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faith vs. religion

Uploaded by Brent R Goodin on May 09, 2004

Faith is not easy to find in this generation of lost souls. What prevents people from having faith? A Christian might answer, “The Fall of Man is where it began.” Corruption, self-centeredness, sloth, lust and an epidemic of amoral behavior has tainted humanity. As I wrote this paper in the study lounge of my Dormitory, I asked an open question to a bunch of freshmen attending Boston College: “What is something you really believe in? It could be anything.” Not one of almost twenty students had an answer. Thus with a waning of faith, ensues a deterioration of religion.

Having a belief does not imply one has faith nor does having faith betoken religion. The relationship between faith and religion is definite but not one of equality. It is possible to have more than one faith, for faith impregnates a believer with individuality. Just as actions can define people, so can their faiths.

To wholeheartedly believe is faith. Faith is characterized by an unconditional trust or confidence in something, whether it is inanimate or animate, abstract or concrete, physical or spiritual. Mark Miller, the author of Experiential Storytelling: Rediscovering Narrative to Communicate God’ Message, explains, “Faith is the eyes of being in love.” When in love, everything looks different, thus being outside of a faith (not in love) induces a lack of understanding. People often claim to believe in something, but, after brief self-analysis they discover that they are ridden with conflicting beliefs (e.g. homosexuality and Catholicism). As each belief is undermined, toppled, or unaffected by the preceding, it becomes apparent that their understanding of themselves is limited. Nevertheless, for every argument there is a counterargument; the key is to find where one stands; that standpoint is a belief. Once a belief is adopted fully, it translates to faith. Humanity uses ‘faith as a shield’ or a defense mechanism to protect the self. In terms of human relationships, trust is a precursor that imbues faith in relationships. For example, if a student continually enters the class late than the professor will have faith that he will be tardy all the time. The professor has no reason to trust the student to be punctual based upon previous attendance record.

In contrast, religion does not prerequisite trust; in fact,...

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Uploaded by:   Brent R Goodin

Date:   05/09/2004

Category:   Religion

Length:   4 pages (915 words)

Views:   1838

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