“I Believe for a Good Reason”

People believe what they do in religion for a variety of reasons. Some simply accept whatever their parents believe. Some adopt the beliefs of a church they have found to their liking. Others put their trust in an admired preacher and pretty much go along with whatever he teaches. Many would see religious conviction as being a “leap of faith” without any real evidence to support such faith. The Bible, however, warns against gullibility, bias, and emotionalism, and calls for an honest consideration of the evidence in order to arrive at faith.

I believe there is a personal God who is the creator of the universe, the giver of life, and the judge before whom we must ultimately appear and give an account for how we’ve lived our lives. And I believe this God is the God revealed in the Bible.

I believe Jesus is God’s son. And I believe Jesus was proven to be God’s son by his resurrection from the dead.

I believe the Bible was inspired by God and is the revelation of God’s will.

When I say I believe in God, and Christ, and the Bible, I mean: I believe and I know why I believe. I believe because the evidence compels me to believe.

Christian faith is not ignorant gullibility. It is conviction based upon convincing evidence. It’s not a matter of what I want to believe, or what my parent’s believe. And it’s not a matter of what I have always been taught to believe. It’s a matter of evidence. I have seen the evidence and I believe because of the evidence.

Other people may believe (or, say they believe) for other reasons, but real Christians believe because of the evidence.       

The Bible writers warn against being gullible and too easily convinced. For example, when the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus, he said they “should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:14). In his epistle to the Christians at Thessalonica he cautioned them to examine everything carefully and accept only what was proven to be true (1Th 5:21).

The apostle John, in his first epistle, warned Christians everywhere about the many false prophets at work in the world. He said that every “prophet” should be put to the test (1Jn 4:1). And he commended the Christians at Ephesus for having exposed some who were false apostles (Rev 2:2).

The Bible writers always pointed to the evidence in calling upon people to believe. Consider the example of Paul at Thessalonica: “And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I proclaim to you is the Christ’” (Ac 17:2-3).

There are many reasons for why people believe the things they do, but the only valid reason for believing is the evidence.

- Bill Walton