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What I believe, by PB

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William Crawley | 01:00 UK time, Saturday, 6 January 2007

I've challenged visitors to this site to submit their personal credo in 272 words or less -- since that's how many words Abraham Lincoln took to deliver his Gettysburg Address, one of the greatest speeches ever given. Today I post our bloggers' attempts to express their values and beliefs within that word-limit. If you are interested, provoked, challenged, impressed or infuriated by what they have written, add a comment and say why. Exactly one week from now, the credo attracting the most comments wins a book prize of my choice. Needless to say, the views expressed by the entrants to our Spirit of Lincoln competition are their views, not mine or the BBC's. The following is PB's credo.

I believe... in the Christ
Who revealed himself to me as knowing me completely yet loving me completely
Whose graciousness forgave and forgives my wrongs
Who helped me from severe depression to professionally honoured for serving the community

Who turned my brother from indifferent unbeliever to dedicated supporter of a reconciliation charity
Who saw my other brother leave his profession and sell his house to pastor a tiny church
Who saw my dad, hostile at the mention of God, now pray for the sick and elderly in their homes,
Who gave me a special wife who brings his compassion to bear with the dying and their families
Who rekindled the spark in my parents' marriage right before my mother died
Who saw the disappearance of my sister's brain tumour described as a "miracle" by her consultant
Who saw my sister-in-law completely healed of asthma, and my wife of ME
Who gave me two perfect children, two miracles in themselves
Who I have seen shine his spotlight of grace on numerous people, turning their lives around
Who I have seen turn paramilitaries and drug dealers into men of peace and compassion
Who loves his church, which he described as sheep; gullible, proud, vulnerable, willful
Who created a New Testament which is mostly correcting, disciplining and guiding said sheep
Who, though I really really can't take it in, chose to die a horrible death for me – and rose again
Who graciously offers all a second chance, a clean sheet
Who is really Good News....even when I'm not
Yes, I believe...


Having read what you believe in, I understand your posts in the various threads of this blog. I honestly think it is nice for you that you have something from which you can draw such great strength. Unfortunately, as Dawkins put it, I see you are deluded, in the way that little children have their imaginary friend to comfort them. Nice to fall back on when life is hard on you, but totally unreal. And sorry to sound very harsh, but I would indeed not expect an intelligent debate on religious issues from someone who describes his view of the world the way you do.

  • 2.
  • At 09:59 PM on 04 Jan 2007,
  • alan watson wrote:

PB - I have known people who come through problems similiar to yours without god but if you think he made the difference for you then good luck. Just don't think you are going to impose your views on the rest of us - because despite the apparent placebo effect most of us think fundamentalist belief in the supernatural is not advantageous to the betterment of humanity.
and BTW - Why is your god better than any of the other innumerable others out there?

  • 3.
  • At 10:19 PM on 04 Jan 2007,
  • pb wrote:


I could arrange a coffee for you with my sister's consultant so he could take you through how her tumour disappeared...if that might help.

His actual words were "miracles do happen".

Could show you the before and after scans....


  • 4.
  • At 11:01 PM on 04 Jan 2007,
  • pb wrote:


I'm not trying to impose any views on anyone. William asked me to submit my credo, just like yours, which was pretty good by the way. I'm sure you werent trying to impose your views on anyone either!

For once, I'm not debating with anyone here, William asked what I believed, I said it.

I'm not going to get into a heated debate about which God is best, better, right, rightest....

It is simply what I believe...

I could have given a religio-political treatise on how I would rule the world, or a paper on historical Christian theology.
But I would not have given you anything you had not heard before.

This is really what I believe, Jesus Christ. And I thought I owed it to the people I lock horns with here all the time to be honest, or not to do it at all.

And to William. Although he never did give us his credo as I asked, I've certainly imagined that I have picked his apart enough times on his blog.

I am not making myself out to be a saint by the way. I can tell you I'm not.

I am just paying back the debts a little, as I see it.

grace Alan,

PB- There are a lot of people who would give anything to have the kind of peace and assurance you portray on this entry. I'm deeply happy for you. :-)

Hello pb,

I had intended not to engage with you anymore, but I let the above post slip through, so I might as well accept that there is no such thing as 'just this one cigarette'.

This is also as close as I have come to try to have a constructive dialogue with you for a number of days, having previously decided that there really was no use trying to have an intelligent debate with you. I could easily understand if you found my reply #1 hurtful (or maybe not). I do realise it was harsh. It was not intended to be hurtful. I said it, while fully realising it was harsh, because I think it is so. I do not compromise anything on my views but I'll try from my side to be constructive in this post.

Suppose I take your word about the medical 'miracle'. That would not change my position very much. An unexplained phenomenon is no reason for me to believe in any of the long series of gods or collections of gods that are around in the world. A previous poster summed it up nicely:

religion: I don't understand, I'll take it as the hand of god.
science: I don't understand, I'll try to find out what's behind it.

