I have friends who are Christian, some of other faiths, some who are atheists, and many who find themselves somewhere in between. Over the past years I have spent a significant amount of time reading, watching, and listening to people of every background talk about issues on faith, religion, science, and the Bible. I read and listen to several Christian and atheist based programs and sites every week talk about similar issues but from very different few points, and with very different conclusions.
I realize both come with their own biases and leanings. I know I come with my own. Just this week I listened to one prominent atheist talk about how the Bible is the most disproved book in history. I also, read another article on how the Bible was the most reliable ancient book because of the vast amount of early manuscripts found. Both of these came with evidence to back up their claims. What is most evident however, is neither side in this case has ever really listened to the other. So here is my challenge – If you are a Christian, Atheist, Agnostic, Searcher, take time and take an honest look at ideas. Don’t just listen to people who agree with you. To be freethinking and intelligent has to include being challenged and open to new ideas and thoughts. To examine your own beliefs is part of growing as a person.
One scripture that challenges me is 1 Peter 3:15. ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.’ Whether you are a Christian or not I think these are good words to live by. If you are going to hold to a belief, you should know why you do. Is it based on your friends, family, or reality? Also, can you have a belief, or be able to explain it, while being respectful and with gentleness towards others? It is this last part where most people fail. You don’t win people to your ideas by mocking them. Instead you make enemies.
So now what? Well I have decided to try something. I am going to try and live out the verse above. For the next three months I am going to write out one reason per week, why I follow Jesus. Why I believe He is who He claimed to be. Also, I am going to include a few instances of things which have happened in my life which would make it impossible for me to deny God existence.
I will be making my first post this week. I am also wondering if there are others who will join me in this challenge. Once I post my first example please feel free to post yours as well.