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Wilderness to Water. Reflections regarding God's faithfulness, character, love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. An examination of God's grace and power through meditative prose, poetry, original drawings and full-color photographs.

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Thursday
Jul182013

We Have Faith in What We’re Feeling

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)


Abraham Sacrificing Isaac, Carravaggio, 1603

“[F]aith is the assurance that God’s promises will never fail, even if sometimes we do not experience their fulfillment in our mortal existence. Hebrews 11 underscores the fact that we trust God to fulfill his promises for the future (the unseen) based on what he has already fulfilled in the past. Thus, our faith is not blind, but based squarely on God’s proven faithfulness.”
— Hank Hannegraff


In many quarters today (both within Christendom and without), the meaning of the word “faith” has been reduced to little more than a watered down version of wishful thinking. All too often the word “faith” is bandied about for the sole purpose of convincing us (and/or others) that we “have our act together”, that we feel good about ourselves and about our future lot in life. This brand of “having faith” is the sentimentalist’s master key that helps to unlock the possibility that… maybe…. we’re on the right track.

Faith?...Well, maybe in a perverse sense. Biblical faith…assuredly not.

Today if someone declares that he or she “has faith”, that pretty much does it. Say no more. Everlasting blue skies, butterflies and rainbows without end. Salvation guaranteed.

Justification by self-proclaimed sincerity. Welcome to the helium- filled, smiley-faced circus balloon of New Age, therapeutic spirituality, a phenomenon that persists both inside and outside church walls.

Never mind what the object of one’s faith might be. That is of no real consequence. Having faith is really all that matters. And it’s all the reassurance one seems to need these days.

I’m OK, you’re OK, easy-breezy “religion” of Advanced… (ie.,evolved)… Humanism…a philosophy designed and suited just for you. Progressive big hugs all around.



We Have Faith in What We’re Feeling


We have Faith in what we’re feeling,
And we feel our Faith’s enough!
We have Faith that we’re not “sinners”….
And in SO much other stuff!

We have Faith in Evolution,
We have Faith in Natural Man…
We have Faith in Human Reason,
Crystal Gazing, Shifting Sand.

We have Faith in markets rising,
And in man’s philosophies.
We have Faith in human effort,
And in our Sincerities.

We have Faith in good intentions,
We have Faith there is no Hell.
We have Faith in Science Projects ….
We have Faith man never fell.

We have Faith there is no Satan…
And our Faith in that is strong!
We have Faith God hasn’t spoken ….
(But if so, He got it wrong)

We have Faith we’ll be found faithful,
We have Faith we’ll make the grade!
We have Faith that faith will save us.
We have Faith we’ve got it made!



"I suspect that most of the individuals who have religious faith are content with blind faith. They feel no obligation to understand what they believe. They may even wish not to have their beliefs disturbed by thought. But if God in whom they believe created them with intellectual and rational powers, that imposes upon them the duty to try to understand the creed of their religion. Not to do so is to verge on superstition."
— Mortimer J. Adler


“Faith is believing God’s word…always.”
—Marvin Rosenthal


“ Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
—(Hebrews 12:1-3, The Message)


Jesus Crucified (Rembrandt)