Michael Battalio

Monday, June 29, 2009

This I Believe (11, comments from pt. 10)

I explicitly said that faith and hope were two different things in the last post. I don’t see why you’re now trying to convince me of this. I also never defined faith and hope, so I don’t see how it appears that I’m confused between the two. Also what you gave wasn’t a definition. “Faith is having [hope] in a faith dimension.” That isn’t helpful at all.

As far as children and religion goes, obviously it was a mistake of me to talk about Dawkins even once. The posts from a year ago where I talk about Dawkins were simply me expressing my thoughts on Dawkins. I do not agree with him on most things. So, I assure you, you don’t need to convince me that he says some stupid things. Two, there is no possible way those studies are unbiased because they are trying to quantify qualitative results.

Again, the church is more than the beliefs it espouses. The church is the people that make up the church. I attend church for more than participating in religious ceremonies. I attend for the people and the community.
I also stay because I love playing the music. Notice I said play and not perform. I do not care about showing off my talents. I do it because I enjoy it. The music I play in church is the closest I get to having faith anymore. If God exists, then I believe and am comfortable with what the Catholic Church does and says.

Again, I realize that faith and hope are different; I said that explicitly. But I disagree that if I don’t believe I can’t hope, because that’s exactly how I feel. For the very reason that hope is not faith, I can hope and still not have faith. And no, I’m not courageous. I am human; that’s why we need God isn’t it?

I keep going to church because I want everything the church says to be true. I do understand that wanting (hope) it to be true, believing (faith) it to be true, and it actually being true are completely different things. I also know, however, that after great moments of doubt there often come great moments of faith. I want to always have my foot in the door of the church so to speak. That’s why I don’t leave.
Question: you say that you will only make it to heaven “if [you] have faith, and inherently in [your] heart KNOW that He will take [you]”, but you say two sentences later that “No one knows, MBat!” I’m really confused. Do you know or don’t you? Or am I missing something?

A new thought: I do think that being a good person alone helps you get into heaven. 1 Corinthians 13:13-“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” The greatest of these is love, not faith. The question is does being a loving, charitable and hopeful person make up for not having a strong faith. I would argue yes. Obviously others would argue no. Perhaps I’m being narcissistic, but I just don’t see how a God who gives us reason would then demand we have faith (which is contrary to reason) for salvation when there is a reasonable doubt whether God exists.


Anonymous said...

Anon 2 posting:

I still haven't thought about what to say for the previous post (last paragraph). I am still reflecting. But from this newest and latest post, I seem to sense defensiveness on your part. No one is arguing with you, and you do seem narcissistic when you post in this particular way. I am really trying my best here, and I'm holding it in...Nevertheless, I have some points to make about your latest post.

1. You did not explicitly define faith and hope, and I assume you believe they are equated. You just do not understand what I am saying, and I believe you really need to reflect a little more on what I said. I don't understand why you are arguing with me on this point as well. I'm trying to have you to reflect on the terms. Once again, allow me to explain myself... What is Faith? What is Hope? The easiest way to define exactly what these two similar yet extremely different ideas mean is to compare them to each other. On a very superficial level they may seem extremely similar but the fact is that I personally believe that they are different. Faith and hope are not mutually inclusive but do "overlap" one another, when they are broken down, as you will see, they are two entirely different ideas. Many people have pondered this idea for years and I have to be truly honest. Ever since I was asked this question, I have not been able to get it out of my mind and have had discussions with other people to get their ideas on it so that I could come up with my own conclusions. When you look at it, faith is basically the idea that we know and trust in something that we cannot see and we know it in our heart. Hope looks towards the future while faith does as well but has a deep base in the past and what "has" happened. To have faith is not just to trust but also to believe not only in what your faith stands for but to believe in your trust behind that faith. Human beings are born with a sense of faith but it is up to any individual to form and change their faith based on individual experiences.

Anonymous said...

Continued from last post...

2. You should steer clear of Dawkins if you are "hoping" as you say. Dawkins is anti-hope, anti-faith. I understand that you stated that Dawkins was not always correct in his assumptions or "theories". I agree. He is the enemy's tool for deception, and he can be refuted and has been several times, even by atheists.

3. Question: you say that you will only make it to heaven “if [you] have faith, and inherently in [your] heart KNOW that He will take [you]”, but you say two sentences later that “No one knows, MBat!” I’m really confused. Do you know or don’t you? Or am I missing something?...Mbat, you know what I am saying...don't play dumb. You're not the only one with whom I have debated that has played these games with me. Come on, I will NOT play games. And I will not explain myself further on this issue. If you still don't understand, and I am completely wrong (which I don't believe I am), then reflect on what I stated in the previous post.

4. And your last paragraph actually made me sick to my stomach, and I'm trying to be genuinely civil here. Being a good person cannot alone guarantee anything. You seem to be trying to play psychological warfare games with me in this latest post, and I understand your technique. You're not the only one who has tried to debate me playing dumb. If you are a Catholic, you know that being good is not alone enough for salvation. Why would there be a need for Christ anyway if this were the case? Faith is required for salvation. The Bible clearly states this. I believe your problem stems from not wanting to believe the word of the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Continued from last post...

Some points you should consider...
A. The "good works" of unsaved people are "dead", and are as "filthy rags" to God.

But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Isaiah 64:6

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 9:14

B. We are under Satan's control until we are spiritually reborn through faith in Jesus.

It is very important to understand this fact. As long as we are under Satan's control, it is virtually impossible for us to do anything that pleases God. Until we have become God's adopted child, we are not yet in His family of saints. We don't yet have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we have not yet yielded ourselves to His perfect will. We are still doing things our own way, not His. We are still vile, wicked creatures in God's eyes because we are still covered from head to toe in our filthy sins. They have not yet been washed away. Because we are not yet on God's side, doing the works He wants us to do, we are still working for His enemy (Satan).

To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Acts 26:18 (this is a quote from Christ)

He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
Luke 11:23

Anonymous said...

C. We are saved by faith and grace, not works. Good works after our spiritual rebirth signifies true faith.

When interpreting the Bible verses below, it is important to recognize that they're referring to "salvation", not heavenly "rewards". Salvation is concerned with how we get into Heaven. Rewards deal with the degree or extent of the rewards we get once we're there. Failing to make this distinction when interpreting verses like these can cause all kinds of confusion and wrong applications of the verses in question. After we've been spiritually regenerated (reborn), we can lose some of our eternal rewards by our sins, but not our salvation.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves [it is] the gift of God Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Romans 3:26-28

D. God is not impressed by the "good works" and prayers of non-Christians.

The sacrifice of the wicked [is] an abomination to the LORD but the prayer of the upright [is] his delight.
Proverbs 15:8

He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination. Proverbs 28:9

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:8

Many who are involved in non-Christian religions are very moral. Some even make great personal sacrifices for others. In the previous sections, we saw that God say's He is essentially disgusted by the prayers, sacrifices and "good works" of those who do not first place their faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation. For those who refuse to have faith in Jesus, God tells us that He will laugh at and even mock them. He also will not hear their prayers. As you will see in the verses below, He also expects Christians to avoid giving any praise to them. He also tells us to avoid participating in any way with their efforts to spread their false doctrines. However, He still expects to do our part to help them see the truth when we feel guided by the Holy Spirit to do so. The modern "tolerance" movement promotes the idea that everyone's beliefs are equal, and that we should be accepting of all other beliefs. Many false religions also promote this idea. However, it is clear from the verses below that God intends for us to take a stand against anything that contradicts His Holy and perfect Word in the Bible. Consider the following verses the next time someone tells you you're wrongly "judging" others by taking a stand against their false religion, immoral behavior, their promotion of the false religion of evolutionism...

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
1 Timothy 5:20

This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
Titus 1:13

These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Titus 2:15

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2 Timothy 4:2

He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
Proverbs 28:23

Open rebuke [is] better than secret love.
Proverbs 27:5

All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Timothy 3:16

Michael B. said...

I'll write a new post tomorrow addressing things, but let me just say that one, I don't feel like I'm being defensive, but I suppose that out of context it might seem that I am. Two, why are you assuming I am equating faith and hope when I explicitly said and I quote, "Hoping and having faith are two different things."?
Three, as for point (3) I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want to know. I'm sure it sounds like a stupid question to you, but humor me. I actually want to know.
I realize this will sound like I'm being defensive, but to be honest, I don't care about you enough to spend time trying to come up with psychological games. Explicitly, you aren't that important to me. You have an interesting viewpoint to me; that is all you are though. All I want is to develop my beliefs, and you are helping that, so that is why I still address you.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 2 posting...
Mbat, I don't believe anything you just stated is true, however, mbat, for the sake of being civil, I will accept it and move on, simply because you are growing and perhaps may decide after all to dismantle atheism (not because I said you should do so, but because you exhibit the classic signs of a doubter of athesism...and through this indecisive doubt, you may combat it with the weapons you can receive through faith in Christ)...I look forward to hearing from your latest post...

2003-2016 Michael Battalio (michael[at]battalio.com)