I’ve already written a little about my crisis of faith and how a friend came to me and helped me get myself back together (click here) . Here’s a little more about that time.
Somehow I got through Sunday’s sermons without feeling like a complete liar. I think I managed by sticking with main ideas of the text and not defending whether they were true.
My friend traveled a couple of hours to see me that afternoon and we went for a long walk out on a country road I was partial to. I was still in bad shape from my diabetes and in truth, I don’t remember everything we said, but here are the pieces I’ve retained.
“Are you saying that you don’t believe that Jesus existed?” he began
“In fact,” I replied, “There is evidence other than scripture that refers to someone named Jesus from Nazareth, so I guess I would stipulate to his existence.”
“So you don’t believe in his teachings?”
“I’ve spent my life studying his teachings and separating out what he said versus what others have said about him.”
“And you don’t believe what he says is true?”
“Well, I can’t throw it out. I like Jesus’ teachings. In fact, I love them. They’re brilliant and wonderful. They’re profound and I keep having new ideas when I read them over again. So no, I don’t reject his teachings.”
“What about the resurrection? Are you saying that you no longer believe in the resurrection of the dead?”
It’s interesting that he bypassed the whole atonement argument, where Jesus was a sacrifice that paid for our sins, because I do have a little heartburn about that one. Instead he went right to the bottom line of Christianity.
“The resurrection of the dead is a bold claim,” I said. “Anyone in his right mind would reject it outright.”
Of course, nobody was saying I was in my right mind.
“I need the resurrection to be true,” I said. “I need to believe that I get to exist outside of the limitations I have now. I need the resurrection as an answer to the grief I feel over the losses I’ve had and continue to experience.”
“So you do believe in the resurrection?”
“Yes, in spite of what little sense I have left, I still believe in it.”
“Because I need to.”
And that’s really the reason.
For me this is not a battle to disprove evolution or other scientific issues that might conflict with the Bible. It’s not a matter of finding validity by proving the truth of my beliefs to others. I don’t have to make converts in order to bolster my own faith.
But the possibility of resurrection keeps me going. So I believe.