Faith is faith
Over the years, the lack of belief in God has been rationalized a number of ways, and most of us have heard a number of reasons why belief in God is irrational. The most fundamental reason for unbelief that I remember, was from a person who said, “Some people have faith, some people don’t.” That sounds reasonable at first, right? Yet, the truth is, those who say they cannot believe in a Creator on the basis of their simply lacking the capacity for faith, are deluding themselves. Everyone—from the intrepid prayer warrior on his knees, to the most rabid atheist—possesses the innate capacity for complete and total faith. Consider a few examples:
Barring an innate fear of flying, most people on an airline flight--atheists included--will sit back in the seat assigned them, chatting, reading, or even sleeping. Let's put this in the proper perspective: This atheist is soaring some 20,000 feet above the earth, with nothing but air between him and the hard ground below, acutely aware of the number of people who have died a horrific death as the result of airplane crashes. Yet, he exhibits no apparent fear of meeting with a similarly gory end. Why not? Well, that my friend, is the power of faith. It may ultimately be faith in the skills of the captain and co-pilot, the sound engineering and design of the magnificent airship he is surrounded by; the skill and craftsmanship of those who put it together, or the personnel who meticulously inspect and maintain its components. But faith it is, nonetheless. No one is going to go up that high into the sky unless he is confident that the flight will terminate in a smooth, safe landing--rather than a ball of fire and strewn body parts, right? Faith.
Or ponder our atheist friend being prepped for surgery--brain, heart, or whatever it happens to be for. Our atheist is going to be rendered unconscious by an anesthesiologist, and be injected with a drug that will completely paralyze both his respiratory and circulatory system. A combination of drugs, machines, and specially-trained people will be keeping his lungs pumping and his blood circulating, as the technicians literally keep him alive by artificial means. Any one of these people who have not had enough sleep, are despondent, or otherwise not fully focused on the task at hand, could potentially be the cause of the patient not making it out of the O.R. alive. Yet our intrepid friend braves this situation, fully trusting them all with his very life. That's faith.
Then our surgical team goes to work. The patient is slit open--whether it is to gain access to his brain, heart or other vital organ. It is not uncommon for a person in surgery to die as a result of doctor error, unforeseen complications, equipment failure, or even infection. Doctors carry millions of dollars in insurance because of the high risk inherent in surgical operations; and indeed, a number of patients do die during or after surgery every year. And still, thousands of people lie down on an operating table every year just the same--fully expecting a successful procedure, and that they will leave the hospital alive and well. Why? Again, the answer is faith--and nothing short of it.
The list goes on and on. Faith is demonstrated in numerous ways during the day to day routines of earthly existence--ways we may not even consciously think about. Is not faith in the quality of the brakes in our car the reason we calmly cruise about on the roadways--sometimes reaching freeway speeds at which a sudden impact could twist our vehicles into a mangled mess--with us inside. It is by faith that we even expect our hearts to continue beating from one sunrise to the next--let alone for the next 25 years, so that we can actually enjoy that retirement we have planned out. There are literally hundreds of examples of day to day faith, exercised by people in every country, culture, walk of life--and level of spirituality. In each instance, a person is believing in something that cannot be proven, but is instead, accepted as a given by sheer, blind faith.
So, don't let anyone convince you that not believing in God is the result of simply not having faith, as if it were a subjective attribute like a sense of humor or some artistic talent. No, everyone has faith-- even avowed atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens were born with that capacity. Beliefs concerning the origin of the universe and Evolution are nothing more than faith in scientific theories, aren't they?
The problem is not that some do not have faith; it's that they're unwilling to put that faith in one Who is superior to them; One to Whom they must be both submissive and accountable. The real problem is a rebellious human nature that is able to put its faith in human wisdom and knowledge, yet refuses to submit itself to the Creator. God has created in every person, a measure of faith (Romans 12:3 ). And faith...is faith.