I was born and raised in the Belt Buckle of the Bible Belt. In my wildest dreams, it never occurred to me that someone might not believe in Jesus. And even if they could possibly not believe in Jesus, surely, they believed in God. And then I grew up!
I work in a retail store and as I interact with my customers, I often ask them where they attend church. The answers vary, most often being the Church of Christ or the Baptist Church in their community. To be sure, the Methodist, I can not get used to calling them the United Methodist, Lutheran, Mormon, Presbyterian, Catholic and Jewish places of worship get their fair share of responses. But never have I gotten the response I received the other day, “I don’t go to any church, I don’t believe in all the stuff!” After recovering from my shock, we had an interesting discussion about the existence of God. He didn’t leave convinced, I am sorry to say, but he did start a line of thinking that has me thinking seriously about my basic religious beliefs.
There are numerous beliefs among various religious bodies. Christianity, with the hundreds of variations, has hundreds of closely held positions of various tenants of the faith. Is baptism necessary, what form should baptism take, should women be allowed to lead a congregation of worshipers, what about musical instruments in worship, which translation of the Bible is the “true” word of God, what is the nature of God, should the Bible be read literally, is the earth only 5000 years old, were Adam and Eve real people, and on and on. I believe that these hundreds of questions are one of the reasons thousands of people turn away from Christianity. If Christians can’t agree, then why should I believe them?
So the question we all need to answer is really very basic, “What do I believe. What is that thing about which there is no question?” What is the one thing that logic, facts, threats or any other forces can not change?
The following three articles will look into this question as it relates to me. Hopefully, they will lead to your ask yourself, “What do I believe?”
As a teaser, I believe in God, the creator. I believe Jesus actually died and actually was resurrected, I believe acknowledgement and belief in this Jesus will result in an eternal life after death of the earthly body. I am willing to discuss all other issues.