We believe what we want to believe?

Augustine

In 2018 the Dutch ‘theologian of the year’ Stefan Paas had something interesting to say.

Paas supports Augustine’s idea that we are not rational beings but loving beings.

We are attracted by something and we tend to argue in favour of what we like already.

In other words: we believe what we want to believe.

This may sound rather hopeless when it comes to religion.

Non-believers would say Christians believe God exists, simply because that’s what Christians would like to be true.

This is a well known argument and could be used in the same way for non-believers: they maintain there is no God, simply because they wouldn’t want him to exist.

When a believer and a non-believer have a discussion on whether God exists, the discussion will probably not have a satisfying outcome.

What then?

If we are not rational beings but loving beings, you could say that this would be the same with God.

He wouldn't be a rational being only. He would be a loving Creator.

That is why God doesn’t want just our mind to acknowledge Him.

He wants something much more precious: our love.

Not only love and no thinking, but mostly love.

Look at these words of Jesus, in the gospel as told by his friend John (6:44):

‘For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.’ (New Living Translation)

Coming to accept and believe that God exists, is not just a rational process. It is a spiritual process.

You could even say it is a loving process.

Something outside from our thinking takes place. God draws someone to Him through Jesus.

Does God exist?

The question ‘does God exist?’, can be answered rationally.

It can be answered based on us wanting it to be true.

If however, we are earnestly seeking truth about God (Heb 11:6), we may expect to be drawn by Him to his Son.

That is the kind of truth that changes people's lives. Or rather, Jesus is that kind of Truth.

A truth which is beyond wishful thinking.

A truth which is a life-giving hope.