Can I believe in Christ

United States
November 6, 2008 11:00am CST
I recently posted an answer to this question for another MyLotter. I felt the subject was important enough to expand on and so I wrote an article on hub pages. http://hubpages.com/hub/Can-I-Believe-in-Jesus-Christ I hope the information I posted and the extras I added in response to others will be helpful to those who may have questions like this themselves. Please check it out and let me know what you think.
4 people like this
7 responses
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
6 Nov 08
This rates as one of the top 10 documents I've ever had the pleasure to read. The man who wrote it was amazing, brilliant. The composition is stunning, & the process by which he moved to prove his point was stunning. I have some difficulty reading it, due to the smattering of legalese (well, he WAS a LAWYER--LOL!), which, fortunately wasn't oppressively used, & the dark font & over-lengthy "paragraphs." The standard for paragraphs has changed even since I was in grammar school (50's); teachers now teach BREVITY over construction, so it's hard for modern readers' eyes to contain the blocks of info he formed, & last (& least) the antiquity of phrasing. As I am of the era which learned how to read Middle English & other less modern versions of American English (now a lost art, it seems), it wasn't AS hard for me to tune MY inner ear to his style of speech than it might be for others. ALL THAT SAID...I have bookmarked the site, & am thrilled to have it in my "arsenal." You'll recall the concept of the "Church militant" arrayed against the forces of evil? Not the bloodbath that, say, Mohammadism (NOT modern, REFORMED Islam, mind) requires--a SPIRITUAL battle? Good. We're on the same page, here, then. THANK YOU for unearthing this incredible document. I have no PERSONAL need of it, but others doubtless will find it a real eye-opener! God bless you! Maggiepie
3 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 08
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Ultimately it is Christ's effect in our own lives that provides the greatest proof but the bible never called us to blind faith. Greanleaf is one of the earlier "modern" apologetic writers that turned to the process of examining evidence. Josh McDowell and Tim LaHaye have cited his work along with those of a lot of others in writing their own books on the subject which also include a great deal of archaeological evidence Greenleaf didn't have. Lee Stobel is an investigative reporter when also set out to disprove the bible and became a convert just a few years ago. He has since written several books on the overwhelming evidence as well as producing several documentaries based on the research that brought him to faith in Christ.
2 people like this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
7 Nov 08
Interesting concept, "blind faith." Actually, that's the way I think of folks who have just been brought up in some religion & never thought to question it, NOT because they couldn't see its good effect on their lives...I speak mostly of those who were in some NOMINALLY faithful household, but who were never actually ACTIVE in their faith. That is TRULY blind. Christ set the example for EVERYTHING, &--although I realize He already knew the answers--remember, HE questioned the faith of the rabbis! So yes, to follow His example, we MUST make sure we know WHY we believe WHAT we believe. The Bible even flat-out STATES that, later on. Can't remember the book or verse, but it was something about searching the Scriptures, & TESTING the spirits, to know whether they be true or not. I was reared in one sort of Christian belief, & when I found it unsatisfying, I started looking through OTHER faiths--always rejecting the religion of ATHEISM (hee!), knowing to my MARROW that God was REAL.... I just wanted to know how to know Him =completely.= I felt my OLD church wasn't clued in on how to do that. I looked at all SORTS of religions, & finally found my final choice--(well, as the Bible says, really, it chose ME.../o): Eastern Orthodox Christianity. It's SO DIFFERENT from what most think of when they hear the word "Christian" it defies description, but it makes sense to me on a VISCERAL level. It has a tendency to =re-frame= Biblical issues & dogma, putting them in a totally different light, making them CLEAR as to why God wants such-&-such behavior from us. Still, even NOW, when I don't understand something the Church teaches, I ask God (& the Church) WHY we're to believe this or that. He ALWAYS answers. And it ALWAYS makes total sense. I've learned to trust Him for that reason. Thanks again for your enlightening topic! Maggiepie
2 people like this
• United States
9 Nov 08
I've heard similar descriptions of other religions, often when my own experience with that faith was different. I really think it helps to have a pastor or teacher with the Guts to preach the whole bible and the character to do it routinely. To many preachers get lazy. They don't even study the whole bible but instead focus on a few favorite scriptures. Many find the deeper truths in the scripture but are afraid to teach them because of political correctness. As an example I would name Father Ed Noga of St Pat's Catholic Church in Youngstown. So many of the priests in this area glue themselves to safe zones where their teaching won't step on toes or challenge long held beliefs that were based in someones personal ideas rather than in biblical or church doctrine. Father Ed goes strait for the meat of the scripture and never apologizes for God's truth. By the same token I know a Pentecostal preacher who would never teach condemnation or describe sin. He could never really reach the lost because they didn't feel lost listening to him. He taught only the feel good warm fuzzy's of the gospel. I was pretty much born in a local church and remained a member there until a few months ago when I moved my membership to be a music leader at another church that needed one. I heard that you needed to go on faith and God would prove himself later. I heard that you could ask God to prove himself. I heard the nice parts of bible stories without the dirt. God made sure the dirt was there. He wanted us to see that normal people could be used by Him despite their flaws. He made it possible to give Him your trust based on facts which is a lot more effective in changing hearts. You can't convince a skeptic they "need to have faith". I believe it was Tim LaHaye, a man raised in the church, who said the fastest way to make him reject something was to say "just believe". A Sunday school teacher told him that once and he got in plenty of trouble over the resulting flurry of tough questions he came up with. "Just believe" is the type of thing that snake oil salesmen depend on. When a salesmen shows me studies and test results i tend to take him seriously. Testimonials alone make me question what their hiding. Logic can over come this skepticism if what I already know can be shown to apply to the testimonials but I like the old adage. "Trust but Verify" I've been looking for the scripture that says be always ready with a reason for your faith but, to tell the truth, the search engine in my bible software couldn't find "let not the sun go down on your anger" Ephesians 4:26 despite my entering exact phrases from the verse.
