My blog friends… it’s been a while! To my subscribers – thank you for sticking around and bearing with me in a busy season of navigating screen burnout, working from home, and newly married life!
I must say that it has all been wonderful over here. Johnny and I can’t put words to how blessed we feel that our wedding was at the time that it was, and that we are married and together in this crazy season. Still, all of those privileges mean that we are constantly praying about/asking God how He wants to use us as servants for His glory to help and love on others.
With all of that said –
I want to update you on the new and improved blog schedule that I am working with.
I used to try to churn out four posts per week, but this is just not possible anymore. Now, I am honing in on my content planning and scheduling so that you can expect a new post every Thursday!
Today, I’m responding to a question I received on Instagram about faith in Jesus Christ.
The person was wondering how religion could be anything but “belief in what has been passed down by imperfect people through generations” – so essentially faith in what humanity says is the Truth. If we’re all flawed, how could we say that what we believe is true when it’s been taught over and over by imperfect people over a long period of time?
I was so excited to receive this question, and have been thinking and praying about it since.
I wanted to do it justice, and so I decided to consult several outside sources. Because, I actually completely understand where this question is coming from – something preached by humanity is going to be flawed and imperfect in some way, without a doubt.
I want to break my own response to the question into a few key points:
1. Read the Bible. Before we can truly make a claim about what the Bible says or doesn’t say, we really have to read it for ourselves. I myself am at fault for talking about the Bible, taking verses out of context, and assuming things about it before I read it in its entirety. This may seem like a major undertaking, but I must urge you: What do you have to lose? If you finish it and feel convicted that none of it is true and you don’t want to learn more, at least you now have concrete material to back up that belief. Of course, I don’t believe that that will be the case.
I urge you: what if it is true that this Jesus was sent by God to die on a cross to set us free? To be your best friend, Father, Saviour, Redeemer, Healer…
What if it is true that He created you…
that He is eternity?
If you don’t know who Paul is that Francis is referring to, check out the New Testament of the Bible, starting with Acts!
2. When I look at this question, I sense a doubting about the Bible actually being the Word of God: “If I could only know for sure that the Bible was the Word of God, then I could believe!”
There is more overwhelming evidence for the Truth of the Bible than any other manuscript in History. I urge you to review this video:
I also urge you to watch this one: How do you know Christianity is true?
Still, an undeniable aspect of Christianity is faith, which is defined in Hebrews as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1.
Having radical faith in my God is imperative to my walk with Him. If I don’t believe or have faith that He exists… I won’t look for Him or find Him at all. Still, God pursues everyone: “Jesus said, If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not… go and search for the one that is straying?” Matthew 18:12.
But you will be a lot more likely to recognize His pursuing if you believe He exists. You don’t have to fake this; He never asks for that. He asks you to “come as you are,” and says that you are actually stronger in your weakness and vulnerability in doing so. So maybe that prayer is as simple as, “God, I’m not too sure I believe you’re there, but I pray that You would open my eyes to understand and know You.”
3. I wanted to talk to my pastor about it, to have a credentialed person speak to the topic:
The reservation to trust the passing on of Truth is understandable! Human beings have a way of getting things wrong – no doubt. Yet, the deeper question remains for us to explore: What is the nature of Truth? We hold that Truth is objective, or that Truth “lives” above cultural moments, times, and human preference. Truth is a real thing, and the goal in the search for Truth is to discover, as far as I am able, what makes the best coherent sense of facts, experiences, and how the world seems to work. Which then means that passed down ideas or novel ones come under the same kind of scrutiny – do they make sense of the world around us?
Plus, we always have to be wary of committing what CS Lewis called Chronological Snobbery – the idea that us modern ones have better access to Truth, or are some how more advance in our ability to understand the world we live in. This is very egocentric, cultural-centric thinking. Yes, we have made discoveries the ancient never could – Quantum Mechanics for example – but answering the basic worldview-building questions of origins, purpose, meaning, suffering, salvation, or solutions, for example, are no better answered by modern sources than by the ancient ones. So, again, the same pursuit for Truth becomes relevant – testing ideas against what make sense of life, the facts about life, and how to live as humans in it.
Then, we have the questions of revelation. We do believe that God has revealed Truth to us in Jesus, and that the testimony of Jesus’ life has been kept for us by the Holy Spirit’s work in the history of the church on the Spiritual level, but also by the meticulous skills of scholars and monks who viewed these words as words of God to us. The overwhelming amount of data and manuscripts regarding the accuracy of the New Testament should cause anyone to rethink their approach to the document as a whole (especially when compared to all other ancient documents and texts). So – is religion just the beliefs in what people in history have thought was true?
Yes, of course, no man is an island – facts/truths/ideas are built upon. Whatever you believe in right now, from the most basic need to brush your teeth in the morning to the more moral belief in the goodness of honouring your parents… it has been built upon. Your beliefs have been influenced by imperfect people. But does that take away from the validity of Truth? By no means.
The real question, then, is: what is actually True?
Secularism (which is its own religion), Islam, Christianity, Buddhism – all make claims to be the truth, yet all contradict each other at fundamental levels (Did Jesus rise from the dead? If He did, then all “bets” are off).
We believe that, both through reason and revelation, Jesus makes the most sense of the world. He is the most coherent way to view how to live and bring all the fundamentals together. Do we, as imperfect humans, believe that we have all the answers? No, but we do believe that we know the One who does.
Ultimately, this wondering is incredibly common, so I pray you don’t feel alone. It’s important to be thinking about these things; the Truth impacts everything about your life now – the joy that you have and the purpose that you live with – and it also has far greater and more eternal impact than we can even fathom. I would invite you to check out this powerful video by Francis Chan (Start at 0:45):
All in all, to any Unsure Reader, I pray that you would understand these things:
Christians believe that Truth is a result of learning through the Word, and learning through revelation.
If you have ever wondered if you had felt God’s presence, or prayed to Him and thought, Just maybe He heard me – I encourage you to seek a real relationship with Him. The reality of any relationship, though, is that it cannot be one-sided. He will continue to pursue you no matter what as your Creator, but if you choose not to pursue back, that is your choice. Even if you choose not to, in the very nature of God, it is His joy and delight to love you and seek relationship with you no matter what.
Have a question or topic you’d like me to cover on any aspect of Christianity, eating disorder recovery, marriage, or a recipe request? DM me on Instagram @cassiefulford_, or leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you.