This is inspired by God’s Ultimate Dare for humanity.
(Read: Malachi 3:6-12, NIV).
Laying the Groundwork
Before I start writing about the tests you can conduct for your search for God, I think it is imperative for you to understand the nature of God in which you want to empirically test for. So, to begin, I will draw the boundaries of this research by highlighting the nature of God that I am searching for. After all, you will need to know what you are looking out for in your results. Anything less than that is not God. Anything more… I seriously don’t think that you can find someone greater than He.
“It is imperative to understand the nature of God before we empirically test for His existence.”
So, the nature of God that we are looking for is listed as follows:
- He creates the universe
- He is One
- He is sovereign over all things; including you as the researcher
- He is sovereign over the hearts and minds of people
Attitude of Researcher
Now that we have considered the nature of God and have determined exactly what we are looking for in the search for God, it is imperative that the researcher be respectful of the topic. The researcher should approach the topic with reverence and awe, knowing that any slightest of mistakes would land the researcher in no man’s land. I am saying this because the Subject in question within this research is, as defined above, One who is sovereign over all things including the researcher. The slightest disrespect shown may result in catastrophic incidents caused to the researcher, physical and/or spiritual. Hence, we have established that the test should be conducted with utmost respect and fear.
“This test should be conducted with utmost respect and fear.”
Physical Limitations to the Interpretation of Data
Testing for something that is beyond our observable universe can be easy. (Finding ghosts are easy, right?) But the interpretation of our findings is a totally different scenario altogether. This is because our mind and our understanding are confined within 3-Dimensional space-time continuum whereas God is situated in a realm beyond that. In “The Purpose of This Blog”, I explained that God is above every reality that ever exists. This meant God is above all conceivable dimensions and moral standards. Hence, a test to determine the existence of a higher dimension will not suffice in our test for God. The closest we can experiment with is the realm of moralities, but even that in itself is a dangerous subject to work with. Improper tests conducted to twitch our subject’s moral compass may result in great psychological (or even social) damages.
“A test to determine the existence of a higher dimension will not suffice in our test for God.”
Hence, our research for the test for God must be confined to specific blessings promised by God within the scriptures. By testing for things that God promised to give if we do certain things, then we will be able to deduce that God is real. These blessings include physical, spiritual, emotional, and communal progress and prosperity. Of course, within our research, there may be other events that may interfere with our findings. However, it is also important to note that the God we are finding is sovereign over these interferences. Hence, for our research, we must not avoid these external factors that may appear to affect our findings.
Limitations to the Types of Research
There are many ways in which we can test and find God. We are able to test for God from a macro-perspective by subjecting communities or even nations to God’s complete control as according to Biblical Descriptions and see if the blessings come true. We are also able to test for God scientifically through detailed analysis of the formation of the universe or anything within it. However, these tests are often massively expensive and/or impractical. Hence, I will suggest we take things a little closer to heart and analyze things from a micro-level.
Method of Micro-Level Analysis
Micro-level analysis can be used in our test for God through the detailed analysis of changes in a person’s life; whether behavioral or psychological. For this, researchers can either invite others to be their subject of study or be the subject themselves while others may observe any statistical changes happened to the subject.
“A quasi-experimental non-equivalent control group design is needed because the search for God will require one to approach Him in spirit and in truth, and to seek Him with all our hearts.”
I propose a quasi-experimental non-equivalent control group design for this research because the nature of the research topic prohibits us from controlling what the subject is thinking through random assignment. Because the search for God will require one to approach Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24, Psalms 145:18), and to seek Him with all our hearts (Jeremiah 29:13), hence the subject needs to be able to choose whether they would want to be in the control or experiment group. For this reason, a quasi-experiment is required.
To minimize the possibilities of external variables affecting our findings during the intervention period, a non-equivalent control group design is suggested so we can measure the difference between the control and the experiment group.
For greater accuracy, a quasi-experimental interrupted time-series, non-equivalent control group design can be used.
