Why Faith is Not Enough
Hello! It's been over a month since my last post, and I wanted to let you guys know that I'm alive and well. There isn't anything horrible that happened that made me shy away from the internet; I've honestly just been really, really busy with work and school.
I'm sure you're all wondering: "Well if you're not going through something, why are you saying faith isn't enough? WHAT HAPPENED?!"
Unfortunately, in the world of clickbait, I have purposely chosen a triggering title that actually has a lot to do with this post. Firstly, I'd like to insert a disclaimer that I'm not saying that faith is insufficient in our salvation. However, I am saying that knowing the Gospel message is not enough for our Christian walks.
Lately, I've been meditating a lot over the Old Testament, and one of the questions that kept coming up for me was: "If they know God and believe in God, why do they keep falling short?" And even in the New Testament: "How can someone who has literally walked with Jesus and seen His miracles still betray Him?" The argument over "seeing is believing" vs "believing is seeing" are not applicable, because these people see. There isn't a question about their belief, moreso it's a question of what they do with this knowledge.
As present day Christians, few of us can say we have witnessed the miracles of the Old Testament - when was the last time a sea parted for us, or all the natural disasters congregated in one place and we heard His voice in a whisper? In most of our lives, these biblical narratives are used kind of like Aesop's fables: exaggerated satires to teach us how to interact with current events of our lives. God's Word is alive - His Word remains applicable in the present day, but sometimes, we forget that the Bible is not just a long series of fables to teach us how to be "good people". It's historical text with authority. While we must apply Scripture into our every day lives, we must also be careful of manipulating text in such a way that distorts it and lessens its value.
In a time where it is hard to directly relate to the narrative of Biblical characters, it can be easy to explain any "challenge" towards our faith and the Bible with "generational gap", and ignorance. Obviously, there is a generational gap. We don't rely on chariots and horses to get around, and we don't fight with arrows and marching around castles. As science has evolved, so has society - we're no longer an agricultural world. We are full of industry, technology, and capitalism.
For example, there has recently been outcry about how there are too many women sitting in top executive and political seats. Is that sinful? Or does that make Proverbs 31 less applicable to how a woman should be? And what exactly are women who fear the Lord characterized by? Spoiler alert: Scripture does not say that a woman should stay at home and make babies and make sandwiches for the rest of her life. Unfortunately, that's actually pretty surprising to some Christians; I've met so many who believe feminism is spawned of Satan, without trying to understand the context of feminism, because "the Bible says" women should stay at home to nurse children while men continue to be the breadwinner. Not only is that not true, but how is that even wise? Diapers and school cost a fortune; are you sure you don't want a second income to help out? There are certainly families who benefit from such an arrangement, but is it biblical to limit the role of father and mother to a dynamic of business husband and homemaker wife for every family? Please note: the woman of noble character who fears the Lord as described in Proverbs 31 is a business woman as much as a homemaker. She is trusted to manage money matters while taking care of her children and husband! Is this the quality of a "lesser sex" who must be submissive and domesticated?
Feminism is not fighting for equality in the sense that man and woman were created the same. Feminism is fighting for equality in the sense that man and woman were created equal. Only a biological woman can give birth, but that cannot happen without a biological man. Likewise, no biological man can have children without a biological woman to give birth. God does not create to hate His Creation, and God does not create anyone to hate His people. God does not create one person above the other - none of us are complete perfection as Jesus Christ. Regardless of where you fall in or beyond the gender binary, and regardless of where you stand in the spectrum of sexual orientation, or lack thereof a standing, you are created equal.
If you call yourself a faithful Christian based on your social beliefs, political alignment/affiliation, and actively attending church: your faith is not enough. People of the Old Testament knew God intimately, made sacrifices based on the law, and patronized those who sinned, and not only knew Scripture intimately, they lived through Scripture! Yet the ones who were anointed were not the Pharisees who boastfully declared their faith, knew the Law well, and lived according to their own understanding of the Law and God's character. Faith is not enough, at least not blind faith and faith that comes from ourselves. Knowing God and knowing that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins is enough for salvation, but as Christians, it is not enough to preach this truth without seeking deeper understanding of God, His Will for us, His Word, etc. If we don't seek then how will we know what we stand for? If we pass on this mentality of blind faith in a faithful God, then how can Christianity ever be defended as anything beyond a cultural movement? How will our future generations receive the Bible as anything more than Aesop's fables?