Saturday, March 14, 2009

Faith

I read an article in the newspaper earlier this week. It explained that people are less religious than they were 18 years ago. This article was based on the American Religious Identification Survey in 2008, which consisted of 54,000 interviews and has a +/-0.5% margin of error. It indicated that the Baptist population has decreased 3.5%, the Christian population has gone down 0.6%, and the number of Catholics has declined 1.1%. Remember though, there was a 0.5% margin of error so the change in Christian population could actually only be 0.1%. This survey also said that people with "no religion" has gone up 6.8%.

Surveys can be tilted toward how the surveyor wants it to appear but even if it is correct, the results surprised me. The church I go to started in 1995 with 40 people meeting in an elementary school. They have since then become owners of their own building and just last year the church grew from 1,200 to 2,200 by year end. That's just one church but those numbers make me think the Christian population is increasing.

There's a lot of scary stuff going on in the world; drug cartels have murdered several people down in Mexico, the economy is failing, terrorist attacks continue to take place around the world, last Sunday a pastor was shot while preaching in Illinois, and just this week a man in Alabama killed 10 people before killing himself. Wouldn't all of these things make someone more religious?

I've heard people ask "How can you believe in something that you can't see?" Well, you can't see the wind, but you can see the effects of the wind....right? You would certainly feel the effects of the wind if you rode in the back of my airplane on a gusty day. It's kind of the same with faith, just because you can't see Jesus, doesn't mean He's not working in your life. Even if you don't believe, it's not like Santa. He's there whether you like it or not.

So why am I a Christian? Well, for one thing I would like to meet my maker when I…....well, when I go to meet my maker. I also have a lot of friends and family that are headed upstairs when they kick the bucket and I’d kind of like to spend the rest of forever hanging out with them. I’ve also heard the food is to die for....literally. Plus, it’s got to beat the alternative, right? I don’t know what Hell will consist of, but I’d imagine it’s not going to be like any house party I’ve ever been to.

I guess I think back to a principle one of my first flight instructors taught me. It was called the “KISS” principle. It stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid.” That’s easy enough, Heaven=Good, Hell=Bad. I choose Heaven.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really like this blog, Paul, especially the analogy of how faith is like wind...you can't see it but you can feel its effects!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your blog! It's simple, yet meaningful. Many things have a more amplified meaning now for me. I'm really making the best of everything, I think--you, too! Thanks for your comments that you leave sometimes! Jane