This post is for those who say that one must have faith to believe in God and thus be saved, or any such thing.
If you must have faith, then we first have to define it. For this post, I’ll use ‘belief without evidence’, simply because with evidence faith would become meaningless; you could make a decision at least partially informed.
Belief without evidence, however: faith. It’s just sheer luck. Say the Christian God is real, and person A decides to have faith in the Bible; they’re saved. Person B however decides to have faith in NeoPaganism. They’e subsequently damned. But what would make the Bible a better set of teachings to have faith in?
Nothing. Belief without evidence.
As soon as evidence enters the picture, faith isn’t the issue. And faith alone, you’re simply hoping what you’ve chosen is right.
That’s not a virtue. That’s not some great, brave choice to believe. Faith isn’t what saves you.
It’s sheer luck.
Not quite how Christianity works.
I believe that because Christ died for me, I am saved from eternity in hell, and instead will spend eternity after death in Heaven. However, since choosing to believe that, things have happened that confirm my faith.
For example, I believe that God listens to my prayers and answers. While going through my old journals one day, I found a prayer diary that my Mum had given me as a child and encouraged me to use daily. It had about 60 fill-in-the-blank prayers, but in addition to filling those I had started filling the margins, the cover pages, everywhere there was room. It had been about 5 or so years between the last time I’d written and dated a prayer in that book and the day I’d picked it up. Every single one had been answered.
So first I had faith that God was listening to me, then I acted on that (by praying), and now I’ve seen the results of that. God doesn’t expect you to believe and then leave you in the lurch.