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Author Topic:   Why is Faith so Important to God?
iano
Member (Idle past 2029 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 31 of 88 (431392)
10-30-2007 8:45 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by pelican
10-30-2007 8:11 PM


Then I saw her face. Now I'm a believer. Cause/Consequence
There are so many definitions of faith and they cannot all be correct. I personally don't view faith in a biblical sense as I do not know the truth of the bible. I know only the interpretations.
Faith is a big word in the Bible. I've just touched on an aspect and am in the process of learning myself. Let it be known that past experience of Gods direct dealings with me exist as memory even though he can be distant from me at this point in time. My memory of his promises then allow me to "have faith" in him now - even though I am not fueled by evidence-of-that-past-quality at present. Powerful it remains. I got badly burned 6 or so years ago - the evidence-then informing the care and attention I pay around dangerous equipment up to this day. I have faith in the power of boiling water.
To me faith has to have a certain amount of viable proof which can be within the human experience. It does not neccessarily have to be physical evidence. E.G I have 100% faith that electricity exists but I have never seen it.
You believe electricity lit the lite-bulb because of evidence (faith) as to the workings of electricity in a resistive wire. You believe your brakes will stop you because you have evidence (faith) that they will stop you - they have before. Faith = evidence. Belief is dependant upon evidence (faith). We shouldn't mix up faith and belief like we do weight and mass (I don't weigh 70kg)
My question is, does faith make something true or does truth manifest faith?
Neither. Faith (evidence) reveals what is true. When we come to know what is true we enter a state of belief. We believe. We become believers because of faith.
Edited by iano, : No reason given.
Edited by iano, : No reason given.
Edited by iano, : No reason given.
Edited by iano, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by pelican, posted 10-30-2007 8:11 PM pelican has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Buzsaw, posted 10-30-2007 11:18 PM iano has replied
 Message 34 by pelican, posted 10-31-2007 2:51 AM iano has replied
 Message 51 by iceage, posted 11-02-2007 1:22 AM iano has not replied

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 88 (431414)
10-30-2007 11:18 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by iano
10-30-2007 8:45 PM


Re: Then I saw her face. Now I'm a believer. Cause/Consequence
iano writes:
.......evidence (faith)....... evidence (faith).......Faith (evidence)........ Faith = evidence.
Iano, faith and evidence have two completely different meanings.
evidence = "A thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment:"
faith = "firm belief in something for which there is no proof"
Evidence is that which protects faith from blindness.
Faith that is not blind is substantiated by evidence.

BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present is forever consuming the eternal future and extending the infinite past.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by iano, posted 10-30-2007 8:45 PM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by iano, posted 10-31-2007 7:48 AM Buzsaw has replied

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 1343 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 33 of 88 (431421)
10-31-2007 12:36 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by Buzsaw
10-30-2007 8:45 PM


God was angry with the Jews who had all the evidence for strengthening their faith but chose rather to disobey his commandments. Had they by faith trusted in him alone instead of whoring after other gods, he would have been well pleased with them and blessed them instead of bringing judgement [sic] upon them.
(my emphasis)
Ah yes, that refreshing Buzsaw ecumenism again. What a beacon of christian love you are.
Funny thing, though, I never knew Jews were polythestic.

Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin
We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Buzsaw, posted 10-30-2007 8:45 PM Buzsaw has not replied

Replies to this message:
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pelican
Member (Idle past 5074 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 34 of 88 (431441)
10-31-2007 2:51 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by iano
10-30-2007 8:45 PM


Re: Then I saw her face. Now I'm a believer. Cause/Consequence
It's a bit like the chicken and the egg. How can you have faith in something that you have no awareness/experience of? If you have faith in something and know what that something is, then you already believe it to be true and faith then follows.
If some evidence just pops up, how will you know what it is evidence of? Is there evidence of a god that we can put our faith in?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by iano, posted 10-30-2007 8:45 PM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by iano, posted 10-31-2007 3:02 PM pelican has replied

  
Brian
Member (Idle past 5048 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 35 of 88 (431453)
10-31-2007 7:32 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by subbie
10-31-2007 12:36 AM


Funny thing, though, I never knew Jews were polythestic.
In the early books of the Hebrew Bible the Israelites certainly were polytheistic.

