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“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). And, “The just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11).

Some fellow writing in to our local paper thought he was slamming Christians when he said, “Religious people do everything by faith; science deals with hard facts.”

Give them credit. When I wrote a response to that slanderous statement, the editors ran my letter.

The simple fact is everyone on the planet lives by faith.

LIFE is a faith thing, For everyone.

We wake up in the morning without a thought as to whether the air in the room will be breathable and the oxygen in the air will be sufficient for everyone on the planet. Without a conscious effort and no hesitation or doubt, we inhale and begin to stir and head to the bathroom, where we turn on the faucet. We have never been to the water filtration plant and have no knowledge of all the steps unseen people there take to purify the water, making it safe for us to bathe in and even to drink. We use it by faith.

We open the pantry and refrigerator and take out foods for breakfast. The strawberries are from California, the blueberries from Chile, and the milk from a dairy in another state. The cereal was produced in Battle Creek, Michigan, and the coffee originated in South America. Will you be poisoned today? It has happened, you know. You were not alongside the inspectors of those berries or the FDA people overseeing those plants or the agricultural people checking out the coffee beans at the port. However, you give this no thought and open the newspaper and eat your cereal. By faith.

You live by faith.

On the highways, you live by faith.

You will pass hundreds of automobiles today, many of them at high rates of speed and going in opposite directions from you only a few feet away. Anything could happen, and has happened. A driver could fall asleep, be distracted, be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or suddenly have a seizure of some kind. His car would then veer out of control and do great damage. And yet, you give this no thought as you merge into interstate traffic.

You drive by faith.

Even with excellent drivers, something could happen to one of the cars, and has happened. A tire could blow, an engine could shut down or brakes could fail. Suddenly, bedlam erupts on the interstate and bad things happen. And yet, you scarcely give this possibility a thought. You are a person of incredible faith.

Faith in what? You have faith in thousands of drivers you have never seen and do not know, as well as faith in their vehicles and in the system that is supposed to keep them in good repair.

You have faith in the medical system.

You go to a doctor whom you have never met who diagnoses a problem you’ve never heard of. They give you a prescription you cannot read, which you take to a pharmacy where you never see the druggist. Later, you open the dispenser and take out a pill you do not recognize and, following the directions on the label, you open wide and swallow.

You have incredible faith, my friend. Admirable faith.

When your doctor prescribes tests, you obediently submit to the battery of procedures in some unfamiliar building where strange machines probe your body and invade your orifices. Later, when the doctor produces odd-looking printouts and describes some foreign-sounding condition you’ve never heard of, you agree to go into the hospital for surgery. People you do not know and have never met will take you to the edge of death, do life-threatening things to the inside of your body and (hopefully) bring you back again.

Tell me you don’t live by faith! What a joke.

Everyone who goes into a restaurant lives by faith.

Where did your food originate? Did the handlers in the kitchen observe safe practices? Do they wash their hands? Did anyone cough on your food or even—perish the thought—spit in it? Did another diner reject the plate you are now being served? Did that steak fall on the floor in the kitchen and they merely picked it up again and replaced it on the plate? You have no way of knowing.

When was the last time the health department inspected this restaurant? What grade did they receive? Have they done anything about their cockroach problem? Are the floors and countertops clean?

No one—well, not one person in a thousand—checks out these things. We live by faith.

Well, we could go on like this all day.

Schools: We do not check out each teacher of our children or monitor everything that goes on in the classroom or the playground. We take a major chance when we allow strangers to teach our children. It’s called faith.

Churches: Your kids are traveling with the youth minister to that distant event. Is he trustworthy? Will everyone be kept safe? Is the church van road-worthy? Is the driver attentive? Are the pastors and the teachers of your church people of integrity? You have faith that they are.

Police: We give incredible respect and liberty to law enforcers to come and go in our communities. What if they are not honest and not moral? They could do great damage, and this has been known to happen. And yet, we sleep securely at night in the faith that they are doing the job they were trained and assigned to do.

Modern transportation: Trains, ships and airplanes have pilots and engineers, controllers and mechanics. Every trip we make, we put faith in a host of people whom we will never meet without the slightest idea whether the faith is well-grounded or not. And almost daily, we hear of accidents caused by an inattentive engineer, a distracted pilot or a drunk captain.

Everyone lives by faith. Everyone on the planet.

There are questions, however, that should be asked and issues that need clarifying...

