This would be a really funny question if it wasn’t so tragic. The hallmark of a believer (Christian) is to believe in the works of Christ. Yet the institution that is broadly called ‘Christianity’ doesn’t always believe in the works of Christ ~ sometimes it just participates in the activities of the organisation known as the church.
It all comes down to our understanding of the word “believe”. We use this word a lot; I believe that children are our future,.. I believe in love,.. I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows,.. I believe that all men are created equal…. There is a difference between these expressions of belief and the Christian meaning; these are personal values, they are an expression of our deepest opinions, an inner yearning, a firmly held ideal.
Belief, as portrayed in the above paragraph is not the belief portrayed in the bible. Belief in the Christian context is this; “To align ones life so fully with the finished work of Christ that no other truth obstructs it’s reality in our lives“. In other words, I am putting all my eggs in Christ’s basket, I am staking my entire existence on Him. There is no plan B, there is no grey area, He is the primary fact that fills my entire screen.
The reality is; that many Christians don’t realize that they do not actually believe in God, they only believe in the ‘idea of God’.
That’s why Hebrews 11:1 says; “being certain of what we do not see” ~ believing is the crazy notion that if God says it, then it is true, even when our circumstances scream out ‘liar’. It is the stuff that causes believers to step forward into an arena of man eating lions, it is the raw material that says ‘I will never bow down to onother God even though you burn me alive’. Yet; we modern Christians seem to have lost the ability to live confidently in the simple statement; “never will I leave you, never will I forsake you”, and so at the first sign of difficulty we blurt out ‘where are you God, I’m having such a bad week?’ … at the outset of trouble we beg, plead, make deals and try to manipulate God anyway we can.
That’s not believing in God, that’s believing in the idea of God.
We all have noble notions of how we would never deny the faith, even under torture we would hold the line for Jesus, they can saw-me-assunder and I wont recount!!! But it’s all a bit silly really, if we don’t know how to stand strong in God when someone smears our reputation, or leaves us out of their party invitation list.
If he is God we can stand strong in Him ~ if He is just an idea we subscribe to, then we might as well put our trust in the easter bunny.