For years I have been seeking to utilize digital games to impact kids. This led to the creation of Lightgliders, an online game designed to encourage a biblical worldview, positive values, and meaningful conversations in the home. I have worked with a wonderful team of game designers, artists, producers, and engineers for some time now. And something happened last week that has never happened before. One of them asked me very sincerely “Why do you believe what you believe?”
I’ve been in the corporate world. I’ve learned that most if not all of the conversations will revolve around business or the weather. Rarely does it get personal, especially with outsourced suppliers. So this was truly unique. The curiosity about the motivation behind this ‘Christian game’ broke through and manifested into an honest question. Here is the gist of how I responded.
Whenever any of us choose to believe in an idea, a philosophy, or a religion, it is motivated by one of three things, and usually a combination thereof. These are the social, the emotional, and the intellectual. And my journey of belief reflects all three.
The Social: I grew up in a Christian home. I came to a faith in Jesus because of it. My family was my community in those early years, and it’s always easier to believe something when the people around you believe it too. As I grew up and went to high school, I learned that for me the social was not going to be a strong enough reason to continue believing. I learned that if I was looking to be cool, to be popular, or just to fit in, being a Christian wasn’t going to help.
The Emotional: In college, I experienced crippling depression. I could not get out of bed and was consumed with destructive thoughts. And, after a year of intense struggle, it was lifted off me like a blanket. I’ll never forget waking up one morning, looking in the mirror, and realizing the depression was gone. I sensed a peace and joy that I had not known, and I believed it to be from God. This intensified my faith and my passion for worship. That was many years ago and since then I have had seasons of both great joy and sadness. I am thankful for the emotional component of my belief, but my emotions are too inconsistent for it to be the foundation.
The Intellectual: The central claim of Christianity, also known as the gospel, is that God rescues and forgives sinners like you and me through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Therefore, Christianity is based on a historic event that can be investigated. In recent years, my faith has been intensified by the evidence for the resurrection. (See the blog post entitled Investigating Easter to review some of the data.) The resurrection is the bedrock of my belief in the gospel and remains true despite my emotional or behavioral inconsistencies. The death and resurrection of Jesus are relevant to me because I am a sinner needing forgiveness. God made a way and I am forever grateful.
Ok, you’re turn. Take time to explore the social, the emotional, and the intellectual reasons for your beliefs. You never know when you’ll be asked to share.