This message is a reply to:
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iano
Member (Idle past 2029 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 36 of 88 (431455)
10-31-2007 7:48 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Buzsaw
10-30-2007 11:18 PM


Re: Then I saw her face. Now I'm a believer. Cause/Consequence
Iano, faith and evidence have two completely different meanings.
In the dictionary granted. What would you make of Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)though?
quote:
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
"Substance" and "evidence" are pretty strong words indicating faith to be that which leads a person to believe something. Evidence is what leads a person to believe something. I believe my brakes will stop be because I have evidence that that is what they do. I have faith.
Faith that is not blind is substantiated by evidence.
We could say that belief that is not blind is that way because it is substantiated by evidence. Are you not simple equating faith and belief here?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Buzsaw, posted 10-30-2007 11:18 PM Buzsaw has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Buzsaw, posted 10-31-2007 9:05 PM iano has replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2029 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 37 of 88 (431493)
10-31-2007 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by pelican
10-31-2007 2:51 AM


Re: Then I saw her face. Now I'm a believer. Cause/Consequence
dameeva writes:
It's a bit like the chicken and the egg....
Suppose faith to equate to evidence for a moment. That is, suppose God's showing up in front of you as equating to evidence of his existance. If he did just that you would have faith in (or evidence of) Gods existance. Don't worry about what that evidence is like or how you would be convinced it was him - just hold that idea of what faith is or what having faith means.
It's a bit like the chicken and the egg. How can you have faith in something that you have no awareness/experience of? If you have faith in something and know what that something is, then you already believe it to be true and faith then follows.
Given faith = evidence, we obviously cannot have faith without having awareness. Neither can we have faith whilst remaining unbelieving. The apparent chicken/egg situation can be resolved as follows - the simplest example to take it the case of the atheist
During this atheists life, God attempts to bring them to the point of being convinced that are in need of God. It doesn't matter that they don't believe in Gods existance at that point of being convinced of this - they only need to be brought to the point of believing they need 'God' to exist.
At that point the person has reached the end of the line in terms of their willingness to struggle against God. God has resisted their operating as independant, self-sufficient beings. He has resisted them charting their own course, setting their own morality, deciding their own goals. God resists by acting in opposition to them. He troubles their conscience. He witholds blessing and protection. He permits worldly troubles and concerns to assail. He humbles men using the glory of nature. He worries the God-shaped hole passed on 'genetically' by Adam and Eve when they first created that hole with their sin. All this without our athiest friend being at all aware it is God at work. Of course, a person is permitted to escape and dodge and avoid being troubled. God attempts to convince - he doesn't force conviction.
When the person has been driven to the end of the line (as defined by God) they will "call out on the name of the Lord". The pressure God has managed to bring to bear squeezes this call out of them. For the atheist this might take the form "I don't believe you exist but if you do then... Lord I need you"
The surrender of a person, their stepping off of the throne, their relinquishing chief say over the course and direction of their lives is Gods criterion for saving them. He carries out the necessary works associated with salvation: he declares them righteous in his sight, adopts them as children, crucifies their old nature, comes to reside within them by his Holy Spirit. He shows up...and the former atheist is utterly convinced of his existance. The former atheist believes in God because he has all the evidence he needs to be convinced of Gods existance.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by pelican, posted 10-31-2007 2:51 AM pelican has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by pelican, posted 10-31-2007 8:35 PM iano has replied
 Message 59 by bernerbits, posted 11-08-2007 5:25 PM iano has not replied

  
pelican
Member (Idle past 5074 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 38 of 88 (431527)
10-31-2007 8:35 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by iano
10-31-2007 3:02 PM


