18 responses to “Why Do You Believe in God?”

  1. Mike

    Hi Pierre,

    Thanks for your response. We do agree on one thing though–we agree there is no such thing as a big foot! On a serious note however, you have referred to the Bible as “an ancient myth” when in fact there in much empirical evidence that can historically authenticate the people and events of the Bible if you wished to seek it out.

    I am confused about the statement you made where you said,
    “In fact, the bible itself says the Sun revolves
    around the earth.”

    I would ask you to site for the readers of this blog, particularly Jen’s son, the book, the chapter, and the verse in the Bible that would confirm what you have written. Those words simply do not exist in the Bible.

    Why do meteorologists say that the sun will rise in the east and the sun will set in the west when they know full well that the “rising” and “setting” of the sun is the result of the earth’s rotation and has nothing to do with the sun moving across the sky?

    At the end of the day, Jen asked why we do, or don’t believe in God and perhaps this would be a good time to tell why I do believe in God. As a young man I did not believe in God. In fact, I cracked on people who did believe. How could they be so stupid I thought. And then at the age of twenty three (I am now fifty three) I went to prison. There came a time during my incarceration when I was about to stab another human being in his throat over cigarettes that were related to a gambling debt. I wasn’t looking for God, I wasn’t asking for God, but before stabbing the individual I heard clearly what could only be the voice of God speak to me. The voice that I heard and the words that came from that voice were so powerful that I could not deny what I heard. Rather than follow through and stab the man, the words I heard compelled me to change my life.

    Trust me, plenty of people ridiculed me and cracked on me inside that prison. They always tried to get me with the I gotcha questions. But as with any person of faith, the things we have seen is enough evidence to believe the things we have not seen and do not understand. There will always be things that a person of faith can’t answer. I guess otherwise it wouldn’t be faith at all now would it?

    Be well Pierre, I wish you all the best.

  2. Mike

    Hi Jen, I think the biggest lie I ever believed is that there was no God. There was great consequences for that belief but as believing in God relates to your son, that’s a matter of an individuals heart. As the opinions on this blog go, many of them come down to “what I feel” or “my opinion is” or “my philosophy” etc. A persons opinion, philosophy, or what they may feel has no bearing on whether or not God exists.
    I can’t see oxygen but it exists. I can’t see gravity but it exists too. I don’t know how a plane works but I have faith it’s gonna stay in the sky. There are many things we don’t know or understand and yet we have no problem believing that they will do what they say they will do.
    I believe there is hard evidence that God does exist, even empirical evidence but that is after studying the Bible for an extended period of time. Many skeptics including a man named Josh McDowell set out to disprove God exists only to become men of great faith. I would recommend Josh McDowels book “Evidence Demands A Verdict”. He can check out the outline of the book here http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/myredeemer/Evidence.html
    If there is a God, then there are great implications in that and I would not wager all of eternity on a feeling, a philosophy, or an opinion. I would make it my business to know. I would encourage your son to fully investigate the matter for himself and not rely on the beliefs opinions and feelings of others, including myself. This is the single most important question that any man or woman has to answer for themselves. The biggest problem that kids have to contend with in answering that question is that we live in a culture that does not reflect the existence of God. The media has become God and dictates to our children what is, and what is not, acceptable. What I see on the majority TV, what I hear in the majority of music, and how I see the majority of individuals living out their lives, in no way reflects the image of a Divine Creator who’s plan for our life has a divine purpose.
    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
    Hope this helps

  3. Vyvyan Lynn

    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is, of course, from the Bible, BUT no matter your religion or lack thereof it is a good practice and NEEDED in the world today. Religion that espouses fear may work for some but it is doubtful it works for the ‘thinkers’. I feel it is important to be able to tell God anything and lean in when you need to do that and to say thank you a lot when you don’t. Parents try to give their children some form of peace to carry with them after they are grown or at least show them the right direction in which to start the walk. We can’t do it for them. This choice of whether to believe/what to believe comes from life’s lessons. Thinkers are going to give it much thought. Parents typically pray a lot while they are thinking (if they believe in prayer). I find it interesting to read what scientists think–the thinkers–the ones looking for logic not mystery; however, even some scientists could not say there is no mystery to be had: “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive With our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible Universe, forms my idea of God.” ~ Einstein’s Faith

    — Quoted in the New York Times obituary April 19, 1955

  4. Karen

    Hi, Jen, I always tell my kids, especially my oldest, that as you get older, you realize that faith is all you have when times are at their worst. It’s comforting to give your problems and worries to someone else when you go to sleep at night…this world that we live in can’t be all there is…and I think believing that living each day to do good for others, makes you have a conscience and appreciate all the good that’s around us. I think of the CT tragedy…faith was all that had on that horrible day…and the power of prayer really exists. Just my thoughts!

