Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BLIND FAITH VS. EDUCATED FAITH

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BE READY TO GIVE AN ANSWER IN MEEKNESS AND REVERENCE TO EVERYONE WHO SEEKS FROM YOU A WORD CONCERNING THE HOPE OF YOUR FAITH.
~ 1 Peter 3:15

There is a great misconception out there and I aim to dispel it right here and right now! It seems that the average knucklehead on the street (and make no mistake about it, the average person on the street is indeed a knucklehead) is under the impression that to believe in the existence of God and in the Sonship, crucifixion, and Resurrection of Christ Jesus requires blind faith. Well, bulldogs and corn flakes! That’s about the biggest bunch of hogwash and horse puckey I’ve ever heard.

Now, I will concede (but just barely, mind you) that we don’t have absolute proof of God’s existence. By that I mean no one on Earth has actually seen God. However, when it comes to circumstantial evidence, we have tons and tons of it. And OK, no one can claim to be a witness to the firing of the bullet of Truth, but still we have as evidence not just a smoking gun, but multiple smoking guns. If this were the JFK assassination under discusssion here, we’d be introducing as evidence smoking guns seen from the book depository, the grassy knoll, the sewer system, and the freeway overpass. In other words, we’ve got visible indications of God all over the place! We have signs in nearly every conceivable realm open to enquiry, from science to literature to archeology to mental reasoning to perhaps even unexplainable physical artifacts. The person who wants to escape reminders of their Maker would have to leave this earth altogether!

"It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It was only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.”
~ Allan Sandage, Astronomer
Honored by the American Astronomical Society; Swiss Physical Society; Royal Astronomical Society; Swedish Academy of Sciences

I contend that there are only two types of atheists: the ignorant and the obstinate. (Or, the unwittingly ignorant and the willfully ignorant.) By a huge margin, most of the atheists fall into the latter category. But fat, drunk and ignint ain’t no way to go through life. . . . well . . . drunk maybe. But, trust me, the rest of it is bad “stuffs.”

Before we go any further, we need to define our terms: what is blind faith and what is educated faith? To be sure, belief in God requires some type and degree of faith. But not all faiths are the same. Or, to rock yer boat and knock yer noggin: not all faith is blind.

BLIND FAITH:

Some people entertain all sorts of beliefs with blind faith during their daily life. And yes, it’s true, many people of faith do rely on blind faith in their religious walk as well. This is unfortunate because not only is blind faith utterly worthless but, at times, it can even be downright detrimental. Here’s an illustration:

Joe believes he’s going to win the lottery. He’s been playing it for years and never won, but for some reason which he can’t fully explain, he thinks that THIS time he is going to take home the big prize. There is nothing he can see and point to as evidence for his belief, not even the law of averages is on his side, but it doesn’t matter – Joe believes. So, this time he buys even more lottery tickets than usual. In fact, Joe’s blind faith is so strong that he spends the grocery money and half the rent buying lottery tickets. And after each ticket purchased turns out to be worthless, Joe is now left without enough money to buy food for the month, and unless he can find someone to loan him enough Federal Reserve Notes to make up the other half of the rent money due, he’s going to find himself without a roof over his head. In this case, not only was Joe’s blind faith of no value at all, it actually hurt him.

EDUCATED FAITH:

Educated faith is quite a different thing from blind faith. Although educated faith is indeed faith also because it lacks absolute, unequivocal proof of what is being proposed, it is a faith that is based on circumstantial evidence that makes the belief it supports quite understandable and reasonable. Here’s an example:

Not one person on this planet has any assurance that the Sun will rise tomorrow. There is no proof at all that we collectively will see another day. But because we understand some basic science regarding gravitational pull and the workings of the solar system, we make plans today for tomorrow. In fact, as I write this, many people are buying turkey and pumpkin pie to consume during their family Thanksgiving Day celebration which will take place, not tomorrow even, but the day after that. Actually, our educated faith is so well established that many folks are already buying Christmas gifts for others despite that celebrated day being a month into the future. Although it’s possible that something could happen between now and then which will end the world as we know it, we have every REASON to believe that it’s safe to make plans not only for tomorrow but for Thanksgiving Day after that and Christmas Day next month. You can’t prove to me that there will be a tomorrow, but I’ll concede that it’s logical for you to believe there will be based upon your educated faith which has been built by an understanding of circumstantial evidence and an examination of some seemingly universal laws. You, my friend, are on much firmer terra firma than that idiot “Lottery Joe” was.

