Conservative pundit Matt Walsh is not known for his subtlety. In a recent post, Walsh addressed the question: Why does God hide from us?
Right now we live in a time where it might seem easy to look around and “wonder why God remains hidden,” Walsh notes.
“It is easy to use God’s hiddenness, His invisibility, as an argument against His existence. It is not a bad argument, either. Indeed, it would seem that a loving and all-powerful God would manifest Himself clearly and unmistakably to His creation, especially when He notices that secularism is infecting the whole world like a virus.”
From the abortion rates in the United States to the persecution of Christians all over the world, to the denial of Christ in popular culture, it is easy to question why God doesn’t just turn this planet to ashes, as Walsh says.
“He could appear in the sky, manifesting Himself in His glory, and make an announcement: ‘Hello, everyone. I am God. I exist. Act accordingly.’ Or words to that effect. That, I imagine, would convince most people,” he writes. “It would convince more than are convinced by a 2,000 year old anthology of stories and letters, at least.”
He then poses these questions: “So why does God not take that step? Why does He seem to leave us here to linger in this material world filled with uncertainty and suffering? Why does He call us to believe and then give us a million reason not to? Why does He bid us find Him and then hide in places we cannot go? How can any of this be explained?”
Walsh points out that many Christians would argue that God isn’t hidden because they have seen him reveal himself, or have heard stories where he has in fact acted in a supernatural way.
“He has revealed Himself through the ages. He has acted supernaturally within our world. He has been incarnate in our world, where He lived and ministered and performed miracles before rising from the dead and ascending into Heaven in front of many witnesses. And since that time, and before it, He has performed many other signs, and appeared in visions, and shown His power and glory through miraculous cures and other supernatural deeds.”
But the Walsh goes on to ask a trickier question: “If God is willing and able to reveal Himself, why does He do so on such a limited basis?”
In other words, why doesn’t God show himself like the sun shows itself every morning? Why doesn’t God make a big proclamation about who he is in order to get creation back behaving in a way more desirable to God?
Walsh believes it is because God doesn’t just desire us to believe in him, but he desires us to love him.
“If all He wanted were belief then indeed the celestial public service announcement would seem the way to go,” he writes. “However our hope, salvation, and joy is found not in belief per se, but in love. He wants us to love Him, and there is no sign, no spectacle, no miracle that could make us love Him. It could make us fear Him, admire Him, even obey and worship Him, but a vision of His glory in the Heavens would not, for most of us, engender love. I think it would actually prevent love from forming.”
Walsh offers the analogy of when a man meets his future wife for the first time and says he “fell in love,” and proceeds to explain why this is actually impossible.
“No, this ‘love,’ in the early stages of their romance, was really infatuation,” he notes. “He knew nothing about her except that she was physically beautiful (which, at first, was the most relevant factor in his mind). Even more crucially, he knew that he was himself terribly lonely and that she could be a rather attractive antidote to his solitude.”
Walsh adds that the love he thought he was falling into was merely “emotional, physical, and self-involved.”
He adds that if that was the only kind of love that was felt in a marital relationship, the relationship would eventually crumble.
Walsh argues that there is a deeper, more lasting love that comes by making the choice to love someone, “by choice” and not “by compulsion.”
Walsh argues that this is a similar situation to the relationship we can have with God. He points out that without a real, authentic love for God, it is nearly impossible to see God for who he is in all his glory:
“If God were to give us the beatific vision we claim to want, yet we were to approach it without first having developed a real love for Him, there would be no chance, from that point, for any real love to develop on our end. We would be so overwhelmed by His beauty, so taken by His majesty, so terrified by His power, so aghast and awestruck, that we could not possibly have anywhere within us the calm, quiet thoughtfulness required to really choose love.”
Walsh adds that because we don’t truly love God, then if he revealed himself to us, as the sun does every morning, we would not be able to handle it.
“There would be no choice at that point. We would be simply swept away by God’s sheer magnitude. We would fall before Him. Whimper. Tremble. Cry. Beg. But love? Who could love at a time like this? Unless, of course, they already loved. The only ones who can love God upon seeing Him are those who loved Him without seeing Him. I think that is a simple fact of His nature and ours.”
Walsh concludes that the reason God does not show himself to us is that “He does not want me to be a cowering, stupefied child who worships and obeys simply because I am afraid and emotionally overwhelmed.”
Walsh adds that God gives us just enough of himself to “make the beginning of love possible.”
God reveals himself piece by piece so that we may desire to get to know him more.
“To those of greater faith and spiritual maturity, He may give more. To His three closest Apostles, He gave the Transfiguration. They could handle it, just barely. I cannot,” Walsh writes. “And so I can only thank God for the distance, the hiddenness, as painful as it may be.”
Walsh adds that the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” cliche is applicable to our relationship with God.
“I have tried to go this whole column without resorting to the old ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ cliche, especially because ‘absence’ is not really the right word here,” he notes. “But still, there is a truth to it. God is, in some ways, at least visibly, absent. And it is in this ‘absence’ that the seed of love can begin to bloom. It cannot be any other way.”
“We must love God, and then, and only then, can we be truly and eternally in love.”
You can watch Walsh’s full-length video on the topic below:
Today I want to address what I think is maybe the best atheist argument against the existence of God. It's also a question that we Believers have been grappling with for centuries: Where is God? Why does He remain invisible to us? Why doesn't He reveal Himself unmistakably to all of us? I don't claim to have THE answer to that question. Nobody does. But here are my thoughts on the subject.To watch the full show live, become a premium subscriber. Join the team! https://www.dailywire.com/subscribeFor more Daily Wire content, like this Facebook page, the Daily Wire Facebook page, and the Ben Shapiro Facebook page. Activate notifications so you never miss a story!
Posted by Matt Walsh on Tuesday, July 17, 2018
(H/T: The Daily Wire)