Saturday, March 26, 2011

Facts Plus ???

The American Justice System is not based on belief. It is based on indisputable facts.

Conscientious pharmacists will not give you what they believe (think) will make you better. They depend on unchanging facts.

We will not work with mailing list brokers giving us a list of address they think will work. We demand they have current addresses (facts)

Do you see the pattern? We trust fact-based information and individuals. We don’t always trust someone’s notions, hopes or opinions.

In a previous post (No! I Will Not Wash My Hands), I asked if belief (or faith) is acceptance of facts only, or if belief includes actions. This post briefly investigates the question.

Belief (n. faith) is based on facts. It is not the facts themselves, according to Hebrews 11:1. Faith is evidence (facts) of things not seen. The TV weatherman tells you what he believes (thinks) the weather will be like tomorrow based on predictable patterns (facts).

If the weatherman tells us there is a 100% chance of snow, we have a choice:
  1. We can accept his fact-based prediction (and do nothing), or
  2. We can accept his fact-based prediction AND go (action) to the store for milk, break, batteries, candles, and disposable propane bottles (where I live snow can turn into an ice storm, knocking out electricity).

Choice #1 is NOT biblical faith. It is acceptance of truth. Choice #2 is biblical faith. It is acceptance PLUS action.

Note these Bible examples from Hebrews 11, the faith chapter.
  • Noah accepted God’s statement of a future flood, AND he followed God’s blueprint for building an ark (action).
  • Hebrews 11:8 speaks of Abraham. God tested Abraham’s faith. He told Abraham to give his only son as a burnt sacrifice. Abraham accepted God’s command as fact. He attempted to offer Isaac (action). Heb. 11:17-19.
  • The prostitute Rahab accepted as fact the spies report of how God was going to give Jericho to the Israelites. Later she hung a scarlet cord from her window, as instructed (action). She was spared.

Faith is acceptance plus action

With these ideas in mind, please consider these questions.
  1. Suppose you have biblical faith. God tells you to repent (turn away from sin) (Luke 13:3, 5). You accept his statement as fact. What follows next?
  2. Suppose you have biblical faith. Jesus tells you to tell others you believe Jesus is God’s son (confessing)(Matthew 10:32). You accept his instructions as fact, AND ???
  3. Suppose you have biblical faith. Jesus tells you to be baptized (immersed)(Mark 16:16). You accept his statement as a necessary fact, AND ???
  4. Suppose you have biblical faith. God tells you to live a new life (not sinning, but following God)(Romans 6:4). You accept your new statement of purpose as fact, AND ???

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