Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Faith is not an Argument

There are times when I find myself feeling defensive about my faith. It seems like there are people that want to treat things of faith as something that can be argued. Something that can be proved or disproved. Or something that is subject to some rigorous empirical inquiry.

If this were possible, faith would cease to be faith. It would be knowledge.

There are some things that may have a correlation that I'd like to explore. Let's find out.

Faith is not an Onion

I like onions and garlic. I think that many foods are enhanced by the inclusion or addition of onions and garlic. To me, they obviously tastes delicious. I have some data about the heart benefits of garlic and the immune system benefits of onions. Not to mention nutrition.

I have encountered people that don't really like onions and garlic. That's ok. But imagine if you will, meeting someone that has never tried onions, but doesn't like them. (I call these people children.) And now imagine yourself in a discussion where they are trying to convince you that you shouldn't like onions either.

What can they actually say about them? Is it possible for them to really be objective? 

Maybe after expressing their dislike of onions, they then take a taste of an onion, and then spit it out and declare that they have tasted it, and it's nasty. Is this now an objective opinion?

Or maybe there is someone that grew up eating onions their whole life. They really neither liked or disliked them. And then decides that they don't like them after all. And stop eating them, and tries to tell you that you should stop eating them too. Does this matter?

If you like onions, you really should admit that you do. You should be able to do so without having your intelligence questioned. And if you like something, it is only natural for you to tell others about them and encourage them to try something that you like. If someone comes over to my house to eat, they should expect to be served onions. And making gagging noises while eating them is really just plain rude. (unless you really have an onion allergy, in that case let me know in advance and I'll make some bland soup for you.)

Now back to faith.

I know that Jesus Christ is my savior. That he died for my sins.  And that through his atonement and love, I will be saved and live again.

I know there are some people that haven't tried a faith in Christ. I have and know of the benefits it has on my family, my marriage, my children, my life, and the society where I live. So I encourage others to give it a try.

If you come over to my house, you'll encounter a bunch of faith-based things. We pray. We go to church. We have pictures of Jesus all over our home. We read the scriptures. We use our knowledge of God to explain the world, its purposes and how to behave to our children. It's way too much religious exposure for some. But it's the way we like it.

You may not like faith and religion. Or not as much of it as I do. Or you may like your faith tempered with some rock music and dance. (I like that too from time to time.)

But if you come and tell me that I am wrong. That faith tastes bad, and religion has no benefits. I'll smile at first as your innocent naivety, and then if you are still trying to argue about it, I'll try to explain that it's not really up for a debate.

Oh, I have an open mind. But the criteria by which I come to know Christ is the same by which I come to know onions. I have direct, intimate, experience. It's not just something I think is a good idea. I know that I know.

Child-Like is not Child-ish

You can tell me that I'm deluded, or mistaken or wrong or gullible. But at the end of the day, I am still getting direct benefits from my faith. I remember the benefits of the past. I look forward to the benefits of the future.

You can say that onions are bad and that I'm wrong to eat them. But at the end of the day, I am getting the direct benefits from onions. I remember fondly eating them in the past and look forward to having them for dinner tonight. 

Faith is not an onion, but trying to tell someone else what foods to like, what religion to believe in or what they should choose as a favorite color is to act like a child.  No amount of gagging noises or making faces will make me stop liking onions or having a faith in my Lord and Savior.

On-going Discussion

If you are curious, or want to know more about onions or Jesus Christ I am an evangelist of both. I would love to talk with you over email, comments bellow, text or instant messaging, or even face to face. But probably just one of these at a time. I must be getting old because I find it odd when people text each other face to face.

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