Although I have argued for agnosticism as being the only philosophically sound position to take on the matter of God’s existence in the past, outside of philosophy I have known for quite some time that God does exist. In September of 1997, shortly after the death of Princess Diana, I put my Smith & Wesson 915 9mm to my head and asked myself what it felt like. I was trying to approximate the feelings my brother had experienced at the time of his suicide, when he shot himself in the head. Believing the gun to be empty of rounds (the magazine was empty), I pulled the trigger, trying to feel the desperation he must have felt. Immediately I was conscious of being outside of my body in a tunnel with light at the end. I instinctively said, “That doesn’t count. It was an accident.” A voice answered me and asked, “Do you want to go back?” I answered that I wanted to watch my children grow up. The voice then said, “You’ll live long enough to regret it.” Before I could say anything else, I was back in my body with the gun to my head. Involuntarily, I pointed the gun at some curtains and pulled the trigger. Wondering why God would make me shoot curtains, I went over and pulled the curtains back and found that my AK 47 had by hit by the bullet in the receiver. Evidently God didn’t want me to have guns.
Now, for some people having an out of body experience is life altering. Christopher Reeve had an out of body experience and said that it deeply affected him. He went to church because of it. For me, I did not know who I talked to. I am fairly certain it wasn’t God. But it was an angel powerful enough to turn back time to the point before I shot myself in the head.
I’ve had many experiences wherein I believe God has intervened for my sake. I can say for certain in some instances, but in others it is just a guess. One time I visited my father in East Wenatchee, Washington, and noted that his highly aesthetic view of the valley below was obstructed by the neighbor’s tree. I suggested poisoning the tree, but my father said he had a better way. He prayed then and there to Jesus Christ to show me God’s power. I expected him to talk to the neighbor and get him to agree to trim the tree. Instead, the next morning a strong wind came up and blew the tree down. It’s roots were in the air. I told my father that I was shocked to see that happen, but I still refused to believe in Jesus Christ. I wanted a God who helps out and comes to the rescue in a pinch, but doesn’t demand anything in return. But that has all changed now. I heard to voice of God telling me I was wrong. I studied the Bible and the Holy Spirit instructed me. God is the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. I know now.
Some say that God is hidden. Isaiah 45:15 tells us that God hides Himself. For my part, I have heard God. I have seen His works. I cannot say that He has hidden Himself from me. Satan either. I know Satan exists just as surely as I know God exists.
Bertrand Russell guessed that religious belief was motivated by fear. That is non-sense. If you don’t believe in God to begin with, you have no fear. For the years that I was an atheist I never feared God, precisely because I did not believe in Him. Once I realized God exists, I assumed Him to be a helpful Spirit. I did not fear Him. I only began fearing Him once I learned that He was the God of the Bible. Russell puts the cart before the horse. Fear didn’t convince me; facts did. Only afterward did I fear.