“THE FALLACY OF BLIND FAITH”
1. This evening I want to deal with an issue that presents itself from time to time in the Christian’s life. You may confront this issue at a local public high school, on the job, or in the college classroom. It’s a rather common occurrence. I’m sure you can relate to it.
2. With such an incessant barrage of propaganda against the Christian faith these days, and with the intellectual dishonesty and absolute refusal by the academic community, by the media, and by those who mold public opinion to grant that there is any room for disagreement by intelligent and thoughtful people, the snobs of this world presume that anyone who professes faith in Christ is an ignorant fool who relies on the crutch of blind faith to deal with life’s overwhelming problems.
3. Of course, they will insist that life’s problems are not overwhelming to them. And they would never look upon booze or drugs or promiscuity or psychiatry or occultism or materialism or radical environmentalism as a crutch to deal with life’s overwhelming problems. And they seem to be oblivious to the evidence that suicides are an indication of people being overwhelmed by life’s problems. No. Only faith is a crutch, not what they cling to in their desperate struggle to make sense of life.
4. He may be a doctor, or a journalist, or an engineer, or work in the trades, or a service industry. Whatever line of work he is in and whatever walk of life you will find her in, the average guy and gal thinks that Bible carrying, Church going, hymn singing Christians live by blind faith, and that even if we are not members of the flat earth society, we might as well be for all our inane and archaic values and beliefs.
5. The average non-Christian thinks that we believe what we believe in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary. For all they know from what they’ve seen on television or read in the major news magazines or heard from their uncle George, we used to think the moon was made of green cheese, we used to think the earth was flat, we used to think the world was born on the back of a large elephant or a huge turtle, and we used to think that flies just happened to come from the maggots that suddenly and without reason appeared on rotting garbage, something called spontaneous generation.
6. They don’t know that Bible believing Christians have never believed the moon was made of green cheese, though that was the belief of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons. No Bible believer has ever believed the world to be flat, since the Bible shows the earth to be round. And it was eastern religions that believed the earth was held up on the back of a turtle or an elephant. Hey, Muslim scholars still believe the earth is flat! And Bible believers have always believed that living things reproduced after their own kind, showing the flies from garbage in a dumpster notion to be an incomplete picture of what happened, at best.
7. The great error that the vast multitudes of unsaved people hold to be true, and that I once held to be true, is that Christians rely on blind faith to cling to their beliefs. And there must come a point in an unbeliever’s life when he perceives that faith is not blind; that it is not blind to the truth, is not blind to reality, and that it is very solidly based upon history and facts. For if that alteration in perception does not occur, that unbeliever will never become a Christian.
8. When I related to you folks the testimony of my own conversion last Sunday night I neglected to tell you how I came to realize that Christians do not have a “blind faith.” It was while working as an engineer at Hughes Aircraft Company, when I discovered that a well known Hughes scientist, who I think had more than a hundred classified patents on laser weapons technology, taught several Bible studies at work.
9. I had occasion to ask him how he could reconcile being a world-class research physicist and at the same time a Bible teacher. I just couldn’t visualize in my mind the idea that Christians clung to their “blind faith,” while at the same time this man was obviously a scientist who successfully dealt with the real world, with facts, and with the laws of nature.
10. I’ll never forget what he told me, something that unraveled my tightly wrapped smugness of unbelief. He said, “There is no conflict between the truth of God’s Word and science, rightly understood.” With that statement he destroyed my firm conviction that Christianity is at odds with science, and I am sure that my encounter with him played a part in my coming to Christ some months later.
11. My friends, there is no such thing as “blind faith.” If it’s blind it isn’t faith, at least not the kind of faith that’s described in the Bible. And if it’s faith, it isn’t blind; not blind to the truth, not blind to reality, not blind to established fact.
12. Turn in your Bible to John 8.32, where we will look at a statement made by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Rock upon which the Christian faith is founded. And in the statement which the Lord Jesus made we find the essence upon which the Christian faith, and all accurate apprehension of reality, relies.
13. If you’ve found that verse please stand so we can read God’s Word together: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
14. Allow me, if you will, to zero in on this statement that Jesus made to His disciples and to make three observations that refute this wrong-headed notion so many hold to that Christians have “blind faith.”
1A. First, FROM THIS VERSE WE SEE THAT THERE IS SUCH A THING AS TRUTH
1B. This statement made by the Lord Jesus Christ presumes that such a thing as truth exists. Now, you may think in your mind, “Okay. So what?” But according to most people’s belief systems there is no such thing as truth in isolation, as objective truth, or as Francis Schaeffer described it “true truth.”
