Today is my birthday. And as the saying goes, “Life begins at forty”.
Actually, that’s wrong, “Life begins at conception”, the age is just a measure of how long my body has taken me in this journey of life.
While I write this, the country is in a state of quandary, as of yesterday we’ve had another 1,631 cases of the Chinese Corona Virus called COVID19. (Update: The Philippines today has the highest number of cases in South East Asia)
The President is still Duterte, China continues to bully the entire South East Asia (and other countries as well by other means)
Hongkong is at the end of its remaining democracy (in fact it is literally grasping for air) I predict that thousands will either be sent to jail or murdered.
The Anti-Terror Bill was signed by Duterte and is now a few days away from being implemented, but is being contested in the supreme court.
The U.S. is in chaos because of the death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Antifa, plus the increasing number of their own cases and deaths under the Chinese Corona Virus called COVID19.
And here I am on my birthday, working at home with my wife with our only child, taking one day at a time trying to ponder about his future or what’s going to be left of it.
Am I happy?
Am I grateful?
Am I excited?
Actually, I am, but I will never say the words of Vilma Santos when she voted for the Anti-Terror Bill in which she said: “Yes, with reservations.”. Because seriously those words would never stand up in front of a priest when you’re getting married right?
Anyways, I wrote everything above just to give you a backgrounder on where I’m coming from and what I feel as of the moment given the current situation of the country and the world.
Because seriously. We’re in deep shit, and that is not saying it lightly.
But then again, I have reasons to be happy, grateful and excited.
The reason why can be found in the pages of the book: “Man’s search for meaning” by Viktor Frankl
He said: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
And that is what I realize in the days and months leading to this day.
And that is also the reason I came to the realization that the Christian worldview is the ONLY right and true worldview.
In a way I am also thankful that despite all of the problem of evil around me, I am still able to find my faith.
This has been a long time coming, and I feel that right now I completely surrender myself to my Lord and my God Yeshua Christ of Nazareth.
But what prompted me to deeply consider my faith was because of the most recent experience I had with someone I look up to.
Make no mistake about it, this guy is very intelligent, and for the longest time my chief source of knowledge about a lot of things, he was a former philosophy professor and is now a very successful entrepreneur.
Through him I learned about Jordan Peterson, and other great thinkers.
We were chatting and the discussion veered towards religion and spirituality, then he mentioned that he’s not a Christian anymore, and then he asked me point blank if I believe that Yeshua is the Son of God and if he is the messiah.
I answered in the affirmative, and then he went on a long explanation about beliefs while throwing away the names of William Lane Craig and Ravi Zacharaias and seemed very agitated about the entire conversation and then he went to take a piss.
After that conversation, I vowed to find the truth of what he says, and continue to learn about Yeshua.
But then again, it turns out that he wasn’t the only intelligent person whom I’m able to be around with. Back in college, I had this favorite professor in philosophy who practically got perfect grade his entire life.
He was so brilliant that the only thing that he was afraid of was getting low grades. He once told me a story of how he usually dreams at night about his grandmother ready to hit him with her belt and chasing him around the house because he had low grades.
And yet, despite his brilliance he vacillates every now and then when it comes to his spiritual beliefs.
I remember in his class where we would go on trips in Hindustan temples and talk about world religions from Christianity to Islam to Buddhism etc.
He would wear a huge cross everyday.
And then one day I found out that he became a Muslim.
That practically floored me because he was so sure about his faith, as such that I personally even began to doubt my own faith.
My initial question was, how can someone so brilliant thinks that Yeshua isn’t enough?
The same question applies to the other brilliant person I mentioned above, who back in his youth was grooming himself to be a pastor, in fact he was a missionary and a son of a pastor. His family is practically composed of pastors and theologians.
What is it about Christianity that both of these highly intelligent people found out that made them change their attitude towards it?
To tell you the truth, sometimes I feel that I wouldn’t be able to reach their intellectual level, because somewhere at the back of my head I feel that my intelligence has a limit.
Indeed, that is my greatest worry, “What if I can only understand as much, and my level of understanding can’t break new barriers?”
But I soldiered on and listened to more Christian Apologists, listened to more debates between Christians and Atheists.
I re-read the Bible and read Lee Strobel’s “A Case For Christ”, and then it dawned upon me when the greatest of doubts upon my own intelligence was upon me, something told me that: “The disciples of Christ were fishermen”.