For this test, we are looking for physical, measurable blessings from God. To measure ‘blessings’, I will conceptualize it in accordance to standards on Gallup’s wellbeing (Read more here: The Wellbeing Ministry). Hence, a recipient of God’s blessings will have significantly higher Wellbeing as compared to those who do not have.
Measurement of the life’s status of both control and experimental group will be conducted with the help of Gallup’s Wellbeing Finder (WBF) score. A WBF score will be recorded at every observation point.
“For this test, we are looking for physical, measurable blessings from God.”
Participants must be given the freedom to choose which group they want to be in; control or experimental group. However, participants of this test must not be believers in any religion. This is to minimize any form of biasness that might arise from pre-beliefs.
The experiment group will be those who are willing to seek God. Participants in this group should show that they are genuine in their search for God and are willing to seek God with all their heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37, Luke 10:27).
The control group will be people who are unwilling to seek God. Unlike the strictness of the experiment group, the control group can consist of any people who do not believe in any religion and are just living their normal lives.
To minimize any discrepancies in our readings, participants from both groups should all come from the similar, if not the same backgrounds (same education level, same socio-economic background, same family type).
The method of intervention chosen for the experiment group is offering and tithing. This is in accordance with God’s ultimate dare in Malachi 3:8-12. However, because this is a micro-level analysis of non-believers, the recipient of the tithes and offerings should not be a local-church or big charitable institutions. The number of the recipient for the tithes and offerings should be relative to the size of the experiment group. The recipient of the tithes and offerings should be Christian / Catholic / Jewish social welfare organizations who are struggling and are desperately in need. If possible, these organizations should be organizations who are serving the widows, the orphans, and the elderlies (James 1:27). These organizations should be in close proximity to and in constant contact with the experiment group.
Tithings refer to 10% of total income (Deuteronomy 14:22). This should be given throughout the time of intervention.
Offerings refer to any amount above the 10% of one’s total income. This offering is given as a form of thanksgiving. (Leviticus 22:29)
The control group will not need to seek a charitable organization to donate any form of offerings and tithes.
The interval between observations may be anything between 3-6 months.
Specific Conditions for the Test
The trueness of God will only be truly reflected if the following criteria are met: 1) the participants in the experiment group sought Him in spirit and in truth, with all their hearts, soul, and mind, 2) the participants do not cheat in their offerings and tithes, and are genuine in their giving knowing, and 3) God’s sovereignty over the entire situation is upheld by both participants and researchers, and is not questioned.
Interpretation of Results
Because of the vastness of God’s blessings and the entirety of the human experience, results that will prove God’s existence and blessings will come in the form of improvement in WBF scores. A steady increase of WBF scores in any of the five categories (career, physical, social, community, or financial) is sufficient to determine the workings of God.
“A steady increase of WBF scores in any of the five categories is sufficient to determine the workings of God.”
Comparison of the results between the experimental group and the control group will further prove the workings of God.
Alternative Results that will Validate Findings
People in the experimental group should also show a significant character changes. This can take the form of becoming more loving towards others, more joyful, more at peace with oneself and towards others, more tolerant towards others, kinder towards others, more faithful, gentler, and with greater self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Through the increase of WBF scores in the experimental group, we will be able to deduce that this increase is given by an unknown force. Sure, results may show that these increase may be caused by external factors. But with the knowledge that God is sovereign over all things, these can be evident that it is He who caused this increase in WBF scores. The more we conduct this test, the more we will be able to validate the existence of God.
Results from this test will show that 1) He is sovereign over all things, 2) He is controls the human heart and mind, 3) He is beyond the universe because He controls all things. Lastly, the replication of this test will give consistency to the findings, proving that 4) He is One.
“Alternative methods that disregard Biblical principles will not be able to help us statistically prove the existence of God.”
This test for God is grounded in Biblical principles. And because of the very nature of God, alternative methods that disregard Biblical principles will not be able to help us statistically prove the existence of God. Likewise, future improvement to this method needs to be based on Biblical Principles.
The search for God will help one mature in every conceivable way possible. It will change the way one sees the world and alter one’s life path for the better. The results will speak for itself. Try it.