By Bob Barney
I have had several people over the years ask me how I came to what I believe. I wrote this too a young lady that emailed me questioning God. This was written in 2009.
That family God gave me some 38 years later (now 40)
Thanks for your interest in The Plain Truth and what brought me to believe in God. Cathy like you there was a time in my life when I thought I had proven scientifically that God did not exists. I started out as a child believing in God, but years of schooling and my science classes taught me that God was a myth and that science was what was real. This happened at an early age for me, so by the time I was 12, I did not think God was real. When I was 7, I was a strong believer and prayed every night to a God I later realized never seemed to hear my prayers.
Evolution made the most sense to me, and it was something I could see with my own eyes – or so I thought for quite a few years.
I started college in 1973. I went thru high school as an atheist and a strong believer in modern science. In my second year at college I took a biology course taught by a professor that I became close friends with. It was 1975. That also happened to be the year I first heard a broadcast from Garner Ted Armstrong. Ted was unlike any person I have ever heard before, and if you haven't watched any of the videos I have posted of him, you will not understand my description. He was bright, informed, educated and knew science as good as anyone. I listened to him for a week before I even knew he was an evangelist! Really! When I realized he was, I turned him off. Like a modern day liberal, or scientists (they are the same) I didn't want to hear from any “religious” nut. A week went by, and I began to listen to him again. I was intrigued, because he made so much sense.
He did a show called, “A theory for the birds” (it is also a booklet's title) in which he stated, “Did the miracle of flight come from frayed. loosely hanging fish scales? Did the myriads of birds evolve from ungainly, hulking caymans and crocodiles? Evolutionists say they did. Reason, logic, common sense, true science and the Great Creator God say they didn't! Here's the proof presented from the kingdom of our fine feathered friends.”
He went on: “Did God use green slime, or brown scum, or algae, or amoeba, or viruses and bacteria, or polka-dotted air bubbles in the sea, or cracks in rocks, or extreme heat, or extreme cold, or a chance strike of lightning in a primordial soup of methane and ammonia to create life on earth? The answer is no, and you can prove it scientifically!”
I thought to myself, “scientifically?” I needed to hear more.... I came up with these 7 problems with evolution.
Lack of a viable mechanism for producing high levels of complex and specified information. Related to this are problems with the Darwinian mechanism producing irreducibly complex features, and the problems of non-functional or deleterious intermediate stages. (For details see: “The NCSE, Judge Jones, and Bluffs About the Origin of New Functional Genetic Information,” “Do Car Engines Run on Lugnuts? A Response to Ken Miller & Judge Jones’s Straw Tests of Irreducible Complexity for the Bacterial Flagellum,” “Opening Darwin’s Black Box,” or “Can Random Mutations Create New Complex Features? A Response to TalkOrigins“)
The failure of the fossil record to provide support for Darwinian evolution. And the failure of molecular biology to provide evidence for a grand “tree of life.”
Evolutionary scientists date the earth at approximately 4.5 to 5 billion years old. Most folks are not aware that there is really no incontrovertible scientific proof to establish these fantastic dates. They are grounded in a series of assumptions that are based upon evolutionary premises. In other words, the “clock” is rigged to provide the “long ages” of earth’s history. Why is this the case? Because, as everyone concedes, time is an absolutely essential ingredient in the Darwinian scheme. Dr. George Wald of Harvard called it the “hero of the plot.” Evolutionists need vast amounts of time for the millions of evolutionary changes to occur which would produce the amoebae-to-man phenomenon.
It has been demonstrated many times, however, that the “evolutionary clocks” are terribly flawed (see Jackson 2003). Here is a somewhat recent example.
Law on entropy:There is a universal tendency for all systems to go from order to disorder, as stated in the Second Law, and this tendency can only be arrested and reversed under very special circumstances. We have already seen, in Chapter I, that disorder can never produce order through any kind of random process. There must be present some form of code or program, to direct the ordering process, and this code must contain at least as much "information" as is needed to provide this direction. Furthermore, there must be present some kind of mechanism for converting the environmental energy into the energy required to produce the higher organization of the system involved. ... Thus, any system that experiences even a temporary growth in order and complexity must not only be "open" to the sun's energy but must also contain a "program" to direct the growth and a "mechanism" to energize the growth.
The failure of chemistry to explain the origin of the genetic code. (For details, see “The origin of life remains a mystery” or “Problems with the Natural Chemical ‘Origin of Life’“);
Where did the hydrogen atom come from?
The last one, number six is my idea. After listening and reading up on the flaws of evolution, I went to my great friend and professor of biology and asked him how I could discredited this information. To my surprise, he just got angry, like an Obama liberal does today when you question details about socialism.
I was stunned by his reaction. I assumed he had the answers, but he did not! He called it all BS and walked away from me. I was his friend, so I cornered him the next day and asked again. He replied, “If you want to believe in fairy tales, go ahead, but leave me out of it! Where did your God come from Bob? Everything has to have a beginning!”
I replied, “They say he has always existed.”
“Exactly,” he replied. “Are you going to believe that nonsense?”
I replied, “if everything was started by a hydrogen atom exploding, where did that atom come from? Who, what or why was it made?”
His answer? “IT HAS ALWAYS EXISTED!”
I was dumbfounded... “So,” I replied, “you don't want to believe a God always existed, but the hydrogen atom did?” He walked away, mad at me, and we never were friends again.
Cathy, I did not become a believer over night. For the next three years I tried to disprove God, and especially the God of the Bible, and each time I did, all I did was disprove a religion! Man's god, not the true God!
By 1978 I knew not only God existed, but that God was the one found in the Bible. Not the Catholic or Protestant churches, but the one found in the pages of the Bible. The God I DID NOT WANT TO FOLLOW! I did not want to ditch Christmas. I did not want to do a Saturday for Sunday thing, and I did not want to admit their were laws I needed to obey- but I knew I had too. God was real.
For the next few years, after going to God one night telling Him to leave me alone, I surrendered. Like Jacob of the Bible, I fought with God for my first 20 years.
1979 I did my first Passover. With very little help, and by myself, after years of struggling whether if Good really existed, I came to know God was real, calling me and I made sure I would do whatever I could as best as I could.
Nobody in my family did any holidays, except Christmas and Easter. Mom had stopped going to church by 1973, and I had no place really to do my first Passover. So I asked Grandma Brandt in doing it up there, and she agreed. I bought Riunite and Matzo’s- and had my first Passover by myself there. Honestly, I don’t remember if I did Matzos or just plain old Italian Bread-with the yeast! I was new to everything and I really had nobody to help me. It was an education by trial and error, and hopefully forgiveness from God.
I went thru some hard times at first, but God also quickly answered prayers in those days for me. The more you believe, the slower the answers. It's a test. I remember Ted telling me once, “If you think God is calling you, expect nothing but trouble! GOD IS HARDEST ON THOSE HE CALLS and LOVES!” I found this to be true.
All I can say is pray to God, read the Bible without preconceived notions in what you will find, and read the words on the page! Test God and make God prove to you that GOD IS REAL. Also test science, as I did. Don't believe someone because you think they are smarter than you. Most likely they are not- just more snowballed.
God is not looking for vegetables! He gave us a mind to think, reason and to understand the truth of life! Most religions want you to be zombies. God does not.
Remember these words:
Ephesians 6:10-18 New International Version (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.
Give God a chance to Prove all things, and I think you will find eventually God will! I know one thing, when you are resurrected from the dead (either the 1st or second) you will know for sure!