Why have faith at all?

Humans are very curious beings, some of us a lot more than others but in the end we all want to know what is going on. I think that curiosity is what drives religion and faith. Most people want to know the reason why we are here, what is the meaning or purpose of life. I am extremely logical and could buy into the idea that there is no God and that we are all masters of our own destiny, but that is not an existence that excites me. While I can blame most of it on an upbringing in the church, it is still my personal choice and I have decided that the Catholic faith is the best for me.

I went to a Franciscan school that gave me some of the best education I could have asked for. Even though I did not actually graduate from there, I still feel part of that family in many ways. This weekend I heard one of the best sermons at church ever and the message was simple, evangelizing is not just about words but also actions. While not everyone can be a preacher, everyone can be a beacon of hope and happiness. Father Mark used a quote from St. Francis of Assisi and I was extremely proud to hear it,

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

Actions are louder than words, and so many people think that evangelizing is about standing in a corner and telling people that they are going to hell if they do not accept Jesus as their lord and savior. In reality, bringing the good news should not be just about that but also about bringing hope and kindness to others. That is what I think religion really has to offer.

When I go to church and I feel that the gospel is tailored just to me, but not in the sense that it is telling me I am not giving enough money, because it helps me cope with my every day life, I find true happiness from hearing the word. It is amazing how difficult life is at times, and having a place to get hope and understanding is excellent.

While some get strength from the concrete answer that there is no God and religion is actually a scam, I get a lot from going to Church. I think that having the ultimate and final answer is great, but more often than not I have found through life that what I was certain about was only a short sight. The older I get, the easier it is to have faith, not just because of the testimony I can give about God’s greatness, but because faith has helped me through some rough spots in life.

16 Responses to Why have faith at all?

  1. Good post. You are correct on this aspect of evangelism. We as Christians are suppose to be “light and salt” to the world, through the example of how we live our lives every day. It is too bad that a lot of us struggle way too much with that and leave that kind of living at the altar on Sunday. “They will know us by our love for one another” is the principle. Love is the focus and too often it ends up being love for ourselves and not others =( I’m not sure if that is harder in America or if it is the same everywhere?

  2. I’m curious as to how you justify supporting the Catholic Church with all the molestation of innocent children that happens by THE PRIESTS?

    I mean, I left the JW’s for other reasons, but the number 1 reason I will NEVER go back is because of the molestation issue.

    And it’s a world-wide issue in the Catholic Church. I don’t give a damn what you teach, when you allow those in authority to harm children and work to HIDE the abuse, it is WRONG, and not deserving of support of any kind.

    The current Pope was the one in charge of dealing with this issue; he’s the one who had the opportunity to end it! But instead he had the priests moved around, hiding the abuse.

    How is that justifiable, even if that’s the faith that works for you?

  3. I’m an athiest, but not an angry one. I came from a place of belief once too. I’m glad you found some truth in this mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world.

  4. Logtar – “Most people want to know the reason why we are here, what is the meaning or purpose of life.”

    You assume that there is a reason why we are here and that life has a meaning or purpose.

    I do not think this is the case.

    It seems like every time something tragic happens, people try to take comfort in the old cliche of “everything happens for a reason.”

    I don’t think that is the case either.

    I think we live in an inconceivably vast, chaotic universe where bad things sometimes happen to good people and good things sometimes happen to bad people.

    The only meaning and purpose life has is what we give it. There is no higher power that will save us from ourselves. We have to figure out how to get along with each other on our own.

    In my humble opinion. :)

    I would be happy to continue this discussion over much good food on Thursday. Looking forward to seeing you both again.

  5. My brother and his wife have a strong faith, not so true for myself. Part of my problem is that at a young age I got involved in my church to the point that I saw all the politics and business that went on. It wasn’t about the faith to a lot of those people, including some people that collected nice paychecks for spreading it.

    “bringing the good news should not be just about that (preaching) but also about bringing hope and kindness to others.” That I can buy into. Anybody who wants to spread the word of their loving God should be able to at least show a little decency and kindness to other people, if not outright love.

    Could be an interesting talk over the ole sausage.

  6. I’m curious as to how you justify supporting the Catholic Church with all the molestation of innocent children that happens by THE PRIESTS?

    Janet, the answer is actually very simple; child abuse is not a problem with the Catholic church, its a problem with our society. Every denomination has had issues with child abuse. Are the Catholics worse that the LFDS people that live in compounds and abuse their kids with forced labor and sex with little girls? Kids are being butchered in Africa and woman are being raped in those countries and I still see people wearing diamonds that fuel those civil wars.

    I am not sure why I am trying to justify my positions because in reality it is something that helps me live and I share it here so that it might help others. If you feel like religion is the enemy I cannot change your mind, and I was not really trying to. Hopefully I did satisfied your curiosity.

    Logtar – “Most people want to know the reason why we are here, what is the meaning or purpose of life.”

    You assume that there is a reason why we are here and that life has a meaning or purpose.

