Saturday, 7 March 2009

Why Do People Believe in God?

Update: I just want to say I have been so humbled and enlightened over your responses.

It is quite a 'weighty' title and I do not mean to come across as condesending when I typed it. Since starting this blog I have come across many blogs where faith is one of the most talked about topics. It is such a big part of your lives and it is one of the many reasons why I read your posts :)

I have had many emails over the last couple of months from people who have read my blog. They have asked me, in the most nicest of ways, why I believe in the opposite and that they find it really interesting. If any of you who have, kindly, read my blog for some time - I do not believe in God and neither do I want to. Although, I am not atheist either as that means I would not believe in anything and that is not true. I believe in a lot of things, just not Christianity.

I recently went to church with a friend of mine from University as she wanted company to pray for a friend. I sat there and watched her. I was in awe of the way she knelt down and spoke to a God that she trusts and completely felt the presense of around her. However, all I could think about was why does she believe in God? What makes her pray, believe, sacrifice everyday for someone she has not met? How does she know she will meet the King of Kings when she passes on in this life?

My only answer is that - Life is full of unanswered questions,

I may be repeating myself to those who already know. I am a factual person. I need proof, evidence that something existed. My mother is a Christian although she does not practice as much as she would like. My Father is not. They both decided that we would be brought up with my Mum taking us to Church when we wanted to go and she did read the Bible to us. She hoped that one day we would want to be Christened but I have never wanted to, nor, have I ever felt the calling. The only concept or notion I do believe is that the Bible's teachings relate to everyday life. For example, I always relate the story of 'The Feeding of the Five Thousand' to charity. I always relate the story of 'The Good Samaritan' to natural human kindness. I would never say never but at the moment I am happy.

On many occassions I have witnessed death. I have seen people pass away saying to me that they will meet Jesus when they breathe their last breath. I find it utterly breath taking and it has brought me to tears that they have passed away comforted.

I do want to say that I have been very humbled and moved to tears on many occassions from blogs that are so open about how their faith has kept them strong. I do think it is a beautiful way to live out life.

This is what I want to ask you. Why do you believe in God? Is it because you have always been brought up in your religion and it is all you have ever known? Was it a miracle? Did an event happen that made you realise what you were missing?

I am not asking to be converted but I do want to be enlightened :)

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend. I am enjoying the sunshine that has decided to peep out for the first time this spring.

14 comments:

Alex(andra) said...

Okay, this could be lengthy, lol.

I was raised around several people who were very strong in their faith. My mom is Christian, but my dad's fairly agnostic. Neither of them ever pushed us one way or the other with religion. They exposed us (kids) and let us make our own decisions. My mom's parents were both very religious and when I was younger I remember seeing how God could just shine through them. It was amazing and I always wished I could have faith that strong.

As I was in my teens I began to really take interest, especially in hard times. Instead of looking for someone or something to blame I tried to give it all up to "something bigger" and there were times when I could just feel something (that I now think is God's presence) that gave me such.. peace. I don't know if I could ever completely explain.

And although I now call myself a Christian, I'm not your usual Christian. I believe in God, but I don't think that Christianity is the only way to believe. I think that other religions are just as real and I think people should believe in what they know and what they feel they should believe. I detest when people try to force their beliefs onto others. But, that's a whole nother story. =)

Anyway... sorry for the length. Long story short, I could never exactly explain why I believe. It's through what I feel and what I see happen in many lives.

Have a great weekend!

I do what I want! said...

I have been raised going to church my whole entire life. Ever since I was in my mom's tummy. I was raised in Sunday school, going to church camp, the whole ten yards. My mom is a Christian and my dad is not. Growing up I never knew any different than going to church. It was my comfort place and it was like home to me. I didn't however like some of the people that go to church (I still don't actually). I think a lot of people are fake and hypocrites and turn people away from believing in God.

I have never really had a falling out where I didn't believe in God but I have struggled with my moments where I didn't feel close to him at all. I have praised him when I am happy and I have flat out yelled and screamed at him when bad things happen.

My first year of college I moved away from home and I didn't go to church the first couple of weeks. I had never felt more lost and more alone. Even when I started going to church there I still felt lost and alone.

I moved home my second year of college for a stupid boy. He broke up with me and I cursed God for that but I decided that it was in God's hands and I needed to give it to Him. I started reading my Bible and writing my prayers down (even the bad ones) to see how God worked in my life. Looking back it is so amazing to see how I have been molded into the person I am today. Don't get me wrong I still struggle on a daily basis and I am in no means perfect. I do believe we are put on this earth to love one another and show each other kindness the way Jesus did in the Bible.

I recently (well like 4 months ago haha) read a book called "The Shack." I'm not sure if you have heard of that where you live but it is such a great book and it really helped clear a few things up for me. :)

You seem like such a sweet girl I'm glad you speak what you feel. That is very admirable and I hope you find the answers you are looking for!

~April

Louise said...

I just came across your blog and thought what a great topic to write about cus your right it can be weighty and personal...but also encouraging.

I am fairly agnostic. I do and I don't believe. Yet the one thing I absolutely agree on is that life is full of unanswered questions and we will all find the answers individually.

