A little while ago when I was reading "My Wall", I saw that John B. Abela (@abelajohnb) had posted some very valid questions which could be summarized as follows:
Why do you believe what you believe?
How do you know what you believe is true as opposed to the contrasting view?
In my younger days, I was on the debate team at my school. Debate is not necessarily about truth. It is about who presents a better argument for the point of view which they support. Whose argument is more convincing? Yours or the argument of the opposition?
In that sense, Christianity is not a debate. While We can't merely latch on to whatever sounds good to us and therefore proclaim it as truth. We cannot base what we believe solely upon what our parents or grandparents believed no can we base it on what ...(yes, I will say it) our pastor says, the latest book says or anything like that. While these things can certainly serve to help build/reinforce our beliefs, they cannot and must not be the foundation of them. That position belongs to God and God alone.
My maternal grandmother was a woman of great faith and set a fine example for me. My mother has done the same. However, there came a time when I had to seek God for myself and come to terms with what I believe... and why.
It's an ongoing journey, I believe. One which will not end while I am living in this world. I believe one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit is to teach us what is true and what is not. I believe it is critical for us to continually be asking the Holy Spirit to teach God's Way and to help us to discern truth from deception. I don't care how many degrees the person has behind their name nor how big their church is. It is foolishness to merely sit there and passively absorb what they say.
By the way, I believe a true minister of the Gospel has absolutely no fear of you challenging them by diving into the Word of God yourself to find out if what they are preaching is true. If they are preaching the Truth they will have no fear of it being examined. If they do... perhaps it is time to look for another pastor.
Why do I believe what I believe? This is a question we need to be ask ourselves often. Is it because through prayer as well as study, God has truly revealed it to us, not just through one isolated verse but throughout His Word or is it simply because it sounds good to us or so-and-so preaches it.
Why do you believe what you believe?
Amen sister kreynolds,
We have to many books of man's understandings of God's word and they all seem to conflict with each other in one way or another. The only book we need is the bible. The King James Version, the New King James Version, or the American Standard Version seem to be the most accurate. I have found that the newer versions have included some "gray" areas added by taking words out or adding words into God's word. These "gray" areas allow people to believe the same scriptures in many ways instead of the way it was intended.
About the question "Why do we beleive what we believe", I find that everyone believes what they want to believe. The power of selfishness is almost as great as the power of God's love. People's selfishness will usually have them believe lies instead of God's truth. During the sanctification process to becoming like Christ, we go through a process of removing the lies we believe in and slowly turn to God's truth instead. To do this, we have to die to ourselves as we believe more in God's truth. Actually I find a person has to die to all of their selfishness to believe in all of God's truth. That is why it is said "The truth will set you free". God wants us to be freed from ourselves, and if we actually come to to the point of believing God's whole proclaimed truth, we will have to of died to ourselves to be able to do that.
Why do I believe what I do ? well, because Im right :wink:
Actually though I say that in jest, I really dont have another answer. I take the words of men, I test them against scripture and if they don't line up over and over again, then I walk away from that individual and the nonsense they spout. And believe me there is a lot of nonsense around.
And as a side note, if anyone wants to pick holes in my belief, I take it to Our Father in heaven and I ask that His Spirit sort it out. He is much better at defending his Gospel than I could ever be.
Great question. One we spend far too little time answering. Especially in the younger years, friends and family, are gonna have a big influence. I just assumed that the church I was raised in, was the closest to truth, cause that is what they taught me. I started reading scripture a lot, when I graduated, cause I received a Bible as a graduation gift. I read a lot that bothered me, cause it did not always agree with what I was taught. None of the others seemed to have all the truth cornered either, so I stayed in the same I was raised in. Served in a lot of ways in this denomination, and because of that did not consider anything different.
