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True faith and blind belief.

16 March 2011

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How do we cope with a God who doesn’t put everything right? How do we cope with a God who allows terrible things, like the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, to happen? St Paul sees God as “the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” God is able to work miracles in our lives, but they may not necessarily be the kind of miracles that we had in mind.

Faith is different to blind belief. It is perhaps closer to doubt than it is to certainty. Those who certain their correct have no need for faith. When people are suffering, we can have the blind belief that if we belief hard enough, or pray the right thing then everything will magically be made better, like it was better when Lazarus was raised. Sometimes it does work out that the sick become better after prayer. But it doesn’t always work that way. Not by a long shot. And when it doesn’t happen the way blind belief thinks it should, the person without real faith is left in a difficult position, searching for blame. You didn’t belief enough. You didn’t subscribe to the right doctrine. You didn’t pray hard enough. You didn’t send me ‘seed offering.” In some cases such blind belief, when disappointed, ends in blind unbelief.

True faith is that which has matured past such childishness. Faith grows within those who have the courage and the desire to ask questions of God throughout their lives, and to wait for His answers. Instead of only seeing God only as a domineering parent, faith walks with God who wants to gently guide those who will hear His voice.

The God of faith allows human beings the freewill to do exactly what they wish to do, which means that many horrors, both overt and covert, occur. Some human beings choose to cause pain and suffering for other human beings, and the God of faith does not intervene for now, because this God has given them freewill and will never take that gift away from human beings no matter how badly they abuse it. Some human beings allow greed to rule their hearts and minds, and grind other human beings underfoot in order to have more themselves. They too have free will, and the God of faith may not seem to presently prevent that injustice in the way we would like to see Him do.

Miracles do happen, but the God of faith isn’t a God who simply fills in the gaps in human understanding. That’s the God of blind belief, who perhaps tends to perform the sort of miracle which looks to the rest of us like a conjuring trick.

The true miracles given by the God of faith have depth and occur most often within the human heart. When they will let Him, the God of faith is able to transform fallen human beings into beings radiant with light. God is faithful to us in all things great and small. Miracles not only still occur, but occur for us and within us through the God of faith.

 

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