Sunday, June 24, 2007

What is Faith?

Faith is the new buzz word for the presidential campaign in 2008. Politicians have recognized the impact of "faith based voters" in the Republican victory of 2004; and their disaffection, leading to the Democratic victory of 2006. Now everyone wants to talk about their faith.

(As a side note, my blog title refers to true, saving faith; as described in the Bible)

Recently (well, over two weeks ago :) the Democratic presidential candidates got together to talk about faith. Today, I focus on Hillary Clinton, from a transcript of this video or a similar one.

Clinton said, "I come from a tradition that is perhaps a little too suspicious of people who wear their faith on their sleeves". I assume she is speaking of Methodism (that's what wikipedia lists as her religion). That means she is Christian. So:

  1. Either she believes the Bible, or she is a cultural Christian. It's ok for her to be a cultural Christian, lots of people are.
  2. If she believes the Bible, then she believes in the final judgment and Heaven and Hell.
  3. If she believes in final judgment, she must realize that many people are going to Hell.
  4. If she believes the Bible, she holds the keys to Heaven and Hell. If she says nothing (keeping her "faith" private and personal), she doesn't care if people go to Hell.
Either she doesn't believe the Bible, or she has not followed the logical conclusion of her beliefs. Not following the logical conclusions of one's beliefs is a common problem for people, so I wouldn't hold that against her.

The problem is; if she one day does follow the logical conclusions, she may reject Christianity (Some people do. They refuse to believe in a God of justice, and create an "all loving and forgiving" god. This heresy is called "universalism").

So, Clinton is (giving her the benefit of the doubt) a "cultural Christian".

So what is her "faith"? It is certainly faith in herself. She says, "I am very grateful that I had a grounding in faith that gave me the courage and the strength to do what I thought was right, regardless of what the world thought".

Let me note here that true faith is doing what God thinks is right, regardless of what the world thinks.

No comments: