I often get asked about my faith and why I believe what I do. How do I know God exists? Isn’t “religion” an old fashioned idea? Aren’t we just physical beings responding to programmed biological impulses?
It is difficult to answer these questions because faith is so personal and nothing I can ever PROVE. So I speak from my experience.
– I believe God exists because I can’t look at the beauty, diversity and complexity of this world and think it happened by accident. All the details. Everything working together. I don’t necessarily believe the earth was created in our equivalent of 7 days but ultimately I’m OK with not knowing. I’m thankful every time a sunset or an alpine lake takes my breath away…or I’m in awe of how intricate the human body is because it helps me to remember how awesome God is.
– I do not believe we are just physical beings…balls of hormones and biology wandering this planet with only a need to evolve and pro create. For me that is too simple and is actually a cop out from taking responsibility for your own behavior. “Biology” made me do it. I’m programmed that way I can’t help it. That might be part of the story but I think we are so much more than that. I look at this world and I see pain and heartbreak…joy and passion. Why do we need community or crave relationships? Honestly, I believe there is a deep longing to be loved and accepted in each one of us…we just have different ways of going about meeting that need. Relationships. Success. Sex. Since we live in an imperfect world this need will never fully be met and that can cause pain. And again everyone does something different with this pain. They can bury it…pretend it doesn’t exist. Numb it with work or alcohol. But I believe this basic need is there in all of us and I believe it can only be met by a relational God.
– Isn’t religion an old fashioned idea? Well, you’ve got me there. I don’t like “religion”. Because, honestly, I don’t often see a lot of love and acceptance in the message they share. I hear rules. Do’s and don’ts to get into heaven or stay out of hell. Judgement. It often doesn’t resemble the Jesus I know. But if you want to talk to me about how to find freedom in love, compassion, kindness, grace and mercy…that’s my religion. That’s what I stake my life on.
So, what about the ants? A response that I have gotten is for me to look at the ants. They just go about their business purely programmed by biology. They don’t love. They seem to survive just fine executing the tasks they were created for. They create armies and wars. Aren’t we just big versions of that? Aren’t you putting too much significance on our existence? Interesting argument. Honestly, I don’t know what the ants have to do with me? I can’t speak to their experiences. They might survive purely on biology. I have no idea but either way it has no bearing on me. I can only speak to my human experience. And my human experience involves emotions. Hearts longing for love and acceptance. For intimacy. We are relational people. And I believe that need for intimacy is ultimately met in a loving, relational God. But I’m not asking you to agree with me.