… in foxholes, the science lab, or the back pew.
There are no atheists anywhere. Every one is a person of faith.
The scientist, the atheist, the egomaniac, and the Christian are all people of faith. Everyone believes in something, even if that something is nothing.
Two variables distinguish people in faith
1. The object of their faith.
2. How their faith shows itself.
The scientist has faith in evolutionary theory, the atheist in the absence of truth, and the egomaniac in self. None of which adequately explain the beautiful intricacies of creation, love, hate, suffering, sin, mercy, forgiveness, or ethics. Neither do these three provide a basis for hope, which poets, philosophers, and psychologists say is essential to healthy living without the malaise of despair.
The Christian’s faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is the only faith that provides a full explanation of these realities and essentials for living.
The Christian faith is solid not because of the faith of the Christian, but because of the object of that faith. As F. B. Meyer said, “The Christian leans not so much upon the promises as upon the Promiser.” (1)
The second variable that distinguish everyone in their faith is how do they show their faith. Is there faith:
- A static intellectual belief?
- A life lived from heart-felt conviction?
To believe is different than to live what you believe. There is an inherent foolishness in not staking your whole life on what you believe.
Martin Luther wrote:
How does your faith show itself ? Faith must never be useless, deaf, dead, or in a state of decay. But it must be a living tree that bursts forth with fruit. That’s the difference between genuine faith and false faith. Where there is true faith, it will show itself in a person’s life. (2)
Passive faith accepts the Word as true,
But never moves.
Active faith begins the work to do,
And thereby proves.
Passive faith but praises in the light,
When sun does shine.
Active faith will praise in darkest night
Which faith is thine? (3)
Dwight Lyman Moody, Thoughts for the Quiet Hour (Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1998).
Luther, Martin; Galvin, James C. (2009-05-19). Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional (p. 52). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Reimann, Jim; Cowman, Mrs. Charles E. (2008-09-02). Streams in the Desert (p. 86). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.