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Faith is Embarrassing

Faith is Embarrassing

 

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“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6

Recently I participated in an online discussion about whether the world was created from a blueprint of sorts or simply came to be through the random collision of particles. The discussion quickly became one of those overly cerebral discussions; a flurry of confusing facts and dogmatic conclusions. Two things occurred to me as the dialogue went back and forth:

 

1.     Faith is typically juxtaposed with facts (i.e. in this case, science) and is therefore considered illogical.

2.     It is therefore embarrassing to say you have faith.

As a culture, have we really come to the place where believing that God created the world or that Jesus rose from the dead is tantamount to belief in Santa Claus or the Easter bunny? Sadly, I find that very tension in my own heart. As I interacted in that brainy discussion, the words of Hebrews 11:1-3 rang in my ears:

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

I decided in that discussion to do something crazy: make the case that the idea that God created the world is an act of faith. I fear that too often many Christians have removed the element of faith from the discussion and have tried to win the debate with raw facts. This is partly due to the fact that our culture has accepted the lie that faith is always opposed to facts. Therefore, people of faith are embarrassed to develop their position from within the context of faith. This is not a tenable solution for the Christian. Even the best science in the world cannot prove that God exists or that He created the world. We hold these things by faith. Faith is not opposed to facts; in fact well-placed faith and accurate facts are complementary.

A well-placed faith in the truth is both commendable and necessary. The Scriptures tell us in Hebrews 11:6 that “without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

I couldn’t help in that discussion to keep coming back to the person of Jesus. Sure, I explained that my belief in God’s creation of the world was an act of faith. But, I proposed that Christianity is not a faith without fact. Consider the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was not a mythical figure like Zeus or Santa. One would be hard-pressed to find a legitimate scholar who claimed that a real man, Jesus of Nazareth, never existed. The fact is undisputed. What is disputed are the facts surrounding His resurrection. No one disputes that an empty tomb exists. How that tomb became empty is a matter of sharp debate. Christians have proclaimed for 2000 years that the tomb is empty because Jesus rose from the dead. Others have argued that he resuscitated in the cool of the tomb and mustered the strength to roll away the stone. Mind you, all while the Roman guards stood outside. Others have postulated that His body never saw the tomb because wild dogs ate His body at the cross. Still others have suggested that the frightened and timid disciples overpowered the Roman guards and stole the body. The FACT is that none of these concoctions has any historical merit. The FACT is that we now possess a significant treasure of eyewitness testimony (over 500 eyewitnesses) claiming to have seen the risen Jesus. Those eyewitnesses refused to recant this belief and so were murdered in very cruel ways. Do people willingly die for what they know is a lie? Not usually. But people will die for what they know is the truth.

So, while I am a person of faith, the Christian faith is not without fact as many would suggest. I’m sure people in that conversation thought I was a “nutjob” for talking about Jesus while we were trying to have a discussion about the world’s origins. But, when it comes to a defense of the Christian faith, what better place is there to turn? If Jesus rose from the dead, then He is worthy of our love, worship, and faith. And if we accept Jesus by faith, we accept His teaching. In Matthew 19:4, Jesus spoke approvingly of the fact that there was a Creator who made man and woman. Jesus believed that God lovingly created the world. How would He know? He was there when it happened. He is the Creator and He came down to capture rebel sinners like me, who were broken and dysfunctional, to bring them into relationship with His Father. Jesus came with great passion to redeem and save His creation.

So don’t believe the lie. Faith is not opposed to facts. Faith helps explain the facts. Faith is not embarrassing. It pleases God and He rewards it. A well-placed faith will take you to the risen Jesus of Nazareth, your Creator and the Lover of your soul. And when you meet Him and experience His passionate love for you, you will at last know that having a well-placed faith is not embarrassing.

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