Have you ever been accused of having blind faith? I know I have. And to be honest, it irks me a bit. You see faith is not blind, it is substantive and based upon evidence.
People demonstrate faith all the time. For example, you drive down the road and have faith the other human beings behind their own set of wheels know what their doing (most of the time!) and will stay on their side of the road. You get on an airplane and have faith the pilot is sober and has done this type of thing before – flying an aircraft. And when ordering food at a restaurant, you have faith the cuisine set before you will nourish, not poison you.
If you think about it, people demonstrate faith all the time, and most times in large measure, the faith we see demonstrated is not blind at all. Rather it is based upon evidence. You see, there are reasons we drive our car, get on an airplane, and eat the food set before us. Namely, we have evidence that it’s generally alright to do so.
People therefore demonstrate faith in these kind of things because it is both rational and reasonable. In sum, there are reasons to believe!
In light of that reality, I find it quite interesting then, that in the spiritual, many people will simply discount not only Christianity, but also religious faith in general, positing that such a position is blind, naive and sometimes worse.
As followers of Jesus, it is good to be reminded, not only for our own souls, but also for our witness, of the true nature of biblical faith:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Simple, yet profound!
The ‘what we believe’ and the ‘why we believe it’ are critical. For instance, one of the battles raging today is this war between Atheism and Christianity. And specifically, the question of origins is at the heart of the matter.
The atheistic position is simply this: time + chance + nothing = everything
The Christian position is: Creation has a Creator.
Regardless of one’s position on the matter, everyone should be held to the same standard: defend your position – what do you believe and why do you believe it!
I once heard Dr. Norman Geisler, one our most accomplished Christian apologists, debate an atheist. And one point he kept hammering home was this:
Something has to come from something, because something cannot come from nothing!
Not such a technical argument – if you think about it. Rather, it is sound, reasonable, and rational. [For an expanded argument supporting God’s existence, click here.]
Watchmakers make watches, auto-makers make automobiles, and we believe a Creator brought forth the creation:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
I have on occasion spoke with an atheist. My standard line of reasoning is not based upon initially defending my belief, but first asking them to explain their belief. And make no mistake, it is a belief. But based upon what? Evidence? Substance? Regarding our faith in God, He has endowed us with a brain…to use. And we were created with the capacity to reason. In fact, God has given us many reasons to believe.
So it’s ok to ask, “If I understand your position correctly, you believe time plus chance plus nothing equals everything. Is that correct?”
If they say, “yes,” you could certainly follow up by asking, “How did you come to that conclusion?”
If they say, “no,” your follow-up can be, “Well, then how do you believe we got here?”
Remember, as we seek to have God-honoring conversations with people of different beliefs, including atheists, listening helps us better understand them and will aid our effort to sow seeds of truth.
Additionally, as you engage an atheist in this line of reasoning, you’re not only defending your position, but you may also be casting doubt in their own mind regarding their position. And as you share, pray the Holy Spirit would be moving and drawing that precious person into the ‘truth that sets men free.’
For our witness should be seasoned with gentleness and respect, along with a spirit of love.
As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus this weekend, may we remember and rejoice in the greatest historical event of the last two thousand years.
For our faith is not blind, it is is substantive and based upon evidence! Amen.