Thursday, September 17, 2009
Faith Directions: To have faith, believe here.
I have made the case for faith in "The World Screams Faith" as well as other blogs. But this just begs the question, "What shall I have faith in?"
This world that screams faith, imposes faith decisions on us every day. Whenever we get into a car to drive to a destination, do we absolutely know with 100% certainty that we will arrive at our destination safely? I just passed a fatal car accident yesterday where thd driver's van was turned upside down.
Like that driver, we cannot absolutely KNOW anything, much less whether or not we will arrive safely at a destination. Now, would you get in the passenger seat of a car, put your seat belt on and let a totally inebriated driver take the wheel for the next 30 minutes on a busy interstate?
What's the difference between these two scenarios? Is it not found in the probability of you reaching your destination safely? Is it not found in the amount of reasoning you are able to apply given each scenario? Since theoretically your fate could swing either way, your choice is based ultimately on faith.
I advocate a rational faith. A faith that takes in the facts and boldly asks all the possible questions, willing to go wherever those questions might lead.
Someone has said that capitalism is the worst economic system in the world except when compared to all other economic systems in the world.
It is a fantastic leap of faith for me to believe in all that Christianity stands for, but it is a ludicrous leap of faith for me to reject it.
I believe in the testimony of the 40 authors who wrote the 66 books of the Bible, spanning over 1000's of years and crossing many cultural boundaries. I don't hold this faith because I can prove it. I hold this fantastic faith because rejecting it is impossible when considering the facts.
Skeptics who claim that its claims are fictious fail to give an alternative explanation that requires less faith than the Christian faith to which I hold.
The strongest and most common criticism they levy is the claim that the New Testament (N.T.) was written by people in high powers of Government throughout history in order to control the masses, gaining money and power through belief.
We believers stand in awe of common themes that exist between the O.T. and N.T.
My favorite one is to simply compare John 3:16 with Genesis 22:
John 3:16, the most famous verse in the Bible, says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life."
This scripture is a one verse summary not only of the Gospels as they unfold their story in the N.T., but also of the O.T. story of Abraham offering His only son Isaac as a sacrifice in Genesis 22.
But the skeptic believes this coherence was manufactured. They believe that the four Gospel writers collaborated and wrote their accounts to purposefully mirror the O.T.
These same skeptics will point out the differences in various Gospel accounts. Yet, if the four Gospels are the result of a collaborative scheme, why would the authors give varying accounts of some stories? Why would they disagree on some details?
And none of this explains the motives and veracity of the O.T.
A plausible alternative explanation has not been offered by the skeptic. It takes great faith to accept Christianity, and a greater faith to reject it.
Given the volitional nature of faith established in previous blog postings in the Pendulum Effect, life (or as I believe God) asks us the question, "What do you WANT to believe?" Such a question tests our heart's desire and tells us what WE are, not what this world is. The telescope that we try to aim outwardly, has turned inward becoming a microscope. What starts out as an attempt to search outer space, becomes a discovery of "inner space".
What were you made for? Does your heart scream "ME, ME, ME!", or does is beg to serve someone greater?