2B. Among the Hindus and the Buddhists there is no such thing as truth, only “What’s good for you.” But that approach to life resulted in Hindu wives being burned alive on their husband’s funeral pyres before the British colonized the subcontinent. And that approach results, to this day, in mothers and fathers selling their young daughters into prostitution in Nepal and Thailand and Burma and other Buddhist countries.
3B. You may remember the occasion in the Bible of Christ’s trial before the Roman governor, Pilate. John 18.38 records a question asked by that well-educated and sophisticated Roman nobleman. Facing the Lord Jesus Christ on that gray and wicked morning, Pilate asked, “What is truth?” It wasn’t that he wanted to know the truth, for the man was a complete skeptic. His was the comment of a scorner who denied even the possibility that there was such a thing as truth. To him there was only political expediency and convenience, never truth.
4B. It’s those who deny the reality of such a thing as truth who have a sliding scale of right and wrong that’s adjustable to fit their own preferences, who twist and distort history to suit their own ends, and who actually are advancing the notion that 2 + 2 does not equal 4.
5B. Why do they do this? They do this because they deny that there is such a thing as absolute, incontrovertible, objective, unvarying, changeless truth. Sex is okay if you love each other, it’s never absolutely wrong and wicked outside the boundaries of marriage. That kind of behavior is a denial of the reality of truth, that some behavior is always wrong, no matter how you feel when you do it.
6B. Just understand this: That one system of belief that gave rise to the scientific revolution and the explosion of knowledge that we have been caught up in for the last four hundred years in the west is the only system of belief known to man that asserts that there is, and that is itself built upon the foundation of, truth.
7B. There is such a thing as truth, and the ultimate truth is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 14.6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” So, though truths exist, truths are, there are objective and verifiable truths, the ultimate truth is the Lord Jesus Christ. And, of course, the ultimate reason for rejecting the notion of objective and real truth is the rejection of Jesus Christ.
8B. Remember, in your goings, whether it be going to school or going to work, that there is such a thing as truth. Only the Christian faith consistently and relentlessly asserts that there is such a thing as truth, while all other religions, faiths and philosophies either deny it outright or assert it inconsistently.
2A. Next, FROM THIS VERSE WE SEE THAT THE TRUTH IS KNOWABLE
1B. Again we are dealing with something that is ultimately denied by belief systems that are at odds with Biblical Christianity. Jesus said that you can know the truth. You’ve always rather taken it for granted that you can know the truth, our country’s legal system is based upon a set of assumptions that only make sense if truth is knowable, but this is because we live in a culture that has been profoundly influenced by thinkers who were rooted and grounded to Scripture.
2B. The reason truth is knowable is because God is knowable. That is, He can be known by His creatures if He makes Himself known to them. You see, just because truth is knowable doesn’t mean everyone will know it, and neither does it mean that the truth can be discovered. It some cases truth can be discovered, such as the discovery of Uranus and Pluto orbiting the sun by astronomers. But in other cases truth has to be revealed, and cannot be discovered, such as the truth that Jesus saves from sins.
3B. We are living in the last days. Associated with these last days is a rise in certain kinds of demonic activity, such as Paul wrote about in First Timothy 4.1-2: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.”
4B. Part of the system of lies that are told by seducing evil spirits through their unconverted pawns and deceived puppets is the lie that truth is unknowable, the lie that there are no absolute truths, no verities. And their influence has even found it’s way into Christian circles, where some naive Bible study teacher will read a verse and then ask those in attendance, “What does this mean to you?” as if truth adopted its shape and form to fit each individual. I’m not arguing against applications of the truth to individual lives, but I am suggesting that truth does not vary from individual to individual.
5B. Drunkenness is always wrong, it is not only wrong for me. Adultery is always wrong, it is not only wrong for my wife. Murder is always wrong, it is not only wrong when someone else murders her unborn child. Stealing is always wrong, it is not only wrong with someone else withholds his tithe. Jesus is the Son of God, He is not only the Son of God to me. He is the absolute and the only Son of God. And He is the Son of God as an objective reality, whether or not anyone accepts the truth of the fact or not.
6B. Thus, when some nitwit university professor proposes that 2+2 is not equal to 4 in every instance, he is chipping away at a view of the things that holds truth to be knowable. As does some historian who denies that there is such a thing as “the way it happened” and instead advances his pet notion that there is only “the view of the way it happened that he wants to tell.”
