Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why I Believe in God: Part I - Introduction

One of the things that I’ve struggled with on this blog is what to write about.

In the beginning, my main purpose was to use it as a means to help market the books I had written. Over the past few years, I’ve made more than a few posts relating to What So Proudly We Hailed, especially in instances where I’ve seen the reality of the world following the fiction of the story. I’ve also posted half a dozen or so of the stories from Finding Liberty to give people an idea of its subject matter and style.

To date, I’ve witnessed no “Harry Potter” type of mass hysteria for either book, but that’s okay; while hopeful, I wasn’t really expecting that anyway.

But the blog remained. What to do with it? What to write?

At first, I tried to differentiate myself from the approximately 1,000,000,000,000,000 or so other blogs on the web. Right.

I tried posting funny stuff. Nothing.
I tried some “thoughtful” posts. Nothing.
Political: Nothing.
Historical: Nothing.
Etc., etc., etc.,: Nothing, nothing, nothing.

This eventually led me to ask myself, “Why do I bother doing this at all?” It’s not like my “fame” & “renown” is growing (15 to 20 hits a day has been about the average), I don’t make any money from doing it, I’m certainly not saying anything that can’t be found on more credible sites, and – as previously stated – it’s not driving the sale of my books.

So, other than being a questionable use of time and maybe even becoming something of a burden, what was the point?

I settled on the answer of continuing to post simply because I like to write. I like to think, I like to speculate, and I like to ask questions, and writing posts has helped me to do that in a concrete, visible way. For myself.

If I had – or have – any other agenda to my writing, it would simply be that maybe, just maybe, I could encourage someone else to look at a particular topic in a way that they never had before. To question conventional wisdom, shun the “experts” of the world, and think about things for themselves and, subsequently, arrive at their own conclusions.

There is an unbelievable freedom in thinking for yourself. That much I know without a doubt. But I would also suggest that it doesn’t even make any difference what it is that you think about; even if you’re wrong, you’re still right, because in your mind, whatever answer you arrived at is the correct one.

It’s what you believe. It’s yours. It belongs to you, and no one can take it away without your consent.

One of the “answers” that belongs to me is the fact that I believe in God.

I know that puzzles some people. Makes them angry in some cases. After all, “God” is nothing more than a fairy tale for the ignorant, right? Haven’t we settled this already?

How could I be so archaic in my thinking? How could I ignore the “preponderance of scientific evidence” that supports evolution? How could any reasonable, educated, intelligent person – humor me here – actually believe in God?

Those are good questions. They deserve answers. And I’m going to try to answer them, because I know that there are a lot of my friends (and some of my family) who think I’m just being simple. That I walked into a frenzied church service one morning and left as just another brainwashed, hand-waving basket case.

I can see how some people might think that, but, in my case at least, it’s just not true. I have real reasons. I’ve given it real thought. I have real life experiences. I was told that the “debate” was over; I simply decided to open it back up again and take a look for myself. I’m like that sometimes.

So if you care to know, I’m going to share with you why I believe in God. It will take awhile, because there’s a lot to it, but my plan is to add posts over the next few weeks (or months), providing as much explanation as I can put into words.

Why would I do that, and, more importantly, why would you care?

First of all, understand why I’m not doing it; I’m not doing it to change anyone’s mind. If you don’t believe in God, that’s fine. I respect that. I’m not evangelical; it’s not my job – nor is it in my power – to make someone believe in God.

Christians may be shocked at that statement; “What about the great commission?”

What about it?

If you’re already familiar with God and the story of Jesus then the purpose of the Great Commission – spreading the word – has been satisfied. The way I read it, there is nothing in the Great Commission about “convincing” people to believe in Jesus Christ; just making them aware of Him.

I think the fact that Jesus Himself did nothing to “convince” people bears that out. When He sent out the disciples to spread the word, He told them that if people didn’t want to listen, the disciples were to shake the dust from their feet, leave town, and go find people who did want to listen. Not a word about staying around and preaching until people were badgered into submission.

So if you already know about Jesus Christ and choose not to believe, then that’s your decision.

