the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Faith… Seeing It for What It Really Is… Absurd
October 18, 2008, 5:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I just got done watching the new move with Bill Maher called “Religulous” and it was quite interesting. Essentially Bill is a seeker, trying to find out what’s true and what’s not. The only issue I had was that he didn’t seem genuinely open to anyone’s answers. It seemed more like he was setting out to prove people wrong as opposed to finding the truth. I will say that it was a very entertaining and thought provoking movie although I would not recommend it for anyone who is not ROCK SOLID in their faith because it will really throw them off balance. But you do need to come in with the perspective that (as with anything pertaining to opinions, clearly it’s going to be skewed and only portray what they want portrayed)

He interviewed different believers from different backgrounds with different titles from a Senator to truckers in a trucker chapel to a Reverend in a predominantly Black church to those working at a Bible themed amusement park in Orlando Florida. He would raise different question with everyone, but for some reason he always appeared to be the smarter person talking. But he did ask good questions… not your typical seeker type questions, but ones that deserve answers none the less. He asked things like: ‘Why is faith good?’ And ‘Why doesn’t God get rid of evil?’ And ‘Why doesn’t he speak to all of us at the same time?’ And ‘How do we benefit from having multiple warring religions?’

I know some people would ask “Why did you see that movie?” I think most Christians would have either avoided it in the first place, or walked out shortly into it. I feel like that’s what we’re good at doing: avoiding questions, controversy and conflict concerning what we believe (which was actually NOT what Jesus would have done. You see him again and again saying all kinds of “politically incorrect” things that really ticked off the leaders of his day). A lot of times we don’t have intelligent answers for the questions people have about our faith and get offended when they do question it. We view Christianity as the standard and are appalled at those who don’t believe exactly what we believe. “How could they be so ignorant?” we ask. But you have to consider how seemingly absurd our faith really is.

Before you get all up in arms about the fact that I called Christianity “absurd”, let’s look at what that means. Absurd is “utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, contrary to all reason or common sense”. Now if faith is defined as “confidence or trust in a person or thing or a belief that is not based on proof”, does it not seem illogical or contrary to all reason that you would put your confidence or trust in something with no proof? Or does it seem natural and reasonable?

What about the Bible is absurd? Let’s look at a few things that are may seem “illogical, contrary to all reason or common sense”: a talking snake; a man almost killing his son because of “voices”; a man talking to a burning bush that talks back; a man in the belly of a whale; 3 seemingly different people all claiming to be the same person at the same time; a virgin having a child; a man walking on water; men being raised from the dead; someone living a PERFECT life and then VOLUNTARILY dying for millions of people he’s never met… and we could go on.

Now most of us (Christians) take those stories and almost believe these stories without consideration of how bizarre they are when you look at them from an outsider’s perspective. But how can we effectively reach those that are unsaved and seeking if we don’t first look at things from their perspective. Just look at the concept of faith. Faith is not logical. It doesn’t make common sense. If faith made sense, by its very definition it wouldn’t be faith, it would be logical.

So why is faith any good to anyone? Well at the end of the day I think it boils down to the fact that we can sleep better at night and have more peace in the morning if we believe that there is something better than ourselves working for our good. Why then, put my faith in the God of Christianity? Well is you take the Bible at its word it says 2 things that are important: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) and secondly it says,”God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19) The important thing is that we put our faith in something that is unwavering and consistent, not even day to day, but year to year, lifetime to lifetime and that “something” is found in Jesus Christ. We cannot put our faith in another man or even in ourselves because eventually those will let us down.

Does faith make rational, common sense? No, it does not. But that’s why God values it so highly. It takes trust and commitment to have faith in something that you cannot see. And when you put your faith in God it will surely not disappoint you.


1 Comment so far
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Stu…I will most likely skip the movie. Mainly because I’ve listened to Maher’s views on religion. I saw him essentially say that he would be tolerant as long as the person acknowledged that he believed in something completely imaginary.

At any rate, I’m reminded that God “takes the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” (1 Corinthians 1:27) I agree that we should look for other’s perspective on things, but ultimately we should let prayer and guidance from the Holy Spirit being the driving force in seeing people come to Him.

You know I’m all about being intentional to see people find Jesus but it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to draw people. Just my two cents.

Comment by adam herod

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