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ROY CLEMENTS ARCHIVE

Publications: Why I believe

I want to begin with a couple of disclaimers.  I don’t believe in God because it makes life easier for me.  I entertained the opinion in my unconverted days that Christians were a lot of pathetic psychological cripples who were incapable of staggering through life without the crutch of faith to support them.  Some of the things well-meaning friends said to me did nothing to disarm this suspicion.

"Oh Roy," they would say, "You’re not very happy are you?"
"No" I would say, "I’m feeling a bit depressed this week."
"Well, you should become a Christian. Christians have joy!"

"Roy, you’re looking worried."
"Yes, I am a bit anxious."
"You should become a Christian. Christians have peace!"

"Roy, you don’t know where you’re going in your life, do you?"
"Well, I am a bit confused, that’s true."
"You should become a Christian. Christians have purpose!"

And so it went on. They made faith sound like some kind of psycho-therapeutic panacea. Whatever your emotional problem was, come to Jesus, and he will dispel it for you. I told them flat, I wasn’t interested in that. I wasn’t going to become a Christian just to be happy—maybe the world is an unhappy place. I wasn’t going to become a Christian just to find peace—maybe the world is a disturbing place. I wasn’t going to become a Christian just to find purpose—maybe the world is a meaningless place.

"Natural scientists," I said with a superior air, for that’s what I was, "are committed to the pursuit of truth! We don’t believe in things just because they are convenient. We believe in things because they’re fact!"

an excerpt from Why I believe in God
the first of two published addresses entitled Why I believe copyright Roy Clements (1998)


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