ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • The Role of Religion in History & Society

Why I believe in Jesus

Updated on February 27, 2016
lawrence01 profile image

Loving God and loving mankind is an important part of who I am, in these hubs we explore what it's like to really follow Jesus.

Beginnings

There's quite a bit of discussion here on hubpages about why some people grow up to be 'religious' (or as I like to say and will for the rest of the hub 'Having faith') and others seem to discard the whole notion. Personally I'm not sure why they do but thought that the best way for me to express my views is to tell you a little more of my own story.

Anyone who's read my hubs will tell you that I'm a strong believer in the Bible and in Christ, some might be saying that it's the way I was brought up, you'd be wrong as I wasn't brought up to be 'religious' as such.

Dad wasn't a big 'church goer' at all! We (us three kids) were baptized as infants in the Church of England and went to 'sunday school' from about the age of five but I hated it as it was boring to say the least! As soon as I could I left it at about ten and knowing what I wanted I joined the Army Cadets wanting to go into the Army as soon as I was old enough.

Maybe it was the stories Dad used to tell of his time in the Army (he was in during the 1950s and served in the Middle East) I don't know, but I know I wanted to be like him! Grandad had also served in the Middle East in WW2 but he never talked about it and never told me what he went through, one thing he did show though (he didn't need to tell us) was whatever he'd seen had totally turned him right off God and he wanted nothing to do with religion in any form! He'd spent five years on active service, fought through at least five campaigns delivering suppies and ammunition to the front line troops and never talked about it.

All Grandad ever said about his war service was watching the movies he simply said "The Germans weren't that stupid, it was nothing like the movies say!"

One thing I do remember about Grandad was he had a belt that had been taken off a dead German soldier in North Africa that said "Gott Mitt Uns" on the buckle (God with us) and all he would say was "How the hell can God be with both sides?" for him it was enough to show that they'd been lied to by the church and maybe even by God!

A personal story

Source

Everything has a purpose!

I still remember an argument I had with my Biology teacher in class when she was telling me that evolution was true, that we evolved from apes and the proof of it was the 'vestiges' of evolution that we have that serve no purpose in Humans but do in creatures 'lower down' the evolutionary scale.

She'd used the example of the Appendix that at the time seemed to have no purpose in Humans but was known to help with certain functions like regulating blood pressure in Rabbits and some rodents, she said it was proof of evolution and pretty much in front of the whole class I basically told her 'respectfully' that she was talking rubbish and it would serve a purpose otherwise there would be no point having one!

I wasn't a believer at this point, though I did believe in God! that was about all I believed in, I had decided to study Religious studies at school but the teacher was pretty liberal and openly told us he was an agnostic, he taught the class with the idea that people should be open to the possiblilty that it might or might not be true! that was fine with me as it meant I got to do the research myself and make my own mind up!

One thing that Dad had taught us kids growing up was to 'think for ourselves' and the one truth he told me (he knew I wanted to join the Army) was "There are no atheists in foxholes!"

I asked him about that and he said, "When the S#@t's flying and you're running for cover hoping you're gonna get out alive, I don't care whether you said there's no God before that, YOU'LL PRAY!!!" And I'll be truthful I've seen it many times over the years, men and women who gave no regard to God when it happened screamed out for help!

I've never been one to live a double standard. One record that Dad used to play when I was a Kid was Johnny Cash "The Old account"

Actually writing this hub I realize this song probably had more influence shaping me than I ever realized at the time, Have a listen and think a little

Join in the song

Facing horror

One of the most harrowing memories I have as a teenager was a visit to Germany, I was there for ten days seeing the Army and seeing what they did, I got the chance to stand right on the border of the 'iron curtain' a fearsome fortification that still staggers the mind, it was twenty miles deep in places and filled with landmines, trip wires, electrified fences and watchtowers everywhere, all to stop those in the east getting out!

Another part that you could see was the old 'DEATH CAMPS' that the Germans had run, if you ever want to see just how good man really is under all the fluff then try to say that man is basically a good creature standing in the middle of Bergen Belsen surrounded by burial mounds that we just don't know how many are buried there (every so often more human remains are still dug up some seventy years after the event.

I'll be honest, this alone would be enough to put most folks off ever wanting to believe in God, but for me I saw man was the real problem! He was the one who wanted to exterminate other men! There was a phrase that kept coming to me at the time and has stayed with me ever since "All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing!"

