I have always been told that the truths of Christianity are to be accepted by faith. Then, at the same time, I was urged to read books like More Than a Carpenter and Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell (and later on the Case For . . . series by Lee Strobel) and study apologetics so I would be prepared to “give an answer” to anyone who asked. On one hand “Faith” and the other hand “Evidence.”
My question is this: Once evidence is found for a belief, does it cease then to be accepted by faith?
Today’s StillSpeaking meditation looks at accepting truth without needing to prove anything.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Excerpt from Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16)
I can’t prove to you that Jesus lived, died and was resurrected, nor that he healed people on the sabbath or that he forgave his tormentors. I can’t prove to you that one God can also be three in one, and that together that force has parted the waters, burned bushes and fed thousands on short rations. None of this can I prove. But I can tell you that I have faith in it.
I can say it because “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen.” I can hope and believe in what is not before my eyes. I don’t have to be logical, and most of all, I don’t have to prove it. Not to you, not to anyone.
In our culture, it seems like people of faith are always on the witness stand being asked to prove things, and we Christians tend to cooperate. We come up with the search for the historical Jesus and scholars who vote on whether Jesus said this or that. Or archaeological studies that will finally prove whether or not Jesus was resurrected. Documentaries on the History Channel draw us in, as if finally, we might look reasonable to the viewing public, as though finally we will get our proof.
I’m tired of playing by that dull and pedestrian set of rules, which has everything to do with a litigious, factoid-hungry culture and nothing to do with following Jesus. I don’t come to church for evidence or for a closing argument. I come to experience the presence of God, to sense the mystery of things eternal and to learn a way of life that makes no sense to those stuck sniffing around for proof.
Cast your gaze heavenward. May the peace of Christ, which passes all human understanding, fill your hearts and minds with the knowledge and love of God. Amen. (Reflection by Lillian Daniel )
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One quick word in closing:
“To choose what is difficult all one’s days, as if it were easy, that is faith.” W.H. Auden from For the Time Being