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Fun with church signs

A local church recently changed its sign to read:

Begin to weave and God will provide you with the thread.

I’ve heard a similar statement made by Christians trying to "convert" those of different religious persuasions, but it goes something like, "Just have faith in Jesus and He will show Himself to you." This isn’t something that is used only by fundamentalists or TV evangelists. I’ve heard it from far more moderate sects.

The problem, of course, is that it’s a "cart before the horse" sort of thing. The request is for someone to reach a conclusion before seeing any evidence… just have faith in Jesus (the conclusion) and He will show Himself to you (the evidence).

Faith, of course, in a religious context, is belief that is not based on evidence, so the evidence is something that is somewhat irrelevant here, not just because you’re supposed to get to the conclusion without it, but also because, in this case, it’s non-existent (before or after your application of faith). Jesus doesn’t appear and play a game of Frisbee with people and visions, hearing voices, and Jesus pareidolia don’t really qualify as "appearing."

Requesting evidence for religious claims is something that, for some reason, tends to offend a lot of fundamentalists. Not all of them, of course, but enough that it makes them seem a bit disingenuous. If someone makes a claim (Jesus was born of a virgin… Jesus performed miracles… Jesus rose from the dead… Jesus is God… God is real) without providing supporting evidence, he has no justification for being upset that his claims are dismissed. This, in general, is a huge failure of theists (of any denomination) and is, perhaps, the reason that "faith" is placed in a position of such high regard.

With no evidence to back them up, all they have is faith.

2 Comments

  1. Eric Reitan says:

    Dan: This post inspired me to reflect a bit on the phenomenon of belief-in-search-of-evidence in my own blog. In case you’re interested, you can find it here: http://thepietythatliesbetween.blogspot.com/2010/01/belief-in-search-of-evidence.html

    1. Dan says:

      Thanks for the comment, Eric. I thoroughly enjoyed your post. I’ll comment on it at your site. 🙂

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