Saturday, October 27, 2007

Defending the Faith . . .

It's true. Most Christians have a hard time defending their faith. So much so, that the non-believers in this country - particularly the left and especially the militant atheists - wrongly conclude that most Christians are rubes - simple minded hicks who were taken in by some fancy talking preacher. They believe that if you simply enlighten these bumpkins, they will see how silly it is to believe in all these fairy tales and Christianity can finally go the way of the dodo.

Of course, this is a grossly incorrect assumption. As far as intelligence goes, Christians run the gamut. But the question remains: Why do most Christians have trouble defending their faith?

Contrary to popular belief, most Christians do not come to their faith as the result of an intellectual decision. They don't spend years researching the mysteries of the universe, comparing religions, and piecing together scientific evidence before deciding to accept a set of philosophical teachings to live their life by. Most Christians take a leap of faith and ask Jesus to come into their life. Faith comes first. Once Jesus comes into a person's life, faith is no longer blind.

Christians don't believe in Jesus as a child believes in the Easter Bunny. They believe in Jesus because his love touched their soul. Once that happens, they could no longer deny His existence as they could deny the sun is shining while the rays still warm their face. Once Jesus warms your soul, there is no reason to search for evidence of His existence. Because there He is. As bright as the sun, with rays of pure love.

The reality of Jesus is written on the hearts of all mankind. You simply have to choose to stop ignoring it.


Nicole said...

Hallelujah and Amen. Truth.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Oh yeah! My first Hallelujah.

Mike Duran said...

Dayle, I think you're right that most people become Christians as the result of emotional pain, crisis or angst. There are deep emotional, existential yearnings that propel them toward something, Someone absolute. The sad thing is that most Christians stay there -- driven by emotion and shunning intellect.

Probably as far back as the Enlightenment, Faith and Reason were pitted against one another. Here, Science replaced God. I'm guessing that disjunction between Faith and Reason exists today in the hearts of many believers. Not only do we see Science / Reason as contradictory to Faith, we view our own personal Faith as superior to Science / Reason.

God wants us to love Him with our mind as well as our heart. However, we live in an age dominated by relativism, a time when "heart" -- our personal feelings and opinions -- are the locus for truth. Christians are not immune to this thinking. The reasons more Christians do not devote more energy toward defending the faith is that they still see Reason as inferior to Faith, and have allowed their heart to guide them, rather than their mind.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Very interesting take, Mike.

I hope most don't see science/reason as contradictory to faith. Maybe it's because I love science so much that I don't see the two as mutually exclusive. Quite the contrary, in fact. To me it is quite logical and reasonable to have faith.

Maybe it has more to do with pre-born-again preferences. Most aren't "science geeks" before becoming a Christian so they don't become one after.

I certainly understand your point about the enlightenment, but I think the divide between faith and science has been victimized by revisionist history.

Moral relativism is a huge problem. I guess if our feelings make us comfortable or provide convenient rationalizations for our behavior, we are more apt to remain cloaked in them.

Nicole said...

I think the possibility exists that faith supercedes an "idea" of reason by those who put their "faith" in the religion of secular humanism.

Educated faith enhances reason but not every person of faith is prepared to argue the logical and scientific backups for what they believe in the terms which are acceptable in the scientific community.

Because I'm one of those who sees the marvelous science and reason of creation, the flood, etc. in biblical truths but is less able to communicate it effectively, I keep scientific (text)books from scientists who are Christians available in case I can use them for those who are tempted to understand a biblical perspective.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

That's a good point, Nicole.

I'm sure some would suggest that we shouldn't play on their field. In other words, the debate should transcend man's pre-supposed standards of truth.

Aim higher.

I still think it's necessity that drives the issue. Anti-Christian forces need a scale upon which to judge our faith inadequate. Most Christians don't see a need to enter that court and they leave it to the Apologists who feel compelled to do so on their behalf.

Mark Harbeson said...

C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity is probably the best attempt I've seen at using logic/reason to defend the faith. What a brilliant man he was.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I quit reading Mere Christianity about half-way through.

I don't exactly remember why.

Janet Rubin said...

i like that about you... that you admit not finishing. i bought it a while back, read a little, plan to read more... it might take a while though:)