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Faith


By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Fri, Aug 24th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

It seems to me that were one to have doubts about God’s existence, the furthest a person would dare to go would be to take the agnostic view and conclude that he or she doesn’t know if God exists or not. That is because if one concludes that God does not exist, that person has to make the same kind of leap of faith as those who do believe in God.

I cannot prove that God exists. And others cannot prove that He does not exist. In that sense an atheist believes the same as I do. That is, I believe there is a God based on an act of faith and an atheist believes there is no God based on an act of faith as well.

Given our limited life spans and our comparatively small brain power and knowledge, we are stuck with concluding God’s existence or not is solely based on acts of faith. I had a very angry retired English teacher take me to task once because he maintained that one can’t prove a negative. But that is sophistry, one must choose. Believe or not believe, it is still an act of faith.

It is remarkable to me that people believe there is no God. To do so often requires a hubris that I cannot understand. Hubris in the sense that human beings, in our comprehension of anything at all, are so terribly limited. In their arrogance, people actually think they are smart enough to draw conclusions that are totally unwarranted. Though there are other reasons besides hubris, they all require a misplaced confidence in our intellectual abilities.

Years ago as I went to college and became exposed to an entirely different kind of life along with different views of the reason for our existence, I faded away from the church I had been going to my entire life.

I made the mistake then that many make and that is that I assumed that I could get specific answers about God and creation and all the rest. But they weren’t forthcoming. And so I concluded He wasn’t there.

As I wandered through life I attained a modicum of minor success but also fell down painfully hard as well. Somehow, over the years however, in spite of my many shortcomings, there seemed to something nudging me back in the right direction.

Moreover, as I began to look back over my life I also began to appreciate that there appeared to be some “interventions” along the way that kept me safer than my trajectory at the time should have otherwise suggested. There seemed to be someone looking out for me better than I was looking out for myself.

I finally understood also that I wouldn’t have all of the answers I wanted and never would have them. Finally I decided. Very simply, I asked God to make me one of his and, in spite of many doubts, to give me a strong faith. But it was an evolutionary process, so I cannot tell you the day or the time or even the year that I fully believed.

There are many however, who expect a road to Damascus experience, and some have experienced that. But there are billions of people, and each is unique so there is no one size fits all in finding the road to Christ. We would be foolish to conclude there is because we would be, in our very limited ability, trying to apply limits to God. God doesnt have limits and He works in many different ways.

I now firmly believe and I have no doubt about God’s existence. Unless you have experienced the revelation of a spiritual life, you will not understand the significance of that miraculous gift from God. And that is what is. It is a gift that cannot be properly explained and it is a faith that cannot adequately be described. We are given these things, and unless you experience them, you likely will not understand.

I find letters by people who do not believe in God to be heartbreaking. They really do trouble me. Troubling because God is real and because those who deny His existence do not have the faintest understanding of the contentment and fullness of life that faith in God provides even apart from the promise of an eternal life. Moreover, those who deny God’s existence fail to appreciate that they too are eternal beings, and that they will spend eternity somewhere.

Some point to the plethora of Christian faiths as a reason for not believing. I take the opposite view. It is the variety of faiths, I would contend, that God uses to appeal to all of us. Afterall, Jesus said that He will be where two or three are gathered in His Name. That’s a promise, so where there are gathered two or three Catholics, two or three Lutherans, two or three Baptists, or two or three Amish, or two or three of a Christian faith, He is there.

I sometimes wonder though that in a gathering, that He doesn’t sometimes think that we should do some things a little differently. For example, in some churches does He sometimes think, “I wish you would leave those snakes alone.” My projections about His thoughts are not Biblical however.

We will all find out some day, and I would be really surprised if there were no surprises. I think we will all be astonished. Both as to what we got correct and and also as to what we got wrong. And I pray that God bless you all and give you faith.

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