Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
In keeping with Jeff’s recent posts about ‘dirty words’, I present ‘FAITH’. Although I highly doubt that anyone knowingly considers this word dirty, or even one with ‘large amounts of negative baggage’, I do believe that the concept of faith most certainly does. Faith, as stated in the passage from Hebrews above, is being completely certain, beyond any doubt, of something we can not see, or even more important, prove. The modern world is one that requires facts. With the internet within reach where ever we are, we, as a culture, have gotten used to being able to prove anything. In fact, I’ll admit, the internet has saved my marriage countless times from pointless, heated disagreements over such important things as what movie had The Carpathian in it.
Yet, even with our new encyclopedic friend, there are many examples of faith in our every day lives. I have faith that my house will not fall over, otherwise it would be highly unlikely that I would spend too much time in it. I have faith that there will be food available for myself and my family tomorrow, otherwise I would probably attempt to ration out the amounts we eat at every meal. Those things are things that most people have ‘faith’ in. However, that faith is founded on things that they have seen in the past. So, since my house has not fallen over since it was built in 1901, the statistics are heavily against it falling over tomorrow, especially since there are no signs of it being any less stable today than yesterday, or any further back. So, even these ideas do not truly constitute faith in it’s truest sense.
Faith, in its most pure form, is knowing that something is true even though it can not be proven in any manner. One example would be believing beyond a doubt that the next spin of the roulette table is going to land on “20″ so you put every single thing that you own, your children, and your wife, on the table and hold your hands out for the payout. I’m sure those sorts of things are done (or so the movies would have me believe), but I don’t believe there is anyone in his right mind who would suggest this to be the action of a person who is thinking clearly.
So, understandably, people today, even those who have faith in something, seem so afraid of speaking out about that same faith. Maybe it’s because so much of the world is still angry that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy all ended up being lies, even though they believed they existed (those guys even had forms of proof that they existed). Could the pain from being proven wrong by your peers so long ago still make you afraid of looking like a fool? Or perhaps it’s because you don’t want to be compared to others who believe in something that cannot be seen. A fully grown man who still believes in Santa is a sad sight certainly, but what about those who believe that they have been abducted by aliens, whose houses are haunted by ghosts, or the conspiracy theorists who believe the government is watching their every move? They could be right, but we don’t see anything to justify their ‘faith’. And even more than that, they look about as crazy as Brian Fellow.
Of course, the example most applicable to this blog would be faith in God, or any supernatural being. I have not ever seen God, nor have I conversed directly with him. There are no hazy pictures of him floating around, as there are of Bigfoot(above), or Nessie. There is truly no absolute reason or proof that I should believe He exists. Yet I do, and so do so many other people around this planet. There are many who would claim that it is obvious that He exists by looking at the majesty of our lands, yet, that’s not proof, definitely not of any specific god. So how can so many people the world over believe in something so intangible? And does the sheer number of people who believe the same basic concept mean that our faith is anymore justified?
Those of us who believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God are basing our lives on something that we cannot prove without at least a small amount of reasonable doubt. The concept of believing that someone is always watching us and is orchestrating our every move is the same type of belief that would cause people to be labeled as schizophrenic. Why do we allow ourselves, then, to put ourselves out there as, for all intents and purposes, crazy people? We don’t only believe these things that we believe, but we put ourselves out there in front of those who only believe what they can see, telling them of our faith, many times at the tops of our lungs, proclaiming our love for our Lord and Savior. If looked at purely on it’s own merit, the message of the Bible seems so much more incredible than any of the different forms of ‘faith’ that I have mentioned in this article so far. And surprisingly enough, there are people who are led to believe after hearing such crazy ramblings.
I personally believe that this is where faith in God, the triune God, differs from the standard definition of faith. The message of the Bible is so incredible, so unbelievable, there really is only one way that this message could be believed so strongly by so many people around the world. That is because of the power of the Holy Spirit to work faith within our hearts. If faith were based on man alone, the message would have died out long ago, as man has long been self-centered, and resistant to seeing the world from any point of view outside of their own. Sure, there will be times of doubt within ourselves, how can there not be. But when the Holy Spirit has entered your heart and you start to think that the stories of the Bible aren’t all that crazy, you know that you’ve been touched.
What are your thoughts? Do you find it sometimes hard to openly be a ‘man of faith’ in a world filled with ‘men of science’?