Health & Spirit

Don't we need to free ourselves from believing in God?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: I don't see how anyone can believe in God, especially in light of all the bad things that have been done in the name of religion over the centuries -- wars, conflicts, oppression, hate, etc. We need to free ourselves from believing in God, because religion is evil. -- H.J.

A: It's true that religion has sometimes been used as an excuse to commit great evil -- tragically, even in our own time. The Bible warned that a time would come when "evildoers and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13).

But I hope you won't close your mind to two important truths. First, this is not the way of Jesus Christ. He came into the world to transform our lives by reconciling us to God and coming to live within us by His Holy Spirit. His way is the way of love and peace, not hate and violence. When Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of one of the men sent to arrest Jesus, Jesus rebuked him: "Put your sword back in its place ... for all who draw the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52).

Second, I hope you'll honestly face the fact that far more evil has been done in the name of atheism and disbelief -- especially in the last hundred years. On the other hand, tens of thousands of hospitals, schools and orphanages across the world owe their existence to the efforts of Christians.

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I hope you'll face honestly why you don't want anything to do with God. I suspect the real reason is that you want to be free to run your own life. I challenge you instead to look at Jesus Christ with an open heart and mind. Your life will never be the same.


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:



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