All religions stressed on belief and sincerity almost to the exclusion of thinking and reasoning. Those that think that Bible and Science cannot co-exist suffer from this wrong belief. Strong faith comes from reasoning that eliminate doubts. Sincerity in a lie is of no use. Preachers that stress on having strong faith has missed a key point. Faith works not just because of our faith but more on the faithfulness of God and His words.Last two posts, Reflections on the Reactions to Kong Hee Alleged Misue of Funds - 1 and Reflection 2 People Don't Change - It is the Situation cover the two key factors that determine the behavior of people. One is the situation and the other is the nature or character of man. In this post, I want to talk about thinking, or more specifically, reasoning on the faith.
Many people considered the supportive behavior of CHC members for their leaders as blindness or foolishness. Religion, in many people mind, is the suspension of thinking and just belief. They call it having faith. Faith and religions are used interchangeably. Faith have been wrongly defined as belief without reasons or evidence.
Thinking + Reasoning Increases Faith
Christian faith is not like that. Christian faith requires you to use your mind and your reasoning. Examine the evidence and then form your conclusions. Then put your faith into actions but acting on the conclusions that you drawn. Base on this definition of faith, you can see scientists are the ones that have faith. They have great faith in their theories and laws and build great structures, airplanes, space crafts and devices of all kinds. How dare they send people into space? How can they be sure they will return safely? It takes great faith to send the first man into space and to the moon. Similarly, Christian faith is like that. We study the Bible to know and to put into practice. First on little things and later with greater experience of its trustworthiness, we do by faith, greater things. CHC started with a 20 people home group. As they grow, they put their experience validated faith, into work, dream bigger and achieve higher. All churches are built that way, starting from small and grow in putting acquired faith into greater actions. We belief God for the small things and later through experience, we belief God for greater things.
Jesus tells us to look and see as the way to increase our faith.
Jesus, in Matthew 6:25-34 addressing the worry that people had and of their little faith, tell them to look at the birds of the sky and the lilies of the valleys. Jesus' advice on increasing their little faith is to ask to look and think. If the heavenly Father so take care of the birds and flowers, He will surely take care of you, who are more worthy than them.
Faith is Evidence
Hebrew 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The Bible tells us that faith gives the substance for hope to stand on. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Not seen here is meant to be "in the future" and not just invisible since we are talking about hope. Faith must be evidence based. The evidence gives the substance for our hope so that our hope has strong basis. The way to increase our faith is not to just ask us to belief more but to show more evidences. By being presented with more evidences, by meditating on the evidences, questioning the evidences with our doubts, and getting our doubts cleared, we increase our faith.
Strong Faith is Built on Strong Reasoning on the Truth
The Reason that your Faith is weak is because you think not. By studying the Bible and discovering the truth through seeking, knocking and reflecting, we increases our understanding of the truth and our faith in the truth.
The Cause of Blindness
But today, many Christians are lazy and do not want to do the hard thinking by themselves. They prefer someone else to give them the answers and they just want to believe. They elect and idolize their leaders, preachers or pastors and do the easy, lazy but dangerous thing of trusting their leaders. Leaders that enjoy their worship are only too easily tempted to give them their wishes. So we have the sad mutually reinforcing trends create potentially dangerous blind following and leading of large number of people.
But the Bible does not teach us that. The Bible tells us to use our brain to check all teachings. Consider:
Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
It is laziness in thinking that promotes blindness and blind faith that are easily manipulated by others.
Next: Reflection 4 Riches is No Evil & Poverty is Not a Virtue.