  5. Jennifer

    Because I have felt his presence and heard his voice speak to my soul. I know that is hard to understand for someone that has not experienced it, but it is true. Faith is about accepting and believing when you have no evidence to prove that it is true. For God to be real to you, you have to take the first step.

  6. Joan

    It’s a tough one. I never thought religion in general meant that much to me, until I was adult. I was surprised again how important it was to me when I became a parent. I don’t believe in teaching children that there is no God. I have people close to me that have raised their children with no religion and the kids are kind of lost at this point – they want something and don’t have any direction. They will figure it out but I thought the parents should have given them the framework of what they grew up with, at least, and then when the kids are older they can decide what they want to do. I think the world is harsh and God is someone that – at the very least – is someone to talk to, to confide in. You can’t always expect miracles but I do believe in the power of prayer, even if it doesn’t directly “give” you something, it’s healing in many ways.

  7. Mike

    I have a question for Pierre who talks about “Truth.” What is truth Pierre? In your words truth is what ever somebody believes truth to be no matter how harsh that may be. There are people who believe using drugs is truth, or drinking alcohol, or even things that we consider evil as truth. It is certainly their truth but there can’t be ten truth’s. There is only one truth and it came first and everything that came after it is the result of that truth. What came second doesn’t replace what was first. I want to take this opportunity to share what Jesus said to his accusers.
    “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” That is from John:18:37 in the New Testament. And I know that those words are harsh and discomforting to many but it doesn’t make them any less the truth!
    I would argue that there is empirical evidence that God exists. As my evidence I would refer you to Psalm 19. It seems that Jen gave her personal testimony to her son, and no matter how unbelievable that may be to you, it is certainly empirical evidence to Jen. In other words, Jen doesn’t need to see God to know that something supernatural (God) touched her life.
    My understanding of the true definition of an atheist is a man or woman who has gone on a journey to study all theism’s and after completing an exhaustive study determines that there is no God. Have you gone on that journey or is your position that there is no God a reaction to the truth that Jesus speaks of? Just food for thought. Would love to hear your remarks. I would encourage you to study “The Truth Project” which is an exhaustive study of all beliefs, including atheism.

  8. Michele

    If not, then it’s an awful waste of space. ;)

    I have 2 boys, ages 6 and 9, we haven’t had too deep conversations yet, but I share what I think and feel and help them figure out what they think. I don’t have it all figured out (who does!?) but as I get older – either because I’m wiser, or more scared of death, or whatever, I keep thinking there must certainly be more than what is on this earth – such a small planet in an overwhelmingly large universe.

  9. Barb

    For the past few years, I’ve been in the same boat as Pierre. But I’ve also been at my lowest point lately and hopeless. My head was cloudy and I asked the universe to give me a ray of hope. Well, the last few days have been sunny and bright and to tell you the truth, I may not have made it through them without the sunshine. I have begun to question my questioning of God. I think for me it will be a constant question. But being atheist or agnostic can be very lonely and depressing even if it is the most “sane”. I read a great article by a neurosurgeon who had a near death experience and it makes me think that maybe spirituality is way different than what religion says it is.
    Here is his article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/proof-of-heaven-a-doctor-s-experience-with-the-afterlife.html

  10. Peggy

    I don’t believe in God, but am not sure I can explain why not. Even though I grew up in a religious family it just has never made sense to me. I do think everyone needs to figure it out for themselves and I always enjoy learning about different religious beliefs. If you have a Unitarian Universalist Church near you, they will probably provide your son with some help, although maybe not the difinitive answer he’s looking for. At most UU churches you will find people who believe in God, athiests, and everything in between, and plenty of people who will gladly explain what they believe and why, so maybe he’d find someone whose beliefs make sense to him. And @ Cat, if your daughter keeps asking about religion and church, you may want to bring her to a UU church, as it could give her the experience without anyone trying to indoctrinate her. (really.)

  11. Kristen

    Jennifer’s answer is similar to mine–I’ve seen His power in my life. And I’ve seen how He often works through other people to answer our prayers. I’ve had prayers answered and my children have too. But I think you’re right that kids need to explore what faith in God means to them — they should be encouraged to ask questions and seek out their own answers.

  12. cynthia rushing

    I believe in God because i see gods handy work in my life. Some of the troubles that i’ve faced have made me a better person and teach me important lessons about life i see god in that. The good things in life my family, a perfect sunny day,a beautiful wildflower, the ocean, Baking the perfect chewy chocolate chip cookie and eating it warm, just to name a few I see gods hand in that too. Its a comfort to think that even though i am responsible for my actions a higher power has a hand on my back helping me to guide myself through life. God might push your face in the mud a few times but he’ll always be there to dust you off and help you up. That’s just my own philosiphy and by no means a perfect one but that’s why i do believe in god.

  13. Cat Davis

    We don’t talk about God or religion with our children. I want them to come to their own conclusions without influence from me or any family members. Our daughter has asked about churches a few times but I honestly don’t know what to tell her about them, my experience there is limited (and not good).

