Faith is one of those subjects that has always been of great interest to me. Why do some people have faith? Why do others reject faith? I suppose from a Biblical standpoint, the question is — What is the difference in the soil on the path, and the good soil; as mentioned in the parable that Jesus told in Luke 8?
When this argument has manifested itself in our world, there have often been lots of harsh charges and accusations from both sides. I’m not interested in an argument, or even verbal jousting with those that differ; but I do want to mention what I see and believe.
Faith in Jehovah God has never been difficult for me. There seems to have always been times when living that faith was difficult — but not hard to have. Everything that I see, persuades me concerning the things that I don’t see. I am sure that the environment, and the atmosphere, where I was raised made that possible. Just as I am sure, that the environment were others were raised make it difficult.
I am convinced that the difference in the good soil and the bad soil in Luke 8; is that those represented by the good soil WANT to believe; and those represented by the bad soil (path) represents those who DON’T WANT to believe. There could be a lot of reasons for not want to believe — not wanting to change a lifestyle, wanting to do certain things without feeling guilty, the attitude and behavior of those claiming to have faith, the testimony of unbelievers (that are regarded as exceptionally smart), the inability to accept anything that you can’t understand, explain, or duplicate, and a litany of other matters.
I will gladly confess that I WANT TO BELIEVE! I want to believe that there is a God that loves me. That everything that He has ever done has been for my benefit and blessing. That He created me (and everyone else) that we might have a loving relationship. That He wants me to be free from the guilt of failing to live in the love of that relationship. That He was willing to give His Son to pay a ransom that I could not pay myself. That He want to have a good life now, and an abundant life later. That because of all of that, I don’t have to fear death, and, that there is a life with Him in eternity. That the life with Him in eternity is free from sorrow, pain, disease, death, and grief. Everything within me wants to believe that!
The question that is there, that everyone must answer is; if I choose to believe, and I am wrong, what has it cost me? The temporary pleasure of indulging in sin, some intellectual freedom that I believe that I should have, or something else along those lines. BUT, if I choose to believe, I have been given a peace in knowing that an eternal God cares about me, the love of a church family that wants what is best for me, and the hope that this world is not the end (or the best that there is).
So, the opposite side of the question has to be asked: If those that choose not to believe are wrong, what has it cost them?
I recognize that religion, under the guise of Christianity, has done things over the centuries ( and still do) that are repulsive to our standards of what is right, wrong, decent, and fair. But that is not the fault of God, or faith! It is the fault of sinful men trying to live that faith according to their own wants and desires. It is sort of like American politics of the 21st century: probably, the way that things are being done, are no where near what the founding fathers had in mind.
May the Father above, help His people to make the God of the Bible, the Gospel, and faith attractive. May they present the beauty of it, so that all may WANT to believe. Peace.