Re: Then I saw her face. Now I'm a believer. Cause/Consequence
I know you are trying to make a point here. I've read it several times and I just don't get it. Your point, I mean. I think you are saying that faith is evidence and attempting to prove it with an hypothesis that I can't follow. Bear with me. It's a bit hard imagining a god turning up in front of me. It would change everything.
I try to take god out of the equasion whilst defining faith and belief. It's easier for me to look at them throughout my own life. I have beliefs. I have faith. It doesn't mean that my beliefs are true and it doesn't mean I haven't mis-placed my faith.
I have experienced the crashing of an old belief system that I had previously had faith in. I'm in the process of forming a new system. During this process I have come to understand how incredibly powerful faith and belief have been in my life, whether true or false. For example, I believed I was incapable of blind-faith but that belief came crashing down when I realized I was.
However, I realize that this is my perception and I really want to see it from yours. Can you bear personal testimony to your example?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by iano, posted 10-31-2007 3:02 PM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by iano, posted 10-31-2007 9:59 PM pelican has replied

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 88 (431535)
10-31-2007 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by iano
10-31-2007 7:48 AM


Re: Faith and Evidence
Interpretation of Biblical statements pertaining to faith and evidence must be interpretated relative to the actual meaning of the words. The word "substance" in this context is obviously not to be confused with physical evidence. It would be leading off topic to go into this in debth.

BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present is forever consuming the eternal future and extending the infinite past.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by iano, posted 10-31-2007 7:48 AM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by iano, posted 10-31-2007 9:32 PM Buzsaw has not replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2029 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 40 of 88 (431542)
10-31-2007 9:32 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Buzsaw
10-31-2007 9:05 PM


Re: Faith and Evidence
Interpretation of Biblical statements pertaining to faith and evidence must be interpreted relative to the actual meaning of the words. The word "substance" in this context is obviously not to be confused with physical evidence. It would be leading off topic to go into this in depth.
I wasn't suggesting that the substance was physical nor that the evidence was either physical or empirical - the realm in which faith operates is the spiritual and immaterial. Reason for belief and hope still requires substance and evidence.
It seems clear to me that this verse views faith as that which fuels engine of belief. Similar to the way vibrating soundwaves are the substance and evidence that leads to believe the kettle is boiling.
Time for a cuppa

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Buzsaw, posted 10-31-2007 9:05 PM Buzsaw has not replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2029 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 41 of 88 (431554)
10-31-2007 9:59 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by pelican
10-31-2007 8:35 PM


Re: Then I saw her face. Now I'm a believer. Cause/Consequence
dameeva writes:
I know you are trying to make a point here. I've read it several times and I just don't get it. Your point, I mean. I think you are saying that faith is evidence and attempting to prove it with an hypothesis that I can't follow. Bear with me. It's a bit hard imagining a god turning up in front of me. It would change everything.
Perhaps I laid it on too thick. To summarise what I was doing, globally.
a) Giving a biblical definition of faith. Whatever you understand faith to mean needs to be set aside when considering what I say involving it - because I won't be using your definition. Sometimes it is hard to let your definitions go.
b) Explaining how faith (as defined) can sit within the overall process of salvation. Sit in such a way as to resolve the apparent chicken and egg that occurs when you use other definitions of faith - especially the dictionary one. I wasn't attempting a proof - definitions of words don't have proofs.
I wouldn't bother imagining what it would be like if God turned up for you. You couldn't even begin to imagine. It would indeed change everything
I try to take god out of the equation whilst defining faith and belief. It's easier for me to look at them throughout my own life. I have beliefs. I have faith. It doesn't mean that my beliefs are true and it doesn't mean I haven't mis-placed my faith.
You'll have grasped that (biblically-defined) faith/evidence is the thing which leads me to believe spiritual things. If I have evidence for something I will believe that thing. Faith and belief are two distinct things.
What is the difference between faith and belief in your view.
I have experienced the crashing of an old belief system that I had previously had faith in.
So did I. 6 or so years ago. I used to have faith in my own abilities to steer HMS Iano through this life. I'll remember the day I was torpedoed and sunk for the rest of my (earthly) life.
Can you bear personal testimony to your example?
What do you mean...bear?
Edited by iano, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by pelican, posted 10-31-2007 8:35 PM pelican has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by pelican, posted 11-01-2007 8:35 AM iano has replied

  
iceage 
Suspended Member (Idle past 6003 days)
Posts: 1024
From: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 09-08-2003


Message 42 of 88 (431556)
10-31-2007 10:02 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by iano
10-30-2007 7:53 PM


