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Suppositions: The lenses we employ, Part II

Peter Wesley OdomIn hoping that readers might have read the last article on exploring faith, I am going to continue with some thoughts on how the nature of faith changed through the Fall.

While discussing this idea with a friend, he asked me a very interesting question: if faith fell along with man when sin was introduced into the world, does that mean that our faith is corrupted? This struck me immediately as something that needed some serious and prayerful inquiry.

After reflection it was clear that notions of faith being corrupted made me feel uneasy.

The backbone of our worldview stems from how we understand faith; thus, one could suppose that the foundation of our convictions is and has been corrupted since the beginning.

Here arises yet another dichotomy. On one side of the coin it is clear that this idea of corrupted faith is somehow faulty; to accept it would quickly lead to the post-modern cannibalization of our foundations, which would be detrimental. We cannot allow this.

However, on the other side of the coin, faith does not exist outside of man’s employment of it. Here, we know man to certainly be fallen and corrupted in nature.

Can we trust something that only exists within the lens of man’s projections into the future?

The answer is no. I came to realize we are talking about two very different applications of faith. One that necessitates the rejection of corruption is the submissive faith that yields all trust and hope to God.

This faith sees through a lens which focuses on how one’s life can be fulfilled through incorporation within God’s plan. But on the other side of the coin, resides a faith which man employs for his or her own gain.

This faith is selfish and deceived. It is used as a lens through which one tries to fit God’s will into their own plans. But that’s just the selfish aspect. The deception there may be more dangerous.

The individual engaged in this corrupted use of faith subsumes a lie, which tells them that they are in submission to God. That faith leads the individual through life convinced that they are fulfilling God’s will. But in reality they are only seeking ways to put God into gaps within their own plans where it seems appropriate. This deception renders God objectified as something only periodically applicable.

I would hope it’s clear to us on which side of the coin our homes should be made, but we are all capable of being deceived. Thus, it is not faith which is corrupted, but ourselves. I must believe that our foundations are sturdy.

This conviction comes from a faith, which, rather than only looking forward to God’s action in the future, looks back to God’s action throughout history.

It comes from a faith that trusts God accomplished what He saw as necessary despite what we may think. Faith which entrusts the past and the future to God releases more sensitivity to God’s direction here and now.

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