Alright, now we all understand that blind faith is a faith based on nothing, while educated faith is a faith based on the preponderance of the evidence available to the reasoning mind.

Now, when it comes to the belief in a Loving Creator and in the life, crucifixion and Resurrection of the Messianic Savior, Yeshua (Jesus Christ), the educated person of faith understands that more than just a preponderance of the evidence supports his or her position. In courts of law, three different degrees of evidence are sometimes necessary to prove a case: a mere preponderance of the evidence; clear and convincing evidence; or evidence beyond reasonable doubt. Bear in mind that many a man has been sentenced to death on, not proof (a level of certainty which is usually impossible to reach), but evidence beyond reasonable doubt. Well, I strongly argue that evidence beyond reasonable doubt of God’s existence and the crucifixion and Resurrection of His Son has already been uncovered and is available to anyone who is willing to accept and embrace The Truth.

About two and a half years ago I posted a review at the liberal website Amazon.com for the book ‘The Politically Incorrect Guide To Darwinism And Intelligent Design.’ As was to be expected, I was immediately under attack in the comments section from the masses of emotionally overwrought atheists who haunt that site. (How atheists can work up so much emotion over something that, according to them, doesn’t even exist, I’ll leave for you to figure out. I already know.) Anyway, I was standing alone there, one man debating against a pack of jackals. I believe I acquitted myself quite well, however. I’m sure of that because a few of those atheists got really mad. You can always tell you’ve scored points when liberals start frothing at the mouth and become even more illogical than usual.

At one point, a woman named Sarah posted the following in response to one of my earlier rebuttals:

Stephen:
Regarding the Bible: you "know that it is a supernatural document given by God through His chosen prophets"? How do you KNOW this? (Don't bother responding; I KNOW you have zero proof for this belief ;-)

For an ostensibly educated person, you certainly are gullible.

In The Bible’s book of 1st Peter, the saint tells us, “Be ready to give an answer in meekness and reverence to everyone who seeks from you a word concerning the hope of your faith.” In other words, those who believe in God and Christ need to be prepared to intelligently defend their position when called upon to do so by a skeptic. It is our duty to be armed with information so that the person who challenges the validity of our beliefs does not walk away thinking that we could not uphold them against their skepticism.

I do hold some beliefs that I find supported by an in-depth study of The Bible but which mainstream Christianity today would pronounce as heretical. And for this reason, I never refer to myself as a “Christian” as I feel this would mislead people about my spiritual beliefs and religion. But nevertheless, I was prepared to do what Saint Peter said; I was prepared to give an answer to Sarah concerning the hope of my faith.

And so I immediately replied to Sarah by saying something like this:

Sarah, there are only two kinds of people who do not acknowledge the Divine inspiration of The Holy Bible: those who have not studied it, and those who have not studied it sufficiently. I have found that most people who make comments like you have here fall into the former category rather than the latter. To coin a stolen phrase: Don’t be down on what you’re not up on.

I then proceeded to mention three different pieces of Biblical evidence that would lead any reasonable person to only one conclusion: there IS a God, and He is responsible for most of The Bible’s text.

And so how did Sweet Sarah respond to this? She responded the same way that most knuckleheads do when they’ve made a fool of themselves and been publicly humiliated. She was silent. Not a peep. Well, I suppose the only worthwhile thing she could have responded with was “DOH!”, but sadly, the only sound from Sarah afterwards was the sound of someone eating copious amounts of crow.

More recently, I found myself in a brief discussion about religion with a coworker. I’ll call her Lily. In the course of our discussion I remarked about how surprised I always am to find people who follow religious tenets that have no solid evidence whatsoever to support them. I specifically mentioned Islam, but was also entertaining thoughts of Mormonism, Scientology and others. Lily kind of bristled at this comment, and then bristled again when I later made some derogatory statement about suicide bombers who kill innocent people to supposedly honor and obey their god.