Sheer Poetry
Well Ian I will tell you that this is best response I have received to date on this question. It's poetry.
However, like a lot of poetry it is nonsensical and illogical. Maybe the meaning is just too deep for me.
Iano writes:
At root, God-supplied/biblical faith engenders belief and trust in God - long after it has fueled a belief in Gods existence.
I tried parsing your first sentence with some effort. If I remove some of the unnecessary words to simplify we have:
"God-supplied Faith engenders belief in God - long after it fueled a belief in God"
Huh? Help me out.
Further the usage of belief and faith in this sentence are close synonyms making the above sentence tautological as best. Replace faith with belief and it reads the same.
iceage writes:
"faith" is not evidence of existence of God. The Heavens Gate practitioners had faith so do suicide bombers. The Heavens Gate faith does not prove there is a space ship behind a comet.
Iano writes:
You shouldn't suppose the word "faith" to be some kind of universal currency.
Unless you can differentiate you action of "faith" in some tangible way, then it is common ("universal currency") with others action of "faith".
iceage writes:
Why would God make faith in the unseeable as a means to be "saved".
Iano writes:
At root the means involves man surrendering his independance from God...to God.
In other words, faith in the unseeable involves dependence on God and that is what God ultimately wants.
I will offer that faith in the unseeable involves independence from the rational world and dependence on the imperceptible passions of the mind - a boat afloat without an anchor to the material world. I like how Crashfrog once put it "I just realized that it was me talking to myself".
And I have some evidence to back up this claim; namely the thousands of variations of faiths in the unseeable - and I am just referring to those within the Christian realm. A Mormon's faith in God is significantly different than yours; as is the JW as is the Christian Identity brotherhood as is the Davidian's as is the Phelpian's as is the Catholic's.
And this is simultaneously evidence against your substantial claim of God-supplied faith. If there is such a thing as God-supplied faith one would predict some uniform expression of faith world wide.
In short faith in the unseeable is fickle as per the evidence. I can see no logical reason why God would value such faith in the unseeable so greatly.
Edited by iceage, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by iano, posted 10-30-2007 7:53 PM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by iano, posted 11-01-2007 2:16 PM iceage has replied

  
pelican
Member (Idle past 5074 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 43 of 88 (431625)
11-01-2007 8:35 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by iano
10-31-2007 9:59 PM


Re: Then I saw her face. Now I'm a believer. Cause/Consequence
Ah I think I am getting there.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I think you are distiguishing between faith in physical things and faith in spiritual things. I agree that beliefs and faith are two separate entities but I also think they cannot stand alone. They need each other.
I also think you are saying that your faith is evidence enough to believe in spiritual things. (whew it's hard work getting my head around another's perception but good practise in understanding.)
The last bit about bearing witness. I watch too many courtroom dramas. I only meant, have you any personal experience of your faith and beliefs working in your own life?
I look forward to seeing if I am getting on your wave length (or maybe nerves ha ha).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by iano, posted 10-31-2007 9:59 PM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by iano, posted 11-01-2007 1:15 PM pelican has replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2029 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 44 of 88 (431656)
11-01-2007 1:15 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by pelican
11-01-2007 8:35 AM


Re: Then I saw her face. Now I'm a believer. Cause/Consequence
dameeva writes:
Correct me if I'm wrong but I think you are distinguishing between faith in physical things and faith in spiritual things. I agree that beliefs and faith are two separate entities but I also think they cannot stand alone. They need each other.
I'd be interested to know what you think the differences between faith and belief are (in the non-biblical sense). Where is the difference to your mind here:
"I have faith that my brakes will stop the car"
"I believe that my brakes will stop the car
But you're right: I distinguish between a dictionary definition and a biblical definition of a word. "Death" is another word that the Bible has a view on which would not marry in all ways with the dictionary definition. When examining the biblical case it is best to stay in the zone and terminology of the Bible (in so far as it differs or expands upon the dictionary zone)
I also think you are saying that your faith is evidence enough to believe in spiritual things. (whew it's hard work getting my head around another's perception but good practise in understanding.)
Per biblical definition faith = evidence. Thus: "I also think you are saying that your evidence is evidence enough to believe in spiritual things" It is indeed. To my way of reckoning the only reason I 100% believe anything, spiritual or no, is that the evidence is evidence enough. When the evidence is less than enough then my belief is less than certain. It can be a suspicion that..., a feeling that..., a weak belief that... a hope that...etc.
The last bit about bearing witness. I watch too many courtroom dramas. I only meant, have you any personal experience of your faith and beliefs working in your own life?
Plenty, daily. Positive and "negative"
I look forward to seeing if I am getting on your wavelength
I didn't know you were off it...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by pelican, posted 11-01-2007 8:35 AM pelican has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by pelican, posted 11-01-2007 8:44 PM iano has replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2029 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 45 of 88 (431677)
11-01-2007 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by iceage
10-31-2007 10:02 PM


