Sunday, 31 July 2011

Why believe in God?

  I was alerted to Stephen Fry's tweet about arguments for and against belief in God today by a friend, Doc.  It linked to two articles from New Statesman, a British current affairs and politics magazine, which included many public figures' comments on their belief in God or not.

  Both articles are of course biased (as you'd expect from a group of God-believers asked why believe and a group of athiests asked why not) and, for me, neither is really conclusive. Some of the arguments for are very emotional and wishy-washy and some of the arguments against are arrogant and unfounded but it makes interesting reading for anyone interested.  However, I thought I'd add my two-pence in.

  I see the arguments for both sides but I am coming increasingly annoyed by the question "do you believe in God" because it is really vague.  For me, the question is not merely about collecting evidence and figuring out which side wins, putting 'belief' into that argument.  The existence of the Bible and the historical accuracy that an overwhelming amount of scholars give it poses a much bigger question: if Jesus lived, was crucified injustly and then rose again to ascend to heaven, what he had to say is incredibly important.  The existence of Jesus and what he said and did shows that there is a God and the world changing movement he started (that is still growing today) gives it even more validity.

  The God that Jesus spoke about (and indeed was) isn't a crutch, it isn't the hopeful imagination of weak-minded people but the Creator and the Ruler of the Universe who will judge all of Creation.  The phrase "God is love" can be used in a very ineffective way but it is this love that caused the universe to come into existence and the same love is the reason Jesus offers eternal life in union with God.  It's the reaction to this that, ultimately, makes the difference.

  It's because of Jesus that I have a belief in God; without him, everything is up for grabs.  You need to accept or reject him before any concept of God can come into it.