Posts Tagged ‘blind faith’

You don’t have to look very hard in the New Testament to find the word ‘faith’—it’s literally everywhere.  In fact, we are assured in Hebrews 11:6 that, without it, it is impossible to please God, which means that it is obviously very important.  However, it has been my experience that Christians often fail to understand the true nature of the faith that God requires of us.  Consider the following two scenarios:

Scenario 1:  A young boy wakes up on a cold winter morning in a small South Dakota town.  Excitedly, he pulls back the curtains of his bedroom window to reveal a winter wonderland outside, with the first snowfall of the year having blanketed everything in sight.  He throws on his boots, trousers, coat, and scarf and then grabs his bobsled as he makes his way to the freshly frozen lake out behind his house.  He approaches the lake at a full sprint and, without a second thought, throws his sled down onto the ice and jumps, outstretched, on top of it with a squeal of delight.

Scenario 2:  The same young boy awakes on the same snowy morning.  He dons his winter wear, and grabs his sled.  As he approaches the freshly frozen lake behind his house, he notices the tire tracks from his dad’s 2.5 ton pickup truck stretching from the driveway of their home all the way out across the frozen lake to the other side, where his father is gathering a load of fresh firewood for their home.  With confidence, he gleefully runs out onto the ice and begins his fun-filled day of bobsledding.

Now, in both scenarios, the boy had faith in the ice on the lake and its ability to hold him and his sled.  The difference is, the faith exercised in the first scenario was an unjustified or blind faith, as there was no rational reason for the boy to trust that the ice could hold him.  Sure, he believed that it would, but there was no real justification for his belief. However, in the second scenario, the boy was exercising justifiable faith.  That is, he had a very good reason for believing that the ice would hold him and for subsequently acting upon that belief by stepping out onto it.  The tracks, indicating that his father’s much larger and heavier vehicle had successfully been supported by the ice, gave him a logical justification for his assumption that it would also hold him.  That is the same type of faith that God calls us to exercise with regards to trusting Him and His Word.  Consider Romans 1:18-20:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

According to these verses, God has clearly revealed Himself to all mankind such that we are without excuse for denying Him. That is, the ‘tracks’ He has left for us via both His natural and special revelation, not only justify our faith in Him, they demand it.  As such, Christianity is not a blind leap into the dark unknown, but rather, it is a confident step onto a sure foundation of Truth that has been established and revealed by God in such a way that we can know with certainty who He is and that His Word is true.  This is why the Apostle Paul could confidently declare in 2 Timothy 2:12—

 ……nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

The foundation of God is indeed a sure one. It is not shameful to trust in Him—it is shameful not to. May God help us to trust Him more and to build up ourselves on our most holy faith!

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(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 1:  An Answer to Prayer]

Greetings Soldier,

I am delighted to inform you that your prayer for wisdom has been heard and gladly granted by God the Father! As representative of His heavenly host and a ministering spirit on your behalf, He has sent me as His ambassador and Angelic Agent (or ‘Angent’, if you prefer) to communicate unto you the truth you need to overcome the daily opposition and deception you are encountering (and which you earnestly desire to both expose and refute). Nothing pleases the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ more than a genuine desire from the Redeemed to grow in wisdom and knowledge so that they might engage in ‘Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ’ as prescribed in 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Indeed, this is but one aspect of ‘Seeking first the Kingdom of God’ as commanded by our Lord Jesus and is always commended and cheerfully aided by the Father—after all, remember His great delight in a certain King Solomon who, in deference to the will of God, declined to ask for worldly riches and honor but, instead, prayed earnestly for Godly wisdom in His endeavors as ruler over Israel. Needless to say, his place in history as the wisest natural born man ever to live requires no further commentary as to God’s abundant provision in response to his prayers. I find great joy in letting you know that the same God who was rich towards Solomon will not disappoint any who call upon Him with the same petition and in the same earnestness of spirit! Indeed, Almighty God will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly, as promised in the 84th Psalm of His Book—the Bible.

Therefore, in response to your unbelieving uncle’s attack on faith in general—and the Christian faith specifically—it is important for you to first understand the distinction between that of ‘justified faith’ and ‘blind faith’. The difference is, the first is rational and good, while the second is not. As a rational, logical Being Himself, God does not (and will not) ask anyone to come to Him through blind, irrational faith–something which carries connotations of, and actually is, but a form of ‘darkness’ (since it alludes to ignorance and superstition) as opposed to the ‘light’ of knowledge and truth. Of course, God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Perhaps the following simple illustration will help convey the difference. Please consider these two scenarios:

Scenario 1:  A young boy wakes up on a cold winter morning in a small South Dakota town.  Excitedly, he pulls back the curtains of his bedroom window to reveal a winter wonderland outside, with the first snowfall of the year having blanketed everything in sight.  He throws on his boots, trousers, coat, and scarf and then grabs his bobsled as he makes his way to the freshly frozen lake out behind his house.  He approaches the lake at a full sprint and, without a second thought, throws his sled down onto the ice and jumps, outstretched, on top of it with a squeal of delight.

