Believing Doesn’t make it true. When I first became a Christian, I had no idea what I had just gotten myself into. While I had become convinced of the truth of Christianity, I didn’t know what it meant to be a Christian. I also had several misconceptions about what Christians ought to think or believe. And I was also confused on how my beliefs were justified.
Early on, and still to this day, I would hear people utter the phrase “The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it”. I understand the sentiment behind this saying. I too believe what the Bible says. But I think the people using this saying are missing something.
I often ask people who say this to respond to the following statement. “The Book of Mormon says it, I believe it, and that settles it.” What is the difference between the two statements? None. Both are relying solely on belief to create proof that their argument is sound.
Belief Doesn’t Equal Truth
We’ve talk in the past about how our beliefs don’t make things true. A good example of this is believers in a flat earth. The earth is either a sphere, or it is flat. Even if you truly believe that the earth is flat, that doesn’t make it so. And more importantly, the earth doesn’t change shape depending on what an individual believes.
This seems like an easy concept to grasp. And for the most part, people will agree that the physical world doesn’t change based on what we believe. Where people tend to get confused is when we apply the same concept to spiritual matters.
Does Belief Change Reality?
In the past I’ve used the concept of hell to make this point. Many people don’t like the idea of hell. I had a co-worker that told me that they couldn’t believe in Christianity because they had a relative that died who wasn’t a Christian. My friend was sure that if Christianity were true that their relative would be in hell. They thought that if they didn’t believe in Christianity, their relative could avoid hell.
Now, I have no idea where my co-workers relative is spending eternity. But I do know that trying to avoid hell by simply not believing in it is like trying to fly by not believing in gravity. Hell either exists or it doesn’t. What we believe about it is inconsequential.
Proof vs. Evidence
I often get questions on what the best argument for the existence of God is. That’s and extraordinarily difficult question to answer. The reason it’s hard to answer isn’t because there’s a lack of evidence. The problem is knowing which argument for God’s existence will appeal to the person we are conversing with.
This is why I never tell people that I can prove God exists. I can make a reasoned argument and offer evidence for my point of view. But evidence that proves a point to one person can be completely unconvincing to another. Proof is a very high bar to reach.
I’ve come to realize that many of the things I used to believe are false. Some people may find that scary, but I find it liberating. Admitting when you’re wrong and changing your view accordingly is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. As Christians, we have the truth on our side. We just need to make sure we are communicating this truth in its proper context. Christianity isn’t true because we believe it. It’s true because the evidence shows it to be true.
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