I just came from an inspirational meeting where we talked about this thing called “belief.” I walked away with this:
It is essential for you to understand your belief. If you don’t know what you believe, then you really don’t believe what you think you believe, and therefore you’re confused about everything. Your belief is what comes first, before your family, business, or skills.
Just a few days ago, I was talking to an “Atheist.” He came into my room while I was reading the Bible, and we just started talking. We hit on the topic of the existence of God, and after explaining to him what I thought about God, I asked him, “you don’t seem like you believe in God, so what do you believe in?” He looked around a little bit, and stammered, “well, I guess I’m kind of like an Atheist. Yeah, I’m an Atheist.” I looked him right in the eye and told him, “no you’re not.”
That man doesn’t really believe what Atheists believe. He wanted to belong to a group of people. Atheism inspired him at first, but his belief wasn’t rooted in Atheism. He didn’t know what he believed in, and Atheism just sounded appealing. He was surprisingly receptive of what I was telling him about what I think about God, and it really got him thinking. We talked about the Kingdom of God and what it looks like in real life, and after that conversation, he told me, “that’s what I was searching for the whole time! Now I finally found it.”
Honestly, I don’t care if you’re an Atheist, a Christian, a Buddhist, etc. What I do care about is, don’t put on a mask and tell people you are something you’re not. You’re lying to yourself, and you’re lying to those around you. If you don’t believe in God, that’s fine. I mean, I wish you did, but I’m totally ok with it as long as you understand what you believe in.
However, I also think that it is imperative that we are always open to suggestions. Many Christians think, “Jesus is the only way” and they block out anything else that opposes that way of thinking. I don’t think that’s a good way to deal with other religions. If you’re not open to other beliefs, you won’t be able to change people’s lives, and you’ll make your belief seem arrogant. “God exists, period.” Arrogance is ignorance plus pride.
All of that to say, if you believe in something, then fully immerse yourself in that belief. If something else inspires you, then look more into that. This makes disciple-training more interesting. If nobody knew what they truly believe in (like many of the OWS protestors right now), then what’s the point of debate?
Personally, I believe in God. If you don’t, that’s fine. I love talking with Atheists because I learn so much from them. In fact, I grow spiritually when I talk with Atheists. Their POV of Christianity makes my brain work harder than when I listen to a pastor at church. Main point: know what you believe in, but don’t close it off and assume everything else is bunk, because many other beliefs hold amazing amounts of truth. The truth will set you free. That’s something everybody believes in, unless you think lies are the key to freedom.