Faith That Endures
There is a group of people in the world who believe that man has never set foot on the moon. They believe that this claim is a government conspiracy that many have bought into. So, let me ask you this question. How do you know that man has been on the moon? Perhaps you have seen the images of Neil Armstrong taking his “giant leap for mankind”. Or maybe you have seen the newspaper articles proclaiming the news. Or perhaps you just believe it because most everybody else does.
But did man really walk on the moon?
The point of this post is to share my thoughts about 2 different kinds of faith.
Upper Level Faith
Upper Level Faith is similar to what many people have for man walking on the moon. They just believe that it’s true because they trust in the sources that they learned the information from. Now if I were to tell you that man didn’t walk on the moon, you might not just think that I am crazy but you might also think of me as a bit unpatriotic for making the claim or even doubting it. The reason for this is because all humans find it easy to believe in something when it’s something that is enjoyable to believe in. What I mean by this is that proclaiming something to be false when a large majority of people believe it is true, because of the happiness it brings them, is unpopular. This is what we call bias. It is to believe in something blindly because you want to believe it and not because there is any reasonable reason to believe in it.
At this point you may be asking yourself, “How do I know for sure that man has been on the moon?”
Lower Level Faith
The answer is that you never know for sure. In fact, you can’t be certain of anything, even the things you see with your own eyes. Everything we experience and learn to be true is a result of putting upper level faith in those experiences. However, you can become highly convinced of man walking on the moon if you take a look at some of the information available in this world and come to as unbiased of a conclusion as possible. A few years ago Candice and I were in Florida and we visited Kennedy Space Center. We got to see many of the rockets that travelled into space and learned of all the effort and expertise that went into the point in history when man walked on the moon. I cannot say with absolute certainty that man has walked on the moon but I have become so convince based on the evidence that I would almost be willing to bet my life on it.
I love the parable of the sewer because I can clearly see who Christ is referring to in the world today. I see so many people who are sewn onto the rocky places. They spring up almost immediately but since they have no roots, the sun comes out and they burn up. These are the people who come into a church, usually in a hurting situation, and see the goodness of the gospel. Yet as time passes, and trials come their way while being placed into an environment that rejects Christ, they also reject Christ. There were no roots to sustain life. I also see it in the young generation of the church today. Children are growing up in the church and then leaving, never to return. Where are the roots? The roots of course are the reality of the gospel. These are the fundamental truths that are like a rock where everything else has its foundation and is built upon.
The problem lies essentially with training our children and the church to begin to dare to ask the questions that many might fear to ask. How do we know the Bible is the inerrant word of God? How do we know that Jesus is the Messiah? How do we know that God is knowable? There are the fundamental questions that must be answered and we must be creative in finding more to ask. The answers to these questions are the roots that will allow any believer to make it through the scorching sun that is the world we live in. But not only will these truths help us endure the trials, but it also makes a significant impact on the effectiveness of our ministry. If we could become certain of who Christ really is, and not doubt, then we could speak boldly and live out the gospel to others with confidence and perseverance. It has been said before that faith causes action. If we really believed in Christ and His message then we would have the boldness to do or speak anything in Christ’s name. Why isn’t this being done? There is no root system. I see it in my own life.
I charge you the reader with the following responsibility which I am currently taking upon myself as well:
Free your mind to ask the questions that have never been asked and you may be too afraid to ask. The answers to these questions are what will build your faith.
Help foster an environment, especially in the church, where these questions can be asked without fear.
Find resources that will help your own roots develop so that you can endure any trial and be confident in any ministry.
(I suggest studying extra-Biblical sources such as history, archaeology, philosophy, theology)
Make it a point to develop your roots soon and never become satisfied in developing them. The sun is hot and it’s just now rising. Don’t just survive the sun but instead continue to grow and bear fruit!