Scenario 2:  The same young boy awakes on the same snowy morning.  He dons his winter wear, and grabs his sled.  As he approaches the freshly frozen lake behind his house, he notices the tire tracks from his dad’s 2.5 ton pickup truck stretching from the driveway of their home all the way out across the frozen lake to the other side, where his father is gathering a load of fresh firewood for their home.  With confidence, he gleefully runs out onto the ice and begins his fun-filled day of bobsledding.

Now, in both scenarios, the boy had faith in the ice on the lake and its ability to hold him and his sled.  The difference is, the faith exercised in the first scenario was an unjustified or blind faith, as there was no rational reason for the boy to trust that the ice could hold him.  Sure, he believed that it would, but there was no real justification for his belief. However, in the second scenario, the boy was exercising justifiable faith.  That is, he had a very good reason for believing that the ice would hold him and for subsequently acting upon that belief by stepping out onto it.  The tracks, indicating that his father’s much larger and heavier vehicle had successfully been supported by the ice, gave him a logical justification for his assumption that it would also hold him.  That is the same type of faith that God calls men to exercise with regards to trusting Him and His Word.  Consider Romans 1:18-20:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

According to these verses, God has clearly revealed Himself to all mankind such that all are without excuse for denying Him. That is, the ‘tracks’ He has left via both His natural and special revelation, not only justify faith in Him, they demand it.  As such, Christianity is not a blind leap into the dark unknown, but rather, it is a confident step onto a sure foundation of Truth that has been established and revealed by God in such a way that mankind can know with certainty who He is and that His Word is true.  This is why the Apostle Paul could confidently declare in 2 Timothy 2:12

……nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

The foundation of God is indeed a sure one. It is not shameful to trust in Him—it is shameful not to. May God help people everywhere to trust Him more, building themselves up on their most holy faith (and may He do so through you as you put to use the wisdom He has granted). Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 2]:

Greetings Soldier,

I see that you took to heart the information in our last correspondence. I commend you for your courage in challenging your uncle’s philosophy and attempting to enlighten him as to the difference between blind and justified faith. Although his attitude was less than receptive, this is a great start for future discussions with him. Remember, the idea is not necessarily to have him admit defeat of his arguments all at once, but to begin to get him to think critically and honestly about his own position of atheism. For instance, consider where his faith really lies when it is all said and done—-it is in the unobserved (and unobservable) ‘phenomenon’ of evolution. Not only has he never seen one kind or species of animal becoming another kind or species over millions/billions of years, he has to assume at the present that those things which allegedly ‘evolved’ into what we see now originally came from nothing, which somehow turned into something, which then somehow blew up and became everything.

A great victory is won whenever the unbeliever is made to consider the ultimate consequences of their professed beliefs, as the God-sanctioned rational aspect of their nature will not allow them to be at peace once made aware that they are holding to such irreconcilable, contradictory thoughts about the world and reality in general. The subsequent struggle that arises within them is most certainly in our favor and, more often than not, signifies the beginnings of spiritual life awakening within the unbeliever (remember, darkness is never so restless as when the light is present). May the Lord use you and your words as the means to accomplish that blessed result. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 6]:

Greetings Soldier,

You do not have to apologize for the feeling of disappointment you are feeling now. After all, a sense of frustration is only natural when good evidence is given to support your case, but then dismissed out of hand due to the hostile bias of the one examining the evidence. It is very important to understand what is going on here with your brother and it is time that you were granted insight into the nature of ‘presuppositions’ and the effect they have on one’s reasoning and conclusions about the world around them. You see, everyone has a worldview—a view of the world founded upon certain tightly held beliefs that are assumed to be true and through which they interpret all of their observations and experiences (including any and all evidence presented to them for consideration). Because of this, it is impossible to convince someone of something they do not wish to be convinced of since they will interpret any evidence via the lens of those tightly held, most foundational assumptions that are already present. Confused yet? Perhaps this illustration might help:

Once upon a time, a young man believed he was dead. For months, his friends and family tried desperately to convince him that this was not the case, but to no avail. Finally, at their wits end, they decided to take him to see the family doctor in hopes that he could offer some sort of medical counsel to help the young man come to his senses. After two unproductive hours of talking with the young man and reasoning with him using the latest medical journals, charts, and photos, the good doctor had an idea! “Son, do dead men bleed?” He asked. The young man thought for a moment and then responded, “well, if a person is dead, there is no heartbeat to pump the blood and, therefore, no blood pressure to force the blood out of the body, so, no, dead men do not bleed.” Upon hearing this, the doctor took a needle and pricked the young man’s index finger. As the blood began to ooze from the small wound, the young man grabbed his finger and cried with great excitement, “well, what do you know! Dead men DO bleed after all!

