Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Faith vs. Force

If I believed the Force was real as completely as theists say they believe their religion is real. I'd be out staring at rocks all fricking day thinking "Go up! Fly! Levitate dammit!" I'd be reading the grocery lists of Jedis--anything to get a handle on this power. Hell, if it didn't work out after a couple years of daily training, I'd even give the Sith a shot.

Christians claim to have complete faith in the word of God, but generally don't even spend the time to learn the original languages in which the Bible was written. They read translations of translations, sure (or more commonly listen to someone else's interpretation once a week), but I don't find that convincing. Maybe they aren't so convinced. Maybe we aren't so different.

I was a Christian Scientist, a denomination that taught God's power and influence was more attainable then the average flavor of Christianity. If I lived by the values of Jesus I could, with complete faith, do as Christ did with God working through me. The analogue to Star Wars is very appropriate. Live like a Jedi and when you truly believe you can lift a rock with your mind, it will happen. JC's disciples were the Jedi of the Bible, healing folks long after the ascension.

I tried healing myself and others as a Christian Scientist. Surprise, surprise, it didn't work. The theological out for my failure was that I didn't have enough faith that it would work. I agreed there. More than that, I knew I was fundamentally incapable of complete faith in what I found unbelievable. So I embraced my disbelief and here I am.

Sometimes I think the vast majority of theists, if not all, are also incapable of complete faith in their supernatural stories. I would think an underlying skepticism in that which is contrary to experience is a feature of human nature. Surely there is selective pressure for it, evolutionarily speaking. The question is, how to get them to embrace their disbelief and move on?

Or maybe they just need to believe a little harder and start levitating rocks. ;-)


  1. I knew I was fundamentally incapable of complete faith in what I found unbelievable.

    Wow, that says it all. When Jesus said "All things are possible" (and they are clearly not) then it is chalked up to lack of faith or to me even worse Jesus speaking in hyperbole.

  2. You raise a fascinating subject here - does faith confer some sort of personal (magic) power to the individual? Those who believe it does must figure out a way to explain why it does not work. Those who believe it does not seem to prefer more of a genie model in which they must pray for what they want rather than being able to do it themselves. While that doesn't work either, it seems a bit easier to maintain that sort of belief (mysterious ways).

  3. I feel the same way about magic from the Harry Potter series. If it was real I would make a wand and start waving it around trying to freeze people.

  4. Sometimes we rely too much on our own discernment and miss His.When I doubt my own mind(a common and completely human and natural phenomenon, because we don't know everything), I offer it up to Him in prayer, as a child to its Father.I think the Good News primarily is a message to the heart, not the head.Otherwise we all would have figured out our own heaven and how to live forever.

    1. So basically your strategy when you have doubts is to stop all rational thought. Well, that's always worked for Xians in the past.

      Why you would think that we, as living beings, require or can have "heaven" (a poorly defined term that doesn't really bear close inspection or thought) or eternal life is another question altogether.

  5. My own experience is that I had no doubts, up until the time when I studied my religion. Then it all cracked wide open. For me, the wedge was reading in "Science of Mind" the phrase "God wanted..." Then I began to ask questions like: "How did the person who wrote this book (Ernest Holmes) KNOW what god wanted?" and "Why would a perfect, omnipotent being (god) WANT anything at all?" "How could a perfect being want anything?"