Before I start, I would like to thank the Christians who visit the Filipino Freethinkers website and grace its pages with their…er…”reasonable” comments.
To make it more interesting, I would like to share a little of my mind…a personal analysis perhaps on Pastor Vince Orlaer’s comments on religion, faith, atheism and his defense on the Bible and Christianity.
Yes it NEVER requires religion; but that religious faith produces religion.
Religion is the way you practice your faith.
It’s like “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”
Therefore, “You can practice your religion without faith, but you cannot practice faith without practicing religion.”
Uh…I think religion is not only the way to practice your faith but religion is synonymous with faith. The word religion can be interchanged with faith. That’s why we call it Buddhist faith, Hindi faith, Jewish faith, Islamic faith and Christian faith.
Now, defining religion can really be nose-bleed since there are many ideas, interpretations and “what-nots” about it. But we can at least narrow it down to something coherent.
Christianity is not all about religion. Religion will in no way get you to heaven. It may be an instrument in understanding the underlying principles of true Christianity, but it’s not enough to get to heaven. Our relationship to Christ is what matters.
Narrowing what is common to all religions will displace the myth that Christianity is not one of them. Most books will agree with me that different faiths have the following concepts in common:
(1.) Belief in some kind of a supernatural being (sometimes called gods, devas, etc.)
(3.) A moral code given by supernatural means (or a Supernatural being).
(5.) A belief in a certain world view that gives an individual a so-called purpose or meaning.
Come on! All these concepts are present in Christianity, aren’t they? Fundamentalists/Evangelical Christians may deny it but it won’t make the facts go away – whether it’s true Christianity or not.
Belief and Faith
It seems Pastor Orlaer got a little confused between “belief” and “faith”. OK let’s clear the mess that he just made.
First, let’s do some defining:
A belief is how you accept something as true. Easy, huh? So based on this simple definition we can say that faith is also a kind of belief. But not all beliefs are the same as faith.
But hey! My pocket dictionary says that both faith and belief are synonymous with the word “trust”!
Hay my papaya! That’s the problem with pocket dictionaries.
As I have said, not all beliefs are categorized as faith. Why? Because not all beliefs are without, or against, reason.
Why? What is faith?
Faith believes without proof or evidence.
Now that we already know the difference between the two, we can now look at Pastor Orlaer’s statements.
Religious faith is just one form. But you yourself exercise faith like sitting on a chair. You sit on a chair because you believe that the chair can comfort you. You drive a car because you believe it can bring you somewhere.
Faith, Trust, Belief/Believe …. all these are synonymous terms, my friend. How can you say you trust yet you do not have faith that you can definitely sit down on the chair? Hope you are getting my point. You sit because you trust that the chair is stable. And because you trust, you have faith that it can carry you. Trust and Faith (the real meaning) cannot be separated from each other.
Sitting on a chair or driving a car doesn’t require faith. First, we all know that chairs and cars exist. Second, we also know what chairs and cars are for.
Trust is not blind belief. You trust something or someone because you see particular characteristics on that something that will win your confidence. That’s what advertisements are for.
Trust is something you come to after a long process of give-and-take. Trustworthiness is confirmed by observation. It’s a learned process while faith is something that doesn’t require knowledge. Faith is about something that has not yet come to pass and its actuality has no evidence. It depends on the unknowable, the incomprehensible and the claim that it is beyond reason and logic. Therefore, trust and faith can be separated.
Until next time…