At some stage in history (whether you believe in creationism or evolution) people were living in caves, they didn't understand much about anything, and they may have thought that thunder and lightning were signs of gods anger. If one of the cave men were struck by lightning and killed, the others may have thought it was his devine punishment. But in reality, it had to do with the air becoming electrostatically charged. While people may have thought so once, there is nothing devine or mysterious about lightning anymore. If you want and are ready to pay for a certain device, then I can come to a (practical) place of your choosing at a (practical) time of your choosing and create small bolts of lightning for you. The aforementioned device that I would bring for that, consists of two metal balls, separated by some distance, some wiring, and a gizmo that produces a high voltage. If I take some time to practice, I can probably make the lightning coincide with the snap of my fingers. If cavemen saw me doing that, they might think I was a god!
As with lightning, science has gradually taken away many explanations from the portfolio of religion. Many things don't have a satisfactory scientific explanation yet of course. But think of those cave men. If all of them had stuck with their belief that anything unexplained was the hand of god, their descendent might still be living in caves today. Since the era of the cave men, science has made such tremendous progress, that it seems a very good course to continue on. There are still enough open questions, so lots of nice research to be done. Your sisters recovery would be one of the items on the list. If I take your word on it, then there is something very curious going on. But I'm not about to take the cave men approach to it and take it as a sign that it is the hand of god. Lack of a scientific explanation does not equal proof of a devine hand.

  • 7.
  • At 12:14 AM on 05 Jan 2007,
  • rubberduckie wrote:


Nicely put.

  • 8.
  • At 12:35 AM on 05 Jan 2007,
  • pb wrote:


Not offended in the slightest, direct and honest is good.

Glad you could be so straight with me and that you took the trouble at such length.

I dont ask anyone to take my word for anything. Everyone here is a thinker of some sort or another, thats good. Robots are no good to anyone.

My only qualification is that in my opinion, if you really question everything you experience until you can question no more, I wonder, perhaps, if you will not come across a real miracle sooner or later. I dont know.

Having said that, faith is not at all based on miracles though they can stimulate it.

I just hope we can remember how human we both were after we go back into the trenches Peter!



PS Thanks Rubber duckie!

  • 9.
  • At 12:37 AM on 05 Jan 2007,
  • pb wrote:

...by the way

for anyone that is curious,

the consultant brought my sister to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast to talk to a lecture theatre full of doctors about what happened...


  • 10.
  • At 01:11 AM on 05 Jan 2007,
  • Luther's Barber wrote:

Still there rubberduckie?

  • 11.
  • At 01:12 AM on 05 Jan 2007,
  • Gay Christian Believer wrote:

Pb, that was a moving account of your life and commitments. I applaud your honestly, your faith, and your openness to the miracles of God in your life. May you see God more often and more fully. God bless.

  • 12.
  • At 02:25 AM on 05 Jan 2007,
  • Michael N. Hull wrote:


You should win easily!


  • 13.
  • At 11:15 AM on 05 Jan 2007,
  • Helen Hays wrote:

It's a pty pb's comments abouts gays are not as gracious as that gay's comment about him!

  • 14.
  • At 12:50 PM on 05 Jan 2007,
  • Billy Corr wrote:

Those that shout the loudest are not always heard, but Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.I hope you inherit the Maillot jaune,the yellow jersey PB.

Billy Corr

  • 15.
  • At 01:08 PM on 05 Jan 2007,
  • pb wrote:

Gay Christian Believer

Thanks very much for your comments.

I too wish you can see God more often and more fully in your life.


(Helen, I was going to write that before I read your post by the way, but thanks for joining the discussion).

PPS John - dont know how good I am doing on the assurance front at the moment - currently tolerating too much sin in my life.

PB- Nobody needs to be perfect.

  • 17.
  • At 12:47 AM on 06 Jan 2007,
  • pb wrote:




  • 18.
  • At 10:39 AM on 08 Jan 2007,
  • George Jelliss wrote:

PB, I must admit I find your credo rather disturbing in its forcefulness and deliberate espousal of irrationality. I imagine it spoken rather loudly and stiffly as if from a pulpit.

  • 19.
  • At 12:45 PM on 08 Jan 2007,
  • Maureen McNeill wrote:


I am going through the credos that might win this competition and making sure that I post an equal number of times in each so that my vote will not count towards the decision.

This is my posting to achieve this objective in your thread.

You should not reply to it.


  • 20.
  • At 06:58 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • George Jelliss wrote:

PB, You say: "I believe ... in the Christ" and continue later: "Who saw the disappearance of my sister's brain tumour described as a "miracle" by her consultant
Who saw my sister-in-law completely healed of asthma, and my wife of ME"

It is indeed good that these improvements in health have come about, but they can be ascribed to many different possible causes. You are just being selective in atributing them to Christ, or to belief in Christ.

To what do you attribute the appearance of the tumour, the asthma and the ME in the first place?

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