Have you ever heard someone say, “I can’t explain it, I just accept it by faith?” I think I know what they mean, but I would suggest that they are wrong nonetheless. Here is why.
Faith, according to the Bible always involves substance and evidence (Hebrews 11:1). The word substance literally refers to a firm foundation based on actual existence and the word evidence refers to something that is proven (see Thayer’s Greek Definitions). There are many things which we may not understand and which we may not be able to fully explain, but our faith should never be “blind.” We don’t understand everything about how the world works, for instance, but we believe that there is a plethora of substance and evidence that would lead us to reasonably believe that the world was most definitely created by God. We now have the completed canon of Scriptures and can live our lives not on a rather obscure “what would Jesus do” but specifically on “what does the Bible say!” In other words, my contention is that what we believe should be based on evidence and substance.
Oftentimes, however, we appeal to “blind faith” to explain our positions. Two especially stand out to me. The first, is the attempt to trace one’s Baptist lineage all the way back to John the Baptist. One pastor claimed that he had traced his Baptist baptism back for several hundred years and is absolutely sure that he is in the Baptist lineage as a result. When asked how he knows that the preceding years were all in line from John, he stated that he didn’t know, but rather “accepted it by faith.” To me, that is an unwise use of the word faith. The second area where many will appeal to “blind faith” is in the area of the KJV. Many of our IFB have probably read more about the KJV than about the diety of Christ, the virgin birth, and the bodily resurrection combined. We have a lot of “knowledge” and “confidence” regarding respective positions. However, when there are questions asked that cannot be reasonably or knowledgeably explained, or when to answer would perhaps undermine a KJV-only position, many will claim that we should just accept it by faith. Again, my contention is that this is an unwise use of the word.
I would contend that everything we believe should be based on truth – what does the Bible say? I would also contend that what we believe should be based on evidence – what is the specific evidence that supports the position that we take? If I am right, it would mean that there are some areas where we just aren’t sure, can’t adequately explain, or simply don’t have the answer in complete clarity. So what should we do?
- We should be honest regarding these areas. There are any number of questions that we can not reasonably or clearly answer. We can keep studying and learning, but we should not appeal to faith to explain our lack of an answer to legitimate and reasonable questions. It is okay to admit that we don’t know and aren’t sure and can’t answer. It is just as okay to admit that one has a position even though they accept it without evidence.
- We should refuse to build separatist positions regarding these areas. If we don’t know and aren’t sure and can’t answer with clear substance and evidence, then we should allow others the privilege to live by their consciences in these areas. As a result, it is true that they may take a different position than I do or arrive at a different conclusion than I do, but I believe that we should be okay that. Perhaps this would fall under the area we call “individual soul liberty.” Where the evidence is clear, let’s refuse to budge. Where it is not, let’s refuse to separate from each other.
- We should not insist on dogmatism regarding these areas. This may simply be a restatement of the point I just made. However, I add it as a separate point because I really do believe this is important. To be dogmatic where I can offer no proof and no evidence will help no one. Thinking people will actually be suspect of my entire belief system if I am as dogmatic about the areas where I can provide no evidence as I am about the ones where I can show some. We should be dogmatic everywhere the Bible is clear and everywhere the evidence is as well. However, we should offer grace and leeway where no such clarity is seen. Don’t be afraid to allow good brothers (and sisters) to see things differently in these areas.
What do you think? Am I wrong or am I right? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment sections below.
Thanks for reading.
Your sincere friend,
4 thoughts on “The Issue of “Blind Faith” ”
Well said! The substance for our things hoped for (faith) needs to be perpetuated from truth. There will always be evidence of truth even when it is not seen. Faith is better placed in truth that is not mere speculation.
Amen! I have not heard any other preacher go into such detail about blind faith, if at all. You definitely reaffirm the fact that we each need to take responsibility for reading our bibles, knowing what God says and where to compare and confirm his word. Thank you!
I agree with your article and points of interests. I strive to serve the Lord as such. Nothing turns me off quicker in a bible study group than when the opening question is, “How does this make you feel.” What does the bible say should be the focal point.
This article comes at a good time for me. Just yesterday, a coworker shared how he and his family were having a celebration of rituals of the gods. Man, my heart sank. As I have in the past, I will continue to share the evidences of my faith in the one true God!
Thanks for reading and commenting I sure appreciate you. Keep praying and keep sharing! -Dave