Thursday, September 18, 2008
Religion is just an opinion?
I was reading a blog that stated that religion is man's opinion on life's unanswerable questions.
I can't say that my Christian faith is my opinion. If MY opinion were to form my religious beliefs, then I'd believe in a God that had wound up the world but let it go. I'd believe in an ethics of moderation akin to Buddhism and I'd believe nothing about the afterlife except hope that there was a good one for all except for the most wicked (Hitler, child abusers, and mass murderers).
So why do I believe in Christianity instead? Its not because of an opinion that I formed, its because of a God who revealed Himself to me. Not only has He revealed Himself to me, I see Him as revealing Himself throughout history.
Forget about whether or not you believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. If we just assume that its the words of men, that is enough to believe in its claims given the alternatives.
What are those alternatives?
If it is a book of lies, the alternatives are founded in the motives of the authors. Did these men write the Bible because they were deceived or because they intended to deceive?
The former doesn't make sense given the improbability of a collective deception. It's one thing to believe that Matthew might have been deceived into believing in this man named Jesus and believing that He was a prophet, healer, miracle worker, savior, even the son of God, but for Mark, Luke and John as well as the writers of the Epistles?
The second alternative is the one that people try to float. It says that the Bible was written as an attempt to gain power.
The church certainly did gain power from the 4th century (Constantine) on. But why does this church look so different from the Christianity espoused in this book? The Catholic church that rose to power was (and still is) very legalistic/ritualistic. If they wrote the power to establish and justify themselves, why didn't they cross out passages in the Scriptures where Jesus was so harsh to legalistic/ritualistic religious leaders (the Pharisees and Saducees)? And why did the church evolve to an organization that discouraged its masses to even read the Bible, thus becoming the very catalyst for the Protestant reformation?
So I'm left with multiple witnesses claiming that there was a man (if He can be called a man) who lived on this earth who claimed to be the son of God and authenticated His claims by doing things no man could ever do, in the form of supernaturally healing sick people, giving sight to the blind, walking on water, feeding multitudes of people with just a handful of bread and fish, resurrecting people from the dead and then resurrecting Himself!
This is not simply an opinion given these facts. This is the only reasonable conclusion that I can hold given the facts. Do you have a better interpretation that I am not considering? Then please reply to this blog. Absent that, I'm only left with a God who has revealed Himself to all of us throughout history.
If you reject Christianity, how do YOU explain these things away?