30 Oct 2011

What is Faith? What is PseudoFaith?

Submitted by Stephen Winters

(this article is in process of being written, and will be frequenlty update as more is added or changed.)

The Idea for this article came from a similarly Titled article "What is Science? What is Pseudoscience?1" The question that begs to be asked is how do we recognize true faith? The other question that follows is: "How do we recognize pseudofaith?

The key is, once you learn what true faith, it is easy to recognize the imitation.

 Let us take an example about how to recognize a genuine dollar bill

"A Lesson from the US Treasury

Many years ago, I was employed by a large bank in Louisville. Although I never attended these classes, I was told the Treasury Department conducts seminars for training bank tellers in identify counterfeit currency. Their training techniques are quite ingenious and effective and to everyone's surprise, never once are tellers shown actual counterfeit bills, rather, the Treasury agents teach bank tellers everything there is to know about genuine currency. The tellers are taught to recognize the special properties of the unique paper that is used for the printing of currency. The tellers learn about the special inks used in the making of paper money. In addition, the tellers are taught about the government's meticulous engraving techniques. By the time these classes are concluded, the bank tellers know all there is to know about real money. So familiar are they with the genuine, a fake bill passing through their hands is immediately recognized as a worthless phony!" http://jesustory.orgfree.com/treasury.html  

While I don't know if this story is true, it beautifully serves to illustrate the message of this article. Once we learn to recognize true faith, we won't be intimated or fooled by a pseudofaith.

In this Country countless demoninations, ministries, religious, businesses, media all use the name "Christian". So, instead of using the term "Christian" to describe faith, we shall look at what true faith looks like apart for any religious context. True faith is not a  label by any religious name

  • Faith is Internal. Similar to prayer in this regard, it does not cause anything to happen outside of us. Faith is a mental presence ... It causes us to act in certain ways.
  • Faith is incompatible with fear. Faith and fear control the same decision.
  • Faith isn't increased by laziness or inaction. i.e., you can't pray yourself into having more faith. (Faith without actions is dead.)
  • However, if you act on the tiny bit of your faith that you have, through the process of working through the task or ... at hand, your faith will be increase.

Think of the early settlers who lived in the east and heard of the new lands and opportunities that were available out west. It must have been a fearful thought for many of them, leaving family, friends, farams, homes. and going out to someplace they had never seen before. Yet many of them went out west. They had hope for a better life, and had faith enough to begin the journey. Many of them lost faith and returned to their old homes. Yet many had faith to continue until they recieved the object of their faith. The amount of their faith was unimportant. Their continued actions, fighting through the difficulties and .... that was what was important. Faith grows as you continue to do the actions prompted by the faith.

Faith is not like an isolated block that you can pick up and touch all the sides. Instead, faith is like a cloud, that overlaps and is intertwined with many other clouds. How can you isolate concepts like faith, trust, perseverance, hope,  Each of these concepts overlaps and interwined with each of the others. For example, you can't truly have faith in someone unless you truly trust him. How can you separate faith from hope?

True faith is like a journey, not an event. It doesn' t grow instantly just because we want to have or think that we have true faith.

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