    XO, I don’t assume there is a reason, in fact I am not even sure there is one in the sense most people think. I do believe that God is love, and that love is the most powerful thing on earth that is intangible. I also believe that my purpose in life is to be as positive as I can to this world and its people and I try to live with that in mind… unlike some people, I do not get my ethics and morals just from religion.

    You cannot deny that people long for explanation. If it was not for that need, then why are there so many people trying to “open” people’s eyes?

    If it was not for that curiosity, I am sure the Matrix would have been another sci-fi movie that was shown in reruns all over instead of the cult classic it became.

  7. While I love bantering about all things, religion is the least. To each his/her own for me…but good luck with your discussions.

    p.s. I never thought I’d see a reference to the Matrix in a religion discussion involving molestation and diamonds. Nice gamut!

  8. child abuse is not a problem with the Catholic church, its a problem with our society. Every denomination has had issues with child abuse

    I have the inescapable suspicion that some of the molestation accusations leveled against the Catholic Church are nothing but extortion attempts. After it became known that the Church was willing to pay serious money to settle claims, more and more disturbed people began coming out of the woodwork, so to speak, with claims of abuse that in many cases dated back many years or even decades. None of this is to say, of course, that there are many completely true complains, it’s just that they’ve inspired copycat claims and made it very difficult to tell truth from fiction.

  9. What I went through with my nephew and his illness completely shattered my faith. In God. Not in people. And now that I’m going through something similar with my daughter, it has tested my faith again. I don’t know if I will ever get it back.

  10. I would love to see other arguments different than the child molestation. I’m all against it, but seriously… Do people have anything else to say to take a stand against religion?

    I’m with Wookie, to each his own. Religion and faith in general are a personal choice. If someone talks about their faith, let them be.

    I know John is all about sharing ideas, but I don’t get the antagonism.

  11. Bea & Logtar – Although I am an atheiest, I am not an evangelical atheiest. I don’t care what anyone else chooses to believe and I am not on a crusade to strip the faithful of their faith.

    As you say, to each his own. I enjoy the discussion and (try) to respect all views.

    If there were a definitive answer to the question the discussion would have ended thousands of years ago and there would be no such disciplines as Theology or Philosophy.

    But others approach the subject with a great deal of emotional baggage which was unwillingly inflicted upon them, painfully packed and dragged behind them like an anchor for many years.

    If you walk up to the caldera of a volcano and happen to step on a weak spot and get spewed with lava, it’s not personal. Just an occupational hazard of exploring a dangerous area.

    Sometimes, percieved antagonism is just unintended collateral damage.

    {I lost count of how many metaphors I mixed}

    Really looking forward to Thursday!

  12. Hey Logtar, thanks for being brave enough to bring up religion in a blog. As a semi-practicing Catholic, I’m so sick of the molestation issue. People don’t seem to be able to seperate institution from religion. Whenever the word Catholic comes up, non-Catholics bring up molestation. Bad priests don’t equal bad faith. Yes there are problems in the institution of the Church, but I don’t want to ever give up on my faith.

    Thanks Peter for bringing up the extortion issue. It does happen. My husband was in a seminary for 6 years before deciding that wasn’t his calling. One of the priests that he was extremely close to was accused of molestation.

    My husband was shocked since he had been in so many situations with this priest that if he was prone to such a thing, my husband was a logical choice.

    It later came out that there was no evidence of any wrong doing, but in the meantime, the priest’s life was completely ruined. He will never be able to teach or have a parish or do anything with children ever again. All because he was simply accused. I’ve always wondered how many others were wrongly accused by people looking for a free handout.

  13. Bea
    If you really want to educate yourself about what criticisms can be laid at the feet of organized religion, check out “Letter To A Christian Nation” by Sam Harris. It’s a quick read and can give you much better insight into how organized religion doesn’t always preach a gospel of “hope and love.”

  14. for the record, I have a problem with ANY religion that professes to be the ‘hand of god’ but allows molestation to continue. Yes, it is a society issue, but shouldn’t the ‘true’ church be different?

    Maybe if the Catholic church had taken a harder stand when molestation first came to light by removing these priests completely, instead of just moving them around and hushing it up, I would have more respect for them.

    We are taught that the priests/elders are direct representations of God, and they should be held to a higher standard than that of the average lay person. Why are they not punished when they fail? (in all religions, not just the catholics and the jws)

    To me, saying that it happens in every religion is just an excuse. If you’re really the ONE TRUE RELIGION, then it shouldn’t be happening, and when it does, steps should be taken to prevent it from happening again. Not to hide it.

  15. Janet, if you have a problem with ANY religion, then stop making Logtar the target of your anger.

    It is very clear that he is not stating everyone shold be Catholic. He’s simply saying that he likes his faith. He is not impossing on anyone.

    Do you think you are a better person because you are an atheist? Do all atheist live to high standards? I don’t think so.

    We are first and foremost HUMANS.

  16. I have to be honest in that I’m more likely to want to go to someone’s church or listen to what they have to say when their actions actually speak louder than their words — and they lead by example.

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