Why We’re Confessional
“I believe.” We hear these words every day of our lives. Whatever the context, we use these two simple words to express our thoughts about nearly everything. When we want to tell others what we are thinking or want to reveal the innermost affections of our hearts, we will often say, “I believe.” In His wisdom, God created us not only with the capacity to believe but also with an insatiable desire to explore, examine, and express our beliefs (Prov. 2; 1 Peter 1). We possess a God-given hunger deep within our souls that causes us to examine fundamental truths about everything God has revealed to us (Deut. 4; Matt. 22).
The mere fact that we believe in something doesn’t actually do anything for us. At the most basic level, a belief in something only provides us with the overwhelming sense that we’re not alone and that something exists beyond us. Everyone has a capacity to believe in something, and in fact everyone actually does believe something (Acts 17). Although the cynical skeptic might say, “I believe in nothing,” the simple point is that he does believe in something, and according to him that something is “nothing.” But even the convinced skeptic knows that it is impossible to believe in absolutely nothing. If someone claims to believe in nothing, the truth of the matter is that he actually believes in everything that begins and ends with himself as the source and object of his self-fashioned, self-centered faith. He has an open mind about everything, which, contrary to popular opinion, is not a good thing. Someone who has an open mind about everything will uncritically allow any and all data, no matter how absurd, to enter his mind because he has no filters—no criteria—to discern right from wrong, truth from falsehood, and even truth from half-truth (Prov. 1:22, 32). The open mind of everything is an undiscerning open space, filled only with perceptions and inclinations.