Is Our God No Different Than the ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’?
The mocking term “Flying Spaghetti Monster” was invented back in 2005 by a physics grad named Bobby Henderson, protesting the inclusion of intelligent design in school curricula in Kansas. His letter “parodied the reasoning used to argue a scientific basis for intelligent design” and “stated that teaching about intelligent design must also include the alternative theory that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster.”
Since then, the term “Flying Spaghetti Monster” has become popular in atheistic circles, serving as a convenient way to ridicule the views of those of us who believe in a creator God who is personally involved in our lives.
But is there really no difference between our beliefs and the beliefs of polytheists in the past or present (whether the deity be Zeus or Krishna)? And how do we really know that our beliefs are rooted in truth, in contrast with both atheism and polytheism, which are rooted in falsehood?
On What Basis Do We Call Him Good?
I recently participated (by video) in the funeral service of a dear friend, affirming my faith in the goodness of God even though He did not heal this beloved husband and father. Other speakers, including family members and friends, also reaffirmed their faith in the Lord, despite this devastating loss.
To the non-believer, however, I imagine the scene would have looked very different. We don’t receive answers to our prayers, but we still affirm the faithfulness of God. Is this not denial? We find great comfort in the fact that our friend is in heaven, without any concrete facts to support that belief. Isn’t this simply an exercise in our imagination? And if we will praise our deity no matter what He does or how He acts, on what basis do we call Him good?
I’m sure these thoughts have run through the minds of many true believers, let alone through the minds of mockers and skeptics. And that’s why I raise them here: to give an honest response and to affirm that there is nothing more certain in the universe than the goodness of God. I will stake my very last breath on that fact, and I say that based on experience, not simply as a statement of faith.
Of course, I could raise a multitude of powerful intellectual arguments for the existence of the God of the Bible based on Scripture, on Messianic prophecy, on the design of the universe, on the nature of morality, and more. But that’s not my focus here.
Instead, I want to focus on the reality of this God as confirmed by experience. He is anything but the creation of our own imaginations and desires.
The Reality of God Confirmed by Personal Experience
Speaking of my own life journey, Jesus came into my life and transformed me when I didn’t believe in Him and when the last thing I wanted to do was serve Him. I wanted to be a rock star!
But I cannot deny the way He convicted me of sin. The way He revealed His love to me. The way He gave me a changed heart and instantly set me free from heavy drug use.
If those were the only things He did for me, they would be more than enough to prove His reality. But that was the beginning of the beginning.
Even the instant healing I experienced from hives as a new believer, in direct answer to prayer, was another proof of His reality.
And that’s how it is with supernatural, undeniable answers to prayer. While you might pray many prayers that are not answered, the ones that are answered often defy any logical explanation other than the goodness of our God.
Yet there is more. Much more. There are the divinely orchestrated events. (As a friend once said, “When I pray, coincidences happen.”) When you journal them over the years and look back and review, you realize just how much divine intervention there has been in your life. To deny this is to deny reality.
Accurate Information and Comforting Presence
Then there are the times that the Lord spoke to us or through us, giving us clear direction in advance or enabling us to speak with supernatural precision into the life of someone else in crisis. And how many of us have received accurate prophetic words from others who knew nothing of our situation, reducing us to tears of gratitude of the Father’s great love?
But there is more still, and in some ways, this is the bottom line. There is the presence of God with us in times of trouble and agony and distress. This is anything but a figment of our imagination or a convenient mental creation. To the contrary, if this comforting presence was so easily manufactured, others could also conjure it up for themselves.
Instead, it is the reality of God in our lives during unbearable times, this real presence giving us hope in the midst of deep despair, this sense of assurance in the midst of grieving and bereavement, that separates us from those who do know God and who have no hope beyond this life.
We Have Experienced His Goodness
And so, when we affirm His goodness, it is because we have experienced His goodness. It is because we have watched Him bring life out of death and restoration out of loss. It is because we are eyewitnesses, and the longer we live, the more deeply we affirm that goodness. That’s why we put our faith in Him, even when we see nothing and feel nothing. We know He is truly there.
And since God’s Word speaks to us about heaven and eternity, we believe that too.
We have found our God to be utterly trustworthy, and that’s why we love Him as we do. May every one of you reading this article come to know Him for yourself!
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.