There comes a time in every persons life when an awareness of something beyond themselves begins to make itself felt. That is, at some point we begin to question things. At first this may be small things like, “why is the grass green?” or “how come I can see the moon sometimes during the day?”. Sooner or later we start to ask BIG questions such as “Do I really have to listen to my parents” or Why do I really have to do something the way they said to do it?”. Somewhere in the process of maturing the really big questions turn to, “Why am I here?”, “Do I matter?”, What is the purpose of Life?”, Is there a God?”
Our focus often times is on finding answers to the questions, rarely do I observe or even experience the occasion when we ask, “Why do I ask these questions” The idea that these questions come up, in some form or another, for all people, seems to me to be, The Big Question. I have come to the conclusion personally that our Creator put these things inside of our internal makeup and that we are designed to seek answers.
The next series of posts, I want to explore some of these topics in greater detail. The title of the series is the hinge on which I want to open up a dialogue between both those who believe and those who don’t, between those who have faith and those who struggle with the idea that faith is even necessary, and look deeper into faith versus knowing/ believing.
There are those who feel that nothing is knowable, (that is), there is no absolute truths, nothing is knowable for sure and that in the interest of respect for all, that whatever one chooses to believe is up to them and is just as valid as what anyone else believes. Can we ask a bigger question here? It seems to me that this in and of itself is dependent on 1) people must believe something, 2) that their belief somehow has validity. This leaves me with the questions: How do they reconcile that they feel they know something and at the same time believe that nothing is really knowable? Can we use the word “know” and “believe” interchangeably?
Are knowing and believing the same? How about faith, is faith and believing interchangeable? I know it sounds like semantics but the meanings we attach to words matter… it is hard to communicate with others when we perceive different meanings for the same word. These are not, I hope, things we are quick to throw pat answers at.
Knowing and believing are not the same and believing and faith are not the same. One thing they do share, is the common ability to mean different things depending on what emotions are present at the time. However I would like to hypothesize how true faith is different from all the others.
[feyth] Show IPA
My definition of faith:, doing or acting on something that defies human reasoning as the sole motivator.
Notice that the definitions from dictionary.com tie the word belief to faith? Belief is entirely possible without faith, belief and faith can work very well together, but, can we say “I have faith without belief” ? It is interesting, that at first glance the idea of having faith without belief seems ludicrous yet I think our churches are full of people who have things mixed up. It seems if we refer to an earlier part of this post that we, as a people, are imbued with a desire to seek answers for big questions and I would like to hypothesize that faith came first before belief, that indeed it was faith that motivated us to seek in the first place.
More on this later… But now it is time for you all to chime in here! Let me know what you …believe