Ask some Christians what they mean by the assertion that “they have faith” and they respond “they have conviction about the things they are believing in God for”, “confidence blessings or outcomes they are expecting from God will come to pass.”
A little bit of in depth thought reveals responses outlined merely describe what people in question do with their faith. Responses proferred do nothing then to define the meaning of the word faith.
Atheists, Pantheists, Agnostics, and Religious folks typically do no better than the Christian’s response. Most can talk about what they do with their faith. Few have any sense of what the word faith stands for outside of whatever it is they attempt to use faith to achieve.
In an attempt at some jest at people talking faith, some ancient philosopher declared “talk to me about your faith and I by my actions will demonstrate mine.” In so far as this philosopher was concerned, faith is evident in actions, meaning no one need declare to their neighbor what faith they have or are acting upon.
Faith the philosopher declares is evident in choices, actions, and values.
The Philosopher makes an important point. Still he makes no attempt to define faith, perhaps because he was more interested in demonstrating practical essence of concept of faith.
The point is, if faith is evident in choices, actions, and values, faith must have a root, a source of coherence else choices, actions, and values run at variance to each other resulting in confusion, bipolarity, or multiple personality issues. Lack of a coherent source for faith likely is the rationale for bipolar or multiple personality disorders.
Lack of a coherent source for faith likely is the rationale for bipolar or multiple personality disorders.
If we root faith in ourselves, what happens when we run into a flood, fire, hurricane, tornado, cyclone, or earthquake that tears away all we hold dear? What good is such repose of faith in midst of disaster or tragedy against which we typically are utterly powerless?
Some time past everyone in a location within which an earthquake had occurred broke into cheers because a small child was pulled alive from rubble of the earthquake. But what makes people search for life beneath rubble of a house in aftermath of an earthquake? Is this faith in self or faith in the impossible? Why do we not argue such searches are irrational? If faith in ourselves feels foolish in aftermath of an earthquake, the faith that makes search teams keep on looking for life under rubble days after an earthquake cannot come from within us. It must come from something outside of our consciousness. That is, must be externally subconscious in the sense of “this is the least those of us left alive can do to show we care.”
Suppose we repose faith in God. Then God can work miracles and give us faith to keep on searching for life under rubble in aftermath of an earthquake. But why does the same faith not make us treat that little child rescued from the rubble with dignity prior to the earthquake? When a child can be loved more because they are rescued from under the rubble of an earthquake, the faith underlying the search has nothing to do with love for that child. It can only be abstract externally superimposed faith. God is a good candidate for source of such miraculous faith that comes not from within us — faith external to our consciousness.
But is faith in God not the ultimate excuse for inaction?
Not if you ask the ancient philosopher. In so far as the philosopher is concerned, if we have faith to become medical doctors, faith is evident not in prayer but in attendance at medical school. If we have faith to become President of a country, we either become Politicians, mega rich Business Owners, or Executives of some of the largest corporations in the world. Faith, declares the philosopher is evident in actions not in prayer. According to the philosopher then, the person who has faith in God does not spend all of his time in prayer. Prayer can be helpful for those who believe but faith in God ultimately is evident in actions.
Prayer may be helpful for demonstration of faith in God, but faith ultimately is evident in actions.
Whether we believe in God or not, “Love for ourselves and others” provides a consistent harmonious root for all of our actions.
Faith rooted in love or some other consistent and harmonious root is antidote for bipolarity or multiple personality disorders.
If God indeed is love as Christians claim, faith rooted in love ultimately is rooted in God.
What then do Christians need Jesus for?
Jesus promises to provide help such that it is easier for Christians to consistently root faith in love. Jesus provides the catalyst, enhancer, much better than opium, less dangerous, and definitely more enabling for supercharging of Christians at rooting faith in love — calmly in public or with some whooping and thumping at home or in Church (almost broke into an Hallelujah right about there).
Oh what the heck? Hallelujah over and over to all the ages to Jah.