I haven't posted in a while! I've been writing and doing lots of other things, but right now, I would love you to help me answer a question. I need you to help me understand what you think faith is. That may sound easy at first, but I believe it may be more complicated than we think.
It's all based around what i'm writing about; that we need God, but we don't all need religion, church and Christianity. Those things been built up around peoples encounters with God throughout the years and are helpful for some in getting to know God and expressing faith, but I don't believe they are essential in order to know God. Those that dislike religion/church etc, can have incredible, meaningful encounters with God without it.
By faith, I don't necessarily mean religion. Religion and its many physical expressions is easier to define or describe. But I mean the head/heart/soul connection to God. This feeling differs for everyone and can range from being a vague sense that God exists, to that feeling that you have when you have had an incredible encounter with this God-being, that trust you have that this God-being will help you when you need it, that feeling that you just know you will have a life with God after our bodies have gone through the doors of eternity. Perhaps it is an alternative kind of knowledge? Perhaps an understanding that you gain only by experiencing it for yourself - a knowledge that you only get by experience, not by fact? It appears it may be a more subjective thing, a bit like trying to describe the thixotropic cornflower/water combination; as soon as it is moulded into a defined shape it dissolves into an indescribable blob. We have scientific proof for many aspects of life, but this seems to be a different kind of knowledge; something you can't prove, at least with data.
If someone expressed a wish to know God today, we may recommend they go to church, or read the bible. There they may be told that in order to know God they must go through a series of acts: saying some particular words in a prayer, repenting of sin, and dipping themselves into a pool of water. Then there is the expectation they will attend church regularly. Yet we probably would all agree that none of these acts would save a person. None would be effective in helping us to know God, and God know us, as if they act as a kind of magic spell to suddenly make us and God good friends. There is something else that goes on that connects us with God, almost as if God reveals something of this indescribable knowledge to us and this makes our minds and hearts leap in response.
The idea of 'Salvation' is also complicated. There are lots of competing views about what it is and how we obtain it. There is one theme running through the bible which is mentioned several times, that we are saved by 'Faith.' The precious lady caught in bed with someone was told that her faith had saved her. Instead of judgement, she received a huge blessing from Jesus. Yet she didn't have to do anything physically, there appears to have been a heart response to Jesus that only Jesus saw. But how would you describe what this is - what faith is? Is there a way of expressing what faith is to someone who knows that it is the key to getting close to God, and they want to know how to access it, find it, and use it.
What are your experiences? How do you connect with God? Do you believe there are certain things we have to do in order to meet with God, or can we simply rock up, ready for a chat with the God-being? What does the word faith mean to you? Were you an Athiest, only to have some experience that seemed to open your mind to the possibilities of God? Have you always had an inbuilt knowledge that there was something, some God-being, out there? Or does your faith take a more practical expression? Have you had an experience of God that you would like to share?
Please let me know your experiences, and what you think faith is. Please also let me know if you're ok with me mentioning you in my book. Please email me at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or reply to the blog.
Thank you! :)