Sarah had asked me “What keeps you from believing?” (can’t remember the exact wording). I responded with the facts that I didn’t grow up in the church, I never went to church except for a few times, God just did not exist anywhere in my life. Not at home, not outside of home, not at school. How was I supposed to believe in something I knew nothing about? The advantage for the disciples was that they were all Jewish. So they were already halfway there to believing in Jesus right? The advantage to a lot of Christians is that they are born and raised in the church where everything is engrained into their tiny little brains before they can even make their own decisions on the matter.
So how does a non-believer begin believing?
From what I understand, reading the bible and praying are probably a few of the most important aspects of developing a relationship with God and probably a good place for non-believers to begin on their journey. These are two of the things I do least. I know that I don’t read the bible nearly as much as I should (I never read the bible if I don’t have to, I find it really boring) and I don’t pray because I feel like I’m some crazy person talking to myself, or the ceiling. These are also things, in my opinion, that do not help rid any doubt. It doesn’t prove the existence of God. Instead, it just feels like a waste of time.
I have been going to church for 5 years and I still don’t believe. Sometimes I think that it’s impossible for me to believe in God. I attend church, I attend church events, participate in church activities, and I volunteer on various teams at church. I have attended several classes devoted to understanding various books of the bible and I even took a hermeneutics class that teaches on how to interpret the bible. I feel like I put in more effort than a lot of people that attend church. I do all of these things. And for what? Doing these things hasn’t helped me believe any more than I did before coming to church. I’ve met people, I know a bit more about the bible, and the church relies on my help. That’s it.
There isn’t a real, physical Jesus walking around on earth at the moment. In our podcast on Thomas, Sean talked about how people say that if they can just see Jesus, they might believe in Him. I say this to myself a lot. If I could see him, touch him, talk to him, that would confirm the existence of God right? Sean argues with me that I have faith every time I sit down on a chair. I can see the chair. I can touch the chair. I can sit on the chair. I’ve been doing this my whole life. I am pretty sure that as an observant human being, chairs are going to do their job reliably. If I do have doubt in a chair, it’s because I can see that it has a wobbly leg or it looks a little crooked. All things that I can physically see. I cannot do this with God.
I’ve seen testimonies, witnessed “healings”, heard about miracles. But these are all things that are easily fabricated. Everything about religion is all easily fabricated. What’s real and what’s not real? I just want to give up. It’s frustrating.