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I believe in God

January 2022 | by Peter Milsom

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Many people in Western Europe embrace secular humanism. They reject religion and believe in the freedom to set one’s own terms for living. Nature is all there is, and science is the key to understanding our world and ourselves.

They do not appeal to a supernatural creator because, they tell us, the universe came into being through chance rather than design. Our future, our hopes, our happiness are subject to the iron rule of ‘survival of the fittest’.

The consequences of this worldview are being painfully worked out in our society today.

Bertrand Russell, the renowned mathematician and philosopher who died in 1970 aged 97, embraced a secular humanist worldview and understood its melancholic implications.

He wrote, ‘The life of man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach and where none can tarry long.

‘One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent death.

‘Brief and powerless is man’s life, on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls, pitiless and dark.

‘Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way.

‘For man, condemned today to lose his dearest, tomorrow himself to pass through the gates of darkness, it remains only to cherish, ere yet the blow falls, the lofty thoughts that enable his little day.’

The Christian faith stands in stark contrast to secular humanism.

The Apostles’ Creed, a well-known summary of what Christians believe, says, ‘I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.

‘He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.

‘I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.’

Those who believe these truths can face everything life throws at them. We all need such a hope in 2022.

Peter Milsom, an elder at St Mellons Baptist Church, Cardiff, and Chairman of Associating Evangelical Churches of Wales.