Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Faith of the Skeptic

"Is faith a good or a bad thing? I accept that a carbon atom has 6 protons because this has been established by logical conjecture based on observable evidence. Is this faith?" Radagast

Most people misunderstand the place of faith--both in everyday life, and when it comes to God. If someone has never seen protons but "accepts" (trusts—has faith) that they exist, his faith is based on "logical conjecture" (commonsense guesswork) which is based on "observable evidence" (so he believes).

In other words someone else has seen something that has convinced him that a carbon atom has six protons, and so he chooses to believe that evidence to be true. Again, the person is trusting in the unseen. This is the same as the biblical definition of faith: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).

My wife has a Ford Escape car. Even though I believe (trust) that it was made by Ford, I don't know for certain that it was, because another maker could have made it and for some reason put a Ford plate on the vehicle. However, I don't have to have faith that the vehicle had some maker. That's something I know. No faith is necessary to know that, because only a fool would believe that a car made itself. Again, it is clear to a reasonable mind that every vehicle had some maker-—it's self-evident.

So when it comes to knowing that the Maker of nature exists, I don't need faith at all. Only a fool would believe that nature made itself:

"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Romans 1:20-21).

But to receive something from God, we must exercise trust (faith) in Him, in the same way we trust pilots, banks, surgeons, etc. Without that sort of faith (trust), it's impossible to please Him. Just as trust is the necessary ingredient in any healthy human relationship, so faith (trust) is the beginning and ending of a relationship with God. To begin a relationship, trust Him. To end it, don't trust Him. It's very simple.