Belief in God is no longer axiomatic.

Charles Taylor, in A Secular Age

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I remember reading A Secular Age and having these words literally jump off the page and grab me – for their pristine, simple truth of the matter – and the deadly consequences that this reality brings to us.

If there is anything that can succinctly identify the source of our troubles today – the violence, sickness, corruption, division, disorder, destruction and confusion so prevalent – it is not just a loss of belief in God, but a loss of the capacity to believe at all.

Think about it.  If we cannot believe, can we experience human experience?  Can we live as full humans, with all the range of experience available to us?  Without belief can we retain an identity?  Relationships with one another?  Love?  Be at peace?  Know joy?  Have a purpose in being?  Face trials with confidence?  Know our way in this world?  Sustain hope – and experience it?

Yes, believing is the central problem in our life today.

Loss of belief is the central challenge in secularism and the poison fruit of all that Leftist ideology projects on us so to deconstruct human existence, gain control over us, and derail the pursuit of happiness, stability, contentment, meaning, purpose and peace.

How can one understand belief itself?

I direct you to the Gospel of John.  It mentions believing far more than any of the Gospels.

In it you recognize that believing is an action verb.  It requires that we act, show what we belief, live what we believe.  Likewise, you will see that there are many in Jesus time who did not believe, just as there are now: high officials, chief priests, even some of his early followers, people at-large.

In the Gospel of John you will see that those who believe do not perish, but have eternal life now, in this world. (Jn 3:15-16, 5:24, 6:40, 47)  That they will become the children of God. (Jn 1:12).  That they will not be condemned.  (Jn 3:18)  That they will be brought from death to life in this life. (Jn 5:24).  That they will know God.  (Jn 4:42, 6:64, 69, 10:38)  That they will neither thirst nor hunger.  (Jn 6:35)  That they will live in God.  (Jn 6:56, 14:17 15:4-10)  That they will live in the Spirit, live from the heart.  (7:38, 39)  That they will be disciples and friends of Jesus.  (Jn 8:31, 15:14-15).  That they will see the glory of God – His works and presence in the things and circumstances of life. (Jn 8:31, 15:14-15)  That they will be the Children of Light and live in darkness no more.  (Jn 12:46)  That they will do the works of Jesus and things even greater.  (Jn 14:12)  That they will live in Jesus name.  (Jn 20:31)

The Gospel of John tells us that those who believe will know peace both individually and communally. (Jn 14:27, 16:33, 20: 19,21,26)  That they will not fear. (14:27, 16:33, 20:19, 21, 26)  That they will be one with God and others. (Jn 10:16, 17:11, 21-22)  That they will find meaning and purpose in serving others.  (Jn 13:12-17)  That they will be able to love others and be loved by others.  (Jn 13:34-35, 15:12-13, 17:26)  That they will know joy and live in it. (14:28, 15:11, 16:20-24, 17:13, 20:20)  That they will receive forgiveness and come to forgive others. (Jn 20:23)

We see in John, however, that those who refuse to believe will be condemned, will know God’s wrath, and die in their sins. (Jn 3:18; Jn 3:36; Jn 5:38)  The trouble, of course, is that when we fail to believe and act on our belief we will die at the hand of those who refuse to believe.

Have you come to think about belief?  Perhaps you best do so.

Living in an age of unbelief is a living hell.  We are NOT consigned to this.

Shalom.

Note:  Credit is due to Felix Just, S.J, Ph.D., for his citations.

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