Would You Believe? (3 of 3) by Jeff Strite

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Would You Believe? (3 of 3)
Series: Get Smart
Jeff Strite
John 20:19-31

(We opened with a 50 seconds cut from Don Adams in "Get Smart" - the episode called "Mr. Big" found on youtube.com - where Maxwell Smart goes into his "Would You Believe" routine.)

"Would you believe?"
It was one of the funnier skits that Don Adams developed for his sitcom "Get Smart". And what made his routine funny was the fact that his hero (Maxwell Smart) was attempting to strike fear into the heart of his adversaries by bluffing.
He spoke with confidence about something he knew wasn't true. But when the enemy agent refused to believe his bluff, Smart would back off and say "Well, would you believe…" something else.

When Maxwell Smart asked "would you believe?"
He didn't (believe)

ILLUS: In 2007, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted a survey that discovered:
Amongst Roman Catholics, Mainline Protestants, and Orthodox Christians, 25% (1 in 4) of those church members had doubts about the existence of God.
Among Jews the ratio was 6 out of 10 doubted God's existence.

These are people who "belong" to a religious group.
They go to church, or the synagogue.
They support a ministry financially and in other ways.
But they have… doubts.

It's almost as if their church was saying "would you believe"?
And they would reply:
"I have a hard time accepting that."

Would you believe?
Well, not everyone does.
And sometimes, not even those who go to church believe.

But, of course, that almost seems illogical.
For someone who is "religious" - who goes to church - to have trouble believing God exists?

The Apostle John would be amazed at that.
Throughout his Gospel, John had an almost excessive emphasis on faith.
For example: John uses the Greek word "pisteuo" - which means "to believe" - nearly twice as much as the other 3 gospels combined.

And the Gospel of John is the only book of the Bible where we're told
* For God so loved the world that h ...

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