Posts Tagged ‘ Fool ’

I Gotta Have Faith: Whose Fool Are You?

Welcome back, people of the internet!

Today’s topic: FAITH!

Why?

Recently, I have heard several people – including Richard Dawkins, AronRa (an atheist apologist?), Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye the Science Guy – all call faith in general, with Christians in particular, foolish.

These people claim that Christians believe with a blind faith, that they do not believe in the Bible or God for any good reason, but just because that is what they were told to believe.

Is this true?

What is faith?

According to Hebrews 11:1 (ESV):

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

So, what does this mean?

Basically, faith is trusting and believing something based on evidence. Something that is not seen is believed because there are things we can see and test that support it.

A popular example is a chair.

The chair looks sturdy. I have seen other chairs hold people up. Therefore, I have faith this chair will hold me up.

How do I know your faith is true?

Live it out. Show me. Sit on the chair. Show your faith by sitting.

Another example is a compass.

We believe a compass points north, because we have seen so many compasses point north.

(Though, it is possible a compass can be manipulated by magnets …)

“Ah,” you may say, “But that is science!”

Conviction of things unseen …

What evidence do we see of not seeing things in science?

A lot!

What about black holes?

We have never seen black holes, because they literally eat light. So, how do we know they exist? We have evidence they are there.

An interesting example from the past few years is the Higgs boson.

The Higgs boson is, essentially, what gives matter mass (the ability to have weight and substance). It was theorized using mathematics. The so-called “God particle” (actually, the “Oh my God particle”, from a note scribbled by a physicist) was officially discovered by slamming atoms together in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and using the resulting mathematical probabilities to “see” this “thing”.

In other words, it was seen through the symbols of mathematics.

It was not actually seen with eyes. Rather, it was predicted (hoped for) and then proved through mathematics. We used these symbols to express the evidence of what we cannot see to prove (have conviction) that it is there.

In the math.

Scientists use written symbols to find evidence of things unseen.

Sound familiar?

You could say I have faith that people have faith, even when they are “faithless.” Because I see the evidence.

They say “These words made out of symbols and numbers tell me this should be here, and I am going to believe it because all of the other math checks out, too.”

So, why do we as Christians believe the Bible?

Because we have these words that tell us about Jesus.

Some of you may remember the Four Core Facts I covered a few years ago. What does this have to do with anything?

The Four Core Facts:

  1. The Crucifixion (and Resurrection) of Jesus Christ
  2. The Despair of the Disciples
  3. The Change in the Disciples (Their despair becoming willingness to die for the truth of #1)
  4. The Conversion of Paul

If you are willing to objectively look at this evidence, you can see the evidence for the truth of God and His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.

That evidence includes that Jesus quoted the Old Testament, which we know existed before He was born, He claimed it was about Him, and then He claimed He would die and raise again.

And He did it! Thus validating what He said.

In fact, this is the ultimate evidence. Paul himself (you know, one of the most successful evangelists for the Church, having planted so many throughout the Roman Empire) said this is all that needed to be preached! (1 Corinthians 1:22-23, 2:1-2)

It could be argued that the Church itself is the biggest evidence.

Jesus proved it Himself.

So we do not believe it “Just because,” but because Jesus said He would die and come back and did.

One of many points of evidence of this kind of faith is Abraham.

God called Abraham to sacrifice his son. Some call this barbaric, but it really is not.

Abraham and his wife were way too old to have children, but God said “You will have a son.”

When God then called him to sacrifice this son, I can guarantee you that he thought something like, “Well, you said I would have a son through whom you would multiply my descendants, and here he is. You could easily bring him back to life, so though I may not like it, I will obey.”

God did not raise Isaac back to life (He did not need to), but He did do it with His own Son!

So there is faith: “I have seen the evidence. I may not see God. I may have seen Jesus Himself. I may not be able to see everything the Apostles and other disciples saw, but I see the written evidence.