See the point (pardon the pun)? The young man in the story had a predetermined belief which he was unwilling to surrender, despite being shown ample proof that it was false. The overwhelming evidence given to him did not change his mind, but, rather, his mind changed the interpretation of the evidence to make it agree with what he already assumed to be true (his ‘presuppositional bias’). Perhaps this makes it easier now to understand how and why many of the people who actually witnessed Jesus’ most notable miracles were the same ones who demanded His crucifixion. Why do you suppose they were not convinced of His Divinity by the marvelous feats of the dead being raised and the blinded eyes receiving sight in their presence? It was simply because they did not WANT to be. In fact, this is nothing new, as many today would simply rather be their own god instead of bowing the knee to God and surrendering to His authority. It has been rightly stated that the atheist cannot find God for the same reason a criminal can’t find a policeman—-they simply aren’t looking. The unbeliever chooses to live in willful denial of what they know to be true about God’s existence in order to avoid accountability to Him. You will do well to keep this in mind in your evangelism endeavors. At your service,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 12]:

Greetings Soldier,

I see the discussion has now turned to the laws of logic. I am happy to help guide you in how to formulate your responses to the latest responses you have received. First of all, it is crucial to understand that laws of logic, by nature, exist as abstract, invariant, universal laws for correct reasoning. That is, they are not made of matter, they never change, and they apply in all places and at all times. As such, they pose quite a problem for the unbeliever, since none of these characteristics agree with their version of the universe, which is allegedly wholly materialistic, changing, and different from place to place. Consider the logical law of non-contradiction for instance; it states that contradictions in reasoning (and in reality) are absolutely fallacious and cannot ever be true. However, how does the unbeliever justify such a claim in their worldview since they don’t have absolute knowledge of the universe, nor have they observed the future to know what cannot EVER be.

Whereas, the Christian appeals to Divine Revelation from God as their basis for knowing some things to be absolutely true (such as laws of logic, for instance) since an omniscient, omnipotent God could (and does) reveal things to human beings so that they can be known with certainty to be true—the unbeliever (due to their pre-commitment to a naturalistic, empiricist worldview) must rely solely on their limited observations and experiences of the universe as the foundation for each of the things they claim to believe. This means that the Christian can reconcile the existence of abstract, invariant, universal laws within their worldview, but the unbeliever cannot and must accept such concepts solely upon blind faith. Naturally, any such position that rests upon blind faith alone, while also undermining the very existence of logic, is the epitome of an illogical (and false) position. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

I was recently engaged in a very lively debate, regarding the validity of the Christian worldview vs. non-Christian worldviews, over at Debate.org.  Believe it or not, a very simple challenge, put forth to those who hold to worldviews which deny the God of the Bible, turned into a discussion thread of over 800 comments (well above the norm)!  I have included the link to the discussion for anyone who is interested in seeing how non-Christians fared when asked to account for the most basic, fundamental concepts (i.e. logic, truth, knowledge, the foundation of the scientific method, etc.), required for making sense of the world around us, in their worldview.  Warning: it ain’t pretty!

http://www.debate.org/forums/Religion/topic/55783/

NOTE: What you’ll notice in these types of discussions is that those who deny God and the truth of the Bible will always ultimately be reduced to ‘vain and foolish’ reasoning, just like Scripture states (Romans 1:18-22, I Corinthians 1:19-20).  In particular, notice how the unbelievers’ positions are always shown to be based upon nothing more than blind-faith and mere opinion, having no logical foundation whatsoever upon which to rest.  As I always enjoy pointing out, that is the very definition of an irrational (and, therefore, untrue) position.  The more familiar Christians become with these arguments, the easier it is to then (hopefully gently) expose the errors in the unbeliever’s reasoning and to pull down the ‘intellectual strongholds’ that prevent them from considering and, subsequently, receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Remember, no one will receive with their heart what their mind rejects as false, making the mandate of 2 Corinthians 10:5 especially relevant to us today:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

I welcome your thoughts.