Belief with Confidence

May 28, 2008
By Cameron Smith, Knoxville, TN

Though now I will openly attest to believing in the common doctrines of Christianity, At one point in my life the word "skeptic" would almost be an understatement. Growing up in church I believed everything that was fed to me. The problem was, what was fed to me was all I knew. The beautiful thing about the ignorance of a child is that they only know what is shared with them. If you only share the wonders and beauty of good with the child, they will rarely find the resources to consider the antithesis: that this world is corrupt, that there is a demon roaming amongst us waiting to feed on our souls like a pack of wolverines.

As a child grows more mature (as I grew more mature) they can and will want to find things out for themselves. When they leave the comfort of their caretakers, they might question what their caretakers taught them. They will realize that there are alternatives to what has been taught to them. That there just might be another explanation for their surroundings.

Not to be considered a theory: The reason I believe that a young adult's faith is so vulnerable is because it is presented to them early in life as a magical fairy tale, which is far from the facts. The story of Noah and the arc is presented to the child with a pretty picture of a big boat and all the wondrous animals that inhabit this earth. But as Donald Miller writes it, " A children's story with a picture of white knuckled mothers clinging to a broken tree limb before they are washed away to their death probably would not sell too many copies" Again, not to be considered a theory.

As my love for history and the arts developed within me, I began to apply the same principles historians used to uncover the truth of history to prove to myself that I believed in something real, or not. I do not believe one should be shunned for questioning history no matter what it's value is to society, we have the right to want truth, and in some cases, we need facts. When a historian tries to prove an event true or false he goes into the study with no preconceived notion that might weigh on the final outcome. In the back of my mind I wanted to prove that Jesus was God's son, that he rose from the dead, and that he can save me. Meanwhile I tried my best not to let my longing to be free interfere with the facts of history.

I researched. I questioned. I got backed into corners. I found passageways. And eventually I found truth. The beautiful, life-giving truth.

Some might say that Christianity is for the intellectually naive. That faith is ignorance, and ignorance is bliss. I found however that the more I studied the doctrines of Christianity and the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the number of historical facts that are available to testify are astonishing.

Jesus is God's son. Jesus was resurrected. Jesus saved me. I am no longer held captive by the ways of this world.

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