He died and told his family, as well as the rest of the world, “There is no God.”
Every time that a very public person makes a declaration regarding their atheism it makes me mad. Why? I learned years ago that most anger comes from fear. I’m afraid.
He was possibly the smartest person on earth in his time, which is right about now. His field of expertise was mathematics and physics. He researched, wrote and lectured on these fields, but as so often happens, he was asked questions outside of his expertise. Fame gives gravitas to what famous people say. Add the combination of genius and science to what the person says and it’s believed as truth.
Film stars sell cologne, Hollywood favorites act like political analysts and the Kardashians…. Well, at least the Kardashians do not claim to have any greater credibility than being the Kardashians. Fame provides them an applied leverage to truth regardless of its accuracy.
Back to Hawking. He scared me first because I have read his book, “A Brief History of Time.” I really like it. I have watched a number of his speeches online and seen him interviewed. He really is that smart, his own little Mensa chapter of one. What if someone that I like and admire says that there is no God? I’m scared because for a moment I think, “Maybe he’s right.” I do not like feeling that way. I do not like having moments of doubt. I have some of those moments of questioning without a genius throwing gas on those flames. For a moment he has scared me and that really makes me angry. I do not like to be scared.
He also scared me because I know that if I can be rattled for a moment in my beliefs, then what effect is he having through this statement on unbelievers or seekers? When they are given the truth, that there is a God who loves them, will a statement from a journalist, rockstar or professor turn someone away from God? I don’t know. I think so. I have friends who are already agnostics or atheists that use statements from people like Hawking to support their beliefs. (Side note: I believe agnostics are just commitment averse).
So there I am- speaking about God’s love to a non-believer, using the evidence, experience and faith of my own walk in the conversation and I am debating Stephen Hawking. I know that some version of this happens to readers of this.
I heard a Christian comedian, Michael Jr., tell a joke about faith.
A teacher in school said “You cannot see or feel God, so God does not exist.” A girl in the back stood up and asked, “Have you seen or touched your brain?” The teacher responded, “No.” The girl said “Then you are without a brain.”
I just like that joke, so I threw it in.
Scripturally, you can dig into Hebrews 11 and get a great schooling on faith. The most quoted is Hebrews 11:1 -
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
I find that helpful for me because it has a certain universal application for me. Examples that I can think of include gravity, oxygen, love, compassion and others. I cannot see them in their raw form, I can only see them in their outcomes. Faith shows up in my life in the miracles that occur in their outcomes.
I have learned that I cannot debate faith, at least not using science or logic. Maybe someone else can, but I do not need to. I see the outcomes of faith and therefore I have confidence in what I hope for and assurance about what I do not see.
I need help on this, so please comment in any way. It is important for us to give each other the best language to help in conversations with agnostics and seekers. Hebrews 11 helps, but there are other scriptures and your own walk stories that will help more.
Peace out, Stephen Hawking. You have died. You have received an answer to your opinion. I wonder what you will say when you meet our Heavenly Father. I loved you when you were here. I am sad that you did not accept the truth before you left.