people believe what they have come to conclusions about, on their own.
it is true of math, of grammar and of most other things in life.
i believe in gravity because i have experienced it.
i believe 2 + 2 = 4 because i have never seen it be otherwise, and make any sense in this world. (it works at the store, at the bank, in my programming work just like i was taught it would work in school, so i believe it)
i believe that loving people is better than hating them.
i believe that taking care of others is worth the effort, the heartache, the inconvenience.
jesus taught things that are hard to accept, but if you examine the way he taught, he allowed people think, to weigh, and to draw their own conclusions.
he asked questions intended to inspire people to think through the issues he addressed.
he allowed people to make decisions, and he treated them as what they are: people who need to come to their own conclusions.
(all this is granting that the story of jesus is more or less accurate, even if the names, details and such are garbled, telephone-game style. i do not think there’s any reason to doubt that we have the story more or less as accurate, at least the important parts, such as “love your neighbor as yourself.)
you convince people, by simply sharing what you believe, asking hard questions, and allowing them the freedom to draw their own conclusions.
you ask them to share in what you believe, and if they will not, you love them for who they are, in spite of who they are, and because of who you are.
that is, a human being who, like the rest of us, must make your way through this life on limited knowledge.
i posted this originally at Youth On The Rock – Christian Students :: View topic – must christians believe in god?