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    Are We to Believe Blindly?

    January 1, 2017 Dr. Michael Wodlinger
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    Dr. Michael Wodlinger

    Are we to Believe Blindly?

    One question which has been plaguing me, ever since I came to faith in Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus - does trusting God stem from blind faith?  This is not a frivolous question but emerges from a perception I have encountered many times, in the believing community: just believe and everything will be O.K.  All God wants from us is our belief, our faith.  This is blind faith, defined as belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination. (Online Dictionary) 

    In order to approach this question, I would say it is important to have a clear definition of faith and, for the sake of this argument, I am using the Hebrew understanding of faith as trust-in-action, or emunah.  Avraham is a classic example of one who approached an understanding of God, through faith.  The Apostle Paul speaks of this in Romans 4: Avraham is our father in God’s sight because he trusted God as the one who gives life to the dead and calls nonexistent things into existence . . . . He did not by lack of trust decide against God’s promises. On the contrary, by trust he was given power as he gave glory to God, for he was fully convinced that what God had promised he could also accomplish. (Romans 4:17, 20-21)  Trusting is not a passive process but is very active, very rational; it involves observation, assessment and, finally, judgment.  This was how Avraham came to his understanding of trust in God.  He went from being an idol worshiper to questioning the truth of idols to exploring the One Who controlled the movements of the moon and the sun.  It was through this questioning and doubting process that our patriarch stumbled upon God, Who found him.  And this leads me to a discerning truth: true faith is not blind but is well grounded in reason and logic, leading to knowledge.

    Belief in Adonai Elohim is rational; it is based on evidence, observable evidence, which is readily available for everyone, who wishes, to assess and evaluate.  Evaluate, for example, the evidence of creation.  The fact our day, week, month, seasons and our year are cyclical, predictable and tied to observable data is no coincidence.  As human beings, our knowledge is always imperfect; we often rely on our assumptions and presuppositions to inform us, in making decisions.  As intelligent beings, without the use of reason and logic, as well as emotion, we must be wary of being trapped by our preconceptions, which may block the development of new knowledge, which, in turn does not challenge pre-existing understandings.  In my perspective, for example, it takes more faith to believe in macro-evolution than in creation.

    As Paul shares with us, faith in Adonai Yeshua is based on knowledge not assumption, as we read in Romans 10: So trust comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through a word proclaimed about the Messiah. (Romans 10:17)  It is important to note the predominate mode of learning in the 1st Century was listening, as scrolls were too expensive and labour intensive for mass production and books, as we know them today, didn’t exist.

    And so I draw to the conclusion, I must constantly guard myself lest I become so busyI deny myself the opportunity to dig deeply into His Word in order to develop more insightful understandings.  I assure you, through struggling with the hidden meanings of His Word to us, our love of Him grows much deeper and we become so much more intimate with the Lover of our souls and be more there for those who need us.

     

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