A couple of weeks ago, a coworker informed me quite seriously that our workplace is haunted.
I laughed and told her I think I’d have noticed by now if the bogeyman, the Slenderman or any other kind of spook were lurking in our workplace.
Later in the evening, the garbage compactor went off by itself.
“See?” said my coworker, smiling nervously. “Nobody’s in that room. How do you explain that?”
“If I were a vengeful spirit,” I replied, “I think I’ve have better things to do than activate garbage compactors.”
The incident made me laugh at the time, but it later made me think seriously about the things we believe. My coworker believes our workplace is haunted. It would be easy for me to scoff at her beliefs, but I happen to believe in an invisible, all-powerful, everlasting God.
What sets apart my beliefs from hers? What’s the difference between faith and superstition?
The answer, of course, is evidence. There’s much more evidence to support the existence of God than there is to suggest dark spirits have taken possession of the garbage compactor in my workplace.
Many people don’t agree. I recently read an article claiming science will someday eliminate the need for God. The theory of intelligent design is frowned upon by many scientists. Naturalistic evolution is the de facto explanation for the origin of human life.
Honestly, both sides offer compelling arguments. No matter what atheists may say, there’s certainly evidence for God. Regardless of what Christians will tell you, there’s certainly evidence for atheism. To quote C.S. Lewis, an atheist who converted reluctantly to Christianity, “Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable; but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable.”
In the end, casting one’s lot with one side or the other isn’t just a matter of reason, logic and evidence. It’s a matter of faith, even for atheists.
There are things I don’t understand about the Christian faith, even though I’ve tried. Regardless, I’ve chosen Christianity. Based on the evidence, it makes sense. I speak not only of scientific, archeological and historical evidence, but also of the evidence of changed lives.
Some months ago, I wrote about gangster pastors: men who have been miraculously transformed from violent, drug-addicted criminals into loving husbands, fathers and church leaders. I know these men personally. I’ve heard numerous accounts of miraculous events. Most powerfully, I know many people whose lives are marked by something, a loving graciousness that goes far beyond mere altruism or friendly disposition.
For me, the best evidence is my own life. Ten years ago, I was a selfish, dishonest, insecure jerk. Eight years ago, I turned my life over to Jesus Christ. Today, while I’m not perfect, I’m a much, much better person than I was.
In the eight years I’ve been a Christian, I’ve seen too many answers to prayer, too many transformed lives and too many unbelievable circumstances for me to pretend it’s all just a series of coincidences—just as it’s possible for ten rolls of a die to yield only sixes, but my first guess is that the gambler who rolls ten sixes in a row is probably using a loaded die.
I’m sure some of my readers are nodding their heads and exclaiming, “Yes, yes.” Some of my readers are probably shaking their heads and saying, “This guy’s deluded,” and a few may have stopped reading once I switched topics from the Slenderman to the Christian faith.
Christians are sometimes considered foolish, and that’s fine. Christ’s own family thought he was out of his mind. (To those who believed he was just a Jewish carpenter, some of the things Jesus said and did must have seemed pretty strange.) The Apostle Paul, who wrote nearly half the New Testament, was accused of insanity.
If I’m crazy for being a man of faith, at least I’m in good company. If I’m a fool, at least I have the consolation of being God’s fool.
I’m not quite sure why I decided to compose this blog post. The subjects of faith, atheism and superstition (and the Slenderman) have been on my mind recently, and I suppose I just wanted to share my thoughts.