“I don't really have any evidence that any prayer has ever been answered, at least since the first century,” said Whitepebble. “We walk completely by faith on this question.”
No longer do I try to prove the faith to those determined not to share it. They have an answer to everything—just as any faction today has an answer to anyone who have chosen something different..
The idea of living forever, minus the woes of this present life, appeals to me. The idea of gratitude to a Creator, who has superior wisdom, appeals to me. All I need is to clear up misgivings about the existence of evil, and that can be done in a reasonable manner. It’s not something you can prove, but it makes sense.
Conversely, the idea that humans will have the answers does not appeal to me. All I know and have experienced argues that following that course will just incur `one disappointment after another.
These qualities could be described as those of heart. Head has nothing to do with it. The heart chooses what it wants, then charges the head to devise a convincing rationale. This may lend the appearance that the head is running the show, but it is the heart all along.
There is a downside to being as cocoon-like as many are toward in-depth following of news events. We miss that people everywhere select the facts they like, that support their belief/value/political system, then use them to castigate those of different persuasion. People are like sports fans today. They cheer and boast when their side scores a point, wince and do damage control when their side suffers loss, but on no account do they examine the merits of the other side. There are no end of combative ‘other sides.’ But we miss much of this due to lumping them all together as ‘the world.’
Critical thinking as a tool in the toolbox is fine. Critical thinking as an overarching philosophy is a joke. We’re not capable of it. Heart trumps head every time. We think the ‘activism’ against the Witness organization is something unique. Instead, it just demonstrates that we stand for something. Everyone that stands for something triggers activism from those of conflicting persuasion. The one way not to trigger ‘activism’ is to be bland and toothless. Then, since your faith doesn’t really matter, since it doesn’t meaningfully stand in the way of predominant secular values, no one has anything to object to.
There is little sense in trying to prove the faith to anyone other than yourself. ‘Prove to yourselves,’ Romans 12:2 says. ‘Taste and see Jehovah is good,’ says the psalm. Taste is subjective. If someone can’t stand the taste of beets, how are you going to prove to them that beets taste good? These days I just present the Bible hope. It appeals to some and does not appeal to others.
When people squawk about Adam and Eve being fairy tale, as many do in the modern world, I say treat them, and all that derives from them, as they would a jigsaw puzzle. When you put together a jigsaw puzzle you do not concern yourself at all with whether the picture on the box cover is real or not. Upon assembling the puzzle and replicating that picture, sometimes that in itself triggers a reassessment of the picture’s validity.
But if you know the box cover picture is of Josh Grobin, and you do not like Josh Grobin because after you picked up your wife and her girlfriend from his concert, you learned in a sudden storm that bridge surfaces really do freeze before road pavement (and Josh thereafter didn’t even come to visit you—unlike Mozart, who would have done so), then you will not attempt to put that puzzle together. So it is with the ‘God, prayer, everlasting life, man dominates man to his injury’ puzzle. Some are intrigued to put that puzzle together. To others, the box cover is a turn-off.
Similarly, prayer is not a topic that you seek to prove to someone else. Does the Bible ever suggest that course? It is personal back and forth with God, without regard for how someone else might view it. If one person thinks such-and-such is an answer to prayer, what business is that of anyone else? Besides, even believers have grown comfortable with saying that, while God answers all prayers, sometimes the answer is no.
****** The bookstore