learn Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek or Latin. You won't have to take courses in symbolic logic. You won't have to struggle through verbose "statements and propositions." You won't even need an unabridged dictionary by your side.

We are going to discover the remarkably straightforward answer to the basic agnostic question, "Why does God hide Himself," through the common facts of history and science — facts which you ALREADY know!


God's Creation

We start with what we can sense — the physical universe — and we find blunt proof that only a Supreme Creator could have fashioned it all together into such a wondrously unified whole. From the forces which bind atomic nuclei to the principles which run giant galaxies, from the fullness of earth to the emptiness of space, from the existence of law to the law of existence, from the beauty of creation to a mind which can comprehend it — all testify to the power of our God, all blazon forth the conclusive evidence of His existence (Rom. 1:20).

The ancient philosophers knew God. How? By asking the right questions! They examined their world — and found order and harmony; they wondered about life — and found system and design. And when they did, God began to be revealed to them. Why? Because order, harmony, system and design demanded a Creator God.

Then they searched within themselves ("know thyself") — and they found their own self -conscious human mind. How could this mind have come into existence? Only by the creative act of a Supreme Self-Consciousness — the same Creator God! The ancient philosophers were forced to realize this plain fact! "It is not that they [the philosophers] do not know the truth about God; indeed He has made it quite plain to them" (Rom. 1:19, Phillips).

But philosophers didn't expect — and certainly didn't like — this kind of revelation. The absolute existence of a Supreme Being just didn't "go over" too well. Why? Because these conceited "intellects" only desired "esoteric metaphysical truths." Why? So that they alone could understand it. Why? Because they wanted to be their own "god" and amass their own worshipful following.

So they held back God's Truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18) — and consequently they lost it. "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Rom. 1:21-22).

What about our modern "philosophers" — scientists, politicians, businessmen? They're no different!

It seems silly, but rather than becoming more humble as life's unbelievable organization and design are unveiled, detail-oriented scientists have become more deeply imbued with a grandiose sense of personal power in their own human reason. Scientists often give the impression (and may actually begin to believe) that they are inventing and sustaining the basic laws of life and brain — when, in reality, they have just uncovered and described some superficial events. Like a bunch of roosters fighting for "supremacy of the known world" in the barnyard, our "modern philosophers" have completely ignored reality.

True, some few "moderns" do agree with Dr. Warren 'Weaver's statement that "Every new discovery of science is a further 'revelation' of the order which God has built into this universe." But even here "God" is often only a term borrowed from religion — it is just a name used to symbolize some unconscious "first-cause," and is condescendingly employed solely to pacify those people whom scientists secretly call "the ignorant, superstitious masses." And that probably includes all of us. Which doesn't hurt our feelings one bit — because God has opened our minds to His Truth.

God has indeed revealed Himself through the intricate tapestry of His physical creation. We can see it. The world can't. The world doesn't want to. God is available to all — but all reject Him. He is even more available to the educated, the thoughtful, the scientific. God is "plainly discernible through things which he has made and which are commonly seen and known, thus leaving these men without a rag of excuse" (Rom. 1:20, Phillips Translation).


Get the Perspective of History

Human beings are historically narrow-minded. We look at our world fresh from the exhilaration of casually witnessing televised close-ups of two men jaunting on the moon. We don't realize that man's very first flight took place just 66 years ago. The average person emotionally considers his adult life to be the totality of human history — even though he intellectually recognizes that man has been around for thousands of years. When we ponder our wretched God-forsaken world tottering on the brink of global suicide, we become sickened by the poisoned cloud of permanent personal agony mushrooming on our horizon. Is it surprising then that human beings see the absolute necessity for supernatural help (if such help exists) — and legitimately ask, "Why is God hiding Himself?"

Let's take the blinders off our eyes ! Let's visualize the full scope of 6000years of human history — multiple dozens of generations strung end to end. Let's understand the true history of the relationship between man and his God.


Start at the Beginning

Adam was the first human being ("enlightened" anthropology notwithstanding). And God dealt very intimately with Adam: forming him (Gen. 2:7), moving him (2:15), bringing animals to him (2:19), teaching him (2:19, 20), giving him a wife (2:22), etc. Adam knew God as we know our parents — God literally walked in the garden of Eden (3:8).

But Adam, rather than following his Creator's orders, obeyed his own human reasoning — ADAM SINNED. And immediately thereafter, "Adam and his wife HID THEMSELVES FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD GOD" (Gen.3:8).

That's the crucial point! Man hid from God — God didn't hide from man.

This is the crux of the whole question, "Why does God hide Himself?" Because God did reveal Himself. It was man who hid. Man was the first to play "hide-and-go-seek" and man was the first to run and hide. As a matter of fact, man has always hidden from God. Throughout history — in every time and generation, no matter what the circumstance and situation — whenever God has revealed Himself to help men or nations, that man or nation has crudely told God: "Keep Your (unprintable) Nose out of our (unprintable) business" — and more often than not backed up that blasphemous insult by murdering God's contemporary human representative (Matt. 23:37).

This then is the purpose of this article: to irrefutably demonstrate that man has always hidden from God — and that God has not, does not, and will not hide from man.

From Adam down through all history to the present day and even on into the future, we are going to watch man resist God's every revelation of Himself. Don't just believe us now. Make us prove our point! Make us prove that God is always ready to reveal Himself to man. And make us prove that man has consciously and continuously hidden himself from God.