My purpose then in doing this is simply to let you know why I believe in God, because I have real reasons and I don’t think most people understand what they are. Interestingly enough, I’ve never had anyone - Christian or Atheist - ever ask me why I believe in God. I find that very odd.

And I think it’s important that you understand why I believe in God, because I can absolutely understand why you may not. I grew up in the same public school system. I see the same TV shows, commercials, and movies. I read the same news articles. I hear the same disembodied voice on the Discovery Channel.

I was – and continue to be – inundated with the same continuous barrage of evolutionistic messages that serve to reinforce the concept as everyone else. I just see them differently.

I feel the ridicule and condescension of non-believers, but I choose to ignore it.

I see the hypocrisy of so many people who wear the label of “Christian”, but I try to let my own life be an example of my faith since that’s the only thing I have any amount of control over anyway.

I am well aware that “religion” can be – and often is – used as a self-serving tool for control, power, and wealth, but I focus on what it should be rather than what mankind has turned it into.

My question is: Are you curious as to why?

If so, check back from time to time and I’ll tell you. I can’t promise any sort of time frame, but I will eventually put it all down in words. If you're not interested, that’s okay too. Just skip anything you see that has “Why I Believe in God” in the title.

Comments along the way will be welcome, but please remember: I’m not trying to convince you that God exists, so please return the favor by not trying to convince me that He doesn’t. It would be a waste of your time anyway.

(to ready Part II, click here)

11 comments:

Teal said...

I am always interested in what you have to say. Your writing is eloquent, thoughtful, and deep. Thank you for caring enough to put your thoughts and convictions out there for those who will read them. Bravo! I look forward to more.

Trubydoll said...

Sounds good Blaine, I'm looking forward to your posts.

Signed,
Long-time lurker :-)

Crystal Mudgett-Epley said...

Looking forward to the upcoming posts!

Spencer said...

Piqued my interest... More More...

BTW, I agree with you on evangelism and would add that the Great Commission is to make "disciples", not "converts". So it seems to me that more emphasis should be on teaching and mentoring, which is real discipling and not so much emphasis on evangelism.

Looking forward to your 1 Peter 3:15.

Jane said...

Me too. Please don't stop posting. It is so refreshing to hear from a sane person.

Patty said...

I am very much looking forward to your upcoming posts. I really enjoy your blog and am glad that you take the time to write here.

Tony said...

Blaine, I absolutely look forward to your posts. I've got an alert set so I won't ever miss one. Someday, I look forward to DISagreeing with you, because the discussion might be fun, but it hasn't happened yet.

eurochic said...

Blaine,

I am a reader of your Wife's blog and an interested in this topic as well.

I am confused though as to why so many Christians seem to equate believing in God with being a Christian. I believe in God but I am not a Christian.

To be a Christian you must believe in Jesus as the Son of God and accept Jesus as your Saviour. That is a whole different thing than just believing in "God".

So I am curious as to whether or not you are going to, or could possibly, address, as a Christian, your belief in Jesus as well as what your thoughts are on the idea of having a strong belief in God as a Higher Power and Creator (I believe in Evolution as "God in Action" if that makes sense) but not believing in the Religions that surround God or feel the need to belong to a particular Religion in order to feel a spiritual connection WITH God.

MrsMamaHen said...

I look forward to reading the future postings.

Blaine Staat said...

@eurochic - You have very valid concerns, and I'm not sure how well I'll answer them with this series of posts. Please remember, all I'm trying to do is explain why I personally believe in God; I'm not making a case why anyone else should. My only intent was to share with people that there are real reasons why I do.

What I can say is that if you are searching for the real truth (rather than the truth as you would like it to be), you will find it. It may take awhile, but don't give up!

One book that may answer some of your questions is "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist", by Norman Geisler & Frank Turek. It talks very specifically about monotheism, polytheism, & atheism as they relate to each of the worlds religions.

Hope that helps a little!
- Blaine

Marcia said...

I think I am having the same reaction as eurochic...I am eager to hear why you believe in God, but, since you referenced Christianity, I would also like to know why you believe in that religion.