Johnny Skeptic

Faith

Most Christians place great emphasis upon faith, but a number of Scriptures put great emphasis upon tangible, firsthand evidence. Consider the following Scriptures:

 

Consider the following Scriptures that emphasize faith:

 

Matthew 14:28-31

“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

Matthew 17:20

“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Mark 16:14

 

“Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”

 

John 20:24-29

 

“But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

 

Hebrews 11:1

 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

 

Consider the following Scriptures that emphasize faith AND tangible firsthand evidence:

 

John 2:23

 

“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.”

 

John 3:2

 

“The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

 

John 10:37-38

 

“If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.”

 

John 11:43-45

 

“And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.”

 

John 20:30-31

 

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples which are not written in this book. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

 

Those texts show that some people would not accept Jesus based upon his words alone, and that he provided them with tangible, firsthand evidence that convinced them to accept his words. Even after the Holy Spirit supposedly came to the church, in the NIV, Acts 14:3 says “So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.” Considering that Jesus had performed many miracles in front of thousands of people, including many miracles that were not recorded, and had appeared to hundreds of people after he rose from the dead, and had criticized his disciples for their unbelief, and that there were thousands of surviving eyewitnesses who were still around, and that the Holy Spirit had come to the church, I find it to be quite odd that God provided even more tangible, firsthand evidence. In my opinion, this brings into question the truthfulness of the claims.

 

Now imagine what would have happened if there had been 10,000 only begotten Sons of Gods all over the world instead of only one only begotten Son of God, and had performed miracles all over the world, and had been crucified, and had risen from the dead. In such a case, in for instance the first century, the Christian church would have been much larger than it was. Surely the Middle East was not the only place in the entire world where people placed great emphasis upon tangible, firsthand evidence.