You have not found me at all … (is flat earth faith)


I saw a lovely post the other day by  Wally Fry: Truth in Palmyra – “Yep” …

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It encapsulates something Terminally Toxic for me in the “Christian Tradition”.  What I call “Faith By Sight”  – a corporate (and personal) “faith” that needs to know.

A “faith” of behaviours and belief which requires me to know that “this” is possible before embarking upon any course of action. A “faith” that will continue doing what it has always done until it “knows” that any change will achieve the “desired outcome”, that any change is sustainable, that is within the ability levels of those currently available, that it can be funded and that it will be compliant – a faith that fears what is over the horizon – a “faith” that fears what it cannot see – a “flat earth faith”.

“Faith” that is not faith at all.  Faith that is “Faith By Sight, FBS” – a “faith” also described in the bible.  Remember the disciples?

“Give us faith.”  Remember Jesus’ reply?

“One single atom is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more than enough.”

“Jesus said to his disciples, “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.” “ Luke 21:12-19

They WILL arrest you and persecute you. They WILL hand you over. You WILL be brought before. This WILL give you. You WILL be betrayed. You WILL be hated.

But …

FBS hears these words and says “That is really helpful”. Says “We must talk about this.” Says “We have discussed something similar before”. Says “We tried this before and it didn’t work out.” Says “I am not sure we have anyone who could do all that right now.” Says

“But … “

Two “buts” – the same three letters with a totally different context.

“So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.”

Faith By Sight is me telling God that I don’t need Him, that I have this covered, that I run things around here, that I can’t trust Him to run things around here, that I know better. It is me making up my mind that I know better than God.  And more and more I see this “faith by sight” everywhere.

I keep bumping into well-meaning and good-hearted people who cannot – and will not – hand over control. I see the colleges of God perpetuating that mindset: qualified clergy, educated theologians, full-time God experts … the production line of “called” clergy who are moulded to become leaders in a faith hierarchy. Faith hierarchies that control. That always have. That always will.  Because what other purpose does a hierarchy have?

“So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.”

We have no trouble “making up our minds” – we are experts at making up our minds!  We make up our minds on a kindness, a whim, a moment, a misunderstanding, a deceit, a lie.  It’s just we prefer to believe we make up our minds with “good stuff” – with God stuff.  Making up our minds is not THE issue with faith or belief – or even “God” – or anything!

Knowing is THE issue we don’t mention.  Control is the issue we sweep under the carpet.  Faith by sight – flat earth faith – is the issue we never talk about.

Is that because “it” is dangerous?  Is it because FBS needs to know?  Is it because FBS fears?  Might it be that FBS has “needs” … ?

Unlike love without condition … unlike faith without sight … unlike this God in the bible we like to read – who NEVER needs … NEVER fears … never EVER (ever)?

This morning, in meeting God, my question is simple:

“Why do we even call that “faith” at all?”

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