1. We live by faith, but faith in whom?

2. Is our faith well-founded or are we giving blind confidence to someone or something?

3. Why do we do a thousand things by faith in people we do not know, then look suspiciously at Scriptures which call on us to place our faith (our confidence) in a holy and loving God?

4. Where did the idea originate that scientists deal only with cold hard facts? Pardon me while I laugh at the idea. No one on the planet lives with nothing but cold hard facts, least of all researchers who are forever carrying out experiments in search of something or other.

5. The question is not “Will I live by faith?” but “faith in whom?”

6. No one has earned our faith and trust like the Lord Jesus Christ. We can trust the One who died for us. And we can trust what He says after heaven and hell, the devil and the Heavenly Father, life and death because of His credentials.

It was to this issue Jesus was speaking when He said to Nicodemus, “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from Heaven, even the Son of Man” (John 3:13).

Recently, a skeptical man said to me, “You ask us to take everything by faith.  Show me someone who has come back from the dead to tell us and I’ll believe.” I said, “Where have you been, friend? Jesus came back from the dead.”

He did not accept that, which was not surprising. He simply had made up his mind not to believe; therefore no amount of evidence was acceptable to him.

As our Lord said in His story of the rich man and Lazarus, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31). (Note: The term “Moses and the Prophets” refers to the Old Testament scriptures.)

7. The Lord does not require great faith from us. He said, “If you had faith as a mustard seed, you could do miracles” (see Luke 17:6).

Those who trot out that lame excuse that “I don’t do anything by faith” should open their eyes and use their brains. They do a thousand things a day by faith. So this excuse holds no water.

People disbelieve in Jesus Christ because they have made up their minds not to believe. And they do that because to admit that He is Lord would require wholesale lifestyle changes, and that’s what they are unwilling to do.

Truth matters less to them than their own pleasures.

And that is the cold, hard fact of the matter.



Dr. Joe McKeever is a preacher, cartoonist and the retired Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans. Currently he loves to serve as a speaker/pulpit fill for revivals, prayer conferences, deacon trainings, leadership banquets and other church events. Visit him and enjoy his insights on nearly 50 years of ministry at JoeMcKeever.com.

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Bobby Bodenhamer

commented on May 20, 2014

Another good one, Joe. Excellent thinking. In my opinion it takes more faith to believe that there is not a God than it takes to believe that there is a God. Hope you are well. - Bob

Doug Hagler

commented on May 20, 2014

This article is based on a basic misunderstanding of faith. It is a false equivalency between existential faith in Jesus based in things that are not verifiable and cognitive faith in the scientific method, which produces results that are all verifiable. The two are quite different, and to say that "everyone lives by faith" is to miss the point entirely. The thing is, science fulfills its own claims. Does Christianity? If Christian faith was based on something independently verifiable, it would be as universal as the scientific method. There would be no need to make any kind of contrast - but the reality is that the contrast is stark. Scientists argue about how gravity works, and then go test their ideas. Theologians argue about how God works, and keep arguing, because there is no measurement possible, no explanatory model that can be tested.

Adrian Hernandez

commented on May 20, 2014

Well, scientists always rely on someone else as they are always continuing someone elses experiment, work, etc. No human being can know for certain 100 of anything, so, you always have faith that what you learned is correct. This can always fail, so, it is no different than faith in GOD. For example, science can calculate the acceleration of gravity, and it is constant (doesn't change, same accelaration in China, or USA). But, do we know exactly how gravity does its work? Science tries to explain things, but, it is and never will be a absolute truth. Scientists do admit that science is not the truth with a capital T, that we may in the future discard what we think is true for a better hypothesis or theory. I think science is great, I am a computer engineer and always loved science as a kid, but science can't explain everything, nor is does it exist for that purpose. Take the Big Bang, it tries to explain how the universe was created from an explosion, but, what caused the explosion, where did the matter come from (you don't explode a vaccum, you need at least 1 substance or element, plus a physical reaction (like electricity), or 2 or more elements/susbtances that when mixed together cause a chemical reaction and explode). The debate of how the Big Bang occured is still a mistery, and forever will be (like the old saying "who came first, the chicken or the egg").

Geovanna Toliver-Bean

commented on May 20, 2014

Exactly! That's what makes Him God! I like the poetic version of King James: "Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?" Job 11:7. I'm not a scientist; I can't argue for or against scientific points or theories. I don't have that type of mind. Thank God I don't need it--all I need is FAITH!

Dr. Ronald Shultz

commented on May 21, 2014

Exactly! You will never get God under a microscope but you can see His fingerprints and signature everywhere in everything. Faith is trust. You can trust in a great nothing that created out of nothing or a Great Creator who created ex nilhilo. You can trust that the end is a lifeless frozen universe or an universe of endless life with the Creator. Creation is far more sensible than evolution.

Jeff Strite

commented on May 20, 2014

Doug wrote that McKeever?s article represented ?a false equivalency between existential faith in Jesus based in things that are not verifiable and cognitive faith in the scientific method, which produces results that are all verifiable.? No, that wasn?t what the article was about. It was about pointing out that everybody lives a life of faith in something. Doug?s is in ?science?, which is a good discipline, but flawed. The flaw is in the dependence people have on it. It presumes ?scientists? are always unbiased and principled individuals. While in many cases that is true? it isn?t always so. A Professor Frank Wolfs (Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester) noted that "personal and cultural beliefs influence both our perceptions and our interpretations of natural phenomena." If the hypothesis-testing process fails to eliminate most of the personal and cultural biases of the community of investigators, false hypotheses can survive the testing process and then be accepted as correct descriptions of the way the world works. This has happened in the past, and it happens today.

Stephen Ventura

commented on May 20, 2014

Excellent! Great points. Well said Joe.

Jeff Strite

commented on May 20, 2014

Doug Hagler wrote that McKeever?s article represented ?a false equivalency between existential faith in Jesus based in things that are not verifiable and cognitive faith in the scientific method, which produces results that are all verifiable.?? No, that wasn?t what the article was about. It was about pointing out that everybody lives a life of faith in something. Doug?s faith is in ?science?. He presumes that ?scientists? are always unbiased and unprejudiced individuals. While in many cases that is true, it isn?t always so. A Professor Frank Wolfs (Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester) noted that "personal and cultural beliefs influence both our perceptions and our interpretations of natural phenomena." If the hypothesis-testing process fails to eliminate most of the personal and cultural biases of the community of investigators, false hypotheses can survive the testing process and then be accepted as correct descriptions of the way the world works. This has happened in the past, and it happens today.

Lonnie Thompson

commented on May 20, 2014

Bro. Joe, a well thought out article. I really appreciate your courage to send this piece into the editor. Keep up the good work. I also enjoy your drawings.

Adrian Hernandez

commented on May 20, 2014

Adding to the discussion, the recent (last 20 years or so) discoveries of how the DNA works, the Human Genome map, and other genetic discoveries point to DNA being like software code (I am a computer programmer, so I understand these comparisons). Scientists are now discovering that DNA is the code that directs how an organism is to be formed, and how the next generation will be formed. Intelligent Design doesn't negate evolutionary theory (as some suggest by ignorance or convinence), rather, it proposes that DNA is an intelligent design that better explains how animals and humans evolve. Why, because DNA is data or information accumulated with obvious intelligence behind it. Evoluton tries to tell us that what appears to be intelligently designed, is caused by random, non-intelligent causes. This actually requires more faith, that believing in GOD. Everything humans have been able to accomplish required intelligence, analytical capabilities. Now, scientists who don't want to accept Intelligent Design as a theory that can compete with the Natural Selection part of evolution), this really requires more faith as human experience teaches us that behind anything created by humans their is intelligence behind it.

Joe Mckeever

commented on May 20, 2014

I'd be willing to bet, guys, that at this moment there are people out there inventing new categories of faith which they can then trot out and use on us ordinary folk to make us sound ignorant and them superior. Who knew there was an existential faith and a cognitive faith? Not this farm boy.

Todd Funk

commented on May 21, 2014

I think it helps to clarify a bit further the 3 types of faith people hold: Unreasonable, Blind,and Reasonable Unreasonable Faith- Believing in something IN SPITE of the evidence. We hold an unreasonable faith when we refuse to accept or acknowledge evidence that exists, is easily accessible and clearly refutes what we believe. Blind Faith- Believing in something WITHOUT any evidence. We hold a blind faith when we accept something even though there is no evidence to support our beliefs. We don't search for ANY evidence that either supports or refutes what we are determined to believe Reasonable Faith- Believing in something BECAUSE of the evidence. We hold a reasonable faith when we believe in something because it is the most reasonable conclusion from the evidence that exists

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