The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!

24Mar/112

Reasons I Don’t Believe in God #10: No “Faith” Required

Christianity (in particular) puts quite a lot of emphasis on "faith". Preachers love to talk about how faith is a requirement, that we cannot require or expect proof from God, at least not in the same way we might expect and require proof from a scientist talking about his new discovery. To be a true follower of God you must believe in Him, largely on the basis of faith.

But what seems so odd to me is that few of the figures mentioned in the Old and New Testaments were required to have the sort of faith we are now expected to. The key figures in both Old and New Testaments all had direct and unambiguous contact with God, Jesus, and angels. This direct contact was not made only to the deeply faithful, it involved those who had no faith, those who had only marginal faith, and those with whom the concept of faith didn't even apply. God proved Himself to Moses by His appearance through the burning bush. God spoke directly to Abraham. God (as Jesus) proved Himself to the Apostles and many an average citizen by walking among them and performing indisputable miracles in their very presence. God (as Jesus) proved Himself to Saul (who became Paul) by converting Him through a personal appearance. God appeared, sent angels, or sent visions to most of the other major figures in the Old Testament (Adam & Eve, Cain, Abraham, Job, Isaac, Mary, etc.). How could these people in the Old and New Testament not believe in God when He was directly interacting with them, proving Himself to them by His words and His deeds? If Jesus appeared before me today and raised someone from the dead I, too, would absolutely believe. If God appeared and spoke to me tomorrow through a burning bush (that was not consumed) I would surely believe. If God spoke to me from the heaven's to ask me where my brother was, I would believe. How could anyone doubt what was so self-evidently true? But why are we now expected to forgo the proof and/or validation provided to all these figures we are taught to respect, emulate, and admire? Why did God or religion change these requirements? Why are we expected to be more "faith"-ful (in the sense of believing without proof) than the Apostles, than Saul (Paul), than Moses, than Abraham. I do not believe I can or should do that.

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. ” If Jesus appeared before me today and raised someone from the dead I, too, would absolutely believe.”

    I don’t know if you would actually believe because the Bible says

       30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

       31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

  2. You may be right, but that statement without context would seem to deny the reality of the hundreds of millions of people won to Christ over the last two thousand years. If you weren’t born a Christian, Jew, or Muslim then you initially weren’t listening to Moses and the Prophets, so how can any of them come to Christ? And clearly many have, without even seeing someone rise from the dead.

    I do accept the premise that many who are of a mind not to believe would make excuses for what they saw so as to continue not to believe; most atheists clearly do this. To a point that’s a reasonable thing to do. If a person thinks they see a UFO in the night sky the appropriate thing to do is not to automatically assume it’s aliens from another galaxy but to rule out more reasonable causes, including their own likelihood of delusion or unintentional contact with drugs. But, once you establish the vast likelihood of those things the likelihood of galactic aliens becomes greater than the likelihood of it being something else. And so, too, if God spoke to me from the heavens I would feel the necessity to examine the event, prove (to myself) that I am mentally healthy (schizophrenia produces similar experiences), rule out a practical joke played on my be friends, and go through a process of accepting the event as real for me (and perhaps externally real as well). But until and unless it happens I can’t say for certain. I hope and believe I would experience the event with openness and honesty, but one never knows. We all tend to delude ourselves about who we are and how we’d react in situations.


Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.