Faith is not knowing all the answers. Knowing the answers is knowledge. Faith is deciding who or what you will trust before you have knowledge.
You already have faith. When you fly, you have faith in the pilot and scores of unseen mechanics and engineers. When you take a medication prescribed by your physician, you have faith in the doctor and the people who prepared the prescription. We each have faith in unknown strangers and institutions. Otherwise, we wouldn’t eat anything that we didn’t raise or drive a car. We live in a society where we are dependent on people that we don’t know and aren’t related to
Most of us believe things we can’t prove. Choosing to believe an idea does not make that idea true. Truth is independent of popularity. Not believing in an idea does not make it false.
Some of earth’s smartest scientists believe that human life occurred by random chance.
They believe there were trillions of mindless, plan-free events that occurred to create the universe. Out of billions of stars and an amazing number of planets, one happened to be in a small solar system, with a modest size star the perfect distance away. The Earth rotated on its angled axis which created seasons. Coincidentally, a small moon was nearby. This eventually stabilized the planet and created tides. Tides were important to move oceans and help circulate nutrients.
An atmosphere formed and was sustained. Luckily, it was strong enough to destroy many meteors and filter out the most severe radiation. Chance smiled. The atmosphere held in moisture, which was important for cloud formation and temperature regulation. Luckily, this little globe had oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon, none of which was guaranteed or automatic. Those elements could combine to become the stuff of life.
Chemicals combined randomly before there was life. “Presto changeo.” Life formed from no life. It may seem odd, but there was an almost infinite amount of time for randomness to work its magic.
Single celled entities evolved to bigger life with respiratory systems, skeletons, digestive tracts, and the ability to perceive color and movement in three dimensions. By chance, over eons, brains, speech, language, and societies developed.
There was no plan, only possibilities. This little clod happened to be in a fortunate location where thousands of extremely unlikely events just happened to occur in just the right sequence.
Most of the rest of the universe never had life and never will. Some places may have had life, but it didn’t last long. Chance and fate have no compassion, no love. Science is just facts.
My summary is short, but the worldview is coherent and internally consistent. Millions of people believe this world view. They may be right. I choose to believe something different.
I choose to believe in an infinite, eternal, creator God, all wise, just, and gracious. He didn’t and doesn’t need anything. This supreme being cares for His planet, all its life, and even individual human beings. He wants the best for them. His love is everlasting.
I favor the notion that somehow, He communicated with some of His creation and instructed them in how to the live a significant life and bless their fellow creatures. He condemns arrogance, child sacrifice, cruelty, evil, exploitation, lying, greed and revenge. This God affirms compassion, forgiveness, humility, justice, love, and mercy. He advocates protecting the alien, the poor, widows, and orphans.
Because people were made in His image, they developed speech and eventually created writing. They recorded knowledge so that later generations could understand earlier generations’ thoughts, hopes, and fears. Some people collected and kept what they believed to be inspired ideas. They treated that collection of writings like a love letter or maybe an instruction manual. I choose to believe much of those revelations are now collected, published, and available around the globe. Their proponents call them sacred writings.
This system of thinking posits that God created the world, intentionally, exquisitely, lovingly and continues to stay involved with His creation. It’s a comforting notion. If there is a God and He is sovereign, then I can have peace, contentment, and the hope of eternity. Personal sacrifice and trust make sense.
This world view is also internally consistent. Now, I cannot prove these notions are true. Apparently more than two billion people hold a view much like mine.
Both major notions are far-fetched. Both strain credulity. Either you or I could list many reasons why either of these worldviews is highly unlikely. That’s why I called them “trillion to one” theories.
People with integrity can see some logic in the other camp’s perspective and recognize some difficulties or mysteries in their own world view. Neither side can know their world view is right. But it should be possible for people of goodwill to discuss differing positions without the need to convert the other side.
This post won’t change where you put your faith. Perhaps you’ll think about your worldview. If you were starting from scratch, would you choose the same one?
As always, your feedback is more than welcome. If you want to talk about this topic in a civil manner, I’m eager for that conversation. Neither of us can persuade a person whose belief and faith are different. Perhaps we could politely discuss a topic that neither of us could prove.
Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.”