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Return to 4th Quarter 2022 articles.

The title of this article is 'Evidence for God in Changed Lives,' with a picture of a group of people holding hands in a field.

The cover of our 4th quarter 2022 journal shows a group of diverse people.

There are many evidences for the existence of God. In this journal, we have discussed evidence in the design of life, planet Earth, the solar system, and the cosmos. In addition, we have looked at evidence in the Bible and archaeological evidence supporting the Bible's divine integrity. Many of these evidences overlap, but we also see strong evidence for God in human beings created in his image. The effect of Christianity on the lives of believers who obey Christ's commands gives some of the best proofs of God, and the Bible as his Word.

Many people feel that only a miracle can change people's lives. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding of the purpose of miracles, why God created us, and our role in the war between good and evil. If all we had to do to be cured of a terminal disease or avoid a disastrous accident were to become a Christian, people would claim Christianity to escape their problems. God never promised that becoming a Christian would give us diplomatic immunity from illness, accidents, or other issues. Christianity is not an escape from reality, and Christians can better support others when we face the same struggles as everyone else.

Jesus is raising Lazarus from the grave.

The miracles of Jesus and the apostles were intended to address a credibility issue in the first century. Like today, there were all kinds of scammers claiming to speak for God. We read about them in passages like Acts 8:9–11 and Acts 19:13–15. Miracles clearly showed who spoke for God and who was a scammer. Those miracles had a purpose that is not needed today. When God's written Word became available, there was no need to wonder who spoke for God and who did not. Today, God's Word is available and speaks for him. We read in 2 Timothy 3:16–17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” If miraculous acts of God are not required, how do we see Christianity changing lives and giving evidence of God's existence?


We are not saying that God is dysfunctional in the lives of his believers. On the contrary, there is a practical reason for Christians to pray, and we often see God acting in our lives. For example, in Acts 9:15, God tells Ananias that Paul “is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” God did not force Paul to become a great evangelist. He could have refused to do what God called him to do, but the providence of God made a choice available that defined Paul's life.

In the same way, today, we see people's lives influenced by God in a way that is not miraculous but allows the individual to fulfill a role that would have seemed impossible. Your author was raised by parents who were atheists. My father was a Ph.D. student of John Dewey and became a professor and head of the philosophy department in the school of education at Indiana University. I grew up as a militant, campaigning atheist, a leader in the atheist movement, and a close compatriot of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the leading atheist at the time. Now I am a dedicated believer in God and the Bible as his Word. A series of incredible, unlikely events led me to become a Christian and ultimately a campaigning apologist for Christianity.

An atheist would attribute my journey to chance. If it were a single event, I might accept that diagnosis. However, I believe a series of God's providential activities took my life in a different direction. Ultimately I had to choose whether to become a Christian and be disowned by my family and friends or reject God and accept leadership of the atheist movement in Indiana.


A couple is embracing.

By an institution, we mean something God set up for our benefit, but we do not mean human buildings or programs. One institution God established was marriage. God's plan is one man and one woman for life, and that plan works. When it does not work, it is because humans contaminated it or refused to follow God's instructions for maintaining it. People have offered polygamy and polyandry as alternatives to God's institution of marriage. But those systems fail miserably and produce an imbalance in relationship demographics since males and females are born in approximately equal numbers. All studies on the long-term effects and stability of monogamous heterosexual relationships have shown they produce positive outcomes. Closely related is the institution of the nuclear family. The instructions of Ephesians 6:1–4; Colossians 3:18–21; and Titus 2:2–7 have produced stability and productivity in human societies.


Christianity is not about obeying a silly collection of laws or restrictive rules. From the time of Adam until today, God has given strong moral rules to follow. Some of the rules are common sense shared by other faiths and even unbelievers. Not murdering, stealing, and lying are not unique to Christianity. However, the teachings of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7) are unique. Loving your enemies, turning the other cheek, and going the extra mile are not part of the human moral code. The teachings of Christ regarding sexual purity and relationships expressed only in a monogamous marriage bring clear emotional and mental health benefits.

It is tragic that throughout history, humans have refused to live as God called them to live. God's rules uniquely produce peace and well-being for all humans in contrast to the result of “survival of the fittest” moralities. The military practice of religious leaders such as Muhammad gives strong evidence that Christianity is not a product of human wisdom.


One of the great values of Christianity, often missed by many, is the freedom it offers. Colossians 2:14–23 talks about being free from the ordinances that enslaved people for so long. Galatians 3:26–29 speaks clearly against all divisions of humans and shows that racial, national, and sexual prejudice are non-existent in true Christianity.

Romans 14 makes it clear that we are free to make our own choices as long as we are not disobeying a commandment of God. The freedom that Christianity teaches is unique and speaks of being from God. Compare that with what other religious systems teach. Even some that claim to be Christian add other rules which are not in the Scriptures. True Christianity produces no power struggle caused by a distinction between clergy and laity and no dependence on sacred places or buildings. That freedom is from God and speaks of his wisdom and design.


A young boy drinks from a well pump at a school.

In Matthew 25:31–46, we see Christ identifying the fruit of Christianity. He commended his followers because they fed hungry people, brought water to thirsty people, provided clothing for those who did not have any, administered help to sick people, and reached out to those in prison. What has resulted from the actions of those who tried to do what Jesus taught? How many hospitals have been built and maintained by people expressing their faith in Christ? How many schools and universities have been created and staffed by Christians? Who runs the homeless shelters and missions that care for the homeless and impoverished? Christ's followers have done all of those things and more.

Skeptics like to complain about Christian missionaries bringing their faith to primitive tribes and alien cultures worldwide. What has been the fruit of those missionaries? How many have brought medical help, food, agricultural techniques, and better use of resources to impoverished people? Many cultural practices that primitive tribes had developed needed to be abolished. Sacrificing children, polygamy, bad dietary practices, using contaminated water, and tribal wars needed to end. Missionaries have sometimes made mistakes such as overturning non-destructive local customs that should have remained.

Multiracial hands holding each other in unity.

On the other hand, what contribution has atheism made to those suffering from disease or starvation? How does “survival of the fittest” benefit hurting people? I might disagree with Mother Teresa's theology, but it is very hard to criticize what she brought to scores of people in an impoverished society.

If someone convinced me that there is no God, that Jesus never lived, and that the Bible is just a bunch of silly myths, I would still want to be a Christian. I have lived as an atheist. I have seen the result of that lifestyle in my family and today's culture. My life today is so much better than my atheist days and better than what I saw my family go through as they lived by their atheist credo. A true belief in God and living as God has called us to will change our lives and bless those around us. People have said, “I would rather see a sermon than hear one.” The example of people whose lives have been changed by their faith in God and his Son is a powerful testimony to God's existence.

— John N. Clayton

Picture credits:
© Joeshmo. Image from big stock.com
© Body Stock. Image from big stock.com
Cover: © Bigedhar. Image from big stock.com
© Rudall30. Image from big stock.com
© Rido81. Image from big stock.com
© David Snyder. Image from big stock.com
© Junial. Image from big stock.com

Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.