Well, exactly one week later, Lily brought up something in discussion which again led us immediately into the subject of spiritual/religious beliefs and again I happened to make some negative remark about Islam’s suicide bombers and Lily said something like: You seem to always want to attack that religion, but I think everybody has a right to believe whatever religious ideas they choose.

While I definitely agree that everyone should have the right to entertain whatever religious beliefs they want (so long as they aren’t harming others who do not wish to be harmed), I also think that only people who lack basic intelligence and a critical thinking capacity could fall for some of the belief systems that currently exist. I decided it was time to have it out with Lily and get to the bottom of her personal beliefs, and so I initiated a protracted discussion on the subject of religion and here’s what I learned about Lily:

She was raised Catholic, and although she still chooses to believe a couple of that denomination’s tenets, she has also incorporated certain beliefs that have no basis in fact; she believes them simply because she chooses to do so. And that’s that. One of her beliefs is that in the end, God will judge us all and if He determines that we very sincerely held to religious beliefs, regardless of how incorrect they may have been, we will be admitted into Heaven. So, in other words, if the Muslim who kills innocent Jews and Christians does so because he truly believes that’s what allah wants him to do, then he will not ultimately be barred from Heaven because in his heart of hearts, he genuinely sought to please his god.

I quickly explained to Lily the difference between blind faith and educated faith and then through a series of questions, I gradually maneuvered her into a corner and then asked her: “Are you personally willing to pronounce it wrong when a Muslim suicide bomber kills innocent people even though the bomber honestly believes he’s obeying god? According to you, is it wrong regardless?” There was a very long pause, while she thought, and then Lily said, “Well, it’s wrong here. Yes. But God will have the final say, and He might not condemn it because only He can know what was in that person’s heart.”

Well, first I want to say that anyone who can’t immediately answer “Yes” to the question I posed to Lily without first enduring a long, thoughtful pause, has some serious problems with their theology. That’s the first clue that you’ve got a whole lot more (and much better) thinking to do. The agonizing pause was proof of just how difficult Lily found it to personally denounce a sincere suicide bomber’s act.

At this juncture, I turned my face away from Lily, rolled my eyes, then turned back to her, put my hands up and said, “There’s just no point in us continuing to discuss this, nor any point in discussing religion again. You see, I hold the beliefs that I do because the available evidence leads me to them. But you hold your beliefs for no other reason than that you choose to hold them.”

Lily replied, “Well, I’ll be the first to admit that I have blind faith. But you can’t prove what you believe either.”
“That’s correct,” I said. “I can’t absolutely prove what I believe is true.”
“So, you have blind faith, too,” Lily said.
“NO! My faith is an EDUCATED faith! I have sound reasons to believe what I do.” I responded in an exasperated way since I had only ten minutes earlier explained to her the difference between blind and educated faith.
“But it’s still just faith,” she said.
“Not JUST faith; EDUCATED faith! It’s informed by facts and logic.”

In the end, I was not able to get Lily to comprehend the difference and realize the superior quality of educated faith to blind faith. Well, as I've often said: You can't reason with a person who forms their beliefs without reasoning.

Another oddity of Lily's beliefs is that should a person commit suicide, he will not gain entrance into Heaven, but the person who kills another human being while firmly believing that they are doing as God desires, that person might still make it into Paradise. Never mind, I guess, what God says in The Ten Commandments. According to Lily, murdering the innocent MIGHT be wrong in God’s Eyes, but self-murder is ALWAYS wrong. Go figure.

Based on this discussion, a person might get the idea that Lily is a total knucklehead; a person of lower than average intelligence. But in fact, she’s not a “maroon.” I would say that generally, Lily is perhaps slightly above average in smarts. This just goes to show, however, that when it comes to the subject of religion (and sometimes politics), many individuals have developed the ability to check their brain at the door and enter the topic with a blind determination to believe only what they want to believe with a blind faith that, sadly, may lead them to their undoing. As I said earlier, not only is blind faith utterly worthless but, at times, it can even be detrimental.

