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
A very common belief about Christianity is that we must have blind faith, but that isn’t how our faith is described in scripture. The Bible describes faith in
Hebrews 11:1 (HCSB)
11 Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
A non-christian tried to catch me on the words not seen, but there are many things that are not seen that we all recognize as real, like the rules of logic. Science can not be done, without those rules, so anyone denying logic is also denying science.
In Luke 24:36-43 The disciples thought that Jesus was a ghost when he appeared to them. They were terrified, he responded by giving them evidence that he was not a ghost, telling them to look at his hands and feet, and to touch him. He also ate in front of them. If having doubts in need of answers were a roadblock to salvation, the disciples were not saved, but Jesus was clearly willing to give them evidence and trust them to still lead his church. If they were allowed to seek answers, so are we.
One passage that I think may be responsible for some of the confusion is the one about Doubting Thomas John 20:24-29
In this passage Thomas has been told by the remaining disciples that they have seen Jesus alive, he responds by saying he won’t believe till he has seen and felt Jesus’s wounds. Jesus then comes to give Thomas the evidence that he needs. After Thomas finally believes the truth, Jesus says ” “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.” People have misunderstood the slight rebuking of Thomas as a statement against the need for evidence. I don’t think that the need for some evidence is the issue here, or Jesus would not have given him evidence in the first place. The issue is the amount of evidence that he needed. You see Thomas already had tons of evidence.
Thomas had a lifetime of knowledge about the Hebrew Testament. He had been going to the synagogue his entire life. He knew about all the Old Testament prophecies that spoke of Jesus. He saw many of them come true first hand. He saw dead people come back to life, he saw lame people walk, the blind see, lepers healed, he saw Jesus calm the sea, and walk on water… The Gospels are filled with evidence that Thomas got to see first hand! He had the testimony of the remaining disciples that he had known and lived with for years. He had more evidence then most of us can dream during this life.
At some point, we must all accept the evidence we already have and live as if that thing were true. We have all seen airplanes fly, some of us even understand how planes work. But we don’t know that the particular plane that we are boarding will actually get us to our destination till we are actually at our destination with our feet firmly planted on the ground. We have enough evidence to believe that it will get us there, so most of us are willing to board the plane. Thomas was like the person who has seen 100 planes take off and land, has studied the workings and physics of airplanes, but still didn’t want to get on board.
Other verses that you may wish to read:
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Would you like to read evidence that Jesus was resurrected from the grave?
You can purchase
The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus
by Gary R. Habermas , and Michael R. Licona from Amazon.com