What to do about horror

"All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing"

G.K. Chesterton

Facing reality

Standing there as a fifteen year old, at the commemorative wall built on the foundations where the ovens that incinerated the bodies of the freshly killed victims of man's desire to 'get rid of the undesireables' (not just Jews, but Slavs, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Germans who stood against the regime and even the intellectually challenged met their end in such places) seeing grown and hardened men break down and cry seeing the atrocities that their fathers perpetrated (The 'de-nazification programme the Germans went through was thorough!) and realizing that the only thing that stopped this madness engulfing the whole Earth was that one man knew what was going on and stood against it, no one believed him and he wasn't religious as such but it was his faith in the God of the Bible that forced him to stand and MAKE IT COUNT that changed everything.

Most people say God was silent in that time, but most people haven't stood where I stood and realized that God was screaming at mankind at the time, but almost no one was listening.
At the time I didn't know that and it's only in the last few years I've realized that God can be literally screamnig his head off at men and they just don't listen

1) Why else would a 'washed up' politician with serious battles with depression go out of his way to build an intelligence network and know about the Death Camps almost at the same time they started (Churchill warned the world as early as 1934 that Hitler was going to persecute the Jews!)

2) Why else would an ardent and confirmed pacifist (Albert Einstein) personally lobby the President of the United States well before the start of WW2 to beging building the most terrifying weapon that man has ever (and hopefully will ever) used, THE ATOMIC BOMB!

See the reality is that often behind the scenes God has already been at work changing and mobilizing people so that the evil can be stopped, the question is HAVE WE THE GUTS TO DO WHAT WE NEED TO?

What was it like? (the original report from the Camp)

Moving on

I really came to 'faith' in the Army and that is going to sound weird to a lot of folks but the facts were the Armed forces was where I finally had to start thinking about what I might or might not believe!

1982 My unit deployed to Northern Ireland, a place where two sides both claiming to be 'Christian' and both seemingly trying to kill each other!

We weren't going to be 'on the front line' as we were a Helicopter squadron but due to the fact there was a possibility that we might end up doing street patrols it meant we had to do the 'full workup' and that meant four months intensive training for a four month deployment!

One of the first tings you learned in training was that the whole thing wasn't about religion so much as the right to vote! Protestants had the right to vote where Catholics didn't! They simply wanted the same privilege!

One other thing we learned was it was actually the catholic folks who welcomed the soldiers when they first arrived in the late 1960s (they don't tell you that on the TV!)

For me, I started thinking 'How can you this be? Jesus taught that we should love our neighbor and pray for those that persecute us (not kill them!) yet here they were, supposed followers of his killing each other'

To me, it wasn't the teaching that was wrong but somewhere the teaching and the teachers have somehow 'disconnected' and they've got it seriously wrong! In fact if they actually followed what Jesus had said (both sides) then the problem would never have happened!

This song was banned by the BBC

What the heck?

By now you're probably wondering where the heck I'm going with all this? I'm letting you in to a little bit of why I became a believer in Christ, I didn't grow up into it, Mum and Dad weren't religious at all and no amount of psychoanalysis can explain it as I was actually going against the trend and I was thinking for myself in the decisions that were made!

Thirty years on Jesus and I are still walking together and still talking on an almost daily basis, there's a lot more to write (some of which you'll find in my hub 'Iraq the Kurds and a Personal tale' but one thing you can't say is that Christians don't think for themselves as for the last fifty years it's the believers who have had to think for themselves as the world has told them repeatedly that 'God doesn't exist' But I want to challenge you to stop and think about what you really believe, and on top of that remember we are all individuals!

What about you?

Why do you believe or not?
Why do you believe or not?

Just a little glimpse

On thing Dad taught me was to think for myself and my walk Jesus has been one of 'thinking for myself' as it's involved going against the trend and actually standing for something different to that everyone else around me stood for!

This a a hub that just starts to explain a little of why I follow Jesus and have for the last thirty years, it doesn't show the adventure that it has been since (and it's gotten pretty wild at times) but it's just a glimpse into why some of us choose to follow Jesus.

the truth is that we are are all individuals.

This wasn't the hub I intended to write today, or any day for that matter, but when I sat at the computer I came across a comment that kind of made me see a bit of the proverbial 'red' and as much as I enjoy joining in the debates between Atheists and Theists it mad me realize just how wrong we can get people, just how far off the mark we can be in trying to fit them all into the one 'box' just so we can know how to cope with them!

