Posts Tagged ‘what is true faith?’

faithIf I’ve learned anything during my years of writing about faith, it’s that there are folks out there who absolutely DETEST that word.

Most of those people would vigorously agree with the graphic that inspired this essay, which I found on an Internet atheism community.

Maybe you’ve never given the word much thought, but now that you’ve read the graphic, you’re thinking “ya, it’s all about ignorance!”.

So let’s look at the word for a moment. The Pocket Oxford Dictionary defines faith as: 1. complete trust or confidence; 2. firm, especially religious, belief; 3. religion or creed; 4. loyalty, trustworthiness.

First off, I want nothing to do with “religion” and this blog explains why: http://wp.me/p2wzRb-eu.

Secondly, would anyone in their right mind credibly call someone like Henry Schaefer ignorant? Schaefer, a chemist, earned the 1979 American Chemical Society Award in pure chemistry. He also wrote Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence?

Here’s another person that no thinking person could ever label ignorant: Ard Louis teaches theoretical physics at Oxford, one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Before that, he managed to get rid of just enough ignorance to teach theoretical chemistry at Cambridge University.

What do Schaefer and Louis have in common? They follow Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the Son of God. And there are many, many more Jesus followers who are making contributions in chemistry, physics, engineering and biomedical sciences.

Schaefer and Louis have what the Pocket Oxford calls “complete trust or confidence” in Jesus — His teachings, His death, His resurrection and the truth of what He said about His creator (who also happens to be your creator).

So what isn’t faith? A pastor at my church, Henry Shore, laid it out:

  • Faith is not a positive mental attitude.
  • Faith is not a belief in a force or in a formula
  • Faith is not psyching yourself up with wishful thinking
  • Faith is not believing I can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it.
  • Faith is not believing if I believe hard enough, like some TV preachers would have us believe, then it’ll become a reality.
  • Faith is not faith in our words, it is not faith in ourselves, it is not faith in faith.
  • True faith is in God. The focus isn’t on the faith; but on the object of our faith.

From a Jesus perspective, faith is having firm belief — based on a mix of evidence and belief — that there is a creator for all that you and I see and experience. And that creator offers you and me a gift: Jesus.

Look into that gift. Talk to knowledgeable Jesus followers about Him. Despite what your friends and family may tell you, this is important and serious stuff. And it’s good news.

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