"Faith for Jesus is the opposite of anxiety. If you are anxious, if you're trying to control everything, if you are worried about many things, you don't have faith, according to Jesus. You do not trust that God is good and on your side. You're trying to do it all yourself, lift yourself up by your own bootstraps.

"The giveaway is control. That's a good litmus test for the quality of your faith. People of faith don't have to control everything, nor do they have to change people...."

[Richard Rohr, Jesus' Plan for a New World: The Sermon on the Mount]

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Does not faith always contain an element of uncertainty? You have faith, meaning you believe something you cannot, ultimately, prove.



Spiny Norman said:

I agree that letting go is a powerful strategy.  But can we also let go of long-held beliefs and assumptions, or does Dfear prevent us from doing so?  Are we able to embrace uncertainty?

Susann said:

I always think it is easier to develop this enormous sense of trust and readiness to do your best and LET GO of fear and ambition and whatnot if you are fortified by religious belief, so I guess this is harder to achieve for secular Friends.

Susann said:

Does not faith always contain an element of uncertainty? You have faith, meaning you believe something you cannot, ultimately, prove.


There are alternative interpretations of that word "faith". You might say instead: "You rely on something you have found to be reliable." Testing that reliability requires being able to credit, at least tentatively, beliefs that many people misunderstand and/or take to be mistaken. But many people have walked on them and not fallen.

what if Faith is intuition?  Look at the "Now" in "Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen" as an adjective.
 
Forrest Curo said:

James C Schultz said:

Don't confuse 'faith" with "belief".


There certainly is a difference, worth a whole discussion of its own (and maybe we had it here already?) but yes, it fits...

In some belief-systems, faith is simply illogical -- even 'irrational' in the bad sense.

In other systems, faith makes sense.

So, obviously it matters what people believe. (But that isn't necessarily the same as 'what I say I believe,' or even 'what I think I believe.')

In other belief-systems, there's a misplaced emphasis on putting one's faith in the belief system itself.

What I think "faith" means in the desirable sense, is something like 'putting your faith in what you know intuitively.' Because you can trust the One that kind of knowledge comes from.

'To let yourself know what you really know"?

Hmmm,  'faith' is a complex & puzzling word [Is this to make people think more about it?]

& what is 'intuition'?

I think the two of us agree that it's 'that [knowing] which we're receiving directly from God.' But beliefs affect our willingness & ability to receive & trust -- influence people's orientation toward (or away from) whatever we're receiving that way.

'Intuition' becomes 'faith' when a person can put his faith in it? [Are we closer?]

I guess I think of faith as something living and not static - to be acted on when received.  When acted on appropriately it can move mountains but if stale it can't.  Making timing important such as in the expression "Strike while the iron is hot".  It has been used by the Church to stand for belief in a set of doctrines probably stemming from scripture like that of

1Co 16:13

  Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

which was probably a call not to waver on what was received from God.  However, much of what is considered Faith today are beliefs that were received from man and you can't really live on someone else's revelation or faith.  Like Hebrews 13:1 says it's the substance of things hoped for and not the thing itself.  In order to make something out of a substance some process must be performed and there are probably different processes depending on what the thing hoped for is.  Maybe we should think of "Now Faith" as the God particle?  After all Hebrews 13:3 goes on to say

  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. or in other words that the things which are seen are made of things which are unseen.  It's not just physical things which are seen as it's possible to see that someone is happy, successful or healthy.  Those things are also the result of what is unseen such as perspective, genes or maybe faith?

 

But are we really interested in exploring the truth, wherever that may lead?  Or are we more interested in hanging on to some comforting assumptions?

Forrest Curo said:

I favor a strategy of trying to find out what happens to be true, and why. It presents me with interesting puzzles; and I don't have to embrace Uncertainty when I'd rather be embracing someone more friendly!

People seem to  think about "faith" in different ways, Susann.   But if faith doesn't involve uncertainty then it's merely blind belief.

Susann said:

Does not faith always contain an element of uncertainty? You have faith, meaning you believe something you cannot, ultimately, prove.

If it comforts you to hang onto the assumption that faith is 'blind' and that the fantasies of scientism are 'truth', explore that playpen all you like... but there are wider spaces to explore whenever you're up to following where they lead.

Then you might make mistakes or learn things you can't 'prove' to people -- things they could only find true by exploring, not by sitting back saying 'You can't possibly find what you say you've found.'

Responding to the side discussion between James and Forrest on intuition and faith....

Both are (to use the underlying commonality) an openness to the energetic reality that is there.   Being able to respond in real time trusting in that energetic reality.  

Conversely, it occurs to me that when we feel distrust of our own intuition or distrust of our place in God's divine flow we -- just by doing that -- skew our ability to receive its grace. 

I do like the thought that both intuition and faith contain a requirement to not inspect them for proof or fallacy but to simply respond from the gut in real time.  And I do believe that both have actual underlying energetic reality on their side.

-- Now that I think of this, it actually fits with Norman's message too:   that it's a path that can't be about intellectualizing (that type of "knowing") but in that sense must be willing to be uncertain and just react from the gut anyway... 

Though I would describe that as not uncertainty but a deeper "knowing."     Others?

I feel you are just point-scoring here.  There is really no need to be defensive.

Forrest Curo said:

If it comforts you to hang onto the assumption that faith is 'blind' and that the fantasies of scientism are 'truth', explore that playpen all you like... but there are wider spaces to explore whenever you're up to following where they lead.

As a generalization I would think that most of the time, most of us are not truly seeking the truth.  This is the wisdom of quaker worship if we open ourselves up to the Spirit the truth can get 'dumped' on us before we realize what has happened.  I am inclined to believe many of the attempts to impose quaker order during worship are attempts to limit how much "truth" does in fact get "dumped" at one sitting so we can have a chance to rationalize it away.
 
Spiny Norman said:

But are we really interested in exploring the truth, wherever that may lead?  Or are we more interested in hanging on to some comforting assumptions?

Forrest Curo said:

I favor a strategy of trying to find out what happens to be true, and why. It presents me with interesting puzzles; and I don't have to embrace Uncertainty when I'd rather be embracing someone more friendly!

uncertainty might be a poor choice of a word for what you mean - at least some understandings of the word uncertainty.  My experience with it is that while it's origin might be subjective, the insight obtained through faith is pretty strong.  That's why some of us tend to be called fanatics about our beliefs at times.  There can be a clarity obtained from a revelation that what was once a mystery becomes obvioous.  Although my experience has been that it is instantaneous and while I can't remember the explanation or answer to the mystery after the moment, I am left with a certaintude as to the truth of what I saw in the spirit and thus now believe this "thing" by faith.  The scripture that comes to mind is that I am saved by faith and not by works (or reasoning or deducing if you will)
 
Spiny Norman said:

People seem to  think about "faith" in different ways, Susann.   But if faith doesn't involve uncertainty then it's merely blind belief.

Susann said:

Does not faith always contain an element of uncertainty? You have faith, meaning you believe something you cannot, ultimately, prove.

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