The probability of higher life forms emerging by chance are comparable to the odds that . . . “a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.”
~ Sir Fred Hoyle
Nature magazine; 1981, November

I recall an interesting discussion I witnessed on the U.C.L.A. campus in 1994. I was just sitting there against a stairway railing on Bruin Walk and watching this young Christian college student attempting to evangelize his fellow students. He was standing there boldly speaking out to passersby about Jesus Christ, and he was likening the collection of saints in Heaven to the ultimate party. “You think a frat party is fun? Wait until you join the saints and party in Heaven. Now THAT’S gonna be a REAL party!” While I felt this probably wasn’t the best analogy the young Christian could have drawn, I did understand how he was trying to engage these young college kids at their own level or mind-set. And I certainly had to respect his boldness and courage, because to shout about Jesus on a modern university campus is just asking for a confrontation.

As I watched, eventually another student followed by three others approached the Christian and began interacting with him. This guy was a real “Joe Stud” type; handsome and probably an athlete. With him were two other guys and a gal, but it was clear that Joe Stud was the leader and these friends of his were something of a following. I watched as Joe Stud began asking Mr. Christian all sorts of questions about God and Jesus. Although he was skeptical, he was also very respectful, and it was clear to me that there was something buried in the heart of Joe Stud that was being drawn to this message even while something in his mind wanted to reject it.

Joe Stud was asking good, probing questions, wanting to know how Mr. Christian could account for this, that, and the other thing. And Mr. Christian was sincerely attempting to give sound, Bible-based answers to the questions. Sadly, however, as I listened to the responses from Mr. Christian, it gradually became clear to me that he really wasn’t armed with enough factual information to satisfy his fellow student. The conversation went on for a considerable amount of time, so long in fact, that Joe Stud’s followers began to get impatient and almost begged him to “Come on. Let’s go.” But something in Joe Stud WANTED to hear this; something inside WANTED to believe, but he needed the right, reasonable answers to give in and go with it. However, despite his best efforts, Mr. Christian wasn’t able to provide the logical responses necessary.

To this day, I still number this experience amongst the saddest I’ve personally witnessed. I knew this good-looking young man with leadership qualities was ready to accept The Truth about his salvation and the Love of God and Christ, but unfortunately, the right person “ready to give an answer in meekness and reverence to everyone who sought from him a word concerning the hope of his faith” wasn’t there. At several points I very nearly jumped into the conversation, but I was an outsider – not even a U.C.L.A. student. And my religious worldview was somewhat different from Mr. Christian’s, and so I felt it wouldn’t be right for me to interfere. This was his potential convert to either gain or lose. And to be totally honest, I myself wasn’t fully prepared at that time to give the very best answers in defense of my faith. So, I just sat there watching, feeling distant and helpless.

Eventually, Joe Stud and his followers wandered off and then so did I, feeling that a great opportunity to bring another person to The Truth of God and Christ had been lost. You can’t bring souls to Christ if you can’t make a persuasive argument that a belief in God and Jesus makes sense.

I have reflected on that U.C.L.A. discussion many, many times in the ensuing fifteen years, and it always fills me with sadness. Jesus had only earlier that year made Himself known to me and so I myself was a new convert and not ready for the challenge – a challenge that wasn’t mine anyway. But over the years, it has made me feel a little better by choosing to believe that at some point Joe Stud did come to Jesus. His heart was ready, even if his mind wasn’t there yet. But I want to believe that God has since sent the right messenger to bring Joe Stud into The Good Shepherd’s fold.

Seek and search after God, and find Him by means of His creations.
~ Acts 17:27
[George M. Lamsa translation]

Unfortunately, many if not most believers in Christ are unprepared to defend their religion when called upon to do so. I believe too many Christians feel that listening to their pastor speak for an hour on Sunday mornings provides them with enough information. But that’s not likely to truly prepare a person to act on Saint Paul’s exhortation. There are a great many fine books available which convey more than enough truth about God, Christ, and The Holy Bible to raise anyone’s blind faith to a level of confident educated faith. Below is a sample of some of the books that I could recommend to anyone:

