Monday, February 24, 2014

Blind faith

Blind faith, good or bad? Even faith unqualified puts a person at risk. You must accept that something is, or will be, on trust. Reasoned faith seems to me to be no faith at all, because faith doesn’t wait, it simply obeys, and moves, following the Lord’s command. Reasoned faith is just another name for reason, riskless, not reckless, and follows one’s own views as to what is, or will be.

I don’t think that Christ expects what most people think of as blind faith, but He’s the only one who can ever really be trusted blindly. That is, of course, if you believe, or know, that He is God. Impossible for the natural man, no fault of his, that’s just how we are. To know that another human being, now or in ages past, is somehow God, is not possible for human nature. We know too much.

Still, the Christ calls us into regions of action, thought, and perception (what else can I call the movement of the spirit?) that are completely uncharted, unexpected, out of sync with everything we take for granted as a part of ordinary daily life. He calls us out, and we must follow, and that blindly, and immediately, or not at all, because when He commands, Christ doesn’t wait.

When we accept the claims of Jesus Christ, we place ourselves immediately at risk, though most of think we are now in a safe place and bound for glory. Well, yes, glory it is, but not what we naively imagine. The strange thing is, there is no compulsion with Christ. He simply states the facts, and then He acts, and expects us to follow Him, now or, in some cases, never. Choose Christ or comfort.

The disciples thin out now as they did when He told them they had to eat His flesh and drink His blood. Today we clamor to eat His flesh and drink His blood, and we surge forward in a mob to commune, mindlessly as well as blindly, and call this ‘faith.’ I wonder what the disciples who left Him were thinking, and where did they go after they abandoned Him. Did they sink back into the safety of tradition?

When Christ went to Bethany to raise His beloved friend Lazaros from the dead and declared to Martha, ‘I am the resurrection and the life, do you believe this?’ was He expecting her to accept this on blind faith? I don’t think so. Martha, along with the other disciples knew Jesus personally, followed Him, heard His teaching, and witnessed His miracles. He wanted to test and deepen her faith.

As He told the unbelieving Jews, ‘If you don’t believe in me, at least believe in the works that I do.’ That is a strange thing for Him to say if He were expecting blind faith. There is a danger in blind faith that even the Son of God wanted to avert and save His disciples from. Blind faith yields in turn to blind obedience, and the only authority to whom man owes such faith and obedience is God.

Though the Church is the Body of Christ as well as His mystical Bride, and though He has given it, given us, the power to forgive and remit sins in His name, the evil one has planted in this divine field seed of a different kind, which has sprouted and sought to command and exact undeserved obedience through all the ages. Yet we know when it is the Master’s voice speaking in the Church, and when not.

Yes, the disciples thin out, and considerably, as we follow more closely behind Jesus, moving as He moves, when, where, and how. Yet the Church remains full, the recipients of His mercy. For though He calls and commands us, and does not wait for us to follow, He nevertheless doesn’t cease to call, and that grace stretches out time, giving everyone, fast or slow, the chance to be saved.

For salvation is not the fruit of blind faith, but of love, and love that obeys, that keeps close watch on the Master’s every move, that does not sleep but watches, to miss nothing and no one that is sent, that is placed in its path. That is what kept the disciples close to the Lord when the others took their leave, and what brought the disciples back after they had abandoned Him and fled.

I am the resurrection and the life, do you believe this?

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