Friday, August 17, 2007
Over the course of several years, and more frequently over the last several months, I have been in conversation with someone about God, religion, the bible and the person of Jesus Christ. He is a skeptic but acknowledges the existence of God and absolute truth. He is struggling to find the answers to his questions. Since some of his questions do not have any answers it has been difficult for him to embrace Christianity at this time.
I have been so wonderfully challenged by his questions as they force me to articulate the 'why' behind the 'what' of my beliefs (something I wish I could do more often in life). Still, there is something about his approach that I think is greatly hindering his discovery of truth. I am under the impression that he approaches his search for truth as someone who is not looking for reasons to believe in Jesus, Christianity, the bible, etc. but rather is looking for reasons not to believe. I sense that this approach is a real stumbling block for him. It appears to me that he won't come to belief until he runs out of reasons not to, things to question and objections to make. As long as he has a reason not to believe he won't. As long as there is an answer he can't find he will always question or raise an objection.
This is a concern for me because there will always be a reason to doubt when you are looking for one. There is never an irrefutable, undeniable, 'smoking gun' when it comes to the existence of God, the claims of Christ/ the bible and the like with an approach to truth like this one. There are some things that need to be taken in faith; something that is very difficult to do for a skeptic I admit. However, if you ignore the mountain of evidence calling you to believe and focus only on the pebble of reasons not to, I think you are cheating yourself out of discovering what truth really is.
The neat thing about being a Christ follower is that, once you come to a place of faith in Him, the discovery and understanding of truth is only just beginning of our search, not the end. There is so much more to learn and understand after a decision to believe has been made. So for me, the best approach to embracing truth is to find the reasons to believe in something. Examine the existing evidence and determine from the evidence we have before us if is it believable. Sure there are questions we would like answers to. But for now is the evidence we have enough for us to reasonably put our faith in? If not, then keep looking for more reasons to believe, but do not rob yourself of belief by looking for the reasons not to.
Just something to think about if you are someone who is pursuing truth.