The original disciples weren’t intellectual Philosophers compared to the great Greek philosophers before them.
They were primarily Jews whose works encompasses the following: Tax Collector, A Zealot, A Thief, a Pharisee, a Tent maker, and yes Fishermen.
And because of my fear, I was missing the greatest information that one could derive from scripture, and it is that the entire concept of the Christian faith comes from “divine revelation” supplemented by rationality.
But what about the decisions of the two great Philosophers I mentioned above?
The truth is, I wouldn’t know or rather even if I knew, both of them would just be a irrelevant in the world of equally or even more intelligent philosophers in the world who found their faith in Christ.
So I guess that my main contention here is the creeping anxiety of the thought that I might be wrong and they may be right by virtue of their intellectual prowess.
However, how can one be really sure about things? And how does one find a reason to not accept things, despite the truths embedded in them?
In this regard I look back at what C.S. Lewis said in his essay: WHAT ARE WE TO MAKE OF JESUS CHRIST?
“The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion, which undermines the whole mind of man. If you think you are a poached egg, when you are not looking for a piece of toast to suit you, you may be sane, but if you think you are God, there is no chance for you.”
So I decided to write my reasons for being a Christian and a follower of Christ, and I came up with my thoughts below.
Because seriously, one really needs to ask himself for his reasons to believe.
After I finished reading the book of David Robertson a.k.a. @theweeflea and I can’t help but think why I didn’t read it back then.
The truth is I tried reading the book of Richard Dawkins “The God Delusion” and I can definitely remember back then that even reading the first few paragraphs of the book gave me a gut feel that I am not yet ready to digest what he wrote.
My initial reaction was, where was the anger coming from?
Make no mistake about it, I have my share of reading articles and contents from people I vehemently disagree with but I draw the line with anyone not being able to explain and argue their side thoughtfully and articulately through well thought about logic.
When someone disparages and demonizes a group of people instead of providing proof without reasonable doubt or evidence that provides value to a topic instead, then most of the time the conversation will spiral about perspective and forcing ones fundamentalism down one’s throat.
I put the book of Dawkins down even before I finished the entire chapter, and then it continued to haunt me to this day.
I thought, why did I not finish reading it? I’ve listened to other atheists like Sam Harris and I’ve agreed with a lot of other atheists as well on some points but why can’t I finish reading Richard Dawkins?
Was I afraid that after reading his book I would radically change my opinion of God?
The truth is I know for sure that my opinions might change, but I also know for sure that all opinions are not equal.
This brought me to a dilemma I thought about.
That I decided to write a story, the story goes:
A student once walks into a library to look for the best book on God.
He asked the librarian in charge and the librarian answered him: “The book doesn’t exist because I believe that it’s still hasn’t been written, but I can advise you on the best minds who wrote about it and what they thought about God.”
“The best minds? You mean scientists?” The student asked
“Better than scientists, but philosophers who were scientists.” Said the librarian
The librarian then walked to a huge section of the library and gathered two books.
The title of the book on his left reads that there is no God.
The title of the book in his right reads that there is a God.
The student was confused.
“How can I know who’s right between the two if they are equally as brilliant as you say they are?”
The librarian answered: “That’s a wonderful question!”
Then the librarian brought the student to the History section of the library after placing both books in the hands of the student.
The librarian then said: “There’s a saying that goes: Knowledge is NOT power. Knowledge is only POTENTIAL power. Action is power.”
“You will read in this entire section how both books were implemented throughout history and you will know the answer to your question.” The librarian added.
“In that case, let me start with this section and get back at these two books you gave me because history already gave an answer.”
The librarian smiled and took both books from the student’s hands.
“Oh, and by the way, ” said the student.
“I think that, that book about God already exists, for if it didn’t then surely there is no God.”
The librarian answered: “Perhaps you can help me find it?”
“It depends on the evidence you are looking for to prove that it is truly the book about God.” Said the student.
“Alright, let’s start with history then.” Answered the librarian.
Surely this isn’t much of an explanation or a reason, why I believe in God, however, I would subscribe to the reason given by another esteemed christian apologist, Greg Koukl when asked by his 8 year old daughter: “Papa, how do we know that God is true?”
Greg’s answer was: “The reason that we believe that God is true, is because he’s the best explanation for the way things are.”
And so indeed:
And they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” – Matthew 21:16
Yes, God is the best explanation for the way things are.