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Author Topic: Faith  (Read 6869 times)

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« on: January 01, 2007, 11:55:13 AM »

I read your response today to a just published email to a person concerning faith.  This was part of your answer....
"I am somewhat aware of all of these arguments against the faith.  They do no hinder me. And why is that?  Because I LIVE BY FAITH, that's why.  But isn't faith based on PROVEN HISTORICAL FACTS?  If we don't have PROOF, then we don't have FAITH, right?  WRONG!  Faith is belief and assurance that is NOT BASED ON EVIDENCE.  The King James definition of faith in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews is worse than awful.  Faith is an assurance that something is true even though there is no absolute tangible proof for that faith. So where does one find such a faith? He doesn't--IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD!
That is the magic of faith. Only those GIFTED WITH IT, HAVE IT--"For by grace are you saved [that being WHEN you are saved--yet future] through FAITH;  and that NOT of yourselves:  it is the GIFT OF GOD"
OK I can accept that.  However, years ago I lived with a devout muslim who would say the same thing to me.  He did not care about any contrary evidence to his faith.  he believed because he said >>>it is FAITH.  It is an "a priori" it is true and its resides in the center of his being.  He once told me if an angel from heaven announced to him another faith, he would not accept it, if it contradicted the Koran and Islam.
How is your faith any different than his?  A different book, of course, but the character of the faith is the both believe it is a gift from God and accept it not based on evidence.
I wish that it could be shown that those who have the true faith, that their faith is of a different character than those with untrue faith, but apparently it cannot.  The human experience of faith appears to be identical in all people.  That faith may cause different actions depending on the tenets of the person or book it is built on, but the raw faith itself, is the same.  If you disagree, how can you explain that those who have faith in belief systems contrary to yours, are by any objective measure, responding in kind to their inborn faith to follow those belief systems just as you?
I think correct faith is a gift from God, meaning the truth, but that faith itself, is found in all types of people.  They believe with the same assurance as you do.

Dear Doug:
You are making something difficult and mysterious out of something that is quite simple (for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear).
"Faith" is not a "Bible" word, or a "religious" word: it is a WORD, and it has a meaning.  Here is a definition of faith from my American Heritge College Dictionary:  "faith--1 CONFIDENT BELIEF in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.  2. BELIEF that does not REST ON LOGICAL PROOF OR MATERIAL EVIDENCE....." etc. Those are very good definitions of faith, but as one can clearly and instantly see these definitions go totally contrary to the way that the King James defines faith in Heb. 11:2, "Now faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen." Hogwash. Faith is the diametric opposite of "evidence and substance."  When one possesses absolute "substance and evidence" regarding any matter, the last thing on earth such a person needs is "faith!"
Just days ago I heard Rod Parsley quote that definition of faith from the King James Bible. No wonder they have not a cluse as to anything SPIRITUAL.
Now then, faith is a word that has a definite meaning. Muslims have "faith" in Allah, and Christians have "faith" in the "God of Abraham," and some few have "faith" in the Scriptures that tell us how we are to have faith in God.  They are all "faiths" as you suggest, so are they not all the same?  No, of course not. The qauality or kind of faith one has is graded by what that particular faith accomplishes.  Do you rely on the God you have faith in, do you live a godly life because of it, do you love God and all humanity, are you overcoming the sins that God says He hates, etc., etc.?
Maybe a "tangible" example will help:
Money--you have money and I have money. It all "looks" like the same money.  But one can buy food for his family with his money and another can buy booze with his money and let his family go without. Is there a difference? You bet.
Guns--you have gun and I have a gun (both made by the same manufacturer). So our guns are the same, correct? There is no difference in your gun and my gun, correct?  Not at this point, but what do the two guns produce? One man shoots game to feed his family with his gun, while the other SHOOTS HIS FAMILY.  Is there a difference? You bet.
James has great and simple wisdom in this matter:  "Even so faith, if it has not works, IS DEAD...Yea a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me YOU faith [this is one kind] without works, and I will show you MY faith [this is a second kind] BY MY WORKS"  (James 2:17-18).
Two faiths, two entirely different manifestations of that faith.
It's a huge subject and deserves a whole paper on it.
God be with you,
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