Responsibility with Beliefs
By Mary Jo Sharp
C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity wrote “If you have once accepted Christianity, then some of its main doctrines shall be deliberately held before your mind for some time everyday. That is why daily praying and religious reading and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief, nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. As a matter of fact, if you examine a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?”
Several years into my life as a Christian, I began to doubt what I believed about God. I wondered how I knew that God was real and why I thought the Bible was the Word of God. Fueling my doubts were experiences with Christians who did not demonstrate much love, grace, and mercy, nor seemingly any concern for the unity of the believers in Christ. I thought “if I don’t see God through the lives of the people who believe in God, how do I even know that God exists?” At the time, I was teaching band in the public schools, which did not leave much time or energy for studying what I believed. I also had never been confronted with the need for reasoning my beliefs. This mix of hurt and lack of knowledge came together to create “the perfect storm” for my Christian beliefs.
Rather than turning only to the arguments that would support my doubt, I went looking for answers to the doubt I harbored. If God is real, I figured I should find really good answers in support of his existence.
As I read arguments for and against his existence, the reliability of the New Testament texts, and the evidence for the resurrection, I found that the best answers pointed towards the reality of God. These findings brought me to a place where I could no longer say “I have no good reason or evidence to believe in God.” I still had questions, but I could not get around God as part of reality. Now let me be clear. I realized I couldn’t just believe in God because I wanted God to be true. Actually, I did not know if I even wanted God to be true, because of my painful experiences with members of the church. I wanted answers. I wanted to know what was actually true so I could live my life better in accordance with reality; no matter what I found…
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