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
6 Nov 08
Can't read your post til I "respond," since MyLot won't LET me, but I CAN say I KNOW Christ is real, as there's plenty of proof. Not only the Bible, but a few other records speak of Him, & what he did. Too, I have plenty of personal evidence that He is real, & has affected billions of lives. Even if there were NO historical "proof" that He is real & did what he did (& does), His effect on me PERSONALLY would be "proof" enough for ME. That's what faith is. And in my experience, He has had THE greatest effect on changing me from what I USED to be to what I am NOW. Ultimately, my opinion, my belief, my experience on this, is all that matters. That's true for EVERYONE. Maggiepie
3 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 08
I think that was a wonderful blog. I greatly enjoyed that. There is nothing to add or take away from it. Thanks for the wonderful apolegetic. (Big word for defending the gospel for those who don't know that) :)
2 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 08
Thanks pastor, So many try to convert the lost by telling them to have faith. I thought it might be more useful to show them a reason for my faith.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Nov 08
I just posted another one you might find interesting about the fight over music in churches http://hubpages.com/hub/Praise-and-Worship-or-Hymns
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Nov 08
Great article. A couple of other books to stay away from if you want to remain an agnostic, "Evidence that demands a verdict" by Josh McDowell ("More than a Carpenter" is a much lighter version of this book) And "The case for Christ" by Lee Strobel He wrote a couple of these "Case for.." Books The one on Faith is very good. Both of these men have stories similar to Greenleaf. Strobel was a Legal Editor of the Chicago Tribune. He was a devout atheist until his wife became a Christian. He set out to prove Christianity wrong and the rest is history. "McDowell,...was as an agnostic at college when he decided to prepare a paper that would examine the historical evidence of the Christian faith in order to disprove it. However, he converted to Christianity, after, as he says, he found evidence for it, not against it." From Wikipedia
2 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 08
A couple of great choices I mentioned elsewhere. Lee Strobel in particular is a great choice. he has written a number of investigative reports on subjects ranging from Christianity to UFO's and has always been careful to examine evidence and provable documentation in his investigations. He made quite a name for himself in this business long before he became a Christian and is well regarded as an investigative reporter. Historical evidence is quite similar to legal evidence and is proven most accurate when put to the same tests of veracity that would be used in court. For this reason and the fact that attorneys are used to making things clear to a jury of non-experts, Judges and Lawyers tend to write some of the best apologetics. Archaeologists and historians are also good at this and tend to come from the same academic atheism as other science types. They have a very hard time ignoring the truth when they are willing to examine the evidence with the same scrutiny they give to their work.
1 person likes this
@desireeo (595)
• Philippines
6 Nov 08
I have been brought up by people who have strong religious beliefs. Christ has been a part of our life dating back to our oldest ancestors. Atheism is strongly discouraged and a taboo in Philippine society. Although, raised a Catholic, I cannot say I am religious. I don't attend regular mass and I don't recite my rosary regularly. My faith is part of my upbringing and it has been ingrained in me so deeply that I cannot imagine life without it and my way of life is, intentionally or not, based on it. The view of a person why he must do good stems from his religion or his parents' religion. When we were young we were taught about God and His church. If we grew up to be agnostic it is because we chose to be but the knowledge of religion is already in our mind. My point in all of this, and this might stray from the original topic, is that whether you believe in Christ or not, what is important is your contribution to the world. I have seen a lot of people who piously preach the word of God but is really cruel underneath with no compassion to his fellow human beings. I believe that deep inside in everyone of us the idea of Christ will always be there. Not believing may only mean lack of religious affiliation but deep down you have the heart to help out others. I may be too naive to think this is possible. In this day and age, I don't think it's enough to say you believe in Christ to avoid scrutiny. Those who say that the existence of Christ is doubtful and have no sufficient evidence but believe in the importance of human being having to look out for each other should receive more praise.
2 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 08
The word Christian means literally "little Christ". A great many call themselves Christians who do not live up to that. To be a Christian is to endeavor to be like Christ and those who claim the title while living like the devil are a detriment to all true Christians.
1 person likes this
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
6 Nov 08
Oh yes, you shared this with me the other day..good article, I hope many read it and come to an understanding..
• United States
6 Nov 08
Glad you enjoyed it
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Nov 08
Very nicely written hub! You have a different way of leading others to the Lord! Makes a lot of sense to have them disprove them to try to make them believe when they do not understand anything or why they should!