I've joined in an learned so much about even my own faith by engaging in debate and actually reading what they write in reply,and I hope to learn more, but always remember that no matter what I think we are all individuals! I wrote this hub because I know i don't fit the 'mould' that some want to put believers in....WE DON'T FIT!!

These are a few of the things that have shaped my faith.

By the way I was originally going to piece together my hub on the Ontological argument for the existence of God, but that'll have to wait until the muse lets back into the chair!

Lawrence


One more thing

The song by Harvey Andrews is well worth listening to, it's a song that every soldier who served in Ireland knows every word to (despite the fact it was banned by the BBC as it affected the Army's recruitment numbers, at least that's what we were told)

.
Have a listen because it's a true story!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 6 months ago

      Wonderful story of your experience as always I enjoy your expresssion and heartfelt truth that you feel. What I can relate to in your Hub is having to think my own choice out as what is the truth and what is my path.

      We are not alone when we desire and ask for it from our Heavenly Father. If we never sincerely ask from the heart we will miss the invite to the truth.

      I personally will tell you that you speak the truth we are not all raised to follow the paths of our parent's choice in religion .I was in a Baptist home. Then next I was put in private seventh day Advent until high school.

      But then as you have mention there were to many double standards. More doctrins practices then what Jesus instructed us really to do in his behalf.

      I studied and I am and will always be his student.

      We can never or will we ever know it all .the things of our Heavenly Father.

      But we will have eternity right along with him to learn as he teaches us.

      Yes at present we live in a small window of time as a miracle , that is 1 out of 400 trillion we beat the odds.

      That also means that we are very special to the Heavenly Father so much . Jesus paid a value for us.

      As a 1 Prince of his Father he was that valuble that he could buy generations of humans life . No sinful imperfect human could pay since they needed some one to pay for themself.

      The whole truth is we have the real life beyond the scene we have present . Jesus paid dearly for it.

      If humans can not or will not try to understand that gift .then they

      can lose this one time gift of eternity.

      Thank you Lawrence for your wonderful hub !

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 6 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      MsDora

      Thank you for the kind words.

      Lawrence

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for sharing your testimony of accepting and walking with Jesus. He does not expect us to explain Him, but to trust Him. You inspire me to do just that.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 20 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Besarien

      Sorry I haven't replied to you earlier, the hub wasn't easy to write but at the same time I think I needed to write it and show a little of the journey it's been.

      I can identify with you about not always being able to put some things into words, sime things are personal and while they shape who we are the folks that need to know about them don't need words, they just know!

      Glad the hub spoke to you.

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 20 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Laurie

      I'll admit that at the time I was a bit frustrated that as a believer it felt like people were 'pigeonholing' if you know what I mean and it was a bit of "throw away those molds 'cos we don't fit!"

      Having said that it's been really good to see the response from both believers and non believers and the way we're starting to see individuals and love them for who they are.

      Really glad this hub spoke to you.

      Lawrence

    • LaurieNunley517 profile image

      LaurieNunley517 20 months ago from Deep South

      Thank you for sharing how you came to have faith. You are right that it is personal and so many of us (Believers) are hesitant now to share our belief in Christ for fear of accusations of being intolerant or whatnot. We are instructed to have an answer for those who ask...a ready and loving reply of our belief. You have done that well and I need to spend time in prayer over this. We do need to think about why we believe what we do. Thank you for reminding us of this.

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 20 months ago

      Hi Lawrence! I really enjoyed reading about the many elements from your life that helped shape your belief. I imagine this wasn't an easy hub to write. Certainly don't think I could write about all the moments that lead to my Christian faith as competently as you have here. A lot of it- I doubt I could put into words! Thank you for sharing your very inspirational personal journey and all the photos and associated stories, too. The blessings of the new year to you and yours, Besarien

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Deb.

      I'd agree that many would. This is a bit about my journey and why I come over the way I do at times. Mum used to have a saying when we were kids "It takes all sorts to make up a world!"

      For me, my walk with Jesus has been an adventure, one that's taken me to some strange places and meant I've crossed continents just following and trying to figure out what he's asked me to do. I suppose part of what I'm trying to show is that the Christian life can be full of surprises.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 22 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I would think in the hour of desperation, that just about anyone will ask for one last hope and plead that the right person is listening...

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Shirley

      Wow! At the time I don't think I realized the impact the hub would have! I was just putting some thoughts down with some of my story.

      I agree what you say about the writers here, we may not always agree with each other but we still leatn from each other.

