Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Continuing to Seek Truth in a Land of Uncertainties: Cementing My Christian Faith and Belief in the Bible

     Though I will forever be learning about it, even after all these years, I still believe in the Bible.  Unfortunately, believing in something doesn’t always make it so, even for evolutionary scientists, and I’m man enough to admit that my Christian belief is about equal amounts faith and fact.  It's supposed to be.  God designed it that way for a reason.  He wants faithful followers who choose him, even when it is not a certainty.  I believe it is the truth, and that this truth will strengthen my faith, yet I am at least aware there are more people in the world who doubt Christianity than who share this belief.  I don’t believe in the religion of Buddhism or the cult of Scientology, yet if those beliefs, or any other, unlikely as it is, really are the truth of all things (!) then that would make the Bible nothing more than allegory or mythology.
     Viewed in this light, I must then ask, “Is it all right for a person to believe in and live his or her life by the teachings of the Bible even if it is, in reality, merely a myth?”  And you would think the answer would be "yes."  Seriously, if more people lived by the teachings of Jesus and the Bible, regardless of what they believed, wouldn't this be a better world?  Yet there is are problems with this line of reasoning.  No matter how noble or moral, a person should not live in something they don't believe, or that isn't truth.  Some people hold the view that the Bible is not truth, but they still feel it’s okay for people to believe in this untruth due to the wisdom of the Bible and Jesus Christ.  That’s not the best view to have, nor the best reason to believe in or follow the precepts of Christianity!  Even Paul in the Bible considered this, in Corinthians 15:17-19, when he said "And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world."  (NLT)
     The Bible’s wisdom, whether it is truth or not, or can be proven or not, does have some wonderful messages to teach about brotherly love and morality, and making the correct and righteous choices in life.  And though this may be one of the deciding factors in whether or not you choose to believe, it is not the end, but only the beginning.  Unlike the liberal movement, the teachings of the Bible show us that some things are morally wrong, and that we must attempt to end these corrupt vices and to teach the people who are fooled and corrupted by them that there is a better way.  This world is full of violence, murder, idol worship, mystical practices, lust, sexual promiscuity and other sinful sexual practices, addictions, obsessions, and any number of other vices.  In short, this world is full of sin, simply because this world is full of people, and all people, even me, were born into sin.  However, we can't merely say that if people lived by the teachings of the Bible rather than following the ways of this world and Satan that the world would be a wonderful place.  Following the teachings of the Bible without believing what the Bible says about Jesus leaves you, as Paul pointed out in that passage in Corinthians, "still guilty of your sins."

     And since I’m speaking of truth, here’s one I don’t have to prove, because it is fact:  This is not a wonderful world.  There may be wonders here, and compassion, and love, because we were made in God's image, and God is love.  But we are also fallen men and women, and there is evil here as well, in abundance.  If you don't believe that, watch the news any night of the week, on any channel!  Is is filled with the evil and violence and hatred men have for one another.  Man corrupts anything he touches, and that includes, unfortunately, religion... and Christianity. Like everything else in man’s past, Christianity has had it's fair share of a negative history full of bloodshed and hatred, and that goes as well for the present and the future.  Holy wars, the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, the interference of the church in politics and government, and current Christian dishonor like some recent televangelist scandals, charlatans, and tragedies like Guyana and Waco are just a few examples of what man has done to God’s perfect word.  But don’t make the mistake of blaming this on the Bible or God or Christianity in general – this was man’s doing.  Like everything else, the Bible and God’s perfect wisdom is not safe from man.
     And yet we can't just think that the Christian church has been tainted by man all these years.  For instance, the Crusades were born out of conflict with Muslims.  We still have conflicts with Muslims.  And think about this:  When Jesus returns to judge the world and separate the sinners from the saints, the sinners won't welcome him, and won't see him as a wonderful savior.  There will be hatred and violence and bloodshed.  Because if the Bible is truth, and it is my belief that it is, then what it all boils down to is a Holy War between the forces of good and evil, and many of those fighting against Jesus won't even realize that they've chosen sides.  They don't even realize it is what they are choosing right now!

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