Faith is believing the truth. For faith to be faith, we must have a reason to believe.
Trust is nearly the inverse of faith, and God requires it as well as faith. It is believing in spite of the evidence.
I was researching these definitions while trying to grapple with a line of thinking presented by a “musical collective” known as Gungor. This line of thinking and belief system seems to be trending in the “Christian” music world, and in modern evangelical circles. The line of thinking is that we don’t need to actually believe the biblical text as it refers to creation, the flood, Jonah and the big fish, etc in order to accept the teachings of Christ and believe in Him. In so doing they are willing to accept that Jesus did the miracles the text describes but they are unwilling to accept the obvious miracles God did in creation and the others mentioned above.
As I was thinking through all of this I began reading some of the comments in reference to the “What We Believe” page of the Gungor website. I’d like to post these comments here. I believe they are relevant, and sum up the way I think about faith. I trust in the biblical text; it contains all the information about God that He desires for us to know.
I hear the questions and the struggles to know what all of this means. But it really comes down to a simple question: Am I willing to trust God when He clearly tells us in His word who He is (that doesn’t mean every detail about him is perfectly known, but He gives us a clear knowledge of His heart, character, perfection, plan and faithfulness to call us back to Himself).
If I’m willing to make the choice to trust Him, there will still be times of confusion and bewilderment, but His word IS the authority to guide me in seeking Him and walking with Him through the ups and downs and wildernesses of life.
If I’m not wiling to choose to trust Him, then all of these very deep questions about belief and meaning and which authority trumps which – become very disorienting. Everyone becomes their own answer and goes after what works for them, and order, logic, truth and beauty become meaningless to us because in our minds and hearts we have made powerless the common denominator to all existence. That is God’s loving lordship over everyone and everything in this world. And my place is simply to trust my Father and obey Him, even though most of the time I don’t feel like I understand.
That is pretty much what I’ve been thinking while reading this whole thing. I constantly struggle with my ability to understand aspects of God, creation, His timeline, and so forth. But when it comes down to it, the fact is, free will or not, I do not have the ability to understand fully all that which is presented in the bible as fact. I earnestly want to, but I alone cannot. Furthermore, the issues with the Garden of Eden, the flood and the Arc, Jonah and the whale, the world and all thing which inhabit it in a matter of a week versus evolution- these are things that naturally will be conceived as preposterous to the human mind. We don’t know the reason for these occurrences or why God chose them to be in the book described as, “His word”. But they are there, and for good reason too, that we can rely on since God has them in there. If these things are considered so outrageous, than what about a virgin being impregnated with the Son of God? What about every single miracle Jesus performs in the New Testament? Some of them are just so beyond what I could ever imagine seeing! Walking on water?!
My point is, why should some be taken as within the realms of God’s power and others not? Especially when we cannot even begin to conceive all that which is in His power. “Lean not on your own understanding…” Why? Because we don’t have the ability to fully comprehend mighty power with which God moves and all the He is capable of. If we believe the Bible to be the word of God, then we should take it as that 100%. Even what we do not understand through and through, because God says too. And just have faith in God. And let go, and patiently wait for Him to reveal what He sees fit for each one of us to understand when He sees fit to provide those revelations. Because, if we don’t, we end relying on our own intellectual capabilities to seek and provide us answer to the hard questions for us, rather than fully trusting God and His plan, and His timing.
This was not to be this long. I just wanted to say, faith is so very powerful, as is relying on God fully for understanding and comprehension rather than figuring out some possible alternative to the truth out of impatience and intellectual arrogance. But, then again, in the grand scheme of things, does it matter individually whether we perceive the infamous “stories” of the Old Testament as just that, stories? Or does it speak volumes of our inability to have a faith like a child? I don’t understand a lot of things myself, but pray for God to reveal His truth on things He wants me to understand, and to provide me peace and faith like a child for that which He deems unnecessary at this point in my walk. And in that way, He helps me keep my concerns on what truly matters-loving as He loved, receiving His grace and mercy daily in my life, and relying on Him for and in all matters of my life believing that He will finish the work He began on me so that I can serve Him out love, through love- thus growing my knowledge of Him, my love for Him, and fueling my desire for obedience to Him and serving through actions of love.
I recommend listening to the podcast referenced above and then going to the Gungor Music web page and read about their faith and some thoughts on Christianity which are trending these days.
Please pray for Christ’s Church today, that this trend will be short lived. Because eternity is at stake.
Soli Deo Gloria