Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Belief v Faith

I never was one for comic books or comic book heroes. So when my friends argued about Batman versus Superman I usually zoned-out. Today, I imagine most of my childhood friends would zone-out when I try and explain the difference between Faith and Belief.

The trouble begins, I guess, in the same way the comic book debate does, with a failure to realize that Batman and Superman live in two different worlds. Their stories only collide when Hollywood executives want to make a buck or two. So it is with Faith and Belief, they are such different things, it’s hard to imagine that they would collide at all. And nobody profits.

Today, our understanding of the word Belief is that it requires a cognitive acceptance of the existence of God and the intellectual reception of creedal statements. And when we confuse Faith as being like Belief it becomes solely an exercise of our brains. But Faith, as it is understood in scripture means to be in a God-initiated relationship with our souls and spirit, even if our minds are not aware of it. It doesn’t help matters when the translators translate the Greek word for faith as “believe.”

The point of all that God does for us is to bring us to Faith, and by Faith we mean into a spiritual relationship with the Divine. A relationship that isn’t so much about cognitive reasoning but simply being in love with the God who first loved us. We are invited into a relationship with God and asked to bring our whole being: heart, mind, body and soul. As much as we might desire understanding, Faith, like Love doesn’t need it. There is a place for the intellect, for Belief, but Faith, an entirely separate thing, mustn’t be left out of the equation.

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