This blog is a step of faith. I always thought of myself as a “writer”, however, I haven’t really ever written anything. Sure, I’ve written a billion papers from years as an undergrad, Masters, and Doctoral student, but they weren’t what I would consider to be real “writing.”

I define “real writing” as anything that someone who looks like they enjoy the films of Woody Allen would do to earn a living. Since I only slightly like Woody Allen, full disclosure I love ‘Midnight in Paris’ because its like a Freshman English Class come alive, I’ve never written anything that would garner someone to give me a dime for my written thoughts.

I started this blog because I think I have something to say. I know we all believe that our opinions matter and that our observations are so smart they should be shared with the world. What makes me different, at least I think this makes me different, is that I’m 32 years old, married with four kids, overly educated in the social sciences, underpaid, and still unable to shake the burning feeling that my opinions are worthy of being read by the masses. This blog is essentially a “participation trophy” that I hope to turn in to a “most improve award” as I try to leap start my “writing career.” It’s the product of a liberal, we are all winners, and you can do anything you put your mind to, public education system run amok on word press. I hope you enjoy!

I think what will make this blog different is that the narrator, aside from being chubby and handsome, is a bit of an odd duck. I describe myself as a thirty two year old Born Again Christian/Pacifist/Socialist/Budding Scholar/Wannabe Intellectual/Not So Progressive Father and Husband. My life as a “die-hard” Born Again Christian with a passion for the Frankfurt School, Marxist philosophy, daily scripture readings, and professional wrestling, make my opinions wide ranging (maybe).

This blog, like so many clichés is a result of the times we are living in. As someone that has a deep faith that dictates the minutiae of my life I feel like voices like mine are missing from the popular and not so popular mainstream/underground media. I think success for this blog will be sitting back and saying to myself “yea, I would read a blog like mine if I was a guy like me.”

Anyway, this is the launching point that will hopefully set the town for the many blog posts to come. Putting your thoughts out to the universe can be a scary act. You have to start somewhere so why not start now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Walking by Faith Not by Sight!

  1. Hi David, I believe you are in the process of creating a very valuable and insightful WordPress site. A good of place as any to initially expand our wings if one is serious about attaining a career as a writer. Your background, education and point of view no doubt a complementary means to explore the depth of social justice. Engaging your readers as you have thus far is a great way to see your ideas from various perspectives and to develop authentic relationships.

    Now before my soul is confident in allowing your position & views to enter into my mind for reflection, it is important to get right to the heart of the matter:

    1) What is the bases of your Christian faith?

    2) Could you explain the difference between believing in God and having faith in God?

    Perhaps it’s best to consider what faith actually is before delving deep into the ramifications of social justice.

    Love & light,

    JY

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    1. Hey Jason, thanks for taking the time to think critically on these issues. I will do my best to offer a succinct explanation. If i’m unclear or anything does not seem explained in enough detail please ask me to clarify and i will do my best. (Side note-i’m not a theologian and have no formal theological training so my answers may disappoint.)
      I’m an Evangelical Christian. I also consider myself to be a “born again Christian.” I’ve always felt a desire to seek out spiritual information and as a fairly young boy (around 12-13). Praying daily is all i have ever really known. I didn’t have a “come to Jesus” moment that so many other people have. I grew up in an Evangelical Church and that is where i have been all my life. I always thought that i wanted to be an Evangelical Pastor. I even went as far as receiving a full scholarship to attend Seminary but did not pursue the ministry. I sort of felt as though my calling was more to serve people. So instead of becoming a Pastor i have entered the field of social work where i feel that my career helping others is my ministry.
      Belief vs faith is fairly nuanced. Again, i’m not a theologian or a philosopher (at best i’m a budding social scientist) but i tend to see belief and faith as essentially the same thing. I’m not combative in this area so if you have differences i would be willing to alter my thinking and consider a greater distinction.
      I titled the blog “Consider Faith” for two very insular reasons. I’m speaking to my friends on the “Left” who consider faith to be an impediment to radical social change. I’m also speaking to my Christian friends that think Christian faith when applied to social reality must only be concerned with issues associated with “right-wing” political ideology.
      To me my blog is more geared to people who already consider themselves Christians, particularly Evangelical Christians. I’ve never been all that interested in things like Christian apologetics or hermeneutics. So in that sense i’m sure my answers will probably disappoint.
      Anyway, thanks for reading and taking the time to write Jason.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for providing additional information about your background and your reason for starting a blog. Surely our experiences, strengths and hopes play a significant role in the shaping of our personalities, inclinations and purposes in life. Your bases of Christian faith appears to be a noble one and I am delighted that you are willing to look deeper into its essential nature for the sake of mutual benefit & understanding and for the purpose of ‘always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.’