I must say it is nice to read a blog from a person that sees life not through the faith of God. I do not mean to be rude but it I can't lie. I find it rather refreshing. The above comment is true in tht u speak wht u feel and that is v endearing.

Colette said...

I read this post as soon as I got home from work (yes I really do check Google Reader as soon as I walk through the door, even after a 12 hour shift!) and I thought ‘Oh boy I have to think about this one’. I jumped in the shower and I thought and thought and I was starting to panic because I couldn’t find the words. Then it hit me – there is no explanation because it’s just about faith. That’s why we call it that because we just believe, we just have faith. It’s so simple.

How did I get to where I am today? Well, my mum is Catholic, the daughter of a staunch Catholic whilst my Dad, despite being the son of a Presbyterian, has never shown any interest in religion at all. I was brought up a Catholic, when I was little I adored my children’s Bible, I read it like a story book, sometimes every night but this was a story that was real. That’s what my mum told me, and why would I doubt her?! So I believed.

In my teens, like so many others, I rebelled. No more church. I wasn’t abandoning my faith, that never wavered, but I just wanted to be like my friends – I wanted to sleep late on a Sunday, I wanted to go to sleepovers on Saturdays. Back then that’s all religion was to me, the chore of church on Sunday. Oh and prayer when I wanted something.

Over the last few years I’d come to appreciate the benefits of faith and I planned to bring any children I had up as Catholics, after a long period of thinking I’d allow them to choose their own paths.

Then last year I discovered Bring the Rain and I was saved. I was absolutely awe stricken by how strong Angie was and how her faith was helping her through the saddest, saddest thing anyone could ever experience. And I realised, that when you accept that He is in control the world makes so much more sense and it is such a safer place to live in.

At first I was afraid that I would never rebuild a relationship with God, I thought that perhaps I had gone too far – my mind had been polluted and Satan had placed all these terrible thoughts in my head. I decided to look for Him anyway, I was craving Him .

One of my favourite Bible verses is ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’ – because it’s so, so true, as soon as I started looking I found Him.

Now I know that Catholicism is not for me, it seems (to me at least) to be so much about guilt. I have seen how this guilt riddles people and it is not nice, I do not want that from my faith. Right now I’m considering myself a non-denominational Christian (I’ve been working on a blog about it actually lol).

And that’s it really. A rather long explanation behind a simple answer xxx

Brittany said...

Becca, it's awesome that you are so open about sharing what you believe. I'm sure as you know by reading my blog that I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe he lived, was crucified, and rose again. I also believe that I am a sinner and without Jesus Christ there is no other way to Heaven.

I've always grown up in church. My mom works at church and I've been going since I was in-utero. I remember the day exactly when my life changed. I had just been in a horrible accident that I had almost lost my life in. I was 7 years old, laying on the couch recovering and watching a gospel channel of some sort. The person speaking was sharing the gospel. I always knew the story- that wasn't news to me. But something happened, and I felt convicted. I gave my life to Jesus Christ on that day- Good Friday. I can't say it's easy being a Christian, in fact sometimes it is really hard. But I do what I do knowing that the day I die I will rejoice with Jesus. I hope this story helped you. Please don't get the impression that I'm an awesome person because I love Jesus. I do make a lot of mistakes and I still have so much work to do in growing my relationship with Christ.

I love reading your blog- very insightful.

Librarian or Teacher said...

First off "Someone's Watching Over Me" is one of my favorite songs. :)

Why do I believe in God? I grew up as a Pastor's daughter and every Sunday and Wednesday I was in church. I did everything like a PK is supposed to. I wasn't saved until I was 12 years old and at the time I only knew that I believed in God because it's what I was taught and believed. Around 18 I questioned a lot of things because I didn't want to believe something just because it was what I was taught. So I really looked into it. I read about other religions, I studied what the basis of Christianity was. To me the facts line up for Christianity. I don't so much believe in a religion, but in a relationship.

Growing up as the pastor's kid I saw things inside (and outside) of churches that did not show Christ at all. I still struggle with "church" for that reason. People who claim to be Christians can be so hypocritical. (I know I'm getting off track here.) I guess the reason I believe what I believe is because I have read and learned about it and I truly believe Jesus came to this earth and died for us so that we could live eternally. I will be honest and say that there are times I say to myself, "Is this real?" "Is there really a God that loves me so much to do that?" But that's why it's called faith I guess. It's something I believe in without valid proof.

Sorry this is so long and not really answering your question. I'm much better at talking than typing. :)

Librarian or Teacher said...

By the way, I am working on homework and needed some music to listen to and you have the best playlist!! I have your blog pulled up and
minimized for the music. :)

I have never heard a lot of it. Good stuff!

Shannon said...

I wasn't brought up in church. Actually, we never spoke of God til my parent's divorced and my dad started taking us to church. To be completely honest, I don't go to church but maybe once or twice a year, because I feel completely anxious and as if I'm going to have a panic attack when walking into church.

But, I do believe in God and talk to Him every night. I don't read the Bible as much as I should and I don't know all of the stories that other's learned while in their younger years.