EVIDENCE FOR FAITH: DECIDING THE GOD QUESTION
Edited by John Warwick Montgomery
This excellent book is currently out of print, but inexpensive used copies are easily obtained through internet booksellers. This is probably the first title I would recommend to any intellectually honest atheist or skeptic. This is a collection of essays written by some really bright dudes and covering a variety of areas necessarily examined in any objective study into the veracity of Biblical claims. Part 1: A Hard Look At Evidence; Part 2: God And Scientific Cosmology; Part 3: Revelatory Biology; Part 4: Biblical Criticism And Bible Prophecy; Part 5: God’s Existence And Christ’s Claims; Part 6: A Time For Decision; Appendix: Some Concluding Thoughts On Evolutionary Belief. As far as books of this nature go, in my opinion, it just doesn’t get any better than this.

LEARN THE BIBLE IN 24 HOURS
By Dr. Chuck Missler

While this is a bit more sensationalistic than ‘Evidence For Faith’, it’s also a bit less highbrow, for those who would prefer to read something not quite as scholarly. Nevertheless, it’s a good overview that most anyone would benefit from.

THE CASE FOR CHRIST
THE CASE FOR A CREATOR
THE CASE FOR THE REAL JESUS
All by Lee Strobel
The books in this series are hugely popular and for good reason. Good “stuffs”!

MERE CHRISTIANITY
By C.S. Lewis
An authentic Christian classic by a brilliant man.

SURPRISED BY JOY
By C.S. Lewis

The story of how logic led a brilliant unbeliever to the realization that GOD IS!

MORE THAN A CARPENTER
By Josh McDowell
This very small booklet is loaded with “stuffs” that has led millions and millions of readers to reconsider the possibility that Jesus is the Savior of mankind.

BIBLE CODE BOMBSHELL
By R. Edwin Sherman
Is all this talk about a code being Divinely encrypted into The Bible just a lot of balderdash? Read this book and make up your own mind. Or, for free, peruse Mr. Sherwin’s website HERE.

IN SEARCH OF THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD
THE LOST SHIPWRECK OF PAUL
By Robert Cornuke
These are books that read like adventure novels but are loaded with intriguing finds. The first one is now out of print and used copies are expensive. However, I believe the second one is still readily available and definitely worth reading.

TORNADO IN A JUNKYARD: THE RELENTLESS MYTH OF DARWINISM
By James Perloff
An easy and fun book to read that is sure to make you begin rethinking this whole Evolution thang.

YOUR BODY’S MANY CRIES FOR WATER
By Dr. F. Batmanghelidj

I read this in 1995 and came away amazed at the complexity of the system that governs the use and distribution of water in the human body. I gained some very valuable health information and also wound up shaking my head and thinking: Man! That God sure knows how to build an engine!

THE RESURRECTION OF THE SHROUD
By Mark Antonacci
While a belief that the Shroud of Turin is the actual burial cloth of Christ is hardly necessary for salvation, this remains an incredibly interesting subject. Forget what you think you already know about The Shroud, read this and be ASTOUNDED! This is one of my very favorite nonfiction books of all time.

SIGNATURE IN THE CELL: DNA AND THE EVIDENCE FOR INTELLIGENT DESIGN
by Stephen C. Meyer
I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s on my “To Read Very Soon” list. From what I’ve heard, it makes a great case for the concept of Intelligent Design. So far, it has even mostly held back the swarming God-haters who normally haunt Amazon.com and attack en masse anything that challenges their god Darwin and their religion Darwinism.

THE HOLY BIBLE
By God
And of course, I recommend The Book of books itself - The Word Of God. There is a great deal of evidence for God and Christ within these pages for the person who not only reads The Book, but seriously studies it as well. Any of the well known translations are recommended, but I most highly praise the version translated from the ancient Aramaic by George M. Lamsa.

I don’t necessarily concur with every point raised in all of the aforementioned books (excepting the one by God, naturally), but they are all generally excellent. Read one or all of them and you’ll find that where your faith may have once been blind, now it will see (that is to say, it will become “educated”).

