First Things First: Identity & Belief

I’m new to the world of blogging in any form, so I suppose that a good way to start a blog of this kind is to establish a little about who I am and what I believe in. These are, arguably, two issues of utmost importance and in my opinion, they are both issues that everybody needs to address at some point. But does everyone address them? It seems like common sense that everyone would know who they are and what they believe in, but do they?

This first issue, then, is an issue of identity. I am a human. That’s an easy assertion to make, but what does it mean? Does it mean that I am nothing more than an accident of nature, a highly evolved primate that has the advantage of some king of superior intellect over other animals? For some, the answer to that question would probably be ‘yes’, but for me, that is not enough. I’m not saying that there are different types of humans in the biological sense, because that would be wrong, but what I am saying is that there is more to humanity, more to our identities, than the standard biological stance.

There are also many things in the world that we humans use to define ourselves. Sporting allegiances is one; whether you’re a Manchester United fan or a Sunderland fan or a Yeovil Town fan or another team. Maybe another aspect of identity is the music we like, or the films we like, or the books we like. There is so much stuff out there that we can use to define ourselves and construct our identities. I could use all of those things to construct an identity for myself and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. It might sound shallow, but the football team I support, the music I like and the films I watch are all aspects of me that affect what I do and what I say day after day.

However, the issue of identity goes even further than that. My identity is not just constructed out of my likes and dislikes, but out of my beliefs regarding the universe and my place in it. Here, identity and belief collide unavoidably. I am a Christian. Christian theology forms the basis of the way I see the world and I am not ashamed of that. I believe that I was created for a purpose, that my life has meaning and value and that the things I do whilst on this Earth matter. Naturally, all this has a bearing on my identity – the way I see myself. The way I see myself may well be different from the way that other people see me, but that doesn’t take away its importance. I am also of the opinion that everyone’s beliefs affect their self-identity and the identity that they present to the people around them.Whether you adhere to Christianity, or another established religion, or New Age spirituality, or agnosticism, atheism, nihilism, or anything else, you will have a view of yourself that is based around that worldview. This might sound like a grand assumption to make, but it’s logical that if you see life as having a purpose then you’ll believe that the things you do matter, and, at the other extreme, if you see life as purposeless or meaningless then that could lead to the sort of ‘YOLO’ attitude that I see around me all the time.

As a Christian, I have founded my beliefs on the teachings of the Bible. I am satisfied that the evidence for God through science, history and my own experience is strong, though these are topics for later blogs. I am aware of the importance of thinking these things through independently and not relying on being told what to believe, which is why I have made sure that I am confident in my beliefs regardless of what I have been told in school or wherever. As a Christian I believe in the sovereignty of God, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the future return of Christ. Of course, there are more aspects of my beliefs than these central pillars, but they are enough for this blog. I am also an adherent to the increasingly unpopular view among general society that Jesus is the exclusive way to salvation and to God.

In some ways, I suppose that this is all pretty deep for a first blog, but as I said at the start, I think these are important issues that need to be addressed. Hopefully, in the future, some of the issues mentioned here, and issues that I haven’t touched upon in this post at all, will be addressed. Thanks for reading.

One Comment Add yours

  1. ray jackson says:

    Hi Ben, I find it hard to believe that my grandson can have so much understanding of the Word of God,thank you for your thoughts. I am so proud to have you in my family.

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