What Is Faith?
The below item is part of my "Conversations" series.
Two Christians of different denominations at a block party
Caitlin: I’ve been meaning to ask you, there’s a person on Twitter named GodProz that reminds me of you sometimes, but there’s nothing in their profile. That wouldn’t be you, would it?
Bailey: No. I do Facebook and I read some blogs and the news, but that’s about it online. Except for shopping, of course.
Caitlin: I’m really active in a bunch of Christian discussion groups and forums. Have you ever tried that?
Bailey: I used to, but it got on my nerves. People spend so much time arguing with atheists and trying to prove that God exists, and I can’t help but feel that they’re missing the point. There’s no need to try and prove anything. You just have to have faith.
Caitlin: There’s nothing wrong with evidence, though. I have faith in God, but I think that evidence only strengthens it.
Bailey: How can it? If you want evidence, that means that you don’t have enough faith.
Caitlin: I don’t think so. When I talk about faith, I don’t mean blindly believing something, I mean believing with all my heart because my trust has been earned. For example, imagine you are on the eighth floor of a burning building. If you see firefighters below and they are encouraging you to jump from the window, and you jump because you assume that they know what they’re talking about, then that’s faith. It’s a deep form of trust that firefighters have earned by demonstrating their skill. But if there is so much smoke that you can’t see out the window and you haven’t heard sounds of fire engines or firefighters below, but you jump out the window anyway because you’re sure firefighters will save you, that’s blind faith. I don’t think that a Christian has to have blind faith.
Bailey: That’s not blind faith — it’s not any kind of faith. It’s just stupid.
Caitlin: It’s believing without requiring proof. Isn’t that the kind of faith you are talking about?
Bailey: The difference is that there’s no way firefighters are going to save you if you jump out of a burning building and they don’t even know you’re there.
Caitlin: How do you know?
Bailey: Well, they just can’t.
Caitlin: In other words, you don’t have blind faith in firefighters. You’d have to have evidence before you had faith that firefighters would save you in a certain situation.
Bailey: Yes, but that’s not the same as God.
Caitlin: If you were in a burning building, would you have faith that if you jumped God would see you safely to the ground?
Caitlin: Why? Does God always save Christians who jump out of flaming skyscrapers?
Bailey: No, but if I’m not saved, I know that it’s because it’s part of God’s plan.
Caitlin: Then you have faith that if you jump out of a building God will either save you or He won’t, but that either way it’ll be for a good reason. That doesn’t sound like very impressive faith.
Bailey: The kind of faith you say you have isn’t very impressive, either. You wouldn’t put your faith in God unless He proved himself to you. The Bible says you can’t put God to the test like that.
Caitlin: There’s no need to put God to the test. The Bible itself is proof enough that God loves us and has a plan for us. I have faith that he will see that plan through because He has always kept His promises in the past.
Bailey: I have faith that God will keep His promises even without the Bible. I don’t need any proof.
Caitlin: How do you know that He’ll keep his promises?
Bailey: I have faith in my heart.
Caitlin: Personally, I trust God’s word more than I trust my heart.
Bailey: I still think you’re missing something, and now I’m all worked up about it. This is exactly why I avoid this kind of conversation.
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