Reason and Faith
This article is one in a series of studies on the reasoning and the Message - you are currently on the page that is in bold:
- Blind Faith
- Anti-intellectualism in the Message
- Logic and the Message
- Reason and Faith
- Reason and the Message
- How to Deal with Doubt
Is reason and thinking opposed to God?
People in the message have said to us when confronted with errors in William Branham's message:
- "We don't have to understand it, that’s where faith comes in.”
- 1 What William Branham taught
- 2 The Bible requires us to think
- 3 How does faith start?
- 4 How does one lose faith?
- 5 The Bible requires us to think
- 6 The relationship between faith and reason
- 7 What the Bible says
- 8 Christianity promotes rational thinking
- 9 Unreasonable Faith
- 10 Reasonable Faith
- 11 Adding to the Bible?
- 12 Footnotes
- 13 Navigation
What William Branham taught
William Branham stated:
- So don’t try to use your own intellectuals, use your heart. Now remember, you don’t never try to reason; we cast down reasoning. In the garden of Eden, the devil took a man’s head to work through; God took a man’s heart. And the man’s always working to what he can see, and faith makes him believe things he cannot see. But he believes it because God said so. That settles it. That’s just the—the story of faith.
- Notice, we cannot, we must not, listen to any other man’s word. We don’t care how smart, how educated. The Bible, in Proverbs, says, “We must cast down reasonings.” See? Now, here in this second realm… First realm is your senses of see, taste, feel, smell, and hear. That’s in your outer body. On the inner body, which is the spirit, is reasonings and thought, and so forth. We must cast all that down. Can’t reason, say, “Now wait, if God is a good God…” And we’re told so much today that He is. “If He is a good God, then if I be sincere, though I can’t see that in that Bible being right, though I be sincere, I’ll be saved.” You’ll be lost. 
William Branham appears to be misquoting the 1890 Darby translation (although William Branham never mentions Darby... ever) of 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (and not Proverbs) which states:
- For the arms of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful according to God to the overthrow of strongholds; overthrowing reasonings and every high thing that lifts itself up against the knowledge of God, and leading captive every thought into the obedience of the Christ...
To get a clearer picture of what this means, we can look at a couple of other translations of this passage:
- We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ...
- We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.
How do you destroy or demolish arguments? With better arguments and reasoning... that's exactly what Paul did with the Jews in the synagogues that he visited.
William Branham said:
- That's how you know God is by faith, NOT BY REASON. Your reason power within yourself, but faith comes from God. Faith is something that's born in you, something that God gives you. "And it's the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not REASONED." Hallelujah.
William Branham changes scripture (again) to suit his anti-intellectual bias.
But what Paul actually said is that “we live by faith, not by sight.” Paul never says, “We walk by faith, not by reason.” Paul never says, “We walk by faith, not by thinking,” because faith and reason, faith and thinking are not opposed to each other. Faith and sight are opposed to each other, because faith is being controlled by the truth.
Another favorite for the "blind-faith" crowd is the story of doubting Thomas in John 20:24-29:
- Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
- Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Anytime someone asks for rational support for a belief, they are accused of being a "doubting thomas" and liken their own blind faith as the model that Jesus says was "blessed."
But note that Thomas was not satisfied to have trust or faith even in the first hand, eye-witness accounts of his peers, he wanted EMPIRICAL evidence, to SEE with his eyes, to FEEL with his hands. This is the very epitome of the Natural Scientism worldview, if it can't be observed, handled, tested, etc, then it isn't believable.
Yet Paul says we walk by faith, not by sight. Every single believer who has lived on the Earth who has put his faith in the objective, historical reality of Jesus' death and resurrection and the recorded witness of that event qualifies under Jesus statement: "blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Again, Jesus did NOT say: "blessed are those who have not THOUGHT and yet believed."
William Branham and reasoning
Paul reasoned in the synagogues and persuaded men to be Christians. What did William Branham think of this?
William Branham was opposed to reasoning:
- Notice, we cannot, we must not, listen to any other man's word. We don't care how smart, how educated. The Bible, in Proverbs, says, "We must cast down reasonings." See? Now, here in this second realm...
- First realm is your senses of see, taste, feel, smell, and hear. That's in your outer body.
- On the inner body, which is the spirit, is reasonings and thought, and so forth. We must cast all that down.
Please note that no such scripture exists in Proverbs.
What the Bible actually says
The scripture that William Branham appears to be referring to is this:
- Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ... 
But what does this mean?
- We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ...
- We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.
The Bible clearly does not say to "cast down reasoning".
The Bible requires us to think
- Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
- Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
- Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.
- Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord : though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Jesus wants us to think!
Jesus indicated many times that he wanted people to think. For example:
- What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
- Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 
There are many other times where Jesus asked people to think. Why? He was challenging them to think about what He was saying so that they could come to faith!
Paul made the Jews think
- So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.
- And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
How does faith start?
- So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Faith always starts with information. You hear the Word and then you start thinking about it.
How do you develop your faith? You develop your faith through thinking, through reasoning it out, through getting the evidence.