In closing, I am adding a link to a rather remarkable contraption. According to what I was told, this music machine was built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa (yup, IOWA!) Ninety-seven percent of the machine’s components came from John Deere Industries and irrigation equipment. Yup. Farm “stuffs.”

It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment, calibration, and tuning. It is currently on display at the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University and it is slated to be donated to the Smithsonian Institute. Watch this three minute and twenty-five second video and then ask yourself if you truly believe the minds that conceived and created this thing could possibly be the result of millions of chance mutations over billions of years arising out of some primordial muck. If you think so, then yer a primordial muck schmuck.

Link: See The MARVELOUS MUSIC MACHINE

Bless And Be Blessed.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

POSTSCRIPT: Hey y'all, it's MY turn to eat "copious amounts of crow." To coin another stolen phrase: Everybody plays the fool sometimes. Check out the "Comments" and watch me dig into my Thanksgiving Crow! But you enjoy your turkey.
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11 comments:

arlee bird said...

Stephen,
I don't know if that was the "major blog bit" that you were talking about last week, but that was darn good. I was so impressed that I just now posted a breaking news announcement for anybody that gets it to get on over an read this. Kudos on a great blog post.

On the other matter of the music machine, I'm not sure how you found that but you might want to check on Snopes to see what they say about that. Somebody sent me that link a year or two ago and I checked it out but I forget exactly what it said about it. I do know that Amazon sells a DVD that has that video as well as bunch of other "fantastic machines." Did you post that video link on "blind faith". It is a cool video though.

Lee

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>>[I don't know if that was the "major blog bit" that you were talking about last week, but that was darn good.]<<

Hey, thanks mucho, rLEE-b. You are too kind, my friend!

But, no, this isn't the Blog Bit I was referring to. That one's still a bit into the future - and when I finally do get to it, I'll be posting it on 'Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends.'

>>[On the other matter of the music machine, I'm not sure how you found that but you might want to check on Snopes to see what they say about that.]<<

A good friend sent me a link to it last week and it was so neat I figured I'd try to find a way to get it into one of my Blog Bits. This seemed like a good fit... until you showed up toting some "inconvenient truth."

>>[Did you post that video link on "blind faith". It is a cool video though.]<<

Why, doggone it, wouldn't ya just know it? I sure did!

With God as my judge, I tell you that I was a bit suspicious right from the first viewing. The way the video was lighted, and just it's overall look whispered "computer animation" into my mind. But did I listen? Did I do the necessary research first, before trusting and posting? NOOOOO!

And now I've come to find that it was indeed computer animation. DOH!

However, I have decided to leave the link there and not alter the text, because this is a perfect example of what I was talking about... how "Blind Faith" is not only worthless, but at times it can even be detrimental. Here's the ultimate "object lesson" in that. Arranged by God, no doubt!

Thanks for the "heads up", Brother rLEE. And glad to hear ya liked the "real" parts of the Blog Bit.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, my friend! Enjoy that turkey. Me? I'm havin' crow!

~ Stephen
Doggtor of Bonehead Blog Bits

arlee bird said...

I love it when you get me to laughing in the morning.

And, yes, the link is still worth watching because it's so darn cool.
So are the other videos those guys put out -- I think they have a website or maybe there's more on youtube--I saw them somewhere without having to buy the DVD on Amazon.
Lee

mousiemarc said...

Great blog bit, one of your best. Honestly. Though we don't agree on all things biblical. I hold them same beliefs you made in this blog. However, I have never formulated this belief as articulate as you have here. Funny thing, when I was in the way I gleaned onto a lot of these beliefs (which they taught very well I might add). Where I no longer believe all their doctrine a good number of their teachings I feel were the most sound I've ever heard. The Way International made this very point your making here. I feel you have done it better but when I heard it initially I knew it to be the truth.

I will make one point you didn't make in your excellent blog. Blind Faith actually can draw people away from God. How? 1)Silly beliefs that don't work that people attribute to the failure of God and his principals, or 2) Looking like an idiot doing stupid religious (yet unbiblical) practices that result in the unbeliever coming to the conclusion that the concept of God is absurd. Such an individual might justify not thinking further on the subject. A great example from Paul in Corinthians was when the corinth church were jabbering in tongues in church with no profit, no interpretation, and unbelievers would come to the conclusion that, "your mad."

