- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
Why I believe in Jesus
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
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
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"
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)
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?
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!
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!