On more occasions then not, when I ask a fellow believer to explain to me the reason for which they believe something, whether it’s regarding doctrine or science and the Bible etc. I often get a very halfhearted answer that includes them saying they aren’t really that worried about it because they just know it’s true. Now, this post is not about whether someone is saved or not saved. I’m a firm advocate of the belief that more knowledge will not make you more of a Christian than someone with less knowledge. No, this post is about the value in Christians holding their faith openly and testing it. One of the most convincing reasons that people accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior is because of experience. Kind of like when I am driving a car, I can’t explain to you in detail why the car goes faster when I push down on the gas pedal, but I believe and trust that it will, because on a daily basis I experience this truth. Personal experience is most definitely a valid reason to believe in Jesus Christ, and to trust in what the Bible says. I could spend lots of time reinforcing that statement, but for the sake of my main point I will leave that for another time.
Experience is powerful, maybe the most powerful reason for believing and trusting in something. But having good, rational reasons other than personal experience, for believing something, can be extremely powerful as well. Not just for convincing people, but also for building one’s own confidence in something. It seems like in North-America and European culture the Bible is losing credibility. Not because it’s any less credible than it was before, but because people in places of high influence have, in a very convincing manner, informed people that the Bible has lost credibility and that to believe in the Bible is unscientific and stupid. Now you and I may very well disagree with this statement, but the problem is that many Christians have taken for granted the infallibility of scripture. The non-Christians have been more convincing in their rhetoric for longer, and thus the rationality of believing in a book that was written thousands of years ago, in a language and culture that existed so long ago, has been lost. Now, there are many amazing Christian apologists who have done amazing work in all areas of knowledge; cosmology, chemistry, biology, geology, mathematics, physics, philosophy… and so on. But the problem is that a lot of the people who are now questioning or outright denying the trustworthiness of scripture, are not taking the time to listen, or read, or watch these apologists. So much so that many people don’t even realize they exist. They are so convinced that believing in the Bible is stupid, they just assume there are no Christian scientists(or smart people). I have had people tell me bluntly that two people who pass all the same tests intellectually, can be different intellectually in the sense that if one believes in a creator, they are automatically not as smart as the one who does not.
My point is this. With all these amazing Christian scientists and philosophers etc. doing amazing work that clearly proves that it is more rational to believe in a creator, and to believe that Jesus Christ is God, they are still nowhere near as influential as you and I are in our one on one discussions with people. By being willing to ask questions about our faith and why we believe what we believe. And by reading the amazing papers, and books that have been written, documenting all the many rational reasons for believing in God, and for trusting the Bible. When we are talking to someone who claims to not believe in God, we can offer them rational reasons to re consider their position. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 says” Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.”(NLT) How can we “instruct those who oppose the truth” if we don’t know the truth for ourselves?
In closing I just want to encourage all my brothers and sisters in Christ to let their experience in the power of God, give them confidence to explore the reasons why they believe what they believe. As someone who has done quite a bit of studying and who is very passionate about truth, I can assure you that God will never fail. The more you read about how the Bible was written, or how the human body works, or how incredible the earth is in relation to other planets and stars in outer space, the more you will fall in love with God. It is important, for us as Christians, especially in North-America, to be able to help others understand that they are not stupid for considering the Bible as an authority, or for considering a Creator as the best explanation for the existence of the universe. So please
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”(2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)