The Requirements of True Faith

For what little it is worth in the scheme of things, Poly, of course you have my forgiveness.

(Why you should need it for misperceiving the silly way I have of noticing simple things and repeating them as if they were words of great wisdom I don’t know, but you are certainly forgiven.)

Throughout the arguments on the board about sin, and grace, and God and souls it strikes me that the point has often been missed. Being good is a good idea. Kindness and mercy and love and generosity do not require the existence of God, however loudly they might shout out that He is.

While I am unimpressed entirely with the “Insurance” theory of belief in God, it is, like many other seemingly logical things, an image of the truth in a mortal mirror. Fooling God with pro-forma worship to sneak into heaven just in case he exists is the most cleverly stupid delusion ever a philosopher proposed! And yet there is the thing of which this is an image. Doing what is good is a good idea, even if there is no God.

Creating love, and doing kindness, and being faithful are worth doing for no other reason than that they are themselves great things, and the seeds from which a better world can grow. Even the logic bound mind can surely see this! So we come again to faith, as so often we do. If faith in God is not within your reach, then have faith in Goodness itself, and in Love, and in Charity, and in Mercy. As those faces of God become familiar, you will learn to know Him. If we become fools together in our journey, so be it. A journey like this will be glory enough for mortal fools such as we.

Tris

I had avoided that thread because I don’t know what I think about Paul. However, I trawled through it today, and while I mostly agree with you, there are some points he has made that I might be able to better explain. Not because I’m any great theological intellect by any means, but the ex-spousal unit was a diehard atheist and he and I used to get into lengthy debates about this stuff.

I will be posting some commentary later tonight. Think of it as anti-insomnia reading… :wink:

Oh, Poly. You do not need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.

Again, I prefer atheist Free Spirit sympathizer, if that was me you spoke of. Although I am like a Catholic, excepting I’m rather certain all the priests, nuns, sisters, brothers, bishops, archbishops, including Rome’s, are going to hell, as they have all taken oaths which the Lord himself says comes from the Evil One. You think I’m kidding? That is cheating, and forbidden, and would they to read the bible they would be made aware of it. It is never too late for them to repent. But, other than that…

Those who have faith are saved. Now you can happen to hear and obey Jesus’s teachings and not have faith, but you can not do the reverse. To what shall I compare faith? It is like a having a lottery ticket whose numbers you know are going to pay off. And I do not mean the pay off of eternal life – that is a hope – but the pay off of God’s providence in this world. You have faith that ticket will win most everyday. But a faithless man, though being told these numbers will win, will not buy a ticket. He will continue betting on another system. Now he may win, and even his worst pay out many be better than what you daily recieve. But he must work at his system constantly. And if he says even in his heart Jesus is Lord he is lying to himself and the Lord is not fooled. With this ticket you have peace and love and freedom, and, hope is, eternal life.

Wrong. It is a narrow path, and a believer may wander from it, and should he die away from it he will perish. But he must not let the devil convince him he will never find his way back. The Lord will go after a lost sheep. But you must enter the fold – that must be done. It is a narrow gate – you will not fit through it with your worldly goods. Once you are in the fold, what can you do then? You have already done the part which cause many to weep. What you can do is love. Love purely. Seek the flock. In time, the Lord’s flock will accept you as one of there own – and if you can not find them love the ones you can find. Pray. Teach the gospel to those who will listen. In time, you may find minor miracles occuring for your benefit. All this is what you can do, but it is also a matter of what you do not do.

You must accept grace, and there must be grace, or you will surely starve. Spiritual perfection takes time, and even should you have it you may yet lose it again.

You have switched cause and result. By living out Jesus’s teachings, you live by faith, a faith which can grow. You require grace to sustain that faith.

There is none good but God. Humility is important.

Humility! For who is to say what works you may be capable of after you live you life with Faith? The Lord does not give everyone the same gifts.

Giving to those who ask of you is a good thing, but once you have given everything, what then? Are you damned because you do not have what is asked of you, or saved? You are saved, and this work is meaningless to you. But do what works you can.

Amulet I look forward to your post.