Tag Archives: reasons to believe

The Role of Faith

Some look to their faith in God in their happiest or awe-struck moments, or some lean on their faith in their lowest or darkest moments.  Some turn to their faith “just in case it’s true,” and some long for a relationship with a powerful God. Some “know or feel” that He is real, and others have found facts to undergird their faith. Often the evidence found reflects one’s personal preference.

Beyond one’s personal experience, evidence can be tied to science and history. One question that is explored from the scientific perspective is how do you get life from non-life? Just as systems do not spontaneously generate order and complexity, it would seem that systems cannot spontaneously generate information either. The genetic code is so complex it is thought to be impossible it could have arisen by chance.

Another apparent impossibility is that by natural processes life could be sustained with precarious balance the just-right surface gravity, surface temperature, atmospheric composition, atmospheric pressure, crustal iron abundance, tectonics, volcanism, rotation rate, rotation rate decline, stable rotation axis and degree of tilt (Hugh Ross).

Also, the age of the earth is debated through the study of radiometric dating, the influx of salts into the ocean, the rate of decay of the earth’s magnetic field, and the growth rate of human populations. (One’s answer depends on one’s assumptions about the uniformity of natural law, uniformity of process, uniformity of rate and uniformity of outcome). All beliefs are provided with evidence, but also reveal underlying assumptions.

Others take a historical and a legal approach to look for the preponderance of the evidence in determining the existence and impact of Jesus. They ask questions about Jesus, who claimed to be God, to determine whether Jesus is or is not God. If Jesus is not God, the records must be wrong, or Jesus knew it was a false claim, or Jesus did not know it was a false claim. The question remains how the Christian movement developed so fast, with its founders who immediately transitioned from fear, to a willingness to die for their beliefs in Christ? Would these followers knowingly die for a lie? Once again, evidence is pursued for each option. The question is once again, which side has the most evidence?

Some question the Bible, though it is said to be the most reliable and trustworthy of any ancient document based on the manuscript evidence. It is bolstered by archeological finds and appears impossible that any or all of the Bible’s specific, detailed prophecies could have been fulfilled through chance or deceit. To discard the Bible as unreliable would require one to throw out every other document of ancient literature.

Faith, and facts undergirding faith, will continue to be a source of comfort. Loss of faith is associated with distress. If God is real, and He offers a interactive relationship, such a relationship has to be attained through faith. Evidence can be found for the existence of God, or against God.  Benefits exist for believing in God, and for not believing in God (like no accountability).  The existence of morality and suffering though, is not debated. Who is responsible for it, though, is debated.

Top Ten Benefits to Christianity

By Dan Blair, a marriage counselor and family counselor.

While various human beliefs and interpretations of Christianity have played a part in creating havoc in personal and political realms, there are benefits to believing in a loving and personal God. Belief in God has persisted in spite of all the failings of followers. Benefits of faith in God are themselves topics of research. Each is also based on one’s faith (which is often based on what one wants to believe). Everyone has faith; the object of one’s faith differs.

Belief in God affects your view of suffering. Some believe that because of God or other reasons suffering has value or is redeemable. Some think there is too much suffering and that lessens the likelihood of God. Either way, benefits of faith remain:

  1. Gratitude. A renewing of reasons to feel thankful.
  2. Ongoing social support.
  3. Random acts of kindness and organized movements to relieve suffering.
  4. Optimism where good comes from bad.
  5. Strategies for coping; making meaning out of difficulty.
  6. Full forgiveness and the freedom it gives.
  7. Stress management.
  8. A reduction in overthinking and social comparison.
  9. Lasting accomplishments.
  10. Great retirement plan.

We all worship something or someone. The faith of Christianity is also based on intelligent design of the universe and life itself, historical manuscript evidence, archeological finds, accurate prophecy, and the unlikely probability that the Bible written over thousands of years could maintain its integrity and unity. Christians worship a God who is more than a personal crutch; He is a stretcher that carries you. “I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free” (Isaiah 44:22).

The belief is based on the historical Jesus, rejected and crucified on the most recognized symbol in the world, the cross. After his death his followers were swept away and scattered. How did Jesus in relatively short time transform fearful followers to men and women going to their deaths for their beliefs, to transforming a view of humanity of persons and forgiveness, and inspiring all of the institutions, music and art that have roots in Christianity? One cannot reference the calendar or the year without referring to the life of Jesus. For most though, people remain unconvinced until they see God working in their own lives, through regular prayer, Bible reading, and church attendance.

For more information on the reliability of the Bible see this short article.