Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: Child-like Faith does not mean Stupidity

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Child-like Faith does not mean Stupidity

I recently had a reader of "The Beast's Lair" email me and requested that I share my faith with them. I was happy to oblige.

In the course of my brief email, I acknowledged the importance of my child-like faith in God and His Word. I also mentioned my background in religious education and full time church teaching. The Beast's Lair is partly an avenue for me to attempt to bring insightful matters of faith with some intellect.

I think perhaps the phrase "child-like faith" may be a stumbling block for our more educated folk out there. Upon first hearing the words, a picture is drawn of a person just blindly and without thought accepting everything that is offered from the church and from Scripture. The idea is that we have no purpose or anything to gain by deeply studying and wrestling with the text and issues. In fact, perhaps by doing so, by taking a closer look, we are undermining the very faith in which we place our lives and future.

The problem is that this concept of child-like faith just isn't Biblical. Child-like faith and an intellectual knowledge of the Bible and of your faith are not opposing forces. Rather, they attract one another. 2nd Timothy 4:2 says "preach the word, be ready in season and out of season; convince, rebuke, exhort with great patience and instruction." 1st Peter 3:15 says ". . .always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you. . ." I don't think Peter means that we should just say "hey man, I just believe it. Period." when someone asks us about our faith. You cannot "convince" as Timothy says or give a "defense" as Peter says without knowing your stuff. In fact, the power of our child-like faith is that we know it is true! The reason we have faith like a child is because we have "studied to show ourselves approved." (2nd Timothy 2:15) The children who approached Jesus in Mark 10 were convinced that He would accept them and love them. We need to have that same kind of conviction. When Jesus says in Mark 10:15 that "whoever does receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it," He does not mean that we are to approach it without knowing anything. He means that we are to fully rest on the assurance that Christ will not reject those who recognize their sin and turn from it to Him.

Sure, there are bumbling idiots in the Christian world who make the whole thing look bad. But there are bumbling idiots in every field of life who make that particular thing look bad. There is nothing shallow about the Christian faith. Study hard. Use your mind. And then allow your faith to deepen in Christ like a child.


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