Why I believe
I have always loved science and math. And I have always been entranced by the beauty in nature and in the night skies. I was raised Catholic and to believe in God from the cradle. Now I consider myself a Christian saved by grace offered as a gift by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As an engineer I study cause and effect. Output is based on input. When I look around and I see all the beauty and all the intricacies in this world I must believe there is a creator. I know some people say this is all by chance but that seem less likely to me than the work of a creator. I went to college with many atheists. They new I was a believer and at dinner would bombard me with questions like “Who made God”, “What about evolution”, etc.. I would take these questions to my brother who was a priest and also (by worldly standards) a genius. He asked me this question – if there were ever a time in the past where there was absolute nothing then what would there be now? Nothing. Because from nothing comes nothing. So, something has existed for all time. With that answer and looking around at the “creation” confirmed for me there is a creator. And it seems to be something I always knew deep down. As the I get older the Bible makes more sense. It talks of the new heaven and the new earth. This lines up with science. The universe is expanding and dissipating. Eventually it will be nothing but a black emptiness without energy. But the new heaven and the new earth created by God (who is outside the universe) will be our new home. For some excellent explanations of how science lines up with Genesis google Hugh Ross. He has studied all the religions and their stories of creation. He points out that the Bible is the only creation story where the creator is outside the universe, outside His creation. Why Jesus? I would like to believe everyone gets to heaven. If you look around at all the religions, they are works based. He was a good father or a good friend. She gave of her time and helped so many people. Surely, they will be in heaven. Or he was a good person and will be reincarnated to a higher existence in the next life. And the Catholic Church (to me) just replaced the works of the Jewish Law and replaced them with their own works (laws, catechism, rules) and if you obeyed the all the rules and went to confession and communion and died without mortal sin on your soul you “earned” your way to heaven. But that is not what I read in the Gospel. Salvation is a gift. God so loved the world He sent his only Son to die for us and take our place. Jesus died once for all sins – past, present and future. And Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit. Our part is to accept the gift. We accept the gift of salvation offered by God through Jesus and we are born again. At that moment the Holy Spirit enters our heart and we are changed forever. Sealed with the Holy Spirit. We are still sinners. Maybe even what some would consider “bad” sinners. But the Holy Spirit is in us and working with us to improve us. Through prayer and fellowship and seeking we get new insights into ourselves and our motivations. Our heart changes and we renew our minds. We have no right to be self-righteous towards others. We should love them. And I actually think accepting the gift is harder than a works-based system. Jesus said the command is to believe in the One who God sent and love others as I have loved you. Jesus laid down his life for everyone – people the world would consider some very evil and others very good. I think laying down my life for someone I don’t know is much harder than going to Church every Sunday.