For clarification’s sake, what I mean by a Christian worldview is a view that accepts both the Old and New Testaments as the inspired word of God. There is a lot of variation just within this statement, but for simplicity's sake, that is what I am considering a Christian worldview. In this post I want to lay out clearly why I believe what I believe. I don't intend to be all-encompassing but to show simply some of the major reasons I keep believing in the God of the Bible.
1. The Evidence
The first reason I have this worldview is because of the evidence. What I mean is that the evidence I have found for the Christian worldview far outweighs the evidence against. Now you may say, “Religion is based on faith. You can’t base your religion on evidence!”
There is a misunderstanding prevalent today of what Jesus tells Thomas in John 20:24–29: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” The assumption is that Jesus is suggesting a kind of blind faith that seeks no evidence. However, Jesus was talking to a man who had seen all his miracles, and walked with him through life for years. He had even seen Jesus raise another man from the dead! Jesus had also told him on more than one occasion that he would raise from the dead.
So was Jesus supposing that we not base our faith on any evidence? No, I believe he was rebuking Thomas for stubborn unbelief and doubt. At the very least, Thomas should have trusted the other disciples whom he had been with all this time.
There is a common misunderstanding in our postmodern culture that there is no truth in religion. Postmodernism is deceptive because it has the appearance of being open-minded when actually it is an assertion of truth that is very close-minded, unable to accept absolutes. Postmodernism is the “truth” that is opposed to any assertion of absolute truth. There is just truth for you and truth for me, but no absolute truth that extends to all people, least of all in religion! But this philosophy is ludicrous because you simply have to ask one question to dismantle it: “Is that true?”
I have faith, but not blind faith. I have a biblical faith founded on evidence. This tradition of basing faith on the evidence goes back to the Old Testament law. The “apologetics” of this time was partly in the fulfillment of prophecy. In Deuteronomy 18:21–22 it says: “You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.”
So, what was the test for whether a prophet was really from God: 100% fulfillment! A prophet who was any less than accurate 100% of the time could be in danger of being exiled from their people. Likewise, Jeremiah 23:16 says this: “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.”
How much of religion today, even among Christians, is like this. Not really from God’s mouth, but from people’s own minds and thoughts?
You see, religion has not always been “you think what you want to think and I’ll think what I want and it’s all good.” I’m not downplaying the need for gentleness and respect towards those of a different worldview. But the God of the Bible makes a right relationship with him central to life in general. There are only two paths, truth or lies, not a myriad of different beliefs like a buffet to choose from.
I don’t have time in this posting to get into all the ways I find the evidence for the Bible to be convincing. This will be for another time. But I simply wanted to state that I am a Christian because of the evidence for it, not in spite of the evidence against it.
Do I have this worldview because I find nothing in the Bible that bothers me or disturbs me? No, I’ve had to wrestle with many questions about the Bible. Some of these I will discuss in this blog. As I have, my faith has came out stronger than ever. I still have troubling questions, but the answers I’ve received far outweigh the questions.
2. The Christian Faith Satisfies Me
Secondly, I am a Christian because it is a satisfying faith. I can’t imagine myself being satisfied apart from the God of the Bible. As I began to study out the validity of my faith a few things became clear to me. First, it became clear to me that I love my faith.
As I heard the arguments of atheists and agnostics for why they don’t believe in God and the Bible it concerned me. I was not a dispassionate learner. I was deeply concerned if my faith was a lie? I thought, "What if they’re right and my faith is a sham concocted by a group of people or just a 'religious genius' two thousand years ago?"
I realized that even if I came across a piece of evidence that would just blow all I believe out of the water it would be very hard to accept, not necessarily just out of stubbornness, but because of all the great things I would have to consider giving up in Christianity.
In my faith I have found a contentment that I feel nothing could take away. Even if something terrible were to happen in my life I still have this secure knowledge that God is in control. In my faith I have a freedom from guilt and shame. Not that I never feel guilt or shame but I can feel immediate forgiveness, almost like a cleansing, after I get open about my wrong-doings to God and another person I trust. The side-effect of this is a clear conscience.
As well, I feel loved by the people in my life. I have men and women in my life who deeply care about me, who always want me around, who genuinely care for my well-being because of our common humanity and common purpose in God.
I have great security from my faith both for this life and the after-life.
Not only do I have all these things, but I’ve come across and heard the testimonies of countless people who felt totally unsatisfied when they were not following the God of the Bible wholeheartedly.
On the contrary, I thought of people who believed other things and what they would have to give up. The atheist or agnostic has supposed “freedom” both to do whatever he or she wants or can get away with in this life without any fear of a judgement in the after-life, a supposed “freedom” from guilt, the satisfaction of getting to pursue whatever she wants in this life as long as it makes her feel happy for the moment, and possibly the feeling of pride that what she believes is intellectually superior. I have to admit, some of these benefits do seem appealing to me at times.
Ironically, these are some of the same benefits some Christians have from their faith when it hasn’t really changed their lives because they aren’t really serious about obeying Jesus’ teachings. When something comes along that puts their faith into doubt they much more easily let go of their faith because they weren’t really holding onto much anyway. Some of them are even eager to give it up because they are tired of living the life of a fake Christian.
I realized that I’m not the only one who often claims to be a totally intellectual person, but has all these emotions that keep me tied to what I believe.
I don’t see this as a bad thing. Emotions are what make us human. Without emotion we would not have relationships with anyone, including a relationship with God. The great fear of losing my Christianity shows just how much it satisfies me emotionally and in many other areas of my life. If I weren’t receiving any of these emotional benefits from my faith I would probably be much faster to give it up for something else.
On the other hand, if I only believe what I believe for these emotional reasons, however strong they are, without having my doubts answered or having the assurance of intellectual truth backing these emotions, they will eventually start to waver. I will find myself believing because I want to and for no other reason. Such a faith will be shallow and breakable. If I haven’t held my faith up to the evidence I will be at the mercy of my ever-changing feelings and chained by subjectivity.
However, it would be a mistake to believe that just because I have so many benefits from the Christian faith that I completely lack objectivity. Just because I passionately love something does not mean I lack objectivity towards it. For example, a man who passionately loves his wife would do anything not to lose her
But even in this case there are situations where he could end up giving up on his relationship with his wife but it would take a lot. Does this mean this man lacks objectivity in his relationship. No! It means he loves his wife.
Another example of how one's passion towards something might actually lead her to greater objectivity is if they were, say, a survivor of the Holocaust. Such a person would feel much stronger about the horrors of the Holocaust and would want to make sure such an atrocity never happens again. This holocaust survivor's passion hatred for genocide and injustice comes from her direct experience with the event.
In the same way, we should not mistake a person's passion for something as an indication of their objectivity. If they have experienced something that has profoundly changed their life and brought it meaning, then perhaps it will compel them to defend their views with even greater objectivity.
So, to sum it all up, this is why I take a Judeo-Christian worldview. First, because I find that the evidence for my faith is greater than the evidence against. Feel free to read my other posts, the resources I provide at the end of my posts, or message me if you wonder how I could believe this.
Next, I am fully satiated and satisfied by my relationship with God and am passionate about my Christian beliefs. No, things are not always easy. Far from it. But I find something in my relationship with Yahweh of the Bible that nothing could take away. If you wonder how I could have this kind of satisfaction, please message me.
By the way, here are some resources that have helped me arrive at these conclusions in my own life: