Another post from my blog: http://www.brainhulklogicsmash.blogspot.com/
Sunday I was reading the local paper when I ran across the following Q&A column by Billy Graham.
Faith must be nurtured to thrive
Q: I was real excited when I gave my life to Jesus at a church camp last year, but now I'm not even sure what I believe. What happened to me? How did I lose my feelings of joy? -- A.B.
A: Let me assure you that God hasn't changed; He still loves you and still wants you to know that He is with you every moment of the day.
The key is to understand that when you gave your life to Jesus, you entered into a personal relationship -- a relationship with God Himself. But like any other relationship, our relationship with God needs to be safeguarded and nurtured. What would happen to your friendship with someone if you never spoke to them or spent time with them? Eventually that friendship would wither and die -- and the same is true of our relationship with God. Jesus said, "I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:15).
Tell God that you know you need Him, and that you want your relationship with Him to grow and become strong. Then learn to walk with Him every day. How do you do that? First, take time to read a portion of His Word, the Bible, every day. Through it, you'll learn just how much He loves you, and how He wants you to live.
Then learn to pray about everything -- not just asking God for help, but thanking and praising Him for the good things He gives you. In addition, ask God to give you Christian friends who can encourage and help you. Don't rely on your feelings, for they will fade. Learn instead to rely on Jesus Christ, and on the truth God has given you in His Word.
It's no surprise that Graham's answer is worthless and presumptuous. Oh, your faith is fading? So it automatically must be your fault. A simply despicable assumption. This may be a shock to ol Billy boy, but you can lose your faith while still praying and trying to be true to that faith. I know, because that's what happened to me. I prayed, I went to church with my family, I read the Bible and yet I still lost faith. I was a believer, but no more. It didn't happen at once, but was a very gradual process. I was the type that would hear things that conflicted with my faith, and I would research to prove my faith true. But faith has one natural predator... facts. The more things I learned, the more I understood about the world, and the more I read the Bible (not part of the facts department), the less faith I had. So no, faith didn't fade from being lax or lazy. Faith can often fade due to being vigilant and committed to truth. But that's just one person, and admittedly, while my family did go to church, we didn't go every single week. But what about people I know personal who were studying to become priests. Yup, you guessed it! They no longer believe either. That type of study takes a lot of dedication, yet they lost their faith as well. That not high enough up the religious ladder for Mr. Graham? What about the clergy project? http://clergyproject.org/ A place where actual clergy members can anonymously come clean about the fact that they no longer believe as well. These peoples jobs (and in many cases , their life) are to lead prayer, teach the faith and lead church services regularly. So Billy, how is it that these clergy members who regularly perform the tasks that you say are needed to nurture faith still managed to lose their faith? Simple. Faith being lost isn't a result of not babying that faith, but of the truth and reason finding it's way in. Religion being found out for what it is. A fantasy story, dressed up with promises, yet also riddled with nonsense and threats. So Mr. Graham, get off you soap box and try to actually look at facts for a change. People don't lose faith because there's something wrong with the people. Please lose faith because there is something wrong with the faith.
Thanks for reading. If you'd like to read more, check out the link above, as I plan to write about much more (political and controversial subjects) and will probably only be posting the topics that have to do with religion here.