Vail Daily letter: Faith is not a mirage
Vail, CO, Colorado
Don Rogers, your column “Bunny or the egg?” on Good Friday makes it sound like you are having an epistemological crisis this Easter. You seem to voice confusion on how one can know anything at all.
There seems to be an inherent failure within ourselves with the way we know anything. We constantly keep an active debate within our minds, seeking further evidence to secure our position of knowing. That act of continuing this self-conscious debate, which is being exercised to secure our knowledge, often undermines our ability to know. The reason this debate undermines is that it is performed with one’s own self having the sole authority to define reality. No outside authority is allowed except by permission. We refuse submission. No wonder we suffer with schizophrenic faith.
The Bible defines “faith” as the act of ‘knowing’ and being secure in the continuation of that ‘knowing’ (Hebrews 11:1). The Bible states that all people are given this ability of faith (Romans 12:3). A confusion arises when we debate from which starting point this knowing is to function. The Bible begins declaring, “In the beginning God created.” It assumes from that point on, that all the stuff in this universe is derived from and given meaning from God’s purpose alone.
Therefore man (male and female), being a creature designed and formed by God, derive their full harmonic expression by conforming their existential reality to His will, not their own.
The Easter celebration centers over this struggle. Christ wrestled in the garden the night before His crucifixion by settling His crisis. He was victorious declaring “Not My will, Your will be done!” Jesus knew the fact of the resurrection to come. There was no blind leap. The truth of resurrection rested in the power of God alone, not Himself. Therefore He was willing to trust God.
Our failure to function with faith doesn’t fall in the category of the accumulation of knowable facts, but rather in one’s own will. One who doubts God does not suffer from “natural” revelation. Natural revelation consists in all facts knowable through experience, using our five senses.
Supernatural revelation consists of facts knowable beyond empirical experience. One will never believe supernatural revelation while not being willing to accept the starting point: “In the beginning God created.”
The logical sequence of rejecting this truth and basing one’s worldview solely upon one’s self is the very source of destroying knowledge. When God ceases to be our starting point, we end up not being able to know anything. We join Pilate as he is preparing to condemn Jesus by asking, “What is truth?” Pilate had already destroyed his ability to know. Pilate chose not to have God as his starting point. Pilate chose not to have God as his authority.
It is amazing that man’s self-imposed faith crisis finds a remedy in the Easter Story. Let’s start anew and determine for God’s will to be done, not our own.