We can choose to believe whatever we want–we have the privilege to think freely, and no outward force can enforce our inward thinking. This is a great freedom. But in the case that we are persuaded wrongly about something, there are still consequences. If fired from our job, for instance, no amount of believing it hasn’t happened will bring in the missing paycheck. And, theologically speaking, not believing in Hell doesn’t make it nonexistent.
When it comes to the big issues like “is there a god?” and “who is God?” we had better be pretty certain we’re confident of the truth–not based on polls, opinions and research, but on our individual quests through life and reality.
I’ve been asked how I know the Bible is true, and before I returned to the Lord, I went through a whole lot of investigating (especially to pull together science and the Bible) before deciding I could believe it 100%. I would encourage anyone with this question to also do research and especially recommend Answers in Genesis as a great resource regarding the Creation/Evolution debate. But here’s what it really comes down to:
Jesus promised that His sheep will hear His voice (John 10) and would be able to discern true teaching from false teaching (John 7:14-18). I do hear His voice, and I have discerned that the protestant Bible is inspired by God (though I like some translations better than others, and a couple, I absolutely couldn’t recommend).
I have not, as a Spirit-filled Christian, read any of the Apocrypha (catholic and orthodox Bibles have additional books), so whether they are also inspired by God is outside of my jurisdiction.