Great blog bit buddy.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Yo! Thanks so much for your comment, Buddy Br'er! It's nice to see you back here in these parts, my AWOL friend.

I'm glad ya digged this stuffs.

And you make an excellent point, Br'er. Indeed, Blind Faith (in a concept that turns out to be false) certainly can lead a person or a people away from God.

Just as you said, when the Blind Faith Believer discovers their concept(s) to be wrong, he or she might be inclined to dismiss the idea of God altogether, never fully realizing that it was only THEIR belief about God that was incorrect, not EVERY belief about God.

And of course, the false beliefs of some Blind Faithers might very well turn off the unbelievers who recognize the falsity of what the Blind Faithers espouse, and subsequently (and just as stupidly) reject ALL notions about God and Christ as being false.

Quite right! You are correct, sir!

Thanks for comin' back around. See ya next year.

~ Brother Stephen
<"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11>

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this post STM. I remember having a few very similar instances in my life, with me playing the role of the questioning kid.

I recall times talking to "believers" and part of my heart wanting to "buy into it", but eventually they could never answer the "REAL" questions I had. So I'd move on and start wondering why I even bothered trying to listen at all. Luckily, and by God's grace I kept looking.


Keep up the good work.

WP

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

`
Thank you VERY much for the kind words, WP/KB.

I'll keep posting stuffs, I suppose, as long as even two or three people out there are taking the time to read it and comment. Thanks, Bro.

~ Brother Stephen
<"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11>

Mr. Paul said...

I am furiously catching up on Blog Bits, and enjoyed your thorough (for a blog, certainly) examination of faith, differentiating blind and educated.

My experience has shown me no middle ground in people's understanding of God and their ability to defend it, although there are surely those folks out there that occupy that middle ground.

90% of the time I speak with enthusiastic Christians, they are not armed to answer the hard questions satisfactorily. This would CERTAINLY turn off potential converts. Actually, 90% of adherents of any faith may not be equipped ("what do you mean? I got gloves and everything?!") to answer the hard questions about their faith.

Ten percent are VERY able to do so, and in fact their problem is often in going too far and bludgeoning their potential convert with TOO convincing an argument. Like a fisherman, you must set the hook, not just reel in the line as fast as possible.

Good writing man. Good, good writing. I just wish someone other than we ten people would find it!

FFFF#6

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

`
Much gracias, F-FFF#6 ~

I do not have many spiritual / religion discussions with folks these days. I'm always happily willing to engage in discussion of this type but I rarely initiate it. However, your 90%/10% strikes me as probably about right, based upon my own past experiences.

Actually, I don't even have ten people reading my stuffs. I'm aware of only 6 individuals who read my blogs on an even semi-regular basis. Other than my brother, Nappy, even my own family ignores my writing.

But I thank YOU for checkin' in, Bro!

~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stephen

arlee bird said...

Well, you know I read on a regular basis and usually comment if I have something to say.

And as for family, I know what you mean. Most of mine wouldn't sign up as followers nor do they bother to read what I have to say. A couple of my daughters read sometimes, but my siblings-- forget it. Remember how Jesus said about a prophet not getting respect in his hometown-- well I guess it's similar to that, though I don't put us in the same classification with Jesus or prophets, but you know what I mean. I'm still touting your writings and I'm going to get somebody to take a look if I possibly can.
your faithful reader,
Lee

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.
~ Jesus
(Mark 6:4)

It's one of my favorites, rLEE-b. In fact, you'd find it listed amongst others under my Blog Bit titled "FAVORITE JOKES AND QUOTES; Part 2."

I'm glad to know it's not just me who "gets no respect" from my family. Misery loves company, Brother.

And yes, you are probably my most regular reader these days. And I appreciate your efforts on my behalf. I saw what you posted about my Blog today, and I'm truly grateful for your kind words and promotion. I figured I should just stay away from the "Comments Section" of that one, so I'm glad you posted here. Saved me from Emailing you my gratitude. :o)

Thanks for your friendship, LEE.
~ "Lonesome Dogg" McME