I always appreciate an article that causes my mind to strain just a little bit. That’s exactly what this article by Cole NeSmith entitled What You Believe Is Absurd (And 5 Reasons It Should Be) did for me the other day. I encourage you to read it for yourself (be sure to come back and finish this article though). For those of you who would rather just keep reading allow me to simplify and summarize NeSmith’s main thoughts. NeSmith basically reminds us that our Christian faith is absurd to those who are not believers. In other words, faith is not rational, scientific, or without questions.
1 Corinthians 2:14 immediately jumped into my mind while reading NeSmith’s article, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Spiritual things always seem irrational when viewed through the prism of carnality. I am fully aware of the temptation to try and boil spiritual things down into logic or sound reasoning. But when Jesus tells us to go and sin no more (John 8:11) for example, that sounds impossible without the Spirit guiding our thinking. When you are terminally sick and God tells you to dip in the muddy Jordan River seven times (2 Kings 5:14) that sounds a little crazy.
Faith which is the foundation of the Christian life is not rational. Hebrews chapter eleven says, “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrew 11:1). To believe in something that you have never seen is absurd when you are looking in from the outside. Look at the third verse of Hebrews chapter eleven, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” My belief that God spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1:1-31) and breathed the breath of life into mankind (Genesis 2:7) is not intended to be a scientific endeavor or fit neatly into a logical box. It is an act of faith. I would contend that much of what we label as science today is in reality a belief system that also requires faith. I simply choose to put my faith in God rather than man made theories.
By no means am I saying that everything about the Christian faith is illogical. Morality makes sense when you view it objectively. Many things about our world only make sense when we understand God’s ultimate plan. The value of life itself only makes sense when viewed through the lens of a Divine Creator. Even love is not logical without a belief in God.
I think there is a danger in trying to rationalize too much about God and faith. There is a freedom that can only be found when we embrace the reality that there are some things we will never understand until we meet the Lord. There is a peace that can only be found when we realize that faith is messy and absurd.