Ultimately the beginning of all belief is faith

Rob Ayers - Camp Branch Baptist Church

Rob Ayers

Camp Branch Baptist Church

“Does God say anything?” This is a question that I get a lot of. Most of the time I hear it from individuals and families who are struggling or going through a crisis time. It is difficult to get through the noise of a difficult time while at the same time expecting answers for it all. Most of the time I sit and listen in those moments. While God may not be saying anything (according to the questioner) they certainly have a lot to say. I understand that and listen appropriately. You see, God has spoken to me to listen to them.

A lot of people in most other times though don’t wait for God to speak. They already believe what God says for any given subject, believing what they want and placing God, if not the affirmer of whatever, at least neutral to the belief or action the person seeks to justify. This is merely the product of the spirit of the age we live in today. God, if he exists, is such an amorphous being that we each can dictate what it is that he accepts. Just place whatever you want and whatever you do in the blank, and God is accepting of all. Stick your finger in the wind, and whatever is popular or convenient God is all for that. What an appealing theology. Such a wonderful time to live!

You see we would never do this to our close friends. We also would never countenance this ourselves. We would want to be accepted the way we are, not how others believe we should be. Our friends are the way they are, not how we wish them to be – otherwise they would not be our friends – nor would they wish to be our friends. And yet no one objects doing this to God. A lot of people just want him to be the way they see things – just a wonderful accepting fluid being who really does not have bad thing to say and is accepting of all, for as they say “God forgives all.” It is only the killjoys of those who claim they speak for God that seem to be intolerant and unloving. Again the times in which we live.

A lot of people get kind of chagrin when I wince at such theology. Tolerance these days dictates that people must accept the belief or action of others rather than respectfully disagree. So I get my share of lumps in my disagreement, but that is okay. My theology allows God (for I believe He does exist) to be Himself. For who am I to tell God He needs to conform to my belief? I believe that God does speak, and has spoken His mind on a myriad of subjects if we only would pay attention. As a human being, I don’t claim to speak for God – I only point people to the source from where I believe the true God has spoken.

Ultimately the beginning of all belief is Faith. Everyone has faith in something – whether outside of themselves or in themselves. How does God speak then? I believe He has spoken through His incarnation of Himself, Jesus Christ. This faith comes from reading and hearing the Christian Bible – the only source outside of one’s imagination that shares the life and words of Jesus. I say that for many people claim they believe in Jesus – but they can have this belief without holding the Bible as an accurate or true written source of who Jesus is. There is a problem with this type of faith. It is the same as the person who makes God accept whatever it is they do. When you make God in your image you are saying to God that you want him to be the way you want – not how He is.

Jesus, through both the Old and New Testaments, has spoken to humanity. It is through His words that He divinely speaks today to our current time. He can speak to you even today. The question is not if He speaks. The question is do we really want to listen to what He has to say?

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