Last week I gave you my thoughts on the Holy Book of Christianity. I’m sure I looked like a red hot liberal because I couldn’t affirm that I believe the Bible is infallible.
Belief, for Christians, is huge. Especially in modern times with our emphasis on the Romans Road and using tracts to get people to believe (and therefore get into heaven).
But the more we squabble over all the things Christians should believe and emphasize belief to be saved saved the more I’ve begun to wonder if we even choose our beliefs… Can you help your beliefs? Do you control what you believe? These are serious questions; we list what people should believe but is that something they even have a conscious choice over?
It’s not so cut and dry.
Why would you hold something you don’t trust to be true? Why would you believe something that is irrational or full of holes? That would be ridiculous, and if someone would then I’d be inclined to doubt that it could even be considered belief!
Imagine asking a Christian when they chose to believe in the Resurrection. They’d be puzzled – it wasn’t as if one day they picked it from a list because it looked attractive. I don’t think that we select the beliefs we want to be ours out of personal convenience. I cannot easily choose what I want to believe – rather I am compelled. It’s what clicks with me – what makes sense in this time of my life – that which fills in the gaps as best they can be filled. This is gonna sound cliche – I don’t grab onto the belief, in a way it seems to grab me.
Our beliefs change. When I started to move away from my conservative upbringing and began to adopt new beliefs it wasn’t as though I was looking to change them, it just kept happening. Of course I kept progressing and moving and so did my beliefs – but each time I changed my beliefs it was because I had to. I couldn’t keep believing whatever I used to and I could no longer deny whatever position I had moved to. If I were to fight against my new beliefs it would actually be disingenuous.
So maybe we need to calm down on our emphasis on belief. It’s not so simple. So if someone is in disagreement with you don’t assume the worst- they hold that belief because it’s the best one that fits. They don’t believe it simply because it works out the best for them.
Do you think we choose our beliefs? Do you agree it seems like the belief grabs you and not the other way around?