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God Does Not Have Faith (Tue Aug 1, 2006 8:52 am)

God IS, so there is no need for faith. Humans need faith because we do not have certitude. If you meet one who has certitude - run. It is either God, or a very stupid person. Humans have a need for certitude. We strive for it and come very close about some things. I am certain that the sun will rise tomorrow, but then I am not certain that I will be around to see it. Always, there is that uncertainty with us humans.

Then there is the so-called "certitude of faith" that people claim and proclaim. At first this might appear to be an oxymoron, like a square circle. But by hedging a bit one might claim that "I am pretty certain that I have faith," or "I am certain about my faith." But this is more like a wish than certitude which demands observable proof. Mysteries are not subject to proof. It is much like saying "I know that space is up there and I have faith in what scientist say about it."

Certitude is so comforting. It is much like the warm blanket of your childhood. Jesus advises us to accept the kingdom with the faith of a child. But then Paul says when you grow to adulthood you can no longer keep the faith of a child, but must have the faith of an adult. Like it or not, doubt is always the test of mature faith. A thinking adult rarely has great faith without first having great doubts. The astute scripture scholar Fr. John McKenzie wrote, "It is true that the price of maturation is that the simple joys of happiness of childhood must be renounced. They are renounced because maturity offers far deeper joys and happiness; and the adult who looks back with genuine longing on his or her childhood is in serious trouble."

The Church teaches its dogma with infallible certitude. Every church, every religion, must do that. Otherwise they could not touch the human longing we have to join with the divine certitude of God. But alas, they all must deal with the inability of humans to achieve certitude and thus they all require faith. Hence it is that a mature faith involves a mature conscience which must sit in judgment over what constitutes the truths of faith without the benefit of certitude. Someday when united with God we will have it. But in the meantime, uncertainty is the undeniable gift that God gives to every person so that there is always room for doubt and hence growth in wisdom, knowledge, and faith.

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