I have come to understand that I am of a rare breed of humans. Some people are emotionally-driven and prefer to see the world around them for what it could be. They love to dream and let their hopes and ideas take them beyond the cares and worries of this world. Other people are logically-driven. These types see things for what they are, and view anything else as distracting. They feel comfortable only with things they can rely on because investing in ideas instead of facts seems foolish. It is apparent to me that my brain lies somewhere in between, and for this reason I am constantly at war with myself.
I like facts. I like to know that I can count on something to remain a certain way, so that I can put other things in place around them. Imagine working on one of those 500-piece puzzles, and every time you put a piece down, the picture changes. I can’t work with that,… I need factual information that doesn’t change so I can make the right decisions. On the other hand, I love ideas! There’s a special beauty in the creation of something totally new, and the story behind those creations and the people who created them. Every new idea is like a piece of artwork, and each one serves a different purpose. They have the power to shift cultures and change history, or to simply cause one person to feel an emotion. Therein lies the most wonderful part of ideas… they inspire more ideas! And each idea builds on the one before it, in a never-ending progression. There would be no puzzle in the first place if someone had not created it.
The dreamer in me wants to believe that there’s something more to life – something or someone keeping track of it all. But if I am to believe in God it must make sense to me, or else I am following a blind belief, and my logical side won’t let me do that. So in search of answers I’ve discovered a few things.
Here’s one fact: Science has never disproved God’s existence. Quite definitely, there are major differences in the official scientific theory of our history vs. the Bible. However, since I lack complete faith in either of these this conflict stands as irrelevant. Many Christians would smite me for suggesting that the Bible isn’t fully accurate, but I say if that if it would actually make any difference in how you conduct your life, perhaps your God is bound in leather. That could be a whole blog by itself.
Another irrefutable reality: It is a generally accepted scientific fact that space continues into infinity. Infinity is a word that we all know, yet cannot possibly comprehend. The reason for this is that everything we know has a beginning and an end. In some cases maybe it’s thousands or even millions of years, but everything must have and end! The idea that anything simply exists without a beginning point, and will exist forever without end is not something us humans can’t spend much time thinking about without resulting in a migraine. Yet, this is reality, because even if there were a boundary to our universe, the question then becomes what lies beyond the boundary, and so on, and so on. Time and space exist at a level that far exceeds our natural understanding, and the supernatural cannot be explained through natural logical thought. To me, this means that the fact that God and his realm of existence doesn’t make logical sense within the context of my natural human understanding does not negate the possibility of it’s truth. In fact, it shows evidence that this idea is perfectly supported by science. The fact that it doesn’t make sense makes perfect sense.
Personal testimony: I definitely can’t deny things I’ve personally witnessed. On the flashier of occasions I’ve seen broken bones, diseases and deformities corrected before my own eyes. I’ve seen people walk away from years of heavy addiction and depression, as well as incredible things in my own life. When I came to Christ almost 10 years ago I was fortunate enough to be a part of what I believe to be a true manifestation, or movement, of God at my church. There’s no way to describe to you what it was, or how it was, but you could feel the thickness of the air. Hundreds of people, young and old, lined the isles, most of them on their knees and some lying prostrate. The musicians would find themselves unable to play another note and the entire building would fall silent for minutes at a time. It was during these types of moments that people were changed and healed, more so than as a result of prayer. Yes, there was prayer, along with a lot of interesting reactions from shaking and falling, to what seemed like a downright demon exorcism. Yeah, I’ve seen it all… and it’s very real. The mind is a powerful thing though, and just about anything I’ve personally witnessed can be written off as an example of such power. Some religions base their entire philosophy on the inner and outer healing power of the human mind. However, the idea that such a mind can exist is a testament to the complexity of it’s creation. And it would be worth noting that the recorded events and ideas expressed in the Bible are not only incredibly cohesive with itself (the Bible was written by many authors over thousands of years) but also with application to daily life. Perhaps there are things here an there that I don’t understand, but it’s what I do understand that amazes me.
