Ask any of my students and they will tell you that my emphasis behind every section in my Christian Beliefs class is that it is important to know why we believe what we believe (They even see me drink my coffee every day from my Ratio Christi mug pictured above). Whether you realized it or not, you do this daily with every other area of your life. Every decision you make is based on beliefs whether it is sitting in a chair, crossing the road, or anything else. Your belief that it is safe to cross the road is based on good reasons; you looked both ways… at least that is what you are supposed to do! I don’t know anyone who closes their eyes and blindly crosses the road hoping no cars are coming. The blind faith that no cars are coming could have serious consequences. The same goes with closing your eyes and blindly believing a chair is behind you when you sit down. You sit down because you believe the chair, which you saw behind you, will hold you.
The same goes for religious beliefs. A blind faith in religious matters could have serious consequences. There are many people that blindly believe things just because a teacher or parent has told them, or maybe it is the only thing they were told while growing up. This became clear for my students this week when we started our section on creation and evolution. I had my students conduct interviews where they asked people why they believed in creation or evolution. The most common response was that they believed in creation or evolution because it was the only thing taught to them. Others said their belief was based on science, but when asked, they couldn’t explain which scientific discovery they were referring to or the evidence behind it. They had blindly believed whatever their teacher or culture was telling them. Very few students came back to class with interviews where someone gave good reasons for their belief in either creation or evolution. It just isn’t common for people to know why they believe things when it comes to religious matters.
Now it is not my purpose to get students to question everything that someone tells them, but they should be looking to see if the person gives good reasons to believe what they are saying. If there are no reasons given for a belief, then we should question it. Ask the person, “How did you come to that conclusion?” I feel like it is my job, and any teacher’s job, to not only explain beliefs but to tell students why we believe those things. It is then that they are able to make a reasonable decision.
Just like there could be serious consequences for blindly believing that there are no cars coming down the road, having blind faith could lead to eternal separation from God. If God does exist, belief in Him will eternally affect our lives. Just like we look both ways before crossing the road, we need make sure good reasons are given before making a decision that affects our eternal destiny. Don’t have blind faith. Know why you believe.