Thursday, April 6, 2017

Faith


The Devil works through the twisting of words.  Consider that salvation is contingent on faith.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God  -Ephesians 2:8
The ladder to heaven is a rope ladder, it can only be lowered from above and it is only lowered to those who have faith.  What are you likely to hear if you are brave enough to engage in evangelization?

"I have no faith.  I am a scientist and I cannot believe the whole, Bible-fairytale thing."

"I have no faith.  I cannot force myself to believe something that I don't."

Sometimes

"I have no faith." delivered with inarticulate despair.  Sometimes delivered with the flat, dead finality of a cold clod hitting the lid of a coffin.  Both of these statements cede the home-field advantage to the Devil.  God's currency is Hope.  The Devil deals despair.

So how were the words twisted?
Those were statements of doubt, not statements of faith.

In each case the person answered the implied question "Do you have faith?" with a statement of "I have doubts."  We hardly notice because this is the age of politicians rephrasing every question to answer the one they wanted the interviewer to ask.  But there really is a difference.  The scientist claims "...I cannot believe the whole...thing".  The second person fixates on the parts that are difficult to chew and swallow.  The third and fourth rolled over without a fight.

I present the question: Is it possible for a person who is honestly questioning their faith to not have any?  The act of asking the question is evidence of some amount of Faith.

How much Faith is required?
Not very much, according to Jesus.
...Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.  -Matt 17:20
It is telling that Jesus chose a seed as his metaphor.  Seeds grow.

Love is a decision
The statement about "I cannot force myself to believe something that I don't" is an interesting statement.

That is like saying "I can never act in a loving way when I do not feel the euphoria of love."  Trust me, no parent ever bounded out of bed at 2:05 AM to change a poopy diaper driven by euphoria.  We did it because that is what "love" does.  We act out of a sense of duty.

Faith is a decision
Faith is much like love.

Faith is when we act in a certain way, based on  trust rather than evidence.  Flying on a commercial airline is not "faith" because there is ample evidence that you will survive.  Faith is when you give the checkout lady at the grocery store a kind word or toss a twenty into the Salvation Army bucket and you did it because it is what Christ told us to do.

Faith is a gift from God.  God keeps trying to push it into our hands but we keep our fists clenched and then we complain that we  have no faith.  If we act on Faith, even though that Faith is tiny...that Faith will grow.

Stop helping the Devil.  Don't play his game.  Be grateful for what we have and be willing to use it, no matter how small, to execute our Christian duty.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this post!!! If you can integrate more of these affirming messages on faith, spirituality and our walk It would make BigHeadRob very happy. I know that ERJ has many deep perspectives. I especially like this one because you point out the glass is half or 9/10 empty replies to a question seeking an affirmative response. This post is one of hope. Nice work.

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