Faith vs. “Knowledge”

Post #1 in response to Avant Garde’s comments on All Roads Lead to Heaven?

“…how did you come to conclusion that jesus is ultimately right – was my question. I am not saying he is not right, all i am asking is how do YOU know that?”

Before I wax philosophical, let me give you the most personal answer I can give (the short version, at least). I came to the conclusion that Jesus was right because he saved me from myself. I was raised in a church-going, though not especially churchy family. During middle school, at the encouragement of the youth pastor, I began reading the Bible on my own. Convinced that, if God exists, he could and would use just such a means of conveying his truth, I became open to Christianity… and to the fact that I was an egotistical bastard (you know the type: the one who looks down on others for getting B’s). During this time, I had a vivid dream in which (abbridged) I was drawn through darkness into the light and warmth of God’s love in Christ. Since then, there have been many cogent moments of experiencing his presence, such as my near-death in a car crash and my one serious, multi-month bout of manic-depression. But, most importantly, he has transformed me into a more compassionate and loving person (though I still have a long way to go).

But that might not be what you’re asking. What I believe, I cannot prove. I can give you my reasons, my doubts, and my areas of relative certainty. Yet these bits of information are of a different quality than the fact that I exist today, depending on how you define “I” and “exist” and “today,” because Descartes can build a pretty-much air-tight case for the existence of me. No one can build an air-tight case for the need for Jesus. Such is the nature of faith. Many have tried. But this looks less like a science experiment, rooted in things tangible, and more like a court case with a preponderance of evidence, much of it circumstantial, from which you, the jury, must arrive at a verdict.

“Faith is the evidence of things unseen.”

People usually believe in Jesus first in a personal way and then grapple intellectually with the implications of this. In light of my personal faith, why have I concluded that Jesus is ultimately right? Because of the faith the he has planted in me. This is a circular argument, no doubt. But I don’t mind that, as long as you don’t. Circular arguments are only a problem if I’m trying to convince you… and I’m not. Only God can do that. But like any decent, anonymous cyber-friend I can shoot back attempted answers and counter-questions to your questions.

I apologize if this raises more questions than it answers. Faith is about the Person more than it is about the ideas of theology. Questions drive us closer to the truth and a good question is better than any half-assed answer.

Now I still need to address the elephant in the room. Avant Garde further exclaimed: “[you write] in the guise of questioning the denominations/churches of christianity, and saying “no religion but God leads to heaven”, you really meant your God the Son alone leads to heaven!” In my next post I will address the exclusive claims of Christianity.

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I talked a lot and need to take time to listen. Avant Garde, is that an okay beginning? I want to wait to give time for you to respond to any issues raised here, but I don’t want to wait too long before addressing further issues, as these may be your primary concern.

  2. Ok, not much of a problem for me, because everyone has a right to beliefs and personal experiences and I have no right to question or defile it. But it does not answer how your personal experience, notwithstanding your unnecessary recourse to descartes’ famous words, gave you the temerity to blog that other Gods are in fact leading to hell. I see you are trying to address this question in your next post, I am now looking forward to that one.

    But did you ever consider that this Almighty, being what He is, being the “Almighty” He is, can indeed manifest as or through all those wise men I mentioned earlier and give the same experience in that particular form to another faithfool hailing from the country of “Never-Heard-About-Jesus”ica. Such personal experiences of others are no more or no less factual than yours, right? So, what gives?

  3. As my Jewish friend Marilyn constantly reminds me, Judaism and Islam have far more in common than either religion does with Christianity. The problem is Jesus. He and the problems he creates will be the subject of that next post.

    (Brace yourself for me to embarrass myself?)

  4. Friend, i fail to understand the meaning of your self defeating posts any more. So, pls dont blame me for keeping the dialog going, until you take a cogent stand.

  5. Hi,
    Just wanted to invite you over to my new home if I haven’t already, to share my stories of what God has done in my life. Someone called me a spammer, I guess I could be called that. Spamming for Jesus… http://www.drunkdreamer8.com
    C.Apana

  6. I think that it is great that you have your religion tight and I think that people need to find their own religion at their own pace. Personally my sister is trying to quilt me into going to her church, I think I am far more likely to burn it down then attend a service in it. Don’t get me wrong I am fine with everyone having their own beliefs, but they are unique for everyone. Humans are unique by God standards, because they are different. So embrace someone for their difference and move one.

    I had a conversation with a ploy-theistic hedonistic satanist, his religion made sense to him and he did not force it on anyone. So I basically said, “Well I am not going to a flesh eating shindig, lets go play some Halo.” Personally fine with his religious choice because he only talked about it when I asked, God is the judge not me. So, I tend to keep a civil tongue when it comes to religion.

    -NK

  7. C. Apana,
    Spamming for Jesus sounds like Junk-mail for Jesus, which does the opposite of making me want to see your site. Would Jesus spam? I’d kinda rather have a personal comment.

    NK,
    I value the degree that you respect other’s beliefs and privacy, but I wonder, why should we each have to find the truth alone? I fear that many of us shy away from open (but legitimate) disagreement for the sake of peace when we could honestly say, “I love you, brother, but I think you’re wrong.” You can speak the truth (as you best understand it) in love without forcing your beliefs on someone. I hope to address more of this in the second-to-next post, something along the lines of “Other People’s Beliefs.”

    All,
    Forgive me. I am newly married. I might not be as swift to respond as I had once hoped.

  8. Do you think ,you will be save by having faith only? Consider James2:14 What doeth it profit, my brethren, though A MAN SAY he had faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
    Thou believe that there is one God; thou doest well: the devil also believe, and tremble.(James 2:19)You see the devil is much better than you are,cause he not only believe, but also tremble. While in your part, you only believe. Think about it.

  9. Dove124,
    I am not saved by faith but through faith. I am saved by Christ and by his work, not by my own. Works without faith cannot save. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

    Faith without works is dead. It is not truly faith. “Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by what I do” (James 2:18).

    The devil is superior to me in knowledge, but how can he be better than me when he lacks the one thing that truly matters: the love of God?


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