    David, I believe you are right to see belief and faith as essentially the same thing. The Gospels alone provide numerous examples as to how the words are used interchangeably. But as soon as we step away from the context of scripture we may see things differently. For instance, is it possible for a person to BELIEVE that there is a God but not necessarily put their FAITH in the God, just as it is possible for a Christian brother to believe in the Christ but not lift a finger to obey him should he backslide…

    “You BELIEVE that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons BELIEVE and tremble” (James 2:19).

    Another distinction can be found in this scenario: A friend may claim to have a 5 dollar bill in his pants pocket and you may very well believe him; that is if he possesses an honest & truthful disposition. However it’s unlikely that you’ll resort to the word faith in this context.

    Another example of how these words are used differently can be found in a child’s imagination. Our children may believe in fairies and elves and other such fictional characters but we don’t usually think of them as having faith in them. Anywho, perhaps I am walking too far out on a branch here, so how about we get back to home base and take a look to see how Paul uses these terms:

    “For it is with your HEART that you believe and are justified, and it is with your MOUTH that you profess your faith and are saved.” – Romans 10:10

    We are not splitting hairs at all when we point out the difference in how these terms are being used in this scripture above, for if we were to swap out faith for believe and believe for faith, the sentence would no longer make sense. Taken in its original form perhaps we could infer that faith takes on more of an action, whereas belief is more of an inner disposition. Forget about ‘belief’ for the moment and turn your attention to ‘faith’ in the following letter:

    “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can MOVE mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” – 1 Cor 13:2

    Here again Paul is intimating that faith is a force for exterior action. Again in 2 Cor 1:24 he suggests action, ‘by faith you STAND firm’ and again in 2 Tim 4:7 by stating ‘I have finished the RACE, I have kept the faith.’

    The references to action keep popping up: TAKE UP the shield of faith… the righteous will LIVE by faith… your faith is GROWING more and more…

    “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by ACTION, is dead.” – James 2:17

    On the other hand the discrimination is not always there. As mentioned earlier the words are often used interchangeably. Neither is my understanding of ancient Greek sufficient to understand the meaning implied in the original biblical language. The New Testament renders Pistis (Greek) as the word Faith and Pisteuson (Greek) as Believe. So we can see with our eyes a similarity, they possess the same root word. The NASB Lexicon states that Pisteuson stems from Pistis. Nonetheless they are distinct from one another. It is hard to say how these terms were originally used. It’s unlikely that the Greeks had used Pistis is the same way that the early Christians did.

    It seems that I am without the reach to prove a significant difference between ‘belief’ and ‘faith’ as it relates to the Christ but that is not to say that you have not made your own inferences while reading my random thoughts above? Perhaps you have detected a vital difference between these terms worthy of sharing? Either way would you be so kind to articulate in your own words a definition of faith as it relates to the Christ? Again thank you for taking the time to explore what appears to be a significant aspect of Christianity, for it is by grace that you have been saved through FAITH, a precious gift no doubt and something we ought to be able to give an account for should the occasion arise.

