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And They Needed No Faith


dB-Paradox

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One of the major turning points in my Christian faith came when realizing that Thomas, one of the twelve disciples, needed absolutely no faith to believe. I'm referring to Jesus' resurrection. When Thomas saw Jesus (and yes the Bible makes it clear that Thomas physically saw Jesus standing right in front of him) he still needed proof that Jesus was real. He physically talked with Jesus, physically saw him, and yet he needed to touch the nail wounds. Instead of saying, "You of little faith" or "You're gonna burn in hell for your lack of belief", Jesus simply complies with Thomas' request. In fact, in thinking back to that day, none of the disciples would have actually needed faith...well, blind faith. They may have needed to have faith that Jesus could do the things he said he could do, but that's no different than having faith in a mechanic to fix your car. And now, 2000 years later, we're expected to have blind faith in Jesus! Something Jesus didn't even expect from his contemporaries! That's why I don't believe the Bible.

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Actually, while Thomas seems the prime candidate here (and I've focused on him myself), all the wonder apostles fail. As you're well aware the story goes that the apostles are told that the tomb is empty by the lowly women. And the lowly women are told my some angels or maybe just a couple of unknown guys. Who really knows, right? I mean, the stories vary a bit. Whatever the case the tomb is empty because "jesus" did the impossible. He is risen! (He is risen indeed! Sorry...old habits). Now upon hearing this news what happens? Do the apostles believe and rejoice? Do they get all fired up and start preaching the good news far and wide? Nope. They don't believe. They do various things according to the reports. Maybe they go to a mountain to check out this "jesus" where they may or may not be convinced. Maybe they rush to see this tomb for themselves. At some point this "jesus" might appear to eat some food so they know he's not a ghost but something different (because a ghost simply will not do). Whatever the case they aren't convinced on the testimony alone. Not at all. Not a single one of them. Not the greatest of them. Not the least of them. Not any of them. None of them says or does anything because of "faith." And later on Saul only switches sides because of his personal revelation. Not because of the testimony of the people he is persecuting. Not a single solitary one of the mighty apostles (including S/Paul) were convinced on faith alone. Not a one.

 

mwc

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Excellent points. I never really thought about it like that. None of them really needed faith, and yet they demand so much of it from everyone else. Very suspicious.

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He is risen! (He is risen indeed! Sorry...old habits).

 

Ahahahaha I love it! I used to call those "unresponsive readings."

 

Not a single solitary one of the mighty apostles (including S/Paul) were convinced on faith alone. Not a one.

 

I have to wonder why those details are included in the gospel. Details like this, and like how many fish were in the net the second time Peter's Fishing Co. went out with Jesus as bait. They're weird, jarring pointless details that either detract from the story or make the disciples look stupid. Maybe that's the point? To give the stories an air of authenticity?

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Faith is a debatable one. Most xians take their definition from Hebrews 11:

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

The thing is this really isn't too bad of a definition. Basically the word is used by many authors in a way that means "that which gives confidence" and further along those lines "assurance" and "conviction" both fall under that. It's the "things not seen" that I'm having a little problem with. I can't seem to find any real direct support for this (other than here). Maybe it was implied/inferred? The "hoped for" seems to be supported in that the word is also used with "trust" and along with oaths and the like. So the first half makes sense in this respect. The "things not seen" seems less likely to be supported by the word itself and more likely that it is supported by the argument in the rest of Hebrews (as does the "things hoped for" but to a lessor extent).

 

Based on the word usage alone I would say that the author is almost saying they are making an investment in something they've never seen but heard was a good deal and are expecting a great return on their "investment" of faith (as defined in the rest of the document or by the authority...it would appear "obedience" could be considered a part of this from just skimming the rest of Hebrews 11 since it mentions plenty of OT actions).

 

mwc

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paradox, i had that question early on as a christian. I was told that any christians since that time got special gifts/crowns in heaven for their faith, that and were given the holy spirit something the diciples never had.

 

I never liked that answer, but it satisified me for years - till I finally realized that it was pretty much all BS.

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paradox, i had that question early on as a christian. I was told that any christians since that time got special gifts/crowns in heaven for their faith, that and were given the holy spirit something the diciples never had.

 

I never liked that answer, but it satisified me for years - till I finally realized that it was pretty much all BS.

You should have realized it was BS a lot sooner. The synoptics never really say it but there is:

John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

and

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

These kind of indicate the disciples had the HS (although one says it was in the room at the first appearance and the other says it wasn't until Pentecost...maybe some got a double dose since a couple of guys were absent?).

 

mwc

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You should have realized it was BS a lot sooner.

 

Heck of a lot easier to recongnize and admit BS when you aren't the ONLY person you have ever met who thinks that it is. I never met ANYONE who wasn't christian in some way, shape or form until I was 16, and then it was ONE person - who had moved into the area. I didn't meet anyone else who didn't believe what I was told until I was 19 and in basic training - and again, it was 1 person. Not until I finally transferred to my four year college when I was 25 did I meet any groups of people who didn't believe what I had been told all those years. It's easy for me to admit the bs now - but when you are brainwashed from childhood on, and don't even know of another live human who believes otherwise - it's a bit harder to call bs on something. It'd be like truly trying to believe that the world is still flat when no one else thinks that.

 

The op questioned why these christians seem to have differing standards - that's the answer I was always given - wasn't trying to convince anyone with it!

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The op questioned why these christians seem to have differing standards - that's the answer I was always given - wasn't trying to convince anyone with it!

Okay. Calm down. We all believed the BS (seems you wised up in less time than I did). I wasn't singling you out.

 

mwc

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