(Reference for Sunday School Students)
1) Does God Exist?
Yes; but doesn’t mean that there are certain physical/concrete evidences to prove the existences of God. None of the religions even Churches gives you any concrete proof. At the same time Science with all its machinery of observation and experimentation cannot disprove the existence of God.
2) Why none of the religions or even Church proves the existence of God?
Man’s intellectual ability cannot cope with the effort to discover God’s existence as Humans are the created ones not the Creator. Our Sense of perception is not perfect.
3) Then what is the content of Religion and Churches?
Religion never seeks proofs for the existence of God. It would rather teach different ways and approaches to know /understand God and guide us to experience God. As Galileo Galilee expresses; “The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go”. As per the understanding of St. Gregory of Nyssa: “the ultimate aim of religion is to attain Knowledge (Gnosis) of Being.”
4) Through different approaches and ways how far we can understand God?
The Churches and religions teach the approaches, but still can’t reveal HIM fully; for God is not an Object of study. Scientific inquiry into HIS existence would yield no result unless ‘HE WILLS’ to manifest ‘HIMSELF’. We can never completely explain His presence. Our senses, languages and the scientific approaches have many limitations to Know God, the creator. All the created beings and things have lot many impossibilities and limitations. If we proved the existence of God, then the proven God is real?
Here I quote the words of St. Gregory of Nyssa (Bishop of Nyssa; ancient Greek [335-395] One among Cappadocia fathers); “Anyone who tries to describe the Ineffable Light (God) in language is a liar, not because he hates the truth but because of his inadequacy of his description …”
As in Advaitha Vedanta by Adi Shankara; God (Ishvara) can be expressed only as Neti, Neti which means neither this nor that; ‘negation’ which we can seen in orthodox view of apophatic theology. The real ousia (essence) of God is unknown but we can understand God through Energia (action/activity)
Science works on the basis of certain principles or laws. Similarly Theology or understanding God also has its own principles.
5) What are the approaches you said about to know God?
# Faith, the major approach; reveals God
- Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrew 11:1). This is not the definition but speaks how Faith works especially during the time of persecution and distress.
- The Invisible is often more real than visible (Hebrew 11:3).
- Please HIM (God) with faith; believe that HE is; HE reward you if seek diligently (Hebrew 11:6). Without Faith and belief we cannot experience or Understand God.
# Creation; reveals Creator (God).
- The creation and its creatures reveal and declare the glory of God (Psalms 19:1). Creation is subject to Creator.
- “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened.”(Romans 1:20)
# Jesus Christ; reveals the Almighty;
- Once the apostle Philip asked Jesus ‘Lord, show us the Father and it is sufficient for us.’ Christ Replied : “He who has seen me has seen the Father … Believe Me that I am in Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves” St. John 14:8-11) Refer also ; St. Mathew 3:17 , St.John 1: 18, 12: 28-30.