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Quit Lying about Faith - and Evolution!
By Sharon Wyper
I am pretty tired of all the ignorant remarks about "faith" that I read in various blogs, articles, and letters to editors. I am interested in politics and pop science articles and especially try to follow the public debates on evolutionism, creationism, and intelligent design, so I see a lot of totally clueless definitions of faith.
People who are utterly atheist and materialist in their devotion to "science" like to reinforce each other's assumption that "faith" is essentially the same as "stupidity". Faith, to this group, is irrational and thus contemptible - because to them, faith is "belief that is contradicted by experience, observation, reason, logic, natural law, and all the evidence". Faith is the opposite of all that is good and holy to scientists, because scientists are taught to worship the human intellect and human powers of imagination. What a joke. Perversity of speech, hypocrisy, and prejudice against Christians seem to be hallmarks of the self-styled "intellectuals".
As an aside, I would also mention that people who consider themselves "Christian" and who belong to respectable churches, and who yet agree with the atheist's definition of faith, if not their assessment of faith's worth - please read on. It is to you my dear ones, that I am primarily hoping to make my point.
Faith is not belief against the evidence. Faith IS the evidence.
Faith is not unsubstantiated belief. Faith IS the substance.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I have some personal experience with faith, and I will describe that, not because my testimony is "scientific proof" of anything, but simply because you may not have read such a description of faith.
Faith is such a clear and positive way of knowing something, that no amount of evidence to the contrary is persuasive. What if I go the door and look out and see the mail truck coming down the street toward our house, and I say to someone, "The mail truck is coming" and he or she says, "Today is Sunday and the mail never comes on Sunday." Will that statement, which is true enough, change my experience of having seen the truck? Yes, in fact I may be persuaded that I was mistaken, dreaming, or delusional, if put under enough pressure to deny having seen the truck. But I did see it, and it was a real experience. You may say, well it was real to YOU, but no one else shared that experience, so it was not real.
It's totally irrelevant whether the event was shared by others, is reproducible by others under controlled circumstances, is mathematically probable, or is ever repeated in anyone's experience. There was a real mail truck on a real street observed by a real person on a specific day, etc. Possibly no mail was found in any mail box along the street - who cares? It still happened. I can't prove it to anyone, but I KNOW it. Faith refers to reality, although whatever allows us to perceive such reality is mysterious, compared to seeing and hearing a mail truck.
Faith is not a belief system that someone persuades you to act upon as if it were true despite the evidence. That would be brainwashing. Faith is knowing and understanding despite persuasions that can be very compelling but are still false insofar as they contradict what faith reveals. Faith is like the clarity of the little child declaring "The Emperor has no clothes!" And faith is the clarity of the leper declaring "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean!"
Peter walked on water by faith. He had the revelation of this ability, just briefly, before his rational mind over-ruled his faith and God-in-Christ had to rescue him. Have I ever walked on water? No. Is that relevant to Peter's experience, as far as its reality? No. In my life, as in every Christian's life, are 'many infallible proofs' of the reality of Jesus Christ, some shared with or observed by others, many not. Faith allows the greater truth to be known, it does not deny material reality but also is not fooled by it.
Faith is a gift from God, and there is no way to obtain faith from any other source. It is often said that 'unbelievers have faith' in things - faith in the law, or faith in science, or faith in human nature, and so on. While those who do not know Christ as Lord and Savior may indeed have deep feelings or firm convictions regarding various things, such is not truly faith. Faith is a gift from God and the very first iota of faith that one receives is the ability to know the truth of Jesus Christ. If you do not know Christ, you do not have faith. There is no belief of any other type that constitutes Faith.
At a time, a witness for Christ was explaining to me the plan of salvation and inviting me to meet Christ. "Will you accept the Holy Spirit?" he said. At once, I was astonished at the self-evident, perfectly obvious TRUTH of what he was telling me! "That's it?" I said, "it's that?" God gave me instantly the faith to be saved, and I simply could not express my amazement that I had never understood the truth before, it was so dazzlingly clear to me at that point. The Devil was by my side as usual, though, and quickly spoke up to say, "O, but what about evolution? Are you going to have to believe that Creation story?" I heard this question distinctly from just over my left shoulder, so I said aloud, "O, but what about evolution? Am I going to have to believe that Creation story?" To which the one witnessing to me said, "You are willing to trust your eternal soul to Jesus, trust Him with that too - don't make it the issue now, but let's talk about it again in two weeks." This seemed reasonable, so I said "Yes, I want to receive the Holy Spirit." I was thrilled to know that I was giving my life and all my affairs into the hands of a trustworthy, competent manager, and did not have to struggle with it all alone anymore.
Having received the measure of faith sufficient to be saved, I shed veil after veil of sadness and superstition. Faith grew and joy bubbled up, so that I understood the term 'springs of living water'. Long before the two weeks were over, with no further discussion, I was laughing at the very idea of evolution, and at myself for ever having taken it seriously - what a preposterous, implausible scenario is evolution! And yet, I had believed evolutionism and all its implications and despised those who did not, so lost was I apart from Christ.
Faith is the victory.
1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
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