Shane started a topic over on the Apricot Pie Message Board the other day.
Let me warn you before you read it, just cuz AP is a homeschool forum, not everyone on there is Christian.
What does it mean?
Looks to God, not main.
Prays for God's victory.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen..... by faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible....And without faith it is impossible to please [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
Basically it's to beleive in someone and their abilities. Wether those abilities are to do your laundry and make you dinner every night or the abilities are to save billions of people, take them to heaven and love them all. Personally, I feel that faith is a sign of a lazy mind.
"If I beleive really hard that it will happen, then it will"
If something confuses you and you are faithful towards your lord, then it is much eaiser to have a "god did it, I have faith that he knows what's best so I won't question him" attitide.
Because no christians have actually seen god and lived to tell about it; faith is the only link that god and his followers really have.
"If I beleive really hard that god is real, then he is"
I believe in the existence of God and gravity.
Faith, isn't so much believing that something is true that obviously isn't. It's not like that at all. To me it's unwavering certainty that something is true. An unquestionable conviction. For example, it's an unquestionable conviction in my mind that gravity exist, has a direct effect on my life, and even determines somewhat where I'll be in the future. It forces me to stay on the ground, which has a direct effect on my life. It also determines that I'm likely to be on the ground ten days from now as well. Oh yes, it's confining and controlling, gravity isn't it? I mean after all, who would want something that forces everyone to stick to the ground instead of being free to do their own thing? Perhaps, I should enlighten myself and start trying to defy gravity! Perhaps if I join up with a bunch of other like-minded folks and we stand around and shout "There is no gravity." we can eventually evade this restrictive force. Now, I can't see gravity, taste gravity, don't really have a comprehensible feeling of it though I'd certainly feel it's absence. can't smell it, hear it, or otherwise be sure of it's existence via the normal methods of direct observation. Tell me, what would you say if I said gravity doesn't exist? It's a perfectly logical observation isn't it? Gravity cannot exist because nobody has ever seen it, am I not correct? There may be, after all other interpretations as to way things stick to the ground, perhaps we just think things stick to the ground or maybe there is little particles of a glue like substance that for unknown reasons prefers to be on whatever side is down, which also pulls things down to the floor unless a stronger force pulls it back up. It's obviously a myth, I mean how can I believe in something nobody has ever seen!
Or perhaps, maybe gravity does exist, but that can't be, it after all sets certain rules and limitations on me, so I prefer to deny it's existence rather then face the obvious truth for what it is.
To me, it takes so much more faith, by the definition of believing in something just to make it real, to believe that things like gravity and God do not exist, then it does to accept the truth for what it is. Let's face it, I'm stuck on the ground and no amount of denying it is going to change that.
Faith is all christians base their beliefs on and its half the reason i am very against christianity. In my experiance when i was a christian a would always ask someone at my church or youth group this question only to dig deeper "What do we have to base on God's existance?" And they would always answer with one simple word "Faith" it drove me crazy "Faith in what?" i mean jeez "based on what?" and we'd just go in circles with it. All i came down to was we had blind faith in a guy who no one even knew exisited... and if i said that what i'd get was "You have to have faith" BUT FAITH IN WHAT!!???!!! Faith really is blind all it is, is a cover up an excuse to believe in some dude that probly does not excist and surely doesnt care if he does. I could kill myself tomorrow and he wouldnt care just send me to hell for not believing in him. So Faith is really pointless all we do is waste our time having faith in him and we have no basis. I truly want to know why we should have faith in God without any reason. I want proof not lies.
You want proof?
You got proof.
Look all around you. You really think that all this stuff was formed by chance and a big bang? And the Bible has been tested... and it's the most accurate ancient document. Ever.
Sorry but Korn's latest song "Evolution" makes much more sense then the pack of lies the bible's telling us, Not That i believe in Evolution but its not as silly as the bible deffinatly.
For proof, the Bible doesn't put forth creation as it's primary example but instead turns to Prophecy as it's proof. With 100% accuracy I find it at least something to consider. And considering that nearly all religions have a creation story of sorts, I can see why God would choose to do so. However, it's pretty much only blind to those who have forgotten how to see. Silent to those who have forgotten how to listen, therefore, I see little point in trying to intellectually convince anyone who cannot see nor hear it. The reason is quite simple, to understand the scriptures, one has to know the author, otherwise it seems foolishness. I understand why Christianity and the Bible seems very much a myth and foolishness to you.
I think the question you are asking is why do bad things happen to good people. I don't know. I've heard it said that there are no good people. I don't know if I agree with that, for one there is one good person who had bad things happen. Considered good by God's standard, he was accused of crimes he didn't commit, even executed. It's kind of like the question the pharisees asked Jesus, "Who sinned? This man or his parents?" about a crippled man. Jesus didn't agree with them. Perhaps "Why do bad things happen to good people?" is indeed a valid, reasonable question. I only wish I knew how to answer it. Perhaps it is true that there are no good people. But still the question remains. Why do bad things happen? Isn't God sovereign, all powerful, able to do anything? Yes. Then why do bad things happen? My only answer that I know is so that Love can truly exist in it's truest, purest, form. In order for love to exist and be true love there has to be a choice. My guess is, that bad things happen because we have the ability to chose or reject God. But think about it, if God forced you to love him against your will, would that be love? By it's very definition it is not love, but hate to deny someone the choice. The choice to love is the answer I believe. Freedom to choose to love God or to reject him. It's that freedom to choose to hate God that allows for pain. Since God is good, rejecting him, naturally leads to evil. It's the natural result, but the required result for love to exist between God and Man. Furthermore, God doesn't want perfect people, he want's redeemed people. People who have personally, individually made the choice to love him. I believe God loves all but respects the choice of the individual. In other words he purposely forsakes his sovereignty so that you can choose to hate him. Without men being able to choose evil, and therefore reject God, who is good, yes, we would have a perfect world, but it would be a world of pseudo-love. A false relationship.
All this brings about the question. Why hell? Because justice, ultimately requires payment, either by the individual who committed the crime or a perfect sacrifice in place of the individual. But justice doesn't rest. Again it boils down to the goodness of God. A good God, must be a just God. Imagine if you will an unjust God. It would not be a good God. Which is why Jesus coming to earth to be that perfect sacrifice is so important. That's the importance of the cross, again, to lay the choice of Heaven or Hell upon the individual. Making it your own choice on where to spend eternity. In other words, if you don't want to be with God, then you have the choice to reject him, and get your wish, but what that means, and I have to be honest, is that justice still needs to be paid out. It's a requirement of a good God. Choice again is the key here.
Freedom to love. You can choose to love or hate God, but it is your choice.
If you wish for practical proof of true, real, Christianity I suggest looking at the persecuted church for answers. There has got to be something real about it for those people to endure the incredible evils that get thrown against them. Explain the persecuted church please. What makes it so powerful if God doesn't exist? It's a reasonable question that concerns an actual issue going on in the world today. Those people believe in God enough to not deny Him under hardships most of the west can't even imagine a human being putting on another human being.
It all comes down to your choice really.
Shows how off topic we get over there.
But that's not my point.
So what's faith in your definition?
Give it a think.