The bible contains things supernatural or inexplicable in the human perspective. That is why we need to have faith; or in other words we have to be able to suspend our disbelief. However, it is hard for the people to suspend their disbelief for the bible even though they don’t have any problem to do that for the fantasy or Sci-Fi novels. Why is it like that? I would like to explain this phenomenon through a simple example, waiting.
Why do people wait for something? People are waiting at a bus station or subway station. People are waiting on a street or coffee shop. Why do people wait for something? I am speaking in just the general sense of waiting. It is because they know the thing or the person that they are waiting for is to appear at a time they are aware of. There are many who are waiting for things without knowing when it would appear, or where, or even what it is that they are waiting for. But most of cases people already know what are they waiting for, or when it would appear, or where he needs to be to see it.
|Fall of Jericho: Is it true or false?|
In the bible, we should wait for the one who brings us the salvation. The one who can put an end to all the sorrows, pains, sufferings and even the death itself. The one who brings eternal life, joy and happiness. The one who can put an end to all the mess we made and turn everything right. The one who can give us the forgiveness for all the sins we committed and who can set us free from the guilt conscience we have for us and for others who we have known and have done wrong. This sounds amazing and also stupid to believe such things in our time when everything is money and body and not many care about the sorrows of people who find themselves to be victims to make others rich and happy.
But at least we can imagine of the one who can make everything right and his coming to us. Samuel Taylor Coleridge called it a “willing suspension of disbelief.” If we just get rid of our disbelief, we can enjoy those unbelievable things which is prevalent in our era: fantasy movies, SiFi-movies, and all sorts of CG effects. We know they are not true, but we do not care if it is true or not. Rather since it is not true, we can enjoy more because it is so different from the reality, the real world of pain or sorrows or death. They never die, but rather they are raised again again. At the end everything turns out to be right.
Then why not for the bible? Why not for the Christ? Why not for the eternal life? We should eagerly suspend our disbelief for a short period of time and enjoy the world described in it. Why not? Why are the people’s attitudes different between the fantasies and the bible? Why do people suppress there unbelief for the one, but not for the other? I think this difference in attitude arises from the fact that the notion of truth people have for those things are different for the cases. For the fantasies, people eagerly accept it to be true because they already know that it is false and it does not affect him in any way in his real life situation. He can enjoy it and let it go, saying, “That was so much fun. Oh, I enjoyed it. I want to see it again.”
However, when the same person reads the bible and see the amazing things described in it: the division of the Red Sea, Manna from heaven, the dead raised from their death, the fall of Jericho with shouting of people. Many cannot accept it to be true, nor can they suspend their disbelief and accept it to be true for the moment. Why not? Unlike fantasies, people know, deep in their mind, that this could be true or this IS true and therefore it can affect me in their real life. What if there is God just as the bible says? What if I cannot go to heaven? What if the one who controls my life is not me, but someone else who we do not have any power over? All these “What ifs” are real, then they know they are in serious trouble and they must change themselves.
In this situation, most people become afraid and the very first thing they do is to deny that it exists or it is true. By calling the bible untrue and rejecting it they can restore the peace of mind which was at stake after knowing the truth. In short, people just want to fool themselves by denying the truth. Everything is nonsense: No Christ, No Heaven, No Hell, No Judgement, No Destruction. Why should I believe or accept it? It is wrong so I will not accept it. This violent denial of the truth can be compared with the acceptance of the fantasy. No Dragon, No Wizard, No Hogwarts, No Ninja Mutants, No Superman, No X-men, but why not? I like them. When they say like this, people know that these are not true and these cannot affect his real life in any significant way unless he is directly related to the fantasy business.
|Parting of Red Sea (Exodus): Is it true or false?|
The difference is whether they think it true or false. For the false things they can suspend their disbelief for the moment and accept them to be true. But for the things which is known to be true, they are not willing to accept those things to be true even for a moment because they are scared of the things written in it since they can affect their real life and change them. They do not want to be disturbed in their peace of mind by accepting a new thing and bringing instability to their everyday life. It is the same with people who claim to believe in the bible. They just want to accept what they have been taught, rather than finding the true meaning of the bible.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
They do not want to know the truth (sound doctrines), but rather they just wants to hear what they wants to hear. Even though the Sabbath is the Saturday, but they go to worship God on Sunday. Jesus gave his flesh and blood as seal of salvation on the night of the Passover, people says it is Jewish custom, by dying on the cross he abolished all the laws. This is exactly opposite of Jesus who said, “I did not come to abolish the law of the prophets, but I came to fulfill the laws.”
We are living in the generation Paul was warning against. Now we must check our faith through the words of God in the bible to find out if our belief is based on the bible or on man’s tradition we received from our ancestors. It is not our ancestors who can give us salvation, it is not the religious reformists who gives us eternal life. It is not the Ph. D. in theology, nor is it a eloquent pastor who can please the ears of people. It is only God who can give us the blessings of salvation and the teachings of God is recorded in the bible.
The bible says Christ will come again to bring us salvation. That is why people, whether they are believers or not, are waiting for the news of Christ and they are talking about the signs of the end of the age. And the bible already let us know everything about the Second Coming Christ: the place he is coming, the time he is coming, the signs he is bringing to prove who He is. From now on I would like to prove through the bible about the Second Coming of Christ. I want you to suspend your unbelief and read the bible with the open mind. Then with the grace of God, everyone can know the Christ who is coming to give us salvation and meet him.