Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Leap of faith

I have always been a Christian, but I have not always believed. I was baptized as a child, and therefore a Christian.

However, as I reached adolescence I ceased to believe in the “fairy tale” of Jesus resurrection. Atheism seemed a much more rational choice.  I enjoyed making fun of other people's foolish faith in God.

And then one night, I had a vision of Jesus and experienced a transformation in my life I could not explain.

The next few days I read the Gospel of Mark and the Acts of the Apostles. In them I met people who seemed to have experienced Jesus in the way I just had. In them I met skeptics and people hostile to the faith who suddenly realized they were wrong.

Over the years since then, while praying to Jesus I have seen people healed immediately, unexplainably of cancer, deformities, and serious illness.  I have seem people experience deep emotional and spiritual healing. I have seen skeptics like me come to faith in Jesus.

The irony is, that despite that encounter I still have to have faith daily.  Even though I have repeatedly experienced the power of Jesus in amazing ways, I still must make the leap to believe every day.

It was years before I realized everyone has to have faith every day. Only our object of belief varies.

The materialist who believes there is no spiritual reality, is dependent upon faith that there is no God.

The pantheist who believes that the universe and all that is in are God, has to take that on faith.

The spiritualist who believes that the material universe is an illusion, must take that leap of faith to get there.

And the person who believes Jesus is who he claims to be, and rose again on the third day, must also take that leap of faith.

I cannot prove Jesus rose from the dead. I used to try. Now I simply testify that I believe the writers of the New Testament to be telling the truth, and tell my story.

After all, if Jesus did rise from the dead he does not need me to prove it.  If he is who he says he is, the universe was made through him and its very existence depends upon him. 

I simply tell what I believe and why, and make myself available to answer the objections and answer the questions. Everyone already has faith. The question is: faith in who or what?

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