03.24.14 by brent hand
I’ve been reading some blogs and listening to people talk about their disbelief in God (in hatred of him and in complete ambivalence and everything in between). Maybe you find it strange, but I really like hearing from people who think differently than me. I can handle it. If you only listen to people you agree with, you are rarely challenged and think less often and less deeply about your faith. If my faith couldn’t stand some hard questioning, it wouldn’t be worth much anyway.
So let me just say, I’m not angry at atheists for believing (or… not believing) what they do. This isn’t an angry blog. I don’t hope to get into any arguments here. I simply want to share my views on the subject. Because I believe the question “does God exist” is an important one. And I think the dialogue on the subject has grown cold and neither side seems to truly be trying to understand the other. I think you can understand someone’s point of view without necessarily agreeing with it. And if I don’t understand WHY and HOW you think like you do, I cannot put up a compelling or competent argument.
So this is me sharing WHY and HOW I believe like I do. Not angrily. Not argumentatively. Not authoritatively. Just honest, plain and simple.
Here we go…
WHY I BELIEVE IN GOD: PART ONE
An Honest Search For Truth
I, like a lot of Christians, was raised in church. My father is a preacher. I was spoon fed this stuff my whole life. We read the Bible. We prayed. We talked about God. My. Whole. Life. Maybe some people would think my parents went a little overboard. But if you really believe this stuff, wouldn’t you too? If you had empirical evidence that Heaven and Hell existed and your child would spend eternity in one of those places, wouldn’t you go a little nuts? So if you were raised in a crazy Christian home, I think (under normal circumstances*) you know your parents were doing the best they knew how. That’s all any of us can do.
But around high school and college I began hanging out with people who thought a little different than me. For a while, it did not affect my faith at all, and in some ways it made me stronger. But at some point I began to ask myself those tough questions and began asking them to God too and soon began to doubt anyone was even listening. I came closer than I want to admit to walking away from the faith I had been raised in forever. I just couldn’t pretend anymore. I didn’t want to believe something just because my parents told me to. I wanted the truth.
Eventually, I found answers to my questions. Well, some of them anyway. And the ones I didn’t, I just put on hold for a while. Some of them I still wrestle with from time to time.
But the point isn’t HOW or WHY I began asking. The real point is HOW and WHY I found answers. So, how did I decide this faith thing was for me? And why for THIS faith?
More on that tomorrow.