The last major thing I have to consider is the effects of my decision to believe or not to believe. When I look at my options it seems that either way you look at it whatever theory you adopt is going to be pretty ridiculous. Many atheists have said that my belief in God is silly, but I could say the same for their theory. They can claim that there is evidence for theirs, and I say their evidence is only part of mine. Again, science does not disprove God. So what it really comes down to is a personal decision. Luke 16:31 always confused me when I was younger. It tells the story of The rich man and the poor man who end up in a role reversal after death. The rich man, now in hell, begs God to send the poor guy back to warn his brothers who are still alive so that they may change their ways. God’s reply is “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” I always thought to myself, I sure as heck would do whatever a dead guy said to do. But since then I have come to understand a powerful truth. Whatever you choose to believe, you will find enough reason to support it, and no one but yourself is going to change your mind, no matter how convincing the argument. Revisiting those atheists I spoke about, many of them, or perhaps most, have completely shut their mind to any alternative viewpoint. In fact, many of you reading this now will think it’s complete rubbish, while others will get something useful out of it. No one likes to be wrong, and they’d rather spend their time looking for proof that they’re right. I know what it means now when Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” So what do I get for making this choice to believe? I get to hope for something beyond my own power. I get to know that there is ultimately a reason for my existence, and with that in mind I get to look for opportunities to explore the possibilities and do my part to serve society. I can trust that when stuff happens in life that I don’t like, it’s building me into a better person and it’s not just bad luck. I get know that love is more than a chemical bond, and that life is a miracle and not a curse. I get to believe that every human has rights, on a fundamental level, and that life and liberty are about more than politics. I get to float through life wishing the best for my friends and neighbors, without demanding anything in return. I get to stare into the sky, smell the grass, and appreciate the awesomeness of nature, knowing that every little bug, branch, and animal connects us all in a much larger picture. A picture we’re all trying to put together piece by piece.
This is science. A search to make sense of this picture. Who said science was the be-all-end-all? Isn’t science simply our way of interpreting the universe through our limited vision? Would you trust someone on the witness stand of a murder trial who says they saw the murderer through a stained-glass window, which he ran by quickly?
The seekers and scientists of the world work diligently to unravel mysteries and solve the great puzzle of how and why our universe it the way it is. They pick up one piece at a time, and each new addition brings a new light to our understanding. We step back and see a few patches completed – strands of blue near the top, a significant dominance of green along the bottom left edge. We can only assume that it is sky and grass, and that the picture was taken outside. After all, that is a common portrait for us. Yet, until the image is complete – if we ever get there – only the designer of the puzzle knows what the picture is, and where every single piece goes.
I do believe in God,… but I’m fully aware that there is a lot I don’t know, and that’s okay with me. I don’t have to know everything. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. I also believe in science, and searching for truth, but I understand that our vision is limited and distorted. Seeing as how there is no other option on the table, I choose the one that makes my time on Earth and the people I spend it with worth more than a life by itself.
Amazingly well written. Thank you for making believing in God sensable and rational.
YOU WRITE SO BEAUTIFULLY. I LIKED ALL THE POINTS YOU MADE WHILE GETTING YOUR POINT ACROSS TO THE READERS. I HOPE MANY PEOPLE HAVE A CHANCE TO READ THIS. I THINK WHAT YOU WROTE IS AWESOME!
Awesome. You could have been reading my thoughts. Each point is so valid.
The Personal Testimony point is the strongest IMHO.
People can argue science and fact all their lives, But you cannot argue with the true, manifest Power of God.
I believe its that power that with convert the unbeliever.
I think the church needs to shut up and quite arguing with the world. If we would release the spirit of God, The unbelieving heart cannot argue and will forever be changed.
ps, found your article on digg.com that was very cool.
Good Lord Wes! When do you find the time to think all this stuff through? haha…
Wesley…25…going on 80.
I enjoy how well you explain things. Your very good with words obviously, and I think this is very well written and that you offered some very good points for people to ponder. I agree with all most all of your viewpoints, except I happened to have complete faith in what the bible says. I wonder how you can not have complete faith in the bible and believe that it is fully accurate. I mean, as a christian it’s what we live by. Without complete faith in the bible what else do we have? I mean, I understand that God is not bound by the leather in a book called the bible, but I believe without it we are like lost sheep. I believe God selected certain people, and that these people were inspired by God’s Holy Spirit about what to write. And that God is in control of everything and seen to it that all of these writings were put together just perfectly, so that we would have instructions to live by while here on this earth and to more so understand God and ourselves. There are things in the bible that I don’t understand and question and I’m sure I always will, but I have complete faith anyway. I think God reveals to us the things that we need to know, at the time that we need to know it.
Okay…you’ve made me ponder my own thoughts on this subject enough for today!
If I keep going I’ll be posting my own blog. haha..
Wes, Once again well done.
Remember when you were in your cynical moments of your life and I would tell you that I knew that certain things would happen and you would say how could you be so sure. I knew you would have good happen to you. Because you had such a strong belief in God. You just needed to find the hope and faith part and now I know you have! Whether it was the exact thing we talked about might not be what God had in mind for you but, he always opened another door for you. It might not have been the same time frame, but look where those opened doors have lead you! I have goose bumps and feel so happy about the last major thing paragraph. Especially, the thought…. “I can trust that when stuff happens in life that I don’t like, it’s building me into a better person and it’s not just bad luck.” It is so great that you have already learned in life what takes many a whole lifetime to learn. Keep writing those great blogs that make us all think!
And I’m tired of atheists always going up to us and make fun of us and try to prove us wrong, but were are not.
but there’s one thing I don’t understand… how did God start?