Some people may disagree with the post title but it is absolutely true.
For instance, I live near the Atlantic Ocean. I have faith that when I read the paper and see the time of high and low tide that when I go to the beach, sure enough the tide is either in or out (depending on it’s schedule). I know if I go to the beach an hour before sunrise that, sure enough, just as I expected the sun will rise.
To simple? How about a new automobile? If you turn the ignition key do you “believe” that the engine will come to life? When you enter a darkened room and flip the light switch, do you have faith the electricity will provide enough power to illuminate the bulb and brighten the room?
How is it that you can have faith in the car starting or the light coming on? I mean, you can’t see the combustion of the engine, yet it runs. Neither can you see the electricity that makes the bulb illuminate the room, yet there is light. If it can’t be seen how can you believe in it?
Some things are easier to have faith in than others. Okay, I will give you that.
Faith is like a muscle, it must be exercised or it will atrophy. And like a muscle it is better to start building your faith by using “lighter weights.” You can’t possibly expect to have faith to heal the sick or raise the dead unless you have established an abiding faith that the Lord will “show up” in circumstances or situations that you have had presented to you early on in your Christian walk.
How about faith in the Maker of heaven and earth? The Creator of all mankind? Granted, true and an abiding faith in our Creator does not usually happen with the turning of a key or the flipping of a switch.
This faith comes from testing and/or repeated trusting. Like the sun and the tides. You see that enough then it is impossible to doubt that it will be an every day event.
Faith in the One True God is much like that. It has been my (personal) experience that He is real. There have been too many times that I have experienced His presence to ignore that fact.
I understand that doubters will doubt. I suppose they doubt because they have chosen not to see. Blame is easily spread around. Bad things happening to good people. A loving God would not create people know they would go to hell, etc. Corrupt people seem to enjoy “success” while innocent children starve to death every day.
When it is all said and done I think it comes down to expectation(s) and of course choices. In all likelihood those expectations are formed in childhood, perhaps even in infancy. Based on their life experiences these doubters expect to be disappointed again and again… unless they can physically see with their eyes or hold “it” in their hands, “it” doesn’t exist. All of this leads to wrong choices and actions (or inactions).
I was “chatting” with one individual about my belief in the Savior and his adamant unbelief. He said he has a child and he is exposing his child to many views and when the child is old enough the child can make the decision for him/herself.
I have always found that “argument” interesting. For instance, although I did not discuss this with the unbeliever, I think it would be safe to say that he would not let his child play in the middle of a busy highway, or pull a boiling pot of water off the stove. I wonder if he allows his child to make his/her decision on what they will or will not eat. What time to go to bed or to get out of bed. If the child will attend school or not. What to wear on a cold wintry day. I wonder if he allows his child to decide if he/she will make a cross country trip with a stranger… that for all intense and purposes looks like a really nice person. After all this nice person has lots of money and can provide nice things on this trip. Heck, if they are going to Disney World, perhaps the child will really, really want to go!
I suppose that this father would, in fact, make these decisions for his child. After all some of these decisions have life altering consequences or even life or death consequences.
So how is it that a person, regardless of what their personal belief system is, will just let their child make up their own mind about the MOST IMPORTANT DECISION they can ever make?
I mean if, like I, you believe that God the Father created all things, that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If you believe that Jesus, the Christ, is the Son of God, came to earth in the form of man was crucified, died, rose from the dead after three days and sits this very day on the right hand of the Father; if you believe that He sent us the Helper (in the form of the Holy Spirit) Who is living and working in and through each of us… if you believe these things then you too are required by Holy Scripture to “train up your children” in this knowledge.
On the other hand, if you have a firm belief that none of this is real and that when you die then you are finished… that’s it. If you really believe that and love your child why wouldn’t you teach your child that? Could it be that you are not entirely convinced in your unbelief? Embrace your unbeliefe or embrace the One True God.
As with many Christians I have had a number of “spiritual markers” in my life. I have written about one such spiritual marker here. http://mssc54.wordpress.com/2008/08/26/my-angel-story/
In the end, when it is all said and done, I truly believe that I will one day spend eternity with others who confess the Savior as Lord.
If I am correct in my beliefs it will be glorious. If those who do not confess the same beliefs as I do are correct in their unbelief… who cares.