Blind Faith or Substance?

Have you ever heard someone say that they won't believe in God because it is based on "blind faith"? Or maybe they say, "I believe in science -- that which is testable, observable, and repeatable." In other words, they only believe in what they can see. Many times, even when we know the evidence for Christianity, this phrase can stump Christians. So how do we answer this assertion?

The answer is found in the very Scripture which the skeptics use to say that faith is blind: Hebrews 11:1. Let's take a look at it for a moment:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...." Does this mean that Christians believe in what they can't see? After all, the skeptics will say, "We can't see God." However, if we examine this passage more closely, we can see that this is not what is implied at all. What Hebrews 11 is asserting is that there is substance to faith. It is not just some "blind faith," as so many wish to claim. There is something that we put our faith IN -- faith's substance. Sure, we can't see God, but there is plenty of evidence to substantiate His existence. Paul Littleton stated, "Faith in Christianity is based on evidence; it is a reasonable faith. Faith in the Christian sense goes beyond reason but not against it." We put our faith in God based upon evidence -- based on this substance. For example, a design demands a designer; we can see design, indicating that we have the substance of design to substantiate our belief in a Designer.

Still, most skeptics won't be satisfied with this explanation. Therefore, we must point out to them that they too put their faith IN something; being an atheist does not preclude a belief in something. In fact, they BELIEVE that there is no God. Even generally speaking, we all put our faith in something every day: the laws of physics (i.e. gravity) and nature. Try dropping something off of a roof and see if it floats into space; it simply won't happen as long as the law of gravity is in effect -- it will fall down, not up. We can't see gravity, but we know it exists. There is substance to that belief -- Galileo proved it with his experiment and we experience gravity daily.

But most atheists want proof for God's existence. I will not go into it all here, but let me just say that it is precisely because of the substance of a Christian's faith that He sees God: "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6) To an atheist, this sounds strange: Come to God believing that He exists? That's crazy from their stand point. However, the Christian could put forth several proofs for God's existence and most atheists still wouldn't believe it. Why? Because it's a heart issue, not entirely a head issue. God can and does use apologetics to bring people to Himself; however, if the heart refuses to believe, nothing can pursuade that person. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts, not us. F.R. Beattie sums up what I am trying to say, "The belief of an individual involves the mind, the emotions, and the will. The Holy Spirit does not work a blind and ungrounded faith in the heart." In other words, a person must not only use logic, but also his emotions AND his will in order to believe something. The Bible says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). Pure hearts see God, not those that are unwilling to follow the evidence wherever it leads because they want to live in their sins. (This is why it is important to take people through the Law, to make them aware of their sins and then point them to Christ; see Galatians 3:24) Our faith has substance; there is much evidence for God's existence.

Since we are speaking of "blind faith," I would like to share a small portion of a conversation that I had with an athiest a while back. (I have added to my original response for clarity.) This demonstrates that we do have sound reasons (substance) for our belief in Christ, though this is only a small fraction of that evidence...

Atheist: "God, on the other hand, has no ticket to travel to see him. You have to believe in him solely on faith, which you don't have to do with Japan. So the evidence is not circumstantial. If this argument was in court, the judge could easily say, 'Get me a ticket', travel there, and the proof is right under his feet, no longer circumstantial."

Me: "That is not entirely true. The Bible is our ticket to knowing and experiencing God. The Bible is God's word to us; therefore, when we read it, we can know what God is saying to us and it will help us to know God better (but of course, we must believe; we can't just read the Bible and expect to get into heaven). Allow me to illustrate: Those of us alive today never met Abraham Lincoln and yet we believe that he existed. Why? Because we have letters from him, documents about him, statements about him from friends, etc. So it is with the Bible; it is God's letter to us telling us who He is and, and it has eyewitness testimony of God in the form of man (Jesus) on this earth [from His friends AND enemies]. Even Simon Greenleaf, Professor of Law in the mid-1800s and writer of a book on law used in American law schools in the 19th century, stated that the New Testament could easily be presented as evidence in a court of law. Would a judge really need to travel to Japan to verify the facts? No judge that I am aware of does such a thing; he looks at the documents in front of him and examines the witnesses. The document we have is the Bible, and the witnesses are the disciples and others.

So is the evidence for God's existence really circumstantial? Then why did the disciples constantly claim (in reference to the Resurrection, which is the core of Christianity and proved that Jesus was God), "These things happened, and you all know"? (see Acts 3) They appealed to evidence which is not circumstantial; they were saying, "Go to the tomb and look for yourself! Ask around; the witnesses are still living!" God left us plenty of evidence for His existence; but we need to examine it with an unbiased mind in order to see its significance."

I will close with this small clip from Living Waters on the evidence for God from the Bible:

For more information on this topic, click here.


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