Through the past few years, faith is something that I have striven to discover, develop, and put to the test. “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” is a famous phrase that I’ve found to be very applicable among many I’ve met who proclaim to be christians, though this is not an attempt to slander or discredit their practices of faith.
In the scriptures, we are told to “Study to show yourself approved; a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” and I believe we are to follow this along the difficult road it implies we take. Were somebody to say “The earth is round” because they simply believed it to be true, their ‘faith’ in the matter would not be backed up by researched facts or profound evidence, even though their beliefs are true. The person who proclaims “the earth is flat” while pointing to years of careful study, research, and observations, will never be right.
Within our faith, I believe we must take the same approach so that we can accurately defend, discover, and protect our faith.
There have often been subjects that I’ve had a difficult time uncovering, with partial fear that my findings would have a negative impact on my faith. Ideas such as the accuracy of the bible, the deity of Christ, and the possibility of there being a Hell have been excruciatingly taxing as I’ve taken several belief systems commonly held by the christian church and examined their origins, validity, and application in our day-to-day life. These explorations, while difficult, have proven to be the best possible thing I’ve ever experienced in my faith.
What I am finding to be true is a wide web of interconnected events, ideas, and ideologies that support and live in harmony with each other; through our existence, I can clearly see the existence of a Creator. Through the creation of nature and life, I can see the hand of the Creator and the beauty that was placed into this world, oftentimes for our greater benefit. Through deductive reasoning and pure logic, I can discover the reason why it would make sense to not only have a Creator, but one who is loving and compassionate.
Faith is, in my opinion, not something that can be discovered in its fullest capacity in one sitting, sermon, or prayer session. Instead, I believe it to be developed and refined over many years. As I’ve been pushed to ask the difficult questions, even by those of far greater intellectual capacity than myself, who proudly proclaim of their atheism, I cannot help but discover and see intellectually-cohesive ideas, facts, and logic that points to the truth behind many of the beliefs, stories, and philosophies that I’ve been raised to believe in.