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> The Reason Christians Believe In God, Maybe just 1 opinion reason...
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dragonboy3611 
Posted: 06-Jan-2005, 05:58 PM
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Why believe in God? It seems strange to trust in a God who cannot be seen or touched, and it seems that no scientific or philosophical study can prove or disprove God's existence.

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The story of Israel
Christian faith has its roots in Jewish faith. The Jews came to believe in the existence of the "one true God" through revelation: a cumulative process of historical events, interpreted retrospectively. Events led to insights and insights led to an understanding of their creation and preservation as the acts of a benevolent and caring God.

This is the God the Jews came to know: God's revelation to Moses in Exodus 3 gives his name in a way that cannot be manipulated by humankind: (Exodus 3:"I am who I am", "I will be who I will be", or perhaps "watch what I do!". This name is also a testimony to God's unchanging faithfulness, in which whomsoever responds to it in faith and trust will see this faithfulness again and again confirmed in the deeds of God.. The Old Testament tells the story of God's constant faithfulness to his people, despite their continual falling away and lack of faith in him.

Human life is about living in relationships. Religion is the relationship with the absolute. There seems to be an innate restlessness, an unfulfilled need to reach out for another dimension in our lives. Christians believe that humankind was created for a relationship with God, and that this thirst for the absolute corresponds to a reality, an ultimate meaning to existence.

The story of Jesus
The encounter between God and humanity is always initiated by God. God makes himself present in our reality and opens our eyes and ears through Word and Sacrament. The "Word" is the communicative nature of revelation - through words, events, visions and supremely, Jesus Christ.

Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the central revelation of the creator, and the key to understanding the world. The world chooses to misunderstand or reject this revelation. Christian understanding of God is based on the conviction that in his coming as a fully human being, the integrity of his way of living, his humiliation and exaltation, Jesus of Nazareth reveals the very heart of God. This event must therefore be the crux of our thinking about revelation in general.

We always talk about God in terms derived from the reality of this world. God in turn expresses himself in, with and through earthly realities. God is thus always more than the terms with which we express him. For example, God is sometimes called "Father", but in stories told by Jesus, God constantly acts surprising differently from his earthly counterparts. This does not mean that God is not really "a father", but that we are estranged from fatherhood's essential meaning.

But God is so hidden
If God is a caring, faithful Father, who reveals himself to humanity, why is he also so hidden? It is paradoxical that God is present, although he seems not to be. It is also true that the more we come to know him, the less we are able to grasp him with our reason.

Belief in God is a choice. Belief, faith in God, is an active trust that God is for us, despite all evidence against it. This world is full of pain, suffering, at times an overwhelming sense that life is meaningless. We ask in despair what it is all about, why are we here? Faith in God is a stand against this world's reality, a belief that this world has a purpose, that it is grounded on, supported by and leads to an ultimate reality. This ultimate reality is God himself.

It is equally valid to choose unbelief. To refuse the choice is also unbelief. The existence of God cannot be proved through reason. Atheism and nihilism are real choices. Christians choose to affirm fundamental trust in a deeper reality, a purpose and meaning to all life, but this trust cannot be based on absolute certainty, reason and appearances. Christian belief in the existence of God is essentially based on trust in the underlying goodness of life, despite all the evidence of the contrary. It is equally based on hope and love, essentially because this is the example supremely lived by Jesus Christ. We believe and trust in God because he believed and trusted, even to the bitterest end.

Background reading:
Hendrikus Berkhof, Christian Faith
Gerhard Ebeling, The Nature of Faith
Hans Kung, Does God Exist?

[COLOR=Blue]I found this on a Christian Website for help, here


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"Men at some time are masters of their fate"
Jul Caesar, Act i, Sc.2

"When sorrow comes, they come not single spies, but in battalions"
Hamlet, Act iv, Sc.5

"All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity"
Hamlet, Act i, Sc.2
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Haldur 
Posted: 06-Jan-2005, 06:20 PM
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I find it interesting that none of these sources actually referenced any Biblical scripture.

It would seem that if such an article were posted, The Bible would be a more than qualified reference point. It seems to me this article is more of a person's "opinion", rather than an actual piece on belief, God, Christianity.


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- Unknown

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Haldur 
Posted: 06-Jan-2005, 06:29 PM
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Even though there was one reference (Exodus) that does not constitute the rest of the article.
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Haldur 
Posted: 06-Jan-2005, 06:32 PM
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Keep in mind that I don't say these things to "offend" anyone...just speaking as a Christian, not a denominational Christian but a Christian from the Church of Christ.
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Haldur 
Posted: 06-Jan-2005, 09:00 PM
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I do agree with some things about this article...I think it's a good thing you posted it actually, dragonboy! I have questions many of the same things...

