(4) faith is everything and it requires nothing

I would venture to say that the most devoted Christian is one that would not abandon faith in God even if God himself told him he was a hoax. A faith that is dominated and dependent upon the parameters of Scripture could be seen as “limited”. Faith requires only faith itself, God could come and go. The existence of God matters nothing to the believer so blinded by the focus and drive of true faith. Yes, the matters of an external justification of God’s divinity or existence is not a concern at all. What matters is the internal. Faith alone makes God relevant in one’s soul. Without faith, Christianity would no longer be relevant. God would die immediately if he was exposed as an objective reality by men, and he can survive forever if the fantasy of God is protected by one’s own heart and hope. God as a reality would surely die, while a God who is merely a fantasy will indeed remain. No matter how much injustice is committed in the name of God, no matter how much scientific evidence is presented that proves to deny the existence of God and the divinity of Jesus, none of these things will evict God from our social conscious. God is as alive more in objective denial and would perish in objective affirmation. God as a quixotic idea is much more effective and life changing than God as a real being, proven to be who he said he was. God needs faith to survive. God requires uncertainty. As long as He is an unproven mystery, he will remain an inspiring force. Christian apologetics are as fruitless as Sam Harris. Christ isn’t to be put on display. The moment He shows himself, the public will tear Him to pieces in their desperation to prove their own ideas as truth divinely inspired– they already have been able to do so with just the idea of God! It is the genius of God to require faith, perhaps, as cowardly as it may be. Although, I would call it confidence before I called it cowardice. If one’s faith is destroyed by something as inconsequential (eternally speaking) as unquestionable evidence, it would be as if one had no faith at all. What kind of faith can be taken away? The same thing that, in many circumstances, only serves to illustrate the absurd obstinate behavior of believers, is the one thing that protects (in an internal sense) the believer from the abrasions of arrogance and ego of others which will surely appear victorious in the world such as that in which we live. The value of God can only be judged internally and subjectively, and I feel that any attempt to translate that into some spiritual sell is deceptive, even if done in good intention.

  1. Scott said:

    Great post. Just found your blog. I’ve been thinking about this too. I think that you were kind of getting at this as well, that the strength of scripture is not in its literalness. But in its spiritual truth that goes beyond whether it’s literally true or not.

  2. Yes, you make a good point. Although, my thoughts regarding the literal vs metaphoric aspects of the bible have shifted lately, or rather, have began to evolve. Of course, to use the word “evolve” implies that it is moving in the right direction, that I am not sure of. I think that subjectivity will always precede and dictate one’s decision to view scripture literally, metaphorically, circumstantially, etc.. In relation to this specific post, I was wanting to bring attention to the idea that, perhaps, the most absurd faith is the strongest. A faith that is unmoved in spite of any reveals or changes, a faith that is incorrigible, faith in a vacuum, is the strongest. The appeal to reason should have no affect on faith. Either way, thanks for reading, and thanks for the comment.

  3. Scott said:

    That’s a very interesting point. I must admit, that it seems a little farcical to view the most immobile of faiths as the strongest, if you are viewing that type of strength as a positive. I do think that I understand your point on the strenght of faith being beyond the contingent, in so much as it does not move the person of faith to find out that Noah’s ark is a metaphor, or the creation story a traditional myth. On that point I would agree that that kind of faith is a strenght, because faith is something that is internal doesn’t rest itself on fact. but it rests itself on…well…itself…that is faith. However, what I am struggling with is the idea of the unchanging, unmoved faith. I agree that a stronger faith does not rely on the factuality of that which is being believed. However, doesn’t it seem logical that our faith would change with life experience? For instance, growing up in a traditional Southern Bapt Church I tended to be a pretty fundamentalist person when I was younger. However, as I’ve gotten older and had more life experience my idea of God has moved away from legalism and moved towards a broader idea of God. But this is clearly a change in faith. So maybe I am making the mistake in thinking that you are idealizing this “strong faith”.

    This is a great discussion by the way and most people can’t do it without getting angry.

  4. I should provide a disclaimer–For the past few years, I have been under heavy influence from Kierkegaard, Pascal, and Camus. I find reconciliation between Camus and Kierkegaard in their focus on the absurd. My comments and my original post should read with an understanding that reveals the vulnerability a developing idea, an idea that doesn’t necessarily support my spirituality at this point, or in the past. Nor am I trying to develop it to a point where I can actively and consciously employ it; that would reek of egoistic methodology. I feel that my viewpoint of faith is becoming less liberal in certain ways, and it is because of the problem born from subjectivity, which I believe needs to be taken into account, with horrifying and brutal honesty– which is why I’m giving this idea any thought. You make a good point when you point out the natural development of faith. Although, like Kierkegaard points out, why do we feel the need to go beyond faith, why do we need to rationalize it? Seeing the bible as it is, quite mysterious and vulnerable to interpretation, which, while it’s perfectly understood that one may feel that is necessary to do just that (rationalize certain problematic scripture, or ignore it all together), it still opens the door to a pollution. It provides a loophole to the difficulty of faith, a faith which can not explain itself in any way that can be understood rationally, especially today. I do not mean to demonize anyone’s struggle which may lead them to develop their ideas in a way which is relevant to their own existence, but that is just the difficulty which arises with subjective faith. So, I suppose I am merely suggesting an idea to consider.

  5. Juan said:

    I agree to an extent, except for that God is not only a subjective idea. God will not exist only sujectively if their is no faith, He will continue to be regardless of our faith, Faith does not bringforth God but God has brought about faith. Thank you for sharing…

  6. Scott said:

    Very good sir. As I was responding last time I was wondering if you were suggesting an idea to consider or if you were touting your ideals. It would seem that I judged incorrectly. While I am trying to shed the horrific symptom of modern brow-beating in these types of discussions, it seems that I have some more work to do. I should not have assumed that you were “preaching”. I should have taken your post at face value. Faith is fragile…even when we don’t mean to sometimes we snap to protect it. I look forward to your next post.

  7. Nick said:

    This post really relates to what I’m dealing with. In my opinion, uncertainty is a beautiful thing at times because it lets you question your faith, it lets you see what is out there. I feel that God himself never intended for us simply to understand, because it is quite silly to think we can understand. The human mind certainly is broad, but it has a capacity. We lack the sensory ability to be “sure” that God exists, but faith is believing in something in which existance is in question. Therefore, faith without question is not really faith, is it?

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