People just do not want to accept the evidence.

So, whose fool are you?

Do have the foolish faith of a Christain or the foolish faith of those who say there is no God? (1 Corinthians 1-2)

I still have faith in science, even with a lot of people who do not believe the Bible, because the math and the science checks out and proves the validity.

I also have faith that God’s Word is true.

April …

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

For this April Fool’s Day, I offer no pranks or jokes, only this: Psalm 14 (and Proverbs 1:7) (ESV)

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
    there is none who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
    to see if there are any who understand,
    who seek after God.

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
    there is none who does good,
    not even one.

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
    who eat up my people as they eat bread
    and do not call upon the Lord?

There they are in great terror,
    for God is with the generation of the righteous.
You would shame the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is his refuge.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
    let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

And the answer:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Okay, so I offered one joke: because here one more passage with the ultimate answer! As found in 1 Corinthians 1:

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Undelightful Fools

Last week I offered some commentary on some of the turmoil caused over the Trayvon Martin shooting. The truth is that, while a lot of what I said was looking at Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, it was about so much more. Honestly, those two demonstrate symptoms of underlying currents of various other problems in this nation.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
Romans 1:28-32

This is a story about our world, our nation … me.

I readily admit that, even though I may be quite amazing, I am really messed up without Christ.

I first believed in Jesus Christ as Lord in 2000. I had a lot of ups and downs in my walk with Christ. In 2003, I met a young woman. Our relationship also had a lot of ups and downs. I let her get between me and God. I let me get between me and God.

I became worse than I was before I first believed.

I made a lot of bad choices during this time: in my relationships, at work, with church.

I became a gossip.

I would share stories with more or less actual relation to reality than the true events.

I would cheat and steal.

I even considered cheating on that young woman on a few occasions.

I even considered suicide once.

I became cool, but people began liking me less. I became the life of the party, but I began caring less about people. I was a great listener, but I gave myself over to all sorts of the things listed in the passage above. I actually led people away from God and celebrated very sinful things.

I was just like most of our world.

Look around. Are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton the problem with our nation?

They get attention, because we willingly give it to them. We listen to people who cause more division than peace, because (though we may not always admit it) we enjoy the division.

It makes for great stories. We get to feel involved. We get to know the dirt on others. We get to share our opinions.

We like to entertain ourselves. We like to feel important. We like to have power. We like people paying attention to us.

Al and Jesse are not the problem. The problem is that the Church has not done what it should.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:1-5

We are all called to seek and save the lost (see Matthew 28:18-20) and lift each other up in the Lord.

The problem is not Al and Jesse. It is not people killing each other. It is not people saying and doing horrible things to each other (or not doing good things, even).

The problem is I want to be the one in charge. We each want to be God. We each want to run the Church.

How about we let God do that?

The Fool’s Delight

This last week a friend of mine blogged about some of the silliness surrounding the Trayvon Martin killing, and I re-blogged it over here. Today, I look into it further.

An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends; he defies all sound judgment.

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.
Proverbs 18:1-2

I often wonder if men such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton knew they would become such media lightning rods when they began public speaking. I like giving the benefit of the doubt that they truly began as individuals seeking equality and peace.

However, it would appear that, as it is said, “power corrupts.”

These are men who seem to enjoy the spotlight more than true justice to the point that they say some truly foolish things.

These are men who seem to enjoy saying what they think both before and after they understand what may be happening.

What is worse is that they are ordained ministers. They are ones who are to fight for peace and equality, yet we get statements that sound more like race-bating than many of the situations of which they speak.

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?
James 3:13-4:1

Men such as these are not following God. They delight in themselves and this world.

Pray you will not follow this path. Pray for the wisdom of God, that He will direct your heart. (And here is a reminder to go read Proverbial Thought and what the amazing contributors have to say. I am still amazed I am allowed to write with these amazing people!)

Pray for these men, as well, that they will truly seek God and become men of peace.