    Regards,

    Jason

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    1. Jason,
      I tend to view faith as “action oriented.” I might say that faith, at least in my conceptional thought process, is centered on an undying trust that God is involved and observant of processes that occur in the world. I also sometimes, and this is not something i’ve fully fleshed out, believe that faith can use tools of critical reason but in the end relies on trust that some things will inherently be out of ones personal control. This is where there is a distinction between say myself and my Muslim Coworkers (I work for a non-profit that promotes civic engagement amongst Pakistani-Americans). SO often my coworkers will tell me “i believe Jesus was a very important profit”. So they believe that Jesus had at a minimum some God given direction to carry out his ministry. However, they have no faith that Christ is their savior or the Son of God. They would never have faith in Christ that he can save them from their earthly and spiritual troubles. I differ from them obviously because as a Christian i have put my faith in Jesus to be my savior in all situations.
      I hope this makes sense. Thanks for your thoughtful probings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Faith as an undying trust in God and a guide for applying critical reason are exquisite chords to ‘praise the LORD with the harp’ my dear David. Indeed I believe your sentiment is affirmed through scripture:

        “As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead.” (Acts 17:2&3)

        As a Catholic Christian I grew up wholeheartedly believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus. However my few years of study at a secular university encouraged me to think from other perspectives. (By the way my first few semesters were strictly pre-social work courses.) One of my study friends was an Evangical Christian. The dewd was constantly getting into heated arguments with the Prof. He had a hard time trying to see things from other perspectives and frames of reference, which can be a serious stumbling block to ones ministry. In my opinion it is essential to empathize with another if we are to develop rapport built upon trust. Paul demonstrated this Christian spirit in his ministry:

        “To those not having the law I became like one not having the law, so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Cor 9:21&22)

        Are you comfortable if I continue to ask you questions about your faith? You need not provide a speedy response but please get back to me in your own good time, and if you could, use scripture to support your views… “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6

        Love & light,

        JY

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      2. Hey Jason. I think I’m “pushing back” on those who may argue that people who have religious faith aren’t reasonable or are simply “superstitious”. I think faith, particularly when it comes to issues of social justice, can operate under the same premises and principals that are used by the social sciences. In essence i guess what i meant to say was that faith shouldn’t disqualify someone to be close minded when applying the moral tenets of that faith to issues of public policy.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “You are our victory, pushing back the enemy; at the sound of your name, we crush the opposition.” Psalm 44:5

    Then it seems as though the opposition is over-generalizing. To say all religious people are unreasonable or superstitious is blatantly erroneous. Therefore you are in good standing to resist the enemy or any such poorly thought out assertions of this kind. It is by far more realistic to say that there is a wide spectrum of intelligence among Christians, some of whom are superstitious and others that are not at all, possibly with more gray in between.

    As for faith operating under or being compatible with the premises & principles of social sciences in view to social justice, yes, there appears to be lots of room to explore the validity of this claim.

    Faith should not be a disqualifying factor when it comes to applying moral tenets to issues of public policy; true, especially if we consider the fact that if we dig deep enough we’ll eventually uncover all kinds of beliefs. Whether we are overly democratic or staunchly republican in our point of view, underneath all those ideals are the things we take for granted, presuppositions and assumptions.

    Our fundamental beliefs are often based on assumptions but that is not to say that all assumptions reside in the realm of make belief. For it is by true assumptions that we can ascertain truth and accurate ways of perceiving & interacting with reality. It is our responsibility to demonstrate how our assumptions or faith is a way to shine light upon matters so that others in turn ‘may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.’ In other words by putting our lamp upon a lampstand for all to see – rather than keeping our intentions & motives hidden in the dark – we exercise integrity, honesty & transparency. Therefore I must concur with you, if the moral tenets of our faith contribute towards good public relations, then it ought not to be undermined or rendered insubstantial.

    Now before we go any further I believe it is best that we step back and get clear about what Christian faith actually is. As an American Evangelical Christian, do your sisters and brothers in Christ have a common understanding of what ‘Faith’ is? If so, could you let me know what that is exactly? As a Catholic Christian one can simply consult with the Catechism of the Catholic Church for an official statement of what is universally accepted by the Bishops from all around the world. Besides the Bible itself, perhaps your Christian denomination also possesses a reference text of some sort to help provide its members with accurate and precise content information about its doctrines and beliefs? In all likelihood it may offer immense commentary on faith itself, so please, to the best of your ability, provide only a short paragraph that best captures the essence of faith as defined through your Christian denomination?

    To recap: could you provide a statement of your Christian Faith as one might read in an Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary, in particular a definition that would be accepted by all the Pastors of your Christian denomination?

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