      People have told me I should write a book about my story, maybe some more of it would make a few hubs, we'll see

      Lawrence

    • ShirleyJCJohnson profile image

      Shirley Johnson 23 months ago from Sallisaw, OK

      Building on what you said to JK, Lawrence, not to add an unsolicited words or advice...the writer at this site are, for the most part, pretty awesome. But, what makes us all, as a whole group, awesome is that we all take away from any unspecified hub what we need to take away from it; conviction, memories, laughter, et cetera. Not one write on here is a writer based on his or her needs, he or she is further propelled by the want and need of not only the reader, but other writers as well. I think I've read this particular hub about five times already. I keep thinking I missed something; and, each time I read it, I do bring out something different.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      JK

      Thanks for the visit. I've been pretty stunned (and humbled) as to how this hub has been recieved. We all have a story to tell and all we can do is tell the story to those who'll listen.

      I'd encourage you to tell the story, but make sure what you write is what you're comfortable writing about (Some things are deeply personal and you should make sure you are happy for the world to know about them before writing and regretting later).

      One thing I will say is you'll find some awesome writers here on HP from whom to learn.

      I'm thrilled the Hub spoke to you the way it did!

      Lawrence

    • jksouthard profile image

      JK Southard 23 months ago from USA

      I have a cousin who lives in Hawkes Bay... just shows we are all connected in some way. Your great hub/story felt so good I think I'll give it try. You embolden me. Thanks.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Larry

      It's awesome that we can come from different places, different walks of life, different outlooks on life yet we can enjoy each other's stories and learn from each other.

      Really glad you enjoyed the hub.

      Lawrence

    • jksouthard profile image

      JK Southard 23 months ago from USA

      Amazing how different we all are, yet come together at the top of the mountain via different paths. Thanks be to those who came before us and cared. Our challenge is to care for each other now for in doing so, we care for those who come after us. And, thank you for your stories, all.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 23 months ago from Oklahoma

      I always enjoy learning about other people's belief systems.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Damien

      Thanks for the visit and I agree with you that faith is personal. We each have a walk with Jesus that is very personal and dear to our hearts.

      Glad the hub spoke to you.

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Kiss and Tales

      I like your interpretation of how God must see the way we sometimes fight with each other, there are times I think when it's right for Christians to stand up and 'be counted' but almost never when it's in the persons own interest, then again that's my own thoughts!

      I'd also agree with what you say about the way we're 'conditioning' our kids to live with violence.

      Think on the last words of Harvey Andrews song.

      "Will the children, learn at their mother's knees

      The story of the soldier who bought their liberty

      Who gave his youtful body as a means towards an end.

      To save those who called him Murderer not friend!"

      Sorry it sounds morbid but those words have been with me since my time in the Army, and they're the ultimate picture of Jesus' love for us!

      So glad you enjoyed the hub

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Shirley

      Nice to see you here on the hub. I'm really glad you enjoyed the hub and could see what I was seeking to do, I think God gets a lot of blame for things that are our own making and if we'd just listen to him and his word then those things would never have happened.

      Those of us who've seen places like Bergen Belsen, Dachau and Auschwitz have a responsibility to tell what we saw and make sure that as the generation that fought to bring these places down pass away their sacrifice and dedication is not lost as men try to re-write history.

      If anything this hub is about standing up for what you truly believe in and living a life that's consistent with what Jesus stands for.

      Lawrence

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 23 months ago from Naples

      Lawrence... Great hub! Belief always comes down to the individual. A special thank you to anyone in our services for they are the reason we can worship in the first place. My dad was in WWII and my son in Afghanistan. Blessings to your family for their service. Once again I believe faith to be so very personal. I was saved at 17 yet it sure I knew the Lord as well as I could have. Many times I have calledonHim in my time of need. I am not sure how fair that is. Last November I was diagnosed with MS and once again He is with me every step of the way. As you know my Hub is always about my faith. God does not need a sinner like me defending Him. History however does tell usually that we need to know. I will be writing a Hub in the near future directed at the doubters asking them exactly what they do with Pontius Pilate? He cannot find any fault with Jesus and he washes his hands of the whole thing. It is where we get that expression. Lawrence, I will say to you what I Tell many people at church .... Keep doing what you are doing. Someday God will say, "well done." Blessings to you.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Tamarajo

      Glad you enjoyed the hub, hope it encouraged you to "keep thinking differently"

      I can identify with you in what God sometimes thinks about our questions, there have been times when people have said that to me.