7B. And where does this ultimately lead? It attacks the very notion that God is a God of order and design, challenging that this universe is His creation and that He brought it into existence with wisdom and purpose, and that He orders and governs His universe along a predetermined set of rules and guidelines that we call the laws of nature. Ultimately, of course, it leads to Jesus Christ, and whether or not He is knowable, with the ungodly asserting that Jesus is not knowable.
8B. Therefore, do not allow some effete snob get away with the bizarre and absurd assertion that truths are not knowable. After all, if truths are not knowable he does not know who he is. And if he does not know who he is, how does he know that he is the professor and not some student? So he should stand aside and let you teach the class, if the truths are not knowable. Truths are knowable, with many truths being discoverable. As well, truth is knowable. The very text of my sermon this morning, First John 2.3, contains the phrase “we do know that we know him.” Yes, Truth is knowable.
3A. Finally, FROM THIS VERSE WE SEE THAT TRUTH IS BENEFICIAL AND USEFUL
1B. Why do you think the Europeans made gunpowder more useful than the toys and fireworks its inventors, the Chinese, used it for? Were the Europeans smarter? No. Were they more clever? No. It’s a direct result of the fact that the Europeans embraced Christianity, while the Chinese rejected Christianity.
2B. And what does that have to do with anything? Christianity presumes a universe that is the orderly and ordered creation of a rational God. Thus, it was only a matter of time before men theorized that there were well defined and recurrent laws that governed nature, with principles that could be discovered and exploited to useful ends. At the same time, in the Orient, where the universe was seen as a maze of confusing principles and capricious demons running wild who needed to be accommodated by architecture, and who made exploitation of natural laws unthinkable, systematic advances in science simply did not occur.
3B. In modern society we have an amazing situation, in which most thinkers and most academics and most scientists are not godly, are antagonistic toward Christianity, and actually think that we Christians are waiting to take over so we can force everyone to live according to our requirements. But what they don’t realize is that if they believe that there is such a thing as truth, and if they think that truth is knowable and that some truth is discoverable, they actually got those sets of verities from the Christian religion.
4B. The next step in their thinking, that truth can be beneficial and useful, is also a concept that was borrowed from Christianity. It was Jesus Who said that the truth would set you free. Those words, first uttered in a world dominated by poverty, hopelessness and slavery were astonishing to those who first heard them. Most men of that day would not have agreed with those words. “Truth does not set men free,” they would have argued. But Jesus was right and they were wrong.
5B. It is now recognized by thinking men and women everywhere that truth does liberate, that truth does set men free. Sadly, the unconverted who realize the truth of our Lord’s statement only partially will limit the impact of His declaration to freedom from enslavement to other men, to freedom from bondage to an oppressive political regime, or to being liberated from the shackles of poverty or prejudice. Little do they imagine that the Lord Jesus Christ was referring to ultimate freedom from ultimate bondage, being set free from the shackles of sin.
1. If I were speaking to another crowd on another occasion I would have used this same text to address the issue of sin and salvation, of freedom and forgiveness. And that is the highest use of this text.
2. But I am preaching tonight to those of you who are truly converted, to you who slug it out in the trenches every day, fending off the assaults of the devil and the unbelievers who question and challenge the realities that govern their own lives every day.
3. There is no such thing as blind faith with the Christian. If one’s faith is blind, which is to say it’s uninformed and not based upon historical events and certainties, then that person is not a Christian.
4. Not that each Christian is necessarily able to reproduce a list of truths upon which his faith is based. We know many wonderful Christians whose minds do not question, whose intellects do not ponder in this way. They approach issues with a childlike faith and reliance upon God’s Word.
5. But there are many in the world who believe our faith to be baseless, who are convinced that our doctrines are groundless, who actually want to believe that we live by blind faith. Are we to let them go to Hell without attempting to reach them? Are we to stew in our ignorance, when it would be relatively easy to cure? And what if your own child someday asked questions that can be answered, they just can’t be answered by you, thereby causing him to think there is no answer?
6. The Bible teaches that the just shall live by faith. But faith is not blind. It is built on evidence. And our Christian faith is the only reasonable and rational and consistent explanation of the universe that we observe, and the humanity that we are a part of.
7. There is such a thing as truth. Truth is knowable. And truth is beneficial and useful. Of course, the ultimate truth, the Lord Jesus Christ, saves sinners from their sins. What greater benefit can there possibly be?