Re: Sheer Poetry
iceage writes:
However, like a lot of poetry it is nonsensical and illogical. Maybe the meaning is just too deep for me.
Perhaps I'm biting off more than you can chew . I'll try and slow it down.
"God-supplied Faith engenders belief and trust in God - long after it fueled a belief in Gods existance"
Huh? Help me out.
I'll assume you are aware that I am using a biblical definition of faith here - not a dictionary definition. If so then its easy.
Meet someone and you know they exist. You have evidence that they do. But you don't know anything about them. Can you rely on them? Trust them? After a while you might come to rely on them, to trust them. You have come into possession of evidence for this due to knowing them for a while. By seeing how they operate
Evidence in both cases. Evidence for knowing they exist. And evidence for knowing you can trust them and depend on them. In the Bible faith = evidence. Insert faith for evidence above and the meaning stays the same
Further the usage of belief and faith in this sentence are close synonyms making the above sentence tautological as best. Replace faith with belief and it reads the same.
We are not using a dictionary definition of faith. We are using a biblical definition of faith.
Unless you can differentiate you action of "faith" in some tangible way, then it is common ("universal currency") with others action of "faith".
See above. Faith is defined in a way other than the universal way.
In other words, faith in the unseeable involves dependence on God and that is what God ultimately wants.
For clarity and by way of example, the definition of faith being used by me ("Faith... the evidence of things not seen") renders this sentence:
"In other words, evidence of the unseeable involves dependance on God and that is what God ultimately wants."
Which is the case. At the moment you are acting independantly of God (to the extent you can anyway). God wants you to come to realise you need him. When/if you do he will evidence himself to you. In that sense, evidence of the (empirically) unseeable involves you coming to be dependant on God. When you do you will see what you currently cannot.
I will offer that faith in the unseeable involves independence from the rational world and dependence on the imperceptible passions of the mind - a boat afloat without an anchor to the material world. I like how Crashfrog once put it "I just realized that it was me talking to myself".
"Unseeable" means not detectable by sight-based evidence, sound based evidence, touch, taste, smell-based evidence. Empirically invisable. Faith = evidence. A different kind of evidence to the standard 5 sense evidences. Thus spake the definition of faith we are utilising. This evidence reveals that which 5 sense evidence cannot. God, amongst other things.
And I have some evidence to back up this claim; namely the thousands of variations of faiths in the unseeable - and I am just referring to those within the Christian realm. A Mormon's faith in God is significantly different than yours; as is the JW as is the Christian Identity brotherhood as is the Davidian's as is the Phelpian's as is the Catholic's.
If another 10,000 types of faith were added tomorrow it wouldn't alter the truth of one true one - if one true one existed. The objection is fallacious. Baby with bathwater (if the baby exists)
And this is simultaneously evidence against your substantial claim of God-supplied faith. If there is such a thing as God-supplied faith one would predict some uniform expression of faith world wide.
One would expect some expression of uniformity amongst those supplied of God. The trouble is determining who those are. Only then can you comment on uniformity. No true Scotsman territory I'm afraid. This objection is too fallacious.
In short faith in the unseeable is fickle as per the evidence. I can see no logical reason why God would value such faith in the unseeable so greatly.
As has hopefully being amply underscored. Faith is evidence - not blind.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by iceage, posted 10-31-2007 10:02 PM iceage has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by iceage, posted 11-02-2007 12:04 AM iano has not replied

  
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