Main Point of Discussion: The invisible God of the Bible has left visible clues pointing to His existence and desire to have a relationship with us.
The Movie Clip: Mr. Moore and Jake discuss ‘forces at work’ that are beyond our understanding.
The Happening is a 2008 apocalyptic thriller starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel. It essentially revolves around the mystery as to why mass suicides are taking place, and one of the initial clues is the disappearance of bees. (Click here for Jonathan and Todd's review of this film.)
Introducing the Clip:
Sometimes Christians struggle in their faith because of supposed lack of ‘evidence’ for God’s existence and presence. That fact coupled with the increasing worldview that denies the existence of God because he cannot be scientifically ‘proven’ has caused many Christians to doubt and even reject their belief in the God of the universe revealed in Scripture. Tonight we’re going to take a look at a scene from the film The Happening that is a great discussion starter around the question of ‘proof’ for God’s existence.
Let’s take a look.
BEGIN CLIP AT 6 minutes and 43 seconds. (Chapter 4)
The Scene opens with high school teacher, Elliot Moore, leading his science class in a discussion about the disappearance of honey bees all over the United States.
- (After Mr. Moore asks several of his students about their theories, he turns his attention toward Jake, a good looking student.)
Mr. Moore: Jake?
Jake: (doesn’t say a word, just stares blankly at Mr. Moore)
Mr. Moore: You don’t have an opinion?
Jake: (He shrugs like he doesn’t care.)
Mr. Moore: You’re not interested in what happened to the bees?
Jake: (shakes his head no)
Mr. Moore: You should be more interested in science Jake. You know why? Because your face is perfect. But the problem is, your face is perfect at 15. Now if you were interested in science you would know facts like the human nose and ears grow a fraction of an inch each year. So a perfect balance of features might not look so perfect five years from now. If might look downright wack ten years from now.
Jake: (looking distressed)
Mr. Moore: Come on Buddy. Take an interest in science. What could be a reason the bees have vanished?
Jake: (pausing for a moment in thought) An act of nature and we’ll never fully understand it.
Mr. Moore: Nice answer Jake! He’s right. Science will come up with some reason to put in the books, but in the end it will be just a theory. But we will fail to acknowledge that these are forces at work beyond our understanding. To be a good scientist you must have a respectful awe for the laws of nature.
Jake: How much does the human nose grow each year?
Mr. Moore: It’s miniscule, O.K. Buddy. Don’t worry about it. You’re gonna be a heartthrob your whole life. I was just messing with you.
Jake: (smiles and points at the teacher)
This clip gets at the heart of what the Bible calls general revelation. In other words, the ‘forces at work beyond our understanding’ are really not beyond our understanding, and in fact they present strong evidence for a Creator God who designed the universe.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Everyone go around the circle and share your name and the scariest movie you’ve ever seen!
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: What do you think Mr. Moore meant by ‘forces at work beyond our understanding’?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Do you think there are laws of nature? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Is there anything in nature that makes a case for the existence of God?
- ASK A FEW: Can the existence of God ever be scientifically ‘proven’? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Are there things in this universe that exist but cannot be scientifically proven? If so, what?
Read the following passage:
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.
*note: it might be helpful at this point to bring up and discuss some of the basic design arguments. Here are two great videos for data on this topic:
In The Happening we see a very specific worldview coming out, which is the idea that all of life came together through impersonal forces beyond our control, but there is another view the we read about in Psalm 19 that actually fits with the facts of science more appropriately. There really is a ‘force’ in the universe, but not an impersonal random energy. There is a Creator God who placed clues throughout the universe so we would seek Him and enter into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.
Close in Prayer – (give invitation)
God, thank you that the heavens declare You, and that by simply looking around we can see your fingerprints and evidence for your existence. Help us to trust you with our lives and know that you have a plan and person for each and every one of us.
Written by Lane Palmer
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.