  14. Jennifer Fink

    I believe because I’ve seen the power of God in my life. That’s a very hard concept to explain to my sons; they don’t fully buy it either, and neither did I, until I experience it for myself. But I have seen how God provides and supports and upholds, often through other people. And because of that, I believe.

  15. Pierre

    The main reason I DON’T believe in God is that there is no empirical evidence of God. To me it seems illogical that an invisible, undetectible human-like all-powerful being created us and controls events on Earth.

    It seems you’ve only told your son why believing in God has helped you personally, but have given no reason for him to believe himself. He might feel it is better to believe in truth, whatever that is for him, even if it is harsh and discomforting at times.

    1. Pierre

      Mike,
      Having a christian wife and raising my four year old daughter as a christian has led to some conflicts with “the truth”. I want my daughter to grow up deciding for herself what the truth is.

      Truth is fact. It is something no one can deny. Such as the truth that the Earth revolves around the sun. Saying that it is not the truth is denying a fact. When it is difficult to establish what is fact and what isn’t, the truth becomes uncertain. In this case, such as with the existance of God, one must look at known facts and decide for themselves what the truth relly is.

      Sometimes these premature guesses lead to innacuracies as new information is discovered. In ancient times, little was known about why things happened. This is why we have mythology and belief in supernatural beings. Now that we can explain things using evidence and logic, mythological stories are no longer widely accepted.

      Or are they? It turns out 46% of americans still believe in the creation myth from Genesis. I’m not saying one has to believe in evolution, even though it is a widely accepted theory based on many facts, but to deny it because you would rather believe in an ancient story seems silly to me. The truth has changed over time thanks to science and technology, and to still believe in ancient truths is up to you and your religious beliefs.

      So why do you still think the bible is the truth? In fact, the bible itself says the Sun revolves around the Earth. So how can it be the undeniable truth?

      Jen’s encounters may feel like the truth to her, but what about to me or her son? There are numerous testimonies to bigfoot sightings, but that’s not empirical evidence. Empirical evidence would be capturing a live bigfoot or DNA testing its hair or feces to determine if it really is real, and not a bear or a moose or whatever.

      Why should I trust Jesus, or how do I even know those are his true words? He was a man 2,000 years ago, and his words are captured only in a book that says the sun revolves around the earth. They may be truthful to you, but I stil have no reason to trust them.

      So, believe whatever truth you thing is true, but I suggest really thinking about why you believe it, like Jen’s son has done.
      Pierre

      1. Pierre

        Mike,

        Here is why the writers of the bible did in fact believe the sun revolved around the earth:

        Psalm 93:1 The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is established, that it cannot be moved.

        Psalm 104:5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

        1 Chronicles 16:30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.

        Job 9:6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.

        There are many, many further verses that discuss the “foundations” and “pillars” of the Earth, as if the Earth needed to be fixed in place with them.

        Thus church doctrine declared, with biblical support, that the Earth was fixed and unmoving.

        This is why, when forced by the church under threat of torture to recant his Sun-centered philosophy, as he signed the confession, Galileo is said to have muttered, “And yet it moves.”

        In addition to stating that the Earth is stationary, the bible claims the Sun moves:

        Psalm 19:4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

        When Joshua commands the Sun to stand still, it’s the sun that has to stop, not the Earth:

        Joshua 10:12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

        In the following verse, God commands the Sun to stop (not the Earth) in order to prevent a sunrise:

        Job 9:6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble. 7 Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.

        Now just because the bible records some historical events, does not make it entirely true. Lots of stories include actual events, like Iliad and Beowulf. Just because these stories include actual events does not mean that Greek gods or dragons are real.

        The reason meteorologists say such things is because they are expressions. In ancient times people actually believed the sun rose and it set. Such expressions stick with us today, which is why people still use them dispite their knowledge of the truth. Simularly, atheists and non-christians still say “Oh my God” not because they believe in God, but because it is a commonly used expression.

        Now it seems faith in God has been helpful for you just as it has been for humanity. Belief in God has helped our primative ancestors get through life. In fact, there are signs that even neanderthals had religion. Scientists have discovered a section of our brains that actually causes us to believe in Gods, because belief in God is helpful to a creature that is so involved with violence and fear, like you have unfortunately been.

        However the helpfulness of belief does not make it true. As people learn how to cooperate and live in a more civilized, less violent world, God is not necessary. The truth is what we choose to believe in instead. Of course, getting to this ability is difficult and unecessary for some.

        That is why my daughter is christian. Christianity teaches good morals, even though they are often abused. I want her to learn these morals a child, and let her choose when she gets older.

        Everyone is entitled to their belief, but some of us like to look at the world realistically. That is what is difficult for many to do.

        So I hope you stick to you beliefs, as I have stuck to mine, and perhaps with openmindedness we all can dicover new things. I hope Jen’s son remains openminded, because we all can learn from eachother.

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