IF YOU DON'T READ THIS, YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON MAJOR POINTS.
So what do I mean by sheltered
The kind of faith that is very contradicting to Christ's teachings. The kind of faith that leaves no room for questioning or intellect. The kind of faith that pushes away people with an overwhelming sense of insecurity and authority. A dictionary definition of blind faith is "belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination." That is not how faith is with Christ.
Note: THIS IS NOT BASHING ABOUT PERSONAL EXPERIENCES. There is no way I'm going to bash people for using their personal experiences as validation for their beliefs. I believe that personal experiences count as crucial and logical evidence for their reasons for believing.
See this link (VERY related)-->[link]
I just believe that since we shouldn't expect people to use our personal experiences as solid evidence, we should be prepared to give evidence for God that transcends our own experiences. The evidence for Christianity serves to further supplement belief and refute the claim that the experiences are delusionary.
Being a Christian myself, I know that faith is a very important part of Christianity. Faith is an important part of life. Having faith in something -- or anything -- is essential in life. We live by faith every single day --even those who claim to have no faith in God, they have faith in something else, like science, nature, humanity, etc. --- in fact, each and every one of us has faith in the relationships we take part in, because we can truly not know everything that the person will say or do. That is the kind of faith people are hesitant to call "blind" and instead something of which is brought about by biological or therapeutic means. So in saying that, I don't see why belief in God would be claimed by atheists to be a bad thing that needs to be subjected to "blind faith" rather than something legit.
Many Christians have been known to be very restricting and sheltered. This is so for several reasons/factors: Fear (meaning they are only Christian because they don't want to be in trouble with God or go to hell)
Not wanting to engage in the world, therefore they become disconnected (out of tune) from it and believe that everything from it is evil or corrupted
Not wanting to be offended by or offend opposing beliefs and actions towards their own.
Not being prepared for whatever they come across concerning their faith and those who question it.
Lack of knowledge about what they are reading and interpreting from the Bible, and even more so with the studies of science and society, and generalizing everything to be literal and up to present date.
Overprotection (meaning they were raised to not question about their belief and feel way too comfortable to look outside of their comfort zones)
Lack of spiritual vitality (a.k.a., boring and predictable)
You can see why people would be very open to criticize Christians for these reasons. But the truth of the matter is, these very actions are not even supported by Christianity.
GOD WANTS US TO BE IN TOUCH WITH REALITYAccepting Responsibility and engaging in the world
People outside of Christ often believe that having Christian faith is out of tune with reality: the choices, challenges, lifestyles, and the newer aspects of intelligence. Most often, people will not view faith as anything more than old-fashioned and only made up of rules and standards.
Some Christians are so involved with the sub-cultural aspect of Christianity that they forget the main goal and close themselves off from the rest of the world. This way, when they start reaching out for non-believers, they have no idea how to do it without trying to convert them into their own Christian social circle.
We are responsible to engage in the world, not just ourselves/other christians and our own little worlds with Christ. Jesus makes this clear in Matt 5:13-16
- Light of the world (we offer guidance that points people to restoration)
- salt of the earth (help preserve people)
- city on a hill (we offer protection and hope for people) Faith without works is dead
And vice-versa (works without faith). See James 2:14-26
. Merely calling yourself a Christian does not mean that guiding, persevering and protecting are easy and automatic. It takes effort and energy. Don't expect that just by having faith that you are all for the clear. Christianity is NOT a club
As far as non-christians and their own lifestyles and beliefs, should we denounce the "moral compromises" of them and shut them out of our lives? Reflect on this verse that is to be applied to all, Christians and Non-Christians alike.
In short, God has no use for people who think they have it all together and good, those who think they are better than the rest of humanity. Jesus instructed the first Christians to go and reach people we may otherwise consider unworthy. Jesus said he didn't not come for the healthy but for the sick; not to help the righteous but the sinners (Matt. 9:12, Acts 10:30-48). God wants to use us in the gritty and raw places of people's lives, but our usefulness is hindered if we are more concerned about our protection from
sin than the effects of
sin in the lives of others. God has given us each a role to help the one's who are in need, including intellectuals and often the overlooked (loners, self-injurers, fatherless, etc.) Though, we often end up wasting our roles for mere pleasure of being comfortable and surviving.
In short, don't go avoiding people or things just because they are sinners. They are no more different from you, and the only thing that Jesus doesn't encourage is you acting under their influence ([link]). Reach out to them respectfully and compassionately. Having a sense of humor and knowing that non-believers are not all bad people, is a great way to start.
GOD WARNS US THAT WE WILL BE HURT FOR OUR FAITH So don't be suprised if you are hurt, offended and/or persecuted
Let's face it -- we can't avoid conflict for too long. It's going to rear it's ugly head at least a few dozen times in our lifes. On the internet alone, you will see that happening every single day -- an argument between a believer and non-believer or even the same group of beliefs fighting amongst eachother. Many people have come to down-grade arguments to mere name-calling and ridicule and believe that gives them all the more reason to sit on their imaginary throne of self-endowed victory -- that goes for both theists and atheists. He knows exactly what we go through and promises justice.
We must remember that Jesus came to earth to acknowledge the truth and save us from our sins, and He Himself had to go through unjust persecution and punishment. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
- Matthew 5:10-2 KJV
My point is, a Christian trying to avoid conflict is like a storm-chaser trying to avoid a storm: we are meant to address the truth, yet we often avoid opportunities of expressing the truth.
GOD ENCOURAGES LOGIC AND REASON Do not be afraid of questions and challenges
God created humans with the ability to think and reason and God expects us to use the gift He has given us. We need to better equip ourselves spiritually and intellectually for our faith. Through my personal experience, I have come to find that all questions that require me to think more into my faith have actually brought me more close to Christ because I actually work to find the answers and address them, and also build up the humility to accept the things I cannot know.
Throughout Scripture we find that reasoning, wisdom, and logic are lifted up as good traits. Proverbs 3:13
says we are blessed when we find knowledge and understanding. Hebrews 5:12-14
admonishes teachers for not learning and growing in understanding. Science and God are not opposing sides, but together they coexist in harmony
Science = the study of how things come together and sustain. If you clicked on the link above, you would see the difference between science and God but you will also see the reason why they are not opposing forces. Trusting God is logical
There will be times in our walk with God that we will act purely on faith because we do not have the whole picture, but this is not blind faith: it's faith based on the knowledge of Gods nature and character, His promises in the Scriptures, and our personal experience walking with God every day. God has revealed enough of His nature for us to be able to trust Him. He has shown through the events of history, in the workings of nature, and through the life of Jesus Christ. The choice is ours whether or not we will trust Him.
In short, Christians are expected to act in faith on Gods promises, but we do that from a position of trust based on all the knowledge we have of God.
"Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see".
- The Polar Express
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