I was, perhaps, 9. Resplendent in an old curtain re-purposed as a robe and held in place by a large broach of my mother’s. A homemade helmet and sword completed the costume as I marched purposefully down the left aisle of St Mary’s church. The young people were performing a play about the crucifixion of Christ. I forget the name of the play, but am told by my mother that it was called “the thorn”. I was cast as the centurion—and I threw myself into my part with gusto!
This is one of my earliest memories of what going to church was like.
Many people live in a kind of no-man’s land, they struggle to believe that the events recorded in the Bible actually happened, yet are unwilling to completely dismiss them as fictional stories—just in case. This was not my experience, I love church. I believe. I always have. I have no memory of ever doubting the truth of the gospel. I often joke that I was so orthodox in my faith that I believed in the virgin birth before I knew what a virgin was!
Does this mean my faith is illegitimate? Does the fact that I cannot remember a time that I questioned my faith mean that it isn’t effective? That it somehow means the gospel is untrue?
Does my personal belief (or yours for that matter) somehow either give weight to, or de-legitimise it’s truth?
- Does God’s existence somehow stand or fall on people’s belief?
- Does my belief in God, Jesus, and the message of the gospel somehow make it true?
- Does my brother’s unbelief somehow wipe God out? Or make the message of the Gospel untrue?
Despite the mantra of the age, truth is not defined by personal opinion or ‘lived experience’. Neither the presence nor the absence of faith impacts the existence of God. The truth is that either:
- God exists and the message of the Gospel is true, or
- He doesn’t, and it’s all just a load of rubbish.
All we have to do is consider the evidence and make our choice.