Why I Believe in God


by Kel Willis

Can you fathom it: more Aussies believe in aliens than in God! Apparently, 80% of us believe in the existence of aliens somewhere in space whilst 74% believe in God.1 It makes me wonder about the basis for people’s beliefs. I guess with today’s emphasis on the supernatural, visitors from outer space in movies and the many sightings reported on the TV, people want to believe in the supernatural. It’s sensational and it feeds the spiritual dimension in us. Furthermore, it doesn’t make demands on us like believing in God does, for belief in God is quite different: if he is there, surely we cannot easily ignore him.

When it comes down to it, the bottom line is our response to this question: Is there a personal, transcendent and knowable being who designed and created our world? And, a not so frequently asked  question, what difference does it make? Most people at some point in their lives question the existence of God and that fact in itself indicates that it is a legitimate question for us to investigate. The reality is that if God exists, what are the ramifications if we reject him?  Does life make sense without God? And does he care about us or are we just part of the furniture as it were?

I often engage with people who declare themselves to be atheists or non-believers, but when I ask them why they hold this position, I find they can rarely explain their reasons in a thought through way. Instead, I hear throwaway lines about disenchantment with the church for its belief in a God who leaves the world in such a mess, or anger about people who call themselves ‘Christians’. The very idea of being accountable to God is enough to make others refuse to accept even the possibility of his existence.

I grew up with a father who spent most of his life denouncing God because of the hypocrisy of the church and its people. When I began to question his beliefs I discovered that there was very little substance to it, and I realised that his ‘atheism’ was really just a convenient hideaway from God, giving him an excuse for his lifestyle and attitudes. The reality was that my father could not bear the idea of a personal god. He was rather like Thomas Nagel, Professor of Philosophy at New York University, who perhaps in an unguarded moment said, ‘I want Atheism to be true, and I am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe that there is a God. I naturally hope there is no God, I just don’t want there to be a God, I don’t want the universe to be like that.’ In the same way, my father’s rejection of God was more a desire for him not to exist, rather than being based on any plausible arguments against his existence. This mindset is common and when one hears the antagonism in the writings and speeches of some of the so-called ‘new Atheists’, one wonders if they too don’t harbour a secret fear that God may exist after all.

1. http://www.amazingaustralia.com.au/statistics.htm

Click here to read this article in full in Interact Vol 21 No 2.

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CHRISTIAN GROWTH MINISTRIES
Established in 1977 as a servant ministry to the churches, Christian Growth Ministries Inc (CGM) was brought into being through the vision of a group of Christian leaders in Sydney.
As an interdenominational and non-profit organisation, our mission is to contribute to the life and growth of God’s people and to the church at large, wherever possible and with whatever means are at our disposal.
What do we do?
Our focus is on equipping, training and encouragement. We believe that God is committed to His church. We therefore believe in the future of the church and are committed to contribute to its health and growth. Our emphasis is on the necessity for understanding Bible principles for life and growth, both within the individual Christian and the local church. We believe that all aspects of Christian living, church life and evangelism are a consequence of understanding and appropriating the clear principles of Scripture.
How do we operate?
We have an executive Board of Directors drawn from a number of Sydney churches, all of whom are active and highly respected within their denomination. Dad 50 AnniversaryOur Director, Rev Kel Willis, is an ordained Baptist minister with extensive experience  in youth and student work, evangelism, pastoral ministry and itinerant Bible teaching. He is the author of a number of books including Clearing the Cobwebs, Escaping Mediocrity, The Experience Trap, Preaching for Impact and Living with You, Living with Me.
Finance
CGM is a faith work, depending upon God to provide through His people the finance needed for staff and running expenses of the organisation. Our books are audited annually and copies of our audited statement are available upon request.