Discovering My Faith…Well, Sort of

22 01 2013

by Andrea

When I began my freshman year at Luther College, I was sort of nervous that I would meet a lot of outwardly Christian, avid church-going “Bible bangers,” as some like to call them. In reality, I’ve only had a few encounters with that type (thank God!), and I found that I really don’t fit in with that crowd.

Although Luther is a private Christian college, it still attracts many students who practice other religions or are unsure of what to believe. That’s such a great thing because I think that during this time in our lives, people are still discovering who they are, and for me, I feel more open to others’ opinions than I ever have in the past. I’ve met many people in college who do not share my religious beliefs, and it’s caused me to question my Christian faith.

One of my best friends at Luther is Hmong, and I also have numerous friends who are atheist or agnostic. When I learned about how different their spiritual beliefs were, yet how similar I was to them in other ways, I started to wonder why I had thought that my religion must be the right one and everyone else must be wrong. It seems pretty ignorant considering the twenty-something official religions in the world. That’s when the questioning of my own faith began, and I admitted to myself that the main personal reasons I had for being a Christian were that I didn’t want to burn in hell if I died, and I wanted someone to pray to when things got rough. Pretty selfish, huh?

As of now, I still consider myself Christian, and I often think back to a question one of my atheist friends asked me when I was reconsidering my faith: “Can you honestly say that you don’t believe in God?” My answer was, and still is, no. There’s something within me that knows there is a God, and it’s not something I feel that I can choose. For now, that’s my reason for choosing Christianity; after lots of questioning, His presence still prevails.

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Pascal’s Wager

22 01 2013

by Jo

Pascal's Wager

I can easily say my religious belief system could be thought of in the same light as Pascal’s wager.

Why do I believe in God? Because it is better to believe in God and gain everlasting life than to not believe in God and lose everything.

It is simple really. The brilliant French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote about his “wager” in a work called Pensées. It truly will make you think.

Believing in God is a coin toss. There is equal chance of gaining two lifetimes of happiness (for believers) and gaining nothing (for non-believers).

“If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.”

So, I go on, believing in God through my own eyes. My Catholic faith and I disagree on many levels, but while growing up, it has given me a place to start.

I believe in God, yes. I do because I believe there is more to life than what I can clearly see. But I do not go around quoting the Bible, and it makes me a little crazy when people take the book’s meaning as literal.

So I wager with reason, as Pascal would, because this is what my comprehensive and meticulous education has taught me to do.

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