Faith, Doubt, & Conviction

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by: Rich Vaughan

09/25/2020

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In a world that challenges our very core of faith I would like for us to ponder where we find ourselves in our own spiritual journey between faith, doubt, and conviction.

Faith is a major part of our spiritual journey for a Christian. It always has been; it always will be. Faith is also, more often than not, the stumbling block for those who chose not to believe in Jesus, who are agnostic or atheists. The truth is that people’s belief systems often puzzle me. For example:

We are told that light travels 186,000 miles per second, and we believe that, even though we’ve personally never measured it. 

Science tells us that there are 100 trillion stars in the sky, and we accept it without question (and no, I am not going to try counting to see if they are correct!).

We accept as the gospel that an atom has neutrons and electrons spinning around a nucleus, even though most of us have never see any of them.

We agree that E does in fact =MC2. Although most of us still don’t understand what that actually means!

We accept all of this and other items as facts. Yet at the same time people will reject the idea of Jesus and his life, ministry, miracles, death, and resurrection as facts. What facts?

How about:

The witness of thousands of people who saw the miracles of Jesus and talked about them.

OR, the testimonies of dozens of witnesses including Roman soldiers, Jewish authorities, and everyday people who saw his crucifixion and death, and then over 500 who saw him alive days after that crucifixion. 

OR the numerical impossibility that anyone could fulfill all the Messiah prophecies, and yet Jesus does!

You could even argue the facts about the image of a crucified man on the Shroud of Turin. The image still cannot be explained by any known scientific method today. Many believe it is the burial cloth of Jesus and that the “image” of the man on the Shroud shows the evidence of the “power” of the resurrection. The Shroud has an image of a crucified man that matches exactly the wounds and information known about Jesus’ crucifixion PLUS some things that were not known about until much later in history!

So here we are. It’s Friday. And on this Friday, as there is on every day of the week, there is faith, there is doubt, and there is conviction. As you ponder your Christian walk and your spiritual journey, as you wrestle with your doubts and your faith, perhaps the best thing for each of us is to remember 5 words that addresses those three words. It is found in the gospel of Mark (9:24) where a father tells Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief” (NEV). It seems to be our cry as modern-day Christians living in today’s secular world.  Maybe the best translation of this moment in scripture that comes from the CEV version (Contemporary English Version) of the Bible sums it up the best:

“I do have faith! Please help me to have even more.” 

Amen & Amen

Agape,

Rev. Rich

In a world that challenges our very core of faith I would like for us to ponder where we find ourselves in our own spiritual journey between faith, doubt, and conviction.

Faith is a major part of our spiritual journey for a Christian. It always has been; it always will be. Faith is also, more often than not, the stumbling block for those who chose not to believe in Jesus, who are agnostic or atheists. The truth is that people’s belief systems often puzzle me. For example:

We are told that light travels 186,000 miles per second, and we believe that, even though we’ve personally never measured it. 

Science tells us that there are 100 trillion stars in the sky, and we accept it without question (and no, I am not going to try counting to see if they are correct!).

We accept as the gospel that an atom has neutrons and electrons spinning around a nucleus, even though most of us have never see any of them.

We agree that E does in fact =MC2. Although most of us still don’t understand what that actually means!

We accept all of this and other items as facts. Yet at the same time people will reject the idea of Jesus and his life, ministry, miracles, death, and resurrection as facts. What facts?

How about:

The witness of thousands of people who saw the miracles of Jesus and talked about them.

OR, the testimonies of dozens of witnesses including Roman soldiers, Jewish authorities, and everyday people who saw his crucifixion and death, and then over 500 who saw him alive days after that crucifixion. 

OR the numerical impossibility that anyone could fulfill all the Messiah prophecies, and yet Jesus does!

You could even argue the facts about the image of a crucified man on the Shroud of Turin. The image still cannot be explained by any known scientific method today. Many believe it is the burial cloth of Jesus and that the “image” of the man on the Shroud shows the evidence of the “power” of the resurrection. The Shroud has an image of a crucified man that matches exactly the wounds and information known about Jesus’ crucifixion PLUS some things that were not known about until much later in history!

So here we are. It’s Friday. And on this Friday, as there is on every day of the week, there is faith, there is doubt, and there is conviction. As you ponder your Christian walk and your spiritual journey, as you wrestle with your doubts and your faith, perhaps the best thing for each of us is to remember 5 words that addresses those three words. It is found in the gospel of Mark (9:24) where a father tells Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief” (NEV). It seems to be our cry as modern-day Christians living in today’s secular world.  Maybe the best translation of this moment in scripture that comes from the CEV version (Contemporary English Version) of the Bible sums it up the best:

“I do have faith! Please help me to have even more.” 

Amen & Amen

Agape,

Rev. Rich

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