I cannot look at a world that is hurting and proclaim atheism.
There is no denying the fact that evil is commonplace in this world. I, for one, have a difficult time faulting others for refusing to believe in a higher power due to the amount of suffering that takes place. (see: An Apology: Why I Don’t Believe). How can a woman who has lost her only child believe that there is a God who loves her? How can a starving child believe that there is someone out there who genuinely cares? These are honest questions and it would be foolish at best to make light of them.
Yet, I cannot hear stories of suffering and proclaim that there is no God. I cannot turn to the hurting and give them a hopeless answer. I would rather proclaim a message of hope, forgiveness, and redemption and be wrong than preach a message of hopelessness and be right.
Of course, some will argue (and perhaps rightfully so) that false hope is no better than hopelessness. It would be immoral to tell those lost at sea that a rescue boat was coming when I knew that was not the case. So, it may be argued that it is immoral for me to proclaim Christianity if it were a message of false hope. To this, I agree. Although I would much rather have hope and be wrong than be hopeless and be right, I would similarly rather proclaim truth than falsity — regardless of the hope or hopelessness that it brought.
Still, even though I may go through times of doubt, I cannot with good conscious tell a world in hurt that there is no God when I have seen the radical transformation that happens when people live out the truth of the gospel (see: An Apology: Why I Believe). When it all is said and done, Christianity works. The world is a better place when we show love to others. The world is a better place when we turn the other cheek. The world is a better place when we live without fear. The world is a better place when we have hope that death is not the end. The world is a better place when we are defined by Jesus Christ rather than when we are defined by our hurts and struggles. The world is a better place when we live like Jesus lived.
It would be impossible to prove to you that God exists. It would be impossible to prove to you that Jesus lived, was crucified, and rose again. It would be impossible to prove to you that the message of the gospel is a message of truth. However, I refuse to wait until I can “prove” my faith or even until I get past my times of doubt to proclaim a message of hope to a world that so desperately needs it.
The amount of suffering in this world makes the urgency for hope too strong to wait for adequate proof of a message that can heal the broken.
Therefore, despite a lack of concrete evidence, I have seen enough life in the gospel to where I cannot proclaim atheism or any other message that is contrary to Christianity. The amount of evil in this world is enough to place me in times of doubt but it is also enough to leave me seeking for hope.
I believe I found that hope in Jesus Christ — and that is why I still believe.