20 years ago I began writing for personal reasons a series of Essays linked to Faith, a personal journal of the need for faith and why faith means different things to different people.
I understood that I had a deeply spiritual connection to the world around me and saw majesty in all things. However, I had been taught to question critically belief’s and science.
What is faith?
One dictionary describes it as “strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.”
The Bible describes it as “Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Are these definitions the same?
Clearly no – secular society has judged the person with faith as credulous and gullible, whilst the bible states that it is based on the evidence of things not seen.
Can they both be right. Why to secularists want to profile those with a strong faith as fools? Note the point made in the bible 1 Corinthians 1: 21, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not get to know God through its wisdom,” we can expect those who are wise in there own eyes to view everyone else as foolish.
So, for many to say they have a spiritual side is going to be a real challenge because they do not want to appear to be a fool.
Examine some key points
Science requires faith – faith in the judgement and findings of those who have gone before, because if all scientists started at point zero nothing would move forwards.
Yet, history has taught us the science is changing, conclusions drawn by learned persons are later proved to be inaccurate, and some assumptions have been seen to be totally wrong.
So what does this really mean? Well those who put their trust in science have created a base focused on shifting sands that continuously require firming and testing.
How about faith in God? Similarly we are required to test our foundations. Check that what we experience, observe and test are actually grounded in reality.
First, Faith is personal, it is an expression of who we are and really no one has the right to pass judgement.
Second, Science or Spiritual both require trust in those who have gone before.
Third, only arrogant individuals will ridicule those who possess something they don’t understand.
Finally, faith engages with the individual and encourages them to explore and learn so those who don’t have faith or don’t understand are more easily led because they won’t examine things for themselves.
The example that fits – Flat Earth – the bible stated that the earth was a sphere hanging on nothing thousands of years before it became accepted as science. Those with faith believed the earth to be a globe. Those who wanted to control relied on the fact that most people just wouldn’t bother to find out for themselves. Maritime adventurers knew the earth was round and understood the movement of the stars – they experienced the world, but to have power over people the rich restricted education, knowledge and opportunity. The lesson – Test things out for yourself, never settle for what the text book said and remember the person that teaches you or goes before you dies.
Never confuse dogma for fact – evolution is scientific dogma, still theoretical and never provable so don’t get stress explore the foundation and enjoy the journey.
More thoughts on faith to follow in coming weeks