Thursday, October 6, 2011

MrsDrPoe: Blind Faith?

Once again Theology Thursday has arrived, and as always, I invite you to open your Bibles with me as we look at some portions of God's word.

Most of us have heard said at some point that Christianity is based on "blind" faith and that this faith is used by Christians as a simple and clean way to explain away things that otherwise cannot be explained by their worldview.  It is true that there are several topics in the Bible that we are not given all the answers to all the questions we may have about them, and so we must accept some Biblical truths with the faith that God has given us what we need to know.  However, it is important to realize that: 1) no matter what each of us believes, faith in something/someone is required due to the fact that no human who has ever lived (save One) is omniscient and 2) the Christianity preached by Jesus is based on obedient faith obtained from careful consideration of evidence.  It is this second point that we'll briefly examine today.

When we think of Jesus' time spent on this earth, we typically think about His perfect life, His teaching, His miracles, His death, and His resurrection.  Without His death and resurrection, our "faith is futile" (1 Cor 15:17), but without His teaching and miracles, our faith would be unfounded.  In Mark 1:38, Jesus said, "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth."  In Mark 2:10-11, Jesus said to a paralytic, "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins, I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."  In these two passages, we are given the insight that Jesus came to teach, and His miracles were affirmation of His power and authority.  

Later, in Luke 14:26-33, Jesus talks about the cost of discipleship, saying that we must leave all to follow Him.  But we must note that He doesn't ask us to give up everything on a whim; this is a serious decision that requires serious deliberation.  Verses 28-32 provide examples of a man intending to build a tower and a king intending to go to war against another king- each man considers the costs of his endeavor before he engages in it!  Sometimes we forget because of the immediacy with which they left everything (Mark 1:16-20), but even the apostles followed Jesus based on evidence that He was the Messiah (Luke 5:1-11, John 1:35-42).

Throughout the New Testament, the writers indicate that their recorded teachings of Jesus are eye-witness accounts, witnesses could still be found to attest to their writings, and even the prophets of the Old Testament assert that Jesus is the Christ, the Holy One of God.  Those in Berea were commended as being "more fair-minded (noble) than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." (Acts 17:11) 

Furthermore, in 1 Thess 5:21 we are told, "Test all things; hold fast what is good;" similarly in 1 John 4:1, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world."  Thus we should be "finding out what is acceptable to the Lord." (Eph 5:10).

From this multitude of passages, we should be able to see that Jesus does not expect our faith in Him to be based on a whim.  He expects us to look at the evidence for the truth of His teachings, miracles, life, and resurrection and to consider what He asks of His disciples before we become His followers.  And even after we believe in Him, we are to grow in our faith, obedience, and love through testing the teachings we hear and read against what is taught in the Bible.  If instead we're content to simply believe what a preacher, teacher, friend, or even Charles Darwin says without further investigation our faith in whatever we believe in is indeed blind.


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