What is faith?
When I want to know the meaning of something that matters to me, on both an eternal and spiritual level, rather than what Mr. Webster or Wikipedia may think, I like to go to the Manual (my ‘manual’ is the bible because I think it is the best User’s Manual ever created.)
So, to find the meaning of “faith”, the place I go to is Hebrews 11, verse 1:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
In other words, faith is believing absolutely in what has not been proven.
In science, things work a little differently; we start with an observation of an event, form a theory about why it happens, test our theory in a laboratory, and when we can manually recreate the event by doing what we theorized would cause that event, then the theory is considered scientific fact.
In other words, in science it is not considered to be true until such time as you can, in a controlled environment, create the event at will.
Therefore, since faith is believing in what we haven’t seen, and science doesn’t believe in anything it can’t see, you can “see” why I say they are the antithesis of each other.
If anyone wants to dispute the above by saying no one has seen quarks, or sub-atomic particles, or a Worm Hole, yet science accepts their existence, that’s because their existence is accepted based upon the visible effect they have on their immediate environment; whereas they are not visible, they can still be “seen” through their effect on what is visible.
What is interesting is that although science cannot accept the existence of God as fact, a form of science (archaeology) is providing, on a constant basis, evidence that the bible is historically accurate and verifiable. Archaeological findings have constantly demonstrated the biblical stories we hear of are true, therefore it is reasonable to accept that if the historical accounts are true, then the reasons given for their occurrence might be accurate, as well.
In other words, if the eye-witnessed description of an event happened as described, then the reason given why or how it happened should be just as believable.
The problem is this: God will never provide absolute, irrefutable evidence of His existence until it is all over. Why? Because salvation comes from faith, not from a test tube. Scientific “proof” of God’s existence works against faith, because faith is believing in what can’t been seen and science only believes in what can be seen. If we can “see” God, if we can “prove” His existence absolutely, then faith is not needed.
For me, faith is stronger than fact. After all, how many “facts” over the millennia have proven to be wrong? The earth isn’t flat, the moon isn’t made of cheese, cigarettes are not good for you, and because it is on the Internet it doesn’t have to be true.
I love science, I love knowing how things work and being able to make things happen. Even just adding alkaline powder to my hot tub to watch the water color change from an acidic yellowish to clear blue is really cool, but science is not my religion. Unfortunately, it has become a religion to many people. They use scientific theory as fact (evolution is the best example) and work under the system where if something isn’t palpable and repeatable then it isn’t real. God is real, all right, and can be palpable (if He chooses to be so), but we can’t make that happen. That’s totally up to Him, so to those who believe only what they can make happen, God is an unknown.
I wish I could find this book: I was once told Og Mandino compiled a book of essays by famous scientists, of all areas in science, that found the more they understood how things worked, the more they realized there had to be an intelligence that made it all happen. That is how science can become faithful, by understanding enough to realize that this all isn’t just an accident. There may be some level of happenstance, such as how quarks move at the sub-atomic level, but life didn’t happen by some quirk: God created everything. He designed it, He changed it, He let some die out and He let some survive. The DNA molecule is the very backbone of creation, yet it is made up of only 5 chemicals, and how they are combined in different chains of different sequences is what makes a snail a snail and a human being a human being (even though some human beings I have known are as slow as a snail.) Therefore, it only makes sense that when you have that strong a foundation to build from, you would find similarity in everything that exists based on that foundation. What I am saying is that just because the chimpanzee genome is nearly 99% the same as a human genome, it doesn’t mean we came from apes. The only conclusion science can accurately state is that humans and apes are closely related biological entities, but there is nothing to prove that chimps evolved into humans.
If you are confused about God and want some “sign” of His existence, keep asking for it in prayer, but also remember what Yeshua (Jesus) said about those that asked for a sign:
Matthew 12:39– “He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign!””
Even so, Yeshua told them a sign would be given, which (even to this day) millions upon millions have rejected. So, ask and if God wills it to be done, you will receive a sign. The onus is on you to look for it and to accept it when you see it.
There are signs of God’s existence everywhere; we only need to accept them for what they are to substantiate our faith.