I think that everyone needs something to believe in and I feel that if believing in something is good for anyone. It gives us purpose and helps keep us from losing our minds, in some case.

I've read many takes on philosophy, religion, and ethics and it's all very confusing when one speaks about their thoughts to someone else...not that I'm saying anything against the article and I apologize if I came across rude or offensive. The fact of the matter is that such topics are rather "hot to the touch" and I don't like to offend anyone with my view on things, but rather educate or help someone out.

I wholeheartedly apologize if what I've posted has been offensive to anyone. Thank you! smile.gif
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dragonboy3611 
Posted: 07-Jan-2005, 02:27 PM
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I do not think you posted offense! I thought this was interesting so I posted it. Because I am so young, I have had a very, very difficult time in trying to believe in god. In something that is not there. So this article helped just alittle.
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Haldur 
Posted: 07-Jan-2005, 08:49 PM
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I've had similar struggles, dragonboy, and I probably always will. There's so much pain, hurt, and torment in this world...how could God be loving anyone? And if this article helped you, that's a very good thing!

I'll also reference some Biblical scripture sometime if you'd like. It's good to keep in touch on these sort of things!

God bless you!
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dragonboy3611 
Posted: 08-Jan-2005, 09:10 PM
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The references would be nice! Thank you for your understanding!
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Haldur 
Posted: 12-Jan-2005, 09:47 PM
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Basically mankind needs God in order to live life to its fullest, appreciate every day he is given. When you look all around in nature, you see signs of God's work. The scientific community would have you believe to look at nature as evidence to "natural selection" and "The Big Bang theory" which are solely based on impirical evidence, or, that which can be seen, heard, felt, etc. The scientific community has for years attempted to discount religious fact for impirical theory so that their systems can be accepted, thus leading to mankind being in control rather than God being in control. In a nutshell, mankind wants to always, and I stress ALWAYS be right in every circumstance. In the end, this will lead to damnation, or, an eternity without God.

Matthew 7:21-23 reads: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

These are the words of Jesus. All through the Bible, there are many verses that deal with this, but there are also verses of hope and inspiration as well. When you think about it, man has always been self-centered, egotistical, and worldly. We desire those things which only we can touch, see, taste, and we never appreciate what lies underneath. We never appreciate the fact that we have a soul and that we also have a Father and a Savior in the form of God and the Son, Jesus.

John 1:1-3 reads: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Therefore, God the Father and Jesus, God the Son, are the same entity. Along with the Holy Spirit (sometimes referred to as the Holy Ghost, but more rightfully is represented as 'spirit') they form the trinity, or godhead.

Jesus was a very knowledgable being, even as a young boy. Not much is known of his early life except for the account in Luke 2:40-52 where Jesus was found talking with doctors in the temple about, answering their questions and showing much understanding. This account is one of the many verses that prove Jesus' deity. The Bible is where all the answers are to the way of God, proof of his love for mankind, and solid evidence that we have hope if we believe.
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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 15-Jan-2005, 01:07 PM
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QUOTE (dragonboy3611 @ 06-Jan-2005, 05:58 PM)
But God is so hidden
If God is a caring, faithful Father, who reveals himself to humanity, why is he also so hidden? It is paradoxical that God is present, although he seems not to be. It is also true that the more we come to know him, the less we are able to grasp him with our reason....


It is equally valid to choose unbelief. To refuse the choice is also unbelief. The existence of God cannot be proved through reason. Atheism and nihilism are real choices. Christians choose to affirm fundamental trust in a deeper reality, a purpose and meaning to all life, but this trust cannot be based on absolute certainty, reason and appearances...

Wow... what a well-thought out presentation!
I've spent about 5 years now exploring questions like yours, reading about the different major religions and philosophies. I went into it wanting to find the truth, even if that truth was that there was no God. I'd rather face emptiness than live my life believing a falsehood.

What I discovered is for another topic. I won't intrude on yours with those discoveries. But I beg you to reconsider two statements:
'... the more we come to know him, the less we are able to grasp him with our reason'
The more I've sought God, the more I've watched my doubt & fear & worry dissapate as His attention & love becomes more apparent! The more I've sought God's guidance, the more clearly I see how He guides: thru the scriptures, thru the advice of Christian friends and pastors, and sometimes thru signs...
The big step is trust; its the hardest because it means you acknowledge there are some things you can't comprehend or quite understand - but if you choose to trust God, to trust in this Christ, I'm living proof that you will be embraced & led & counseled & loved & never alone again. God won't deal with you the same way He did with me, because you have unique needs & desires & potential... He will have something special in mind for you. I promise, if you do what Jesus said (knock on the door, seek) you will find - but it may not be what you expect! Keep your eyes open - God's really creative in this area.

