I love explanations!
“This is a good and simple explaination to all those who do not believe or are not certain.” –Someone
A friend gave me the following so I’ll be nicer than usual. However, I will still pick it apart.
“The Pathway of Faith
“Thursday, July 15, 2010
“Read | Genesis 12
“Faith is the foundation of our Christian lives. Hebrews 11:1 gives us the biblical definition of this term: “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (NIV).
Let’s consider these two clauses. “…being sure of what we hope for…” In all honesty, I don’t have a huge problem with this. As much as I think it’s important for all of us to base future assumptions on present evidence, it is often the seemingly delusional and foolhardy who do amazing things despite the current evidence; therefore, I don’t think it’s automatically insane or dangerous to hope for the best and even have a little confidence that what you hope for will come to pass. Having said that, I think it is also necessary to maintain such hope with a grain of realism. “I will become an astronaut.” This statement, in regards to me, is delusional. Sure, if I started training right now, maybe I’d acquire some of the skills needed to go into space, but the cold, hard fact of the matter is, I’m not young enough, not smart enough, and not fit enough to become an astronaut. Walking around telling myself otherwise is delusional. And no amount of positive thinking will change that. Period.
“…certain of what we do not see.” Never in my whole life have I understood why this is considered a good thing. Faith, or believing in something either without evidence, or despite evidence to the contrary, is dumb. Why? Because using that line of logic one can (and usually does) believe anything one wants.
Let’s take Hell. Years ago, I was exposed to a Christian group who made many very specific claims about what Hell is like. I asked how they knew. “Faith!” one proclaimed. So the only means of instruction on the nature of Hell was this guy’s preconceived notions, most likely derived from some authority figure who most likely also derived his preconceived notions from some other authority figure? And the confirmation of the information was just that this guy believed it? Essentially, this guy believed what he believed because he believed it. How did he know? Because he knew.
You see how ridiculous this instantly becomes.
“True belief is more than something we express verbally; it is a pathway you and I follow. Throughout life, our heavenly Father takes us on a journey, allowing us to experience a real relationship with Him as we encounter each circumstance.”
Beyond things I’ve already covered before, I have never understood the phrase “real relationship” or its related phrase “personal relationship.” I’ve asked Christians what this means. I’ve gotten answers like “I talk to God.” How is that different from the claims of prophets of centuries past? “Um…” That’s all I’m saying. Setting theology aside, I don’t get how the notion of a “real relationship” or a “personal relationship” is semantically or practically different from any other notion of our connection to a deity.
“Today’s passage illustrates that God has a purpose for everything we encounter. The Lord promised Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars visible in the sky (Gen. 15:5). Then He directed His servant to obey several commands, such as moving from home. Abraham was not told the details of this plan.
I’ve never understood that last part either. Why didn’t God just tell him? Or give him a map? Or an itinerary? What would’ve been the harm?
“We now know that he was the father of the Jewish nation, and his lineage included Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind. Though the patriarch did not obey perfectly, he did step forward in faith, trusting in God’s ultimate purpose.
Which makes no sense. Had God simply explained or demonstrated what his plan was, no faith would’ve been necessary.
“We, too, can know with certainty that the Lord is weaving together a beautiful plan. He isn’t obligated to explain His reasoning or reveal every detail. Instead, God shows us the next step (Ps. 119:105), and our job is to obey, even when it doesn’t make sense.
Yeah, I get that God supposedly being who he is isn’t obligated, but I’ve never understood what foreskin it’d be off his celestial dick if he were to explain. “Hey, Abraham, go to some other place and do stuff. Here’s why you need to…” I mean, seriously, if I can do it, surely an omnipotent god can. And if not, why not? Seems like rudimentary courtesy to me.
“If you want to know what God is doing in your life, obey Him. Often, you won’t understand the intricacies of the plan, but you can trust the goodness of His heart. Rest assured that all He does is purposeful and for your benefit. So step forward in faith, and you will see His faithfulness.”
Such bullshit. First sentence is awesome. It’s the Nigerian refugee offering us millions of dollars over e-mail if we just give him our bank account numbers. Once we give him our account numbers, we’ll see the money! Or he’ll just rip us off for all we have because it’s a bullshit scam and there’s no reason to trust it. I’ve never understood the “goodness of his heart” either. I’ve read significant portions of the Old Testament. That douchebag isn’t nice. Wiping out entire nations among other atrocities. Why would anyone ever trust that guy? Even more to the point, a guy who sends an incarnation of himself to earth only to be tortured to death–a blood sacrifice–this guy seems like a sociopath maniac to me. Why would I ever trust that he has goodness in his heart? There’s that “f” bomb again. If all this positive stuff is supposed to be there or come to pass, why doesn’t this god just demonstrate it to us through a means that is readily apparent? No need for faith.
But all the above isn’t even the point. And I’m very sorry to say that the actual point is supremely anti-climactic. The fact is that the quoted passage is not an explanation for non-believers. It’s an affirmation for believers. And that’s one of my great problems with the religious. They assume that whatever emotionally-charged, anecdotal, personal experience bullshit reason they’ve chosen to believe made-up nonsense will be so (emotionally) compelling that you’ll automatically agree with all tenets of their nonsense. And when you don’t? Such bafflement. Here’s a clue, guys. Give me a shred of evidence, and I’ll convert in a heartbeat. And no, the notion that you feel Jesus/Mohamed/Vishnu/Zeus/Ice cream-Shitting Pink Unicorns in your heart is not enough.