      Jesus said we are to be "Salt and Light". To me that means getting our hands dirty and getting "out there" to where the folks are hurting and literally being his hands and feet to heal the sick and raise the "Dead".

      I heard one missionary once say that just saying "Jesus loves you" means nothing to someone who's never known him (she was working with the Drug addicts in Hong Kong in the 1960s) sometimes you literally have to become 'Jesus' to them!

      Or as St Francis once said "Preach the gospel all the time, and where necessary use words!" (that's a favorite of mine)

      God bless

      Lawrence

      By the way I also use the smartphone a lot, but I've no excuse this morning as I'm on the computer!

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Soinds like your Dad and mine had the same teacher in that respect! Combat teaches that kind of thing!

      Grandad never talked about his experiences, but he did tell me he was angry at God and that's why he never talked to him!

      I have to admit I was somewhat frustrated when I started this hub as folks keep telling me it was because I was raised a certain way that I believe what I do but we are given the ability to think fir ourselves and that's what I hope the hub shows! We can discuss and try to understand but in the end we all choose what to believe!

      Glad you enjoyed the hub

      Lawrence

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 23 months ago

      Apologies for the grammar and spelling errors in my comment. I was using my phone.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 23 months ago

      Great hub Lawrence , I so appreciate your contribution heart and soul to the subject of believing in Jesus,

      Very true , we can relate in history how both sides can be religious and very much believe in God, and both sides will pray to the same God to win the battle, but no ones wins if any life is lost, both sides are human with families and friends that love them dearly,

      That is like saying you have two children that are teens , they get in a fight and the parents watch , would they say fight till your death?, nore would the give you a weapon to end the dispute.

      God does not work in this manor nore does he bless these wars.

      ut is Wonderful that you Reconize the truth of reality.

      Can anyone rejoice over any loss of life ?

      But I will also have to admit what are people doing about future citizens of their owb families, people are being program to be violent through the entertainment fields and media .there was a time when violence was sensored now anything goes and is popular.

      People do not take the time to see what is the effect on their young children's minds

      The learning period of good and innocent

      Is being replaced by violence and sex.

      There is a whole New breed of a society that will reflect these subjects.

      The thing is those that do trust in God will not be disappointed, but those who ignore

      Will and believe man will solve all problems are looking at the future of children born and bread on violence, sex, disobedience to Authority, how can or will anyone survive with no respectful of Authority. At lease learning about God was a beginning, but too late after this window closes .

    • ShirleyJCJohnson profile image

      Shirley Johnson 23 months ago from Sallisaw, OK

      This was awesome! Not only because I'm a Believer; but, that the voice of Believers is being heard, even if only in written form. I'd like to take you to a point in time in 1984, when I thirteen years old...

      My family took a very long vacation (several weeks) as my mother's parents had come to Germany, where my dad was stationed as an Army soldier. During this time, we visited Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, and Dachau. I'm only thirteen at the time, mind you. And being that young, standing on the one foundation of what had been a barracks for camp inmates, standing in front of a man sized crematorium oven, standing under a gate that state "Arbeit mach frei." made for one terrific humbling in heart, soul, and mind. "May we never forget" is not just a statement to be utter on Yom HaZirkaron (the Day of Remembrance), and it's not just a statement to make as a corporate body of people on this planet; it's a statement that goes to our very hearts...may we never forget we were once lost; but, praise God, we are now found.

      Excellent piece, my friend, excellent piece.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 23 months ago

      I really enjoyed your testimony. I see things as you do. While most blame God for trial and tragedy I tend to view it as a human problem rather than a God problem. When people ask "How could God let that happen" my thought is its probably the same God asks if us as his ambassadors on the earth "How could we let that hapoen"

      God bless!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I always enjoy reading the thoughts and beliefs of others. I always go back to something my dad, a WWII vet, told me: "There are no atheists in a foxhole.) :)

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Adam

      Glad it made you think! I have to admit that earlier when I wrote the hub I was a bit frustrated at some comments I saw on another hub and that's what made me write the hub.

      I'd agree that only turning to God in times of desperation isn't the best of situations and it would be better if we did it also in times when things were better, dad was all about consistency, by the way he didn't actually come to faith until long after I did!

      Lawrence

    • Adam Harkus profile image

      Adam Harkus 23 months ago from North Shields, United Kingdom

      Great hub, really made me think. Your Dad was right as I myself have prayed in times of desperation. But I beleive thats the point. People turn to religion in times of desperation, and that isnt healthy. Indeed, most of the troubles in the world today stem from conflicting religious beliefs.