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HomeSpiritual GrowthFaith Not Fact Is the Basis for Salvation

Faith Not Fact Is the Basis for Salvation

Writing regularly on BCWorldview.org and Medium, for the past two years, I have grown theologically and have a better understanding of Christianity from a secular viewpoint. I began my journey toward Christ over 35 years ago, based on Apologetics (defending the truth of Christianity with head-knowledge). However, as ironic as it sounds, what I have learned is that it is nearly impossible to defend God when the listener does not have some level of faith. And, it is impossible to have faith unless one is willing to be open to the possibility that there is a loving God who truly cares deeply for mankind.

Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

The unbeliever gravitates between “there is no God”, “God is totally unfair in His expectations of man”, “the God of the Old Testament has no relation with Jesus of the New”, “all I need to do is love my neighbor, Jesus says so”, “the Bible is a flawed document written by man and can’t be trusted”, “if Churchie Christians represent God, I want no part of Christianity”. 

These are the comments I hear over and over again from those who reject Biblical Christianity for a myriad of reasons, some valid (from a human perspective), some just excuses based on a desire to continue doing what they want to do.

Let’s go down the list, attempting to offer facts, not dependent on at least a spark of faith.

There is no God 

No one can reach out and physically touch God. And, for many atheists, and most agnostics, that is the end of the issue. Of course, theologians have developed their proofs, such as the cosmological (cause and effect), teleological (a creation reflects a Creator), and ontological (probability of fulfilled prophecy) arguments. But frankly, unbelievers accept the cause-and-effect implications that the universe has a beginning but have no interest in setting God up as the Creator. And as to fulfilled prophecy, the Bible is rejected as an accurate source document. Therefore, they state that there is no God.

God is Totally Unfair In His Expectations of Man

If God is all-powerful, why does He allow sin to exist, and Satan free reign, and how can He hold mankind accountable for our sin after acknowledging we have no power over it even if we are saved (Romans 7:24)? Finally, is our sin on earth so bad that we should suffer for eternity in Hell because God thinks that is a just punishment? They want no part of that God.

God of the Old Testament has no Relation with Jesus of the New

How can God be loving and compassionate when He ordered the Jews to kill every man, woman, and child of the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 15:3? So they reject the God of the Old Testament and therefore dismantle the Trinity. 

All I Need to do is Love my Neighbor, Jesus Says So

A simple focus on the greatest commandment to love God and love your neighbor (Luke 10:27) is the view of many as the sole source of salvation. Often it gets collapsed into a view that to love our neighbor is a replacement for serving God. There is a profound ignorance of what it means to love God, including to follow His commands as written in Scripture. Unwilling to invest the time to fully understand what is being asked of the believer, they see salvation as a works-based care for people with no accountability toward God. Half of one verse of Scripture becomes their systematic theology.

The Bible is a Flawed Document, Written by Man, and Can’t be Trusted

There is only one document, the Bible, that purports to be the writings of God to man. Written over thousands of years in 66 books by 40 authors, it holds little truths for the unbeliever beyond offering some ethical direction. And today, even Biblical morality has become evidence for the inaccuracies and lack of an informed understanding of today’s enlightened society (for example, its views on abortion or homosexuality). Rather than trying to reconcile passages from the position of a unified work written by an all-knowing God, they attack its historicity and credibility, choosing to pick verses they agree with and rejecting those which challenge their worldview. 

Hundreds of Denominations Mean There is No Absolute Truth.

Denominational differences in Christian theology, yet all sourcing the same core document, prove to the lost that religion is nothing more than a crutch for those who need to rely on a power greater than their own. Our inability to consistently interpret the writings of an all-powerful God provides ample evidence that there is no absolute truth. 

If Churchie Christians represent God, I Want no Part of Christianity

Christians are sinners, and we show our bad behavior to anyone who is looking for it. Church is nothing more than sinners fellowshipping together while trying to draw close to God. As we fail to live up to the standards set down in Scripture, we are condemned as hypocrites and our testimony and witness are damaged in the eyes of unbelievers. 

Faith

Without doubt there are valid Sunday School answers to every challenge posed above. However, what lost person is going to absorb those answers without having a reason to be initially drawn to our beliefs?

My journey from atheist to Biblical Christian was late in life. Religion, God, the Bible, were far outside of my interests or radar up to the age of 36. The Lord got my attention through severe trials that forced me to consider a power beyond my own efforts. It was then that both my wife and I began to explore the question of a logical basis for Christian faith. I did use apologetics as a pathway to Christ, drawn by a curiosity which, in retrospect, was the definition of a seeker in the faith. However, that head knowledge only served to justify the possibility that God was real. It was not until some months later that I accepted God’s grace, through Christ by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). That was the point that my knowledge of Him moved from my head to my heart. That was the point that I crossed over from death to life. 

I believe those early days of exploration were prompted by an agnostic’s view of seeking the truth and, the source of that questioning was an initial spark of faith. 

Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

2 Corinthians 5:7 – for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Matthew 22:37 – And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

As Biblical Christians, we have no idea who God will touch, creating that spark of faith. And so, we need to be ready at all times to share the Good News of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 4:2), answering the questions of seekers as best we can (Luke 12:12). However, the burden of convincing someone to consider Christ is not on our shoulders (John 21:6). 

1 Corinthians 3:7 – So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.


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AuthorJeff Hilles | BCWorldview.org

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