Why do I believe? Because it's something within me. I have this feeling within me - a feeling of being centered and that my world is right - when I talk to God. He's the only person in this entire world that I can trust to not wrong me. I believe that He has a plan for me (and you) and that the plan is something big. We may not understand everything that happens, but it's all for a reason.

I know that you don't want to be converted, but I honestly think that a little piece of you wonders what it would be like to be saved. I tell you that it's wonderful and that I hope it happens to you soon. :)

Leah said...

It's a great question, but have you ever thought about why people don't believe in God?

It comes down to a person examining the claims of Christ. Did He really die on the cross to save us from our sins and resurrect to guarantee us eternal life or can we find God in some other way?

I believe that God sent His Only
Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins. I believe that we are all sinners. We have all lied, cheated, thought things we shouldn't, and we still do. But God took the punishment that we deserve for sin upon Himself when He died on the cross. I prayed to ask Jesus to be my Savior and by faith received the gift of salvation.

It doesn't stop there. That is why I believe in a relationship, not a religion. I believe that Bible Study and prayer is the key to a close relationship with Jesus. He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible, and hears our prayers. Although He doesn't always answer our prayers the way we want Him to, I believe that God knows what is best for my life and He sees the BIG picture.

I would encourage you to read the Bible. It tells us why we should believe in God. He's our Creator, our Savior, our Provider. Start in the book of John. There is a great online Bible you can read at www.youversion.com

I'd enjoy hearing back from you.
You can get my email on my blog. :)

Hannah Grace said...

Wow I think its very cool that even though you don't believe in God you are open enough to try and understand other people's perspective.

This is a big question but I will try to answer the best I can. I believe in God for a lot of reasons...I believe in God because #1 I have experienced him in such a personal way that I just know.
But I have lots of other more logical reasons for believing in God.
#2 When I look out at the complexity's of the universe I have to believe that they were created and not made by random chance.
#3 I look at all the people on planet earth and I see the way that we chase after relationships with others. This makes no sense without a God. Relationships have a potential to hurt us so why would we chase them unless we have somehow been designed for relationships?
#4 The concepts of right and wrong of morals have no basis without a God. If there is no God, and no Creator. If we all ended up here by random chance, why do humans follow a moral code? It would make much more sense to follow natural selection and fight to be the top not stopping to consider "morals".

These are just a few of the reasons I have chosen to believe in a God, actually I dont just believe in a God but the God of the Bible, Jesus Christ. I know you said you are not looking to be converted but I just wanted to share with you that we can never prove %100 that there is a God but there is enough evidence available to give us a solid foundation for our faith. I encourage you to look for the evidence because no matter how happy you are now, I can tell you from experience that a life with God is even better!

This has been interesting, what a creative idea for a post :)

btw I love your layout for your blog..so cute!

Allie Garcia said...

becca- i love the feedback you got on this post, and i am in the process of writing my own blog in response. i love seeing so much honesty in one place.

Amanda said...

Very thought provoking question.

Well, a side from just having to have faith, there have been many times that things worked out or fit together too well to be anything but God.

Also, just creation in general. This world is so intricate and complex, too complex for it to have been an accident or a result from a "Big Bang." It's funny to me that people believe in the Big Bang. Supposedly there is no universe, no nothing - NOTHING and then BANG, out of no where all this "stuff" blows out and forms planets, stars, life. Boy that is a stretch! LOL

SMiLE ~ JESUS LOVES YOU said...

WELL, I just saw this topic and thought i'd add in my two cents worth! :) I am a Christian and very proud of it. But I have been on both sides of life. I was raised in Church all my life but it was never real to me. Just something my parents did i guess.So I stopped believing for awhile and went out into the world and lived it up and realized that it really wasn't all it had been said out to be. But I had an actual encounter with God afterwards and it was personal and my life has been completely changed by Him. I am satisfied. As far as believing in God i think that the evidence of Him is the creation of the world and that is our proof but I guess it all comes down to really having faith! be blessed truly!

Just Caz said...

I don't know what I believe in.
Though my parents were of "faith" at a young age.. there lives left them beliving in not much of anything.

So I never grew up with a strong relgious influence at all. Not knowing much.

When I was 14.. I attended a relgious camp to meet some friends of mine from the internet.. We did ALL sorts of things, some of which were prayer sections, and hmm I cant really call what they were named... but definatly services... and other camp type activies.

One night during a prayer session.. attended by hundred of people.. I was signaled out by the leader at the time.. he was kinda a young hip guy.. and he put his hand on my shoulder and he just said something like "I can feel you" I can feel your pain and I want you to know that if you let the lord into your life, he will help heal the hole in your heart.

By this stage I am crying hystercally and I'm almost on the ground because I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me.. And I can barley stand.. And I felt like this light.. its sooo strange.. In that second when I embrased god.. I felt a peice come over me.

Even AFTER that experience.. I never truly embrased god.. not like I should have I dont think.
But I have felt more at peace...
hmmm I dunno

its something to ponder I guess.
But its amazing the faith that everyone has in there god.. who ever that might be.


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