How do you develop faith in a doctor? How do you develop enough faith in somebody to marry them? What do you say?
Well, I suppose there are some fools who do this. You look at her, and you say, “She is gorgeous. I don’t want to know anything else about her. I don’t want to talk to people about what kind of person she is. I don’t want to spend time with her to find out just really what kind of character she has. I don’t want to know the facts. I don’t want to know the facts. I believe she is the woman for me.”
There are people who have done that. It’s a sad thing, and that’s not a joke. The fact is, everybody knows you do need faith in order to marry somebody, and the stupidest thing in the world is to try to build your faith by closing your mind to the facts.
The smart thing is to develop your faith, and that’s the natural way to develop your faith, by thinking. How do you decide whether you’re going to have minor surgery? You get up enough faith, and you do this.
You say, “I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know anything about it. I don’t want to know why I need it. I don’t want to know what the effects are. I don’t want to know the side effects. I don’t want to know that. I just want to do it.”
Why do you think Paul says we walk by faith, not by sight? He means as you walk by what you know, you stick with what the truth is, and you tell your moods and your feelings and your fears where to get off. That’s faith. We walk by faith, not by sight. We go on what we know, not by what we see, not on what the appearances are, not on what the feeling is, not on how it feels at this moment. We walk by faith. We know.
God does not say, “Come unto me and check your brains at the door.” Most of us would agree that it wasn’t until we came to him that we even began to use our brains. Until you become a Christian, you have a tendency to react. You react to things. You say, “I think this way, I do this because I’m Italian, because I’m Jewish, because I’m a WASP. You see? Because I’m from the Midwest, because this is the way my parents taught me, because this is what my friends say, because I’m an English major, and this is how the people in my particular field think.”
You react. You don’t think. When you become a Christian, you say, “Wait a minute now. I have a standard of truth here by which I can judge anything and everything. I cannot just go along.” God does not say, “Check your brains at the door.” Faith starts with thinking.
How does one lose faith?
In order to get faith enough to have an operation, to have faith in the doctor and in the procedure, you study it. But say on Saturday morning, if you wake up and you say, “Oh my. I agreed to have this surgery, but now I just can’t.” You call in sick, or you say, “I can’t do it,” or you postpone it or something like that. You’ve lost your faith.
Well, how did you lose your faith? Did you get new information that shows you it wasn’t a good idea?
You lost your faith because you stopped thinking and you started reacting. You see that? You stopped thinking. You didn’t get new information. You stopped thinking. You just got up and said, “Oh, it’s going to be painful. It’s going to be hard. I’m going to be off work for three days.”
If instead you say, “Wait a minute. If I don’t do it now, this is going to happen later. I’ve studied all this.” Then you will have the operation. Faith starts by thinking, and when you lose your faith, it’s because you stopped thinking.
Is faith the opposite of reason and thinking? Absolutely not. You lose faith because you stop thinking, because you stop reasoning, because you stop looking at the evidence and you listen to your emotions and you listen to your fears. It’s actually silly to think faith is the opposite of reason.
Look at Matthew 6 where Jesus says, “If you’re worried, have no anxiety, but think about the lilies of the field. God takes care of them. Think. Have no anxiety, but think about the birds of the air. God takes care of them.” He says, “O ye of little faith? If God takes care of the birds and the grass, and you’re more valuable than they, won’t he take care of you?"
What is Jesus doing? He says, “O ye of little faith? You’re not thinking.” He doesn’t say, “If you want to have faith, stop thinking, and just believe.” That’s not faith. That’s not what the Bible calls faith.
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that Jesus Christ insists that the whole trouble with people of little faith is that they do not think. They don’t gird up the loins of their minds. They allow circumstances to bludgeon them. Think about this. They allow their feelings to collar them. The Bible is full of reasoning. We must never think of faith as something purely mystical. Faith progresses through thinking, Jesus tells us.
Jesus says, “Look at the birds. Think about them. Draw your deductions. Look at the flowers. Do the same.”
That is the essence of worry. Instead of letting reason control your thoughts, other things have control of them, and you go round and round in circles. That is not thinking. Worry is the absence of thinking. Unbelief is the absence of thinking. And for the Christian, a lack of faith is a failure to think. “…gird up the loins of your mind…”
Not only that, the Bible tells you that you can’t grow in holiness unless you’re willing to let God take over your thinking. It says in Ephesians 4:22–24 to be renewed through the renewal of your mind. That’s the place where it says, “…put off your old self… put on the new…” and be renewed in the renewal of your mind.
The Bible requires us to think
Christianity is the only thing that encourages thinking and gives a basis for it. There are only three basic worldviews you can have right now today. There have been other worldviews, but there are only three basic philosophies of life out there.
You have scientific materialism, which says there is no soul, there is no supernatural, there is no God, and there is no heaven and hell. Therefore, everything is an accident, and everything has a natural cause. These people will tell you, ultimately, that means your mind is an accident, and the thoughts you’re having right now are just the chance reaction of molecules