Faith has always been a central part of the discussion when it comes to God. People of “faith” have often been accused of following their faith blindly. In other words, following without question has led to many devastating results. Like a good soldier who follows commands without question.
I completely understand this idea as many examples of it have presented themselves throughout history. For example, in church history many have followed the unbiblical and ungodly instruction of the pope and taken a convert or die policy when it comes to Jewish relations. The Spanish Inquisition rings any bells?
As a follower of Jesus, faith is not blind at all and never is there any biblical merit that it should be. Faith is like a bridge. It is information that you have acquired from another source that you must decide if it is true or not. For example, if a book describes a geographical location such as Israel, Jordan River, dead sea, then you or someone else should be able to go and verify that information as true or not. Or if the book describes an ancient land in America where the lost tribes of Israel lived, you should be able to find some geological evidence to validate these claims. If a religious institution makes claims that there is evidence of their message but won’t let anyone access such documentation or physical evidence then it is more than likely fraudulent. Such are the claims of Mormonism as it pertains to their extrabiblical texts that speak of a society of the “lost tribes” of Israel.
It is also quite common to blindly follow doctrine of a religious institution without proper biblical basis. I would call this man-made tradition or sometimes tradition based loosely on non-contextual scripture. Judaism holds many good example of tradition such as the wearing of kippah or rabbinical kosher law. We do these things because we can’t remember not doing these things. We wear dark heavy clothing in the middle of the desert in Israel because when we used to live in harsh and cold-weathered Poland it was tradition.
Perhaps these things are far less about faith and far more focused on maintaining a social identity. How else will they know we are Jewish unless we wear big hats and all live in the same neighborhood? Christians are guilty of this too, have you heard of the Bible belt? Or how about the Catholic Church? Church traditions can be taken too far and often cause disunity in the larger body of believers. But that is not the problem so much as when a tradition takes a theological stance, and what is man-made becomes blurred with what God has commanded of us.
That is why it is so important that we test faith. Like a bridge, in order to test it, one must take the first steps to cross it. In the video I use the testing of Abraham as my main example. God made Abraham a promise and then asked Abraham to completely trust God to fulfill that promise- though the task being asked of Abraham would make it impossible in human terms for God to keep that promise, unless of course God would provide another child or bring back Isaac from the dead. (P.S. all of these things are possible for God.) I can speculate that by this time Abraham has experienced God’s promises and has faith in God to keep them, but I can also speculate that Abraham probably felt some doubts being human and all, we often do.
It is as if Abraham has crossed halfway across the bridge and now a hard wind is blowing. Will the bridge hold my weight? What is really on the other side? Can I trust the bridge maker? We see through Abraham that the answer is yes. We can trust God because many have come before us who have already crossed that bridge and through scripture are telling us it is the only way. God has provided a way to keep his promises to us and we need to take the leap of faith and test the bridge that many others have crossed.
A warning to skeptics: don’t use cop-out responses to people of faith calling their beliefs blind. Thousands of years of history as well as countless testimonies of individuals who have come before us have told us their accounts of God, and to excuse these testimonies is just plain ignorant and foolish.
A warning to people of faith: not everything you believe or practice is from God and unless it has biblical basis you may be practicing faith/man-made religion blindly, which has and continues to lead people away from God.
One final thought: scripture is a gift from God and it is the best bridge of faith. If you want to test faith then you need to read the scripture. Read it in the way the authors intended it. Read it in full. It can change your life and bring more hope than anything else.