'this trust cannot be based on absolute certainty, reason and appearances...'
Yes it can, to put it simply! I am certain that God is real, because He has answered my prayers in such ways that chance could have never contrived. He has spoken to me in my heart of hearts... I've heard that Still Small Voice... Its audible, its real, and I've heard it... and the proof to me is, when I've followed that advice I've found peace and purpose I didn't dream possible. The same can be true for you.
My trust in God is based on reason AND appearances, in that reasoning always brings me back to someone as being responsible for the amazing, complicated world around us. Its far too complex, far too intertwined to have just happened.

How I wish for you to experience this for yourself! How I wish....

Siobhan Blues


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"All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king..."
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Tassiecelt 
Posted: 16-Jan-2005, 08:54 AM
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A couple of reasons (with references) for me are found in well-known truths such as:

1. God loves mankind, and took the only course of action that could save man from total self-destruction while satisfying both universal justice and love by sending His Son, Jesus Christ to demonstrate the ultimate love and sacrifice for our wrongdoings.

QUOTE
Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 


2. Only through Jesus is that burden of sin and the resulting freedom of body, soul and spirit possible, knowing that we are accepted by God because of what Jesus has done for us.

QUOTE
Joh 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 


3. That Jesus is not just a figure of the past, but of the future also, He lives and will return as promised.

QUOTE
Act 1:11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. 


4. Reincarnation is a lie, I once believed it. The truth is in Jesus alone and soon we will see Him, this great hope brings joy, peace and complete satisfaction of all the questions we can ask in life.

QUOTE
Heb 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  Heb 9:28  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.


These are some of my reasons to believe.



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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 18-Jan-2005, 05:11 PM
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QUOTE (Haldur @ 12-Jan-2005, 09:47 PM)
Basically mankind needs God in order to live life to its fullest, appreciate every day he is given. When you look all around in nature, you see signs of God's work. The scientific community would have you believe to look at nature as evidence to "natural selection" and "The Big Bang theory" which are solely based on impirical evidence, or, that which can be seen, heard, felt, etc. The scientific community has for years attempted to discount religious fact for impirical theory so that their systems can be accepted, thus leading to mankind being in control rather than God being in control. In a nutshell, mankind wants to always, and I stress ALWAYS be right in every circumstance. In the end, this will lead to damnation, or, an eternity without God. ..

And that's the ultimate rebellion against God, isn't it, to say mankind is in control and that there is no God...
So often it seems to me that theories scientists or philosophers put forth are all trying to say not only that there no God but we don't need a God either. They speculate and theorize and guess, and present it all as fact to a world that does not want to be told its accountable to any Higher Being for its actions or choices... the world holds onto these theories like they're the gospel and shakes a fist at those of us who acknowledge a Higher Creater & condemn us as weak & foolish. What they don't understand is the liberation within the guidelines that God has given us. There is safety there, purpose there, security and a sense of worth that is bestowed by God himself...

Our contemporary world actually doesn't WANT there to be a God, because it doesn't want to be told its doing anything wrong! How else can we account for the popular idea that we create our own reality, and any reality we choose is just fine...

What a world, what a world...
(to quote the Wicked Witch of the West)

Siobhan Blues
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dragonboy3611 
Posted: 20-Jan-2005, 08:30 PM
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Wow, thank you everyone for your information. This really helps me and to keeping with believing in my faith, thank thank thank! tongue.gif tongue.gif
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Haldur 
Posted: 22-Jan-2005, 06:55 AM
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You said it all Siobhan Blues!
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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 24-Jan-2005, 10:49 AM
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I have a dear friend, a young man who is half-Jewish by heritage but an agnostic by choice. We have had some serious discussions about faith, about Jesus being the Messiah... it saddens me so that my young friend says he believes Jesus was a great teacher but that he simply can't believe that he was the Messiah because the concept of our belief in Jesus being all that's necessary for salvation is 'too good to be true.'
As the years have passed, this young man is becoming more cynical & bitter about life and its purpose. He has no real hope for a future and thinks that life happens to us, rather than being a path along which God will guide us if we seek Him. For his birthday a year ago I sent him the powerful book "The Case for Christ" by former atheist Lee Strobel knowing that I might be severing a friendship if he was offended by my book selection! But I simply had to do it; Strobel presents such strong evidence and some of it comes from interviews with people that I thought my friend might be touched by. But to date, my friend has only said he knows I'm sincere but that he totally disagrees with me about the deity of Christ. Maybe he'll read that book and something in it will reach him...

Pray for this fellow today, will you? I remember him often and ask God to not give up on him...

Siobhan Blues
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