Things I experienced in life, and how friends and family reacted to them, all of them church people, had a very huge impact on me. 'Where the rubber meets the road', so to speak. All those things I had read that bothered me, I saw that the scripture is always going to reveal the truth, and ignoring those truths do not change anything at all. It is 'canon', it is what we measure by. Not all the man made doctrines out there. If I am wondering about the truth regarding Gods will for me, or what direction to take, I know that scripture will answer the question, but I will have to dig to get the WHOLE truth of it. Too many times we feel God will just drop the answer in our lap, or give an instant answer, and He may, but that answer will never contradict what He has already given us in His word, the scripture. A lot of error comes in like that, a lot..just cause it feels right, or someone says it is... well, scripture is what we measure by, and we should use the whole of it. One small example, I once knew one who used the words 'happy is the man who does not condemn himself in what he allows' (paraphrased), to excuse himself in doing some immoral sins scripture says a christian does not practice, and enter the kingdom. Well, obviously he did not use the whole of scripture there, just what scripture he wanted to use. There is a lot of that.
Anyhow, that is my short input. This would take a while K . God Bless.
A good question, and each answer given here may be more revealing than the authors post.
I would like to ask first, does everyone understand how much gray area is in scripture when it comes to daily living?
And in determining what scripture does say accurately and honestly of Doctrinal issues it is hard (almost impossible for some) to remove and set aside ones own experiences and prejudices.
Often the answer to the question "why do I believe what I do?" Is enfolded more than we want to admit (not picking on anyone but a small example is present in the three above answers) with those prejudices and biases and mine when and if I give one would be just as shaded.
Personal example: I have an awful relationship with my Father that has and does cause me great trouble in knowing and understanding God as a Father. This can and has influenced how I read and understand certain passages of scripture but has also caused me to research and study scripture on this subject over and over with much self-examination. So to answer the question on a specific teaching of God as Father would require me to keep a very close check on my own negative emotions and experiences.
Another thought is sometimes I need to believe what I believe because it is what I need at the time. The problem here is it can cause a lack of growth if I get stuck. Ergo, we are told to check ourselves that we are true in the faith, this is a wide open statement covering much ground and depth.
In a debate many valid and correct points are made from both sides, my opinion, it would be a mistake not to carefully weigh and measure each and everyone.
So why do I believe what I believe?
Because at the present time it is all the wisdom I have to understand and know of what God has given me to know and understand. And I know there is much more to learn, growth is key in our spiritual walk.
It is impossible to ignore the fact that our cultural and personal biases come into play. I remember a conversation I had with Joyce Bethy Ferguson (@Bethy), who lives in the UK, in regards to royalty. As someone who does not live in a monarchy, I have a much more limited understanding of the term "king" than someone who lives in a country which has a king or a queen. In all honesty, culturally as an American, we've basically been taught that to be under any leader who has not been elected by the people is a bad thing. I'm not voicing an opinion here, I'm just stating the facts. We fought a revolution to free ourselves from the rule of a king and set up a government which has term limits on the president. As a result, Americans, for example, have a rather poor grasp of the concept of "king" or "lord".
As Bethy shared with me some of the customs and etiquette in regards to royalty, I could not help but gain a deeper understanding of what our relationship with Jesus Christ should be in regards to Lordship.
[quote]So why do I believe what I believe?
Because at the present time it is all the wisdom I have to understand and know of what God has given me to know and understand. And I know there is much more to learn, growth is key in our spiritual walk. [/quote]. I think understanding that there is much more to learn and that growth is key to our spiritual walk is true. I think we must always realize this is a growing process which will continue, at least, for as long as we live in this world. Actually, I think we will continue to learn throughout eternity for I absolutely love to learn... don't you?
What a strange child I must have been ... when I was nine we were learning the doctrines that our denomination taught. They were all listed in a book called something like The Doctrines of our church. Each week our teacher would go through a few of these with us. While most were obviously taken straight from scripture, some were rewritten so much that I actually started questioning "Why do we believe that's true?" My teacher was not so very smitten with the idea of my questioning such a thing.
And yet, she was not so very different from most of the pastors I seem to have had over the course of the last twenty years either.
"Why do you believe what you believe?" is a question that is best answered by each person. What I find truly amazing and what I love to do is talk to other people about this very thing. Understanding why people believe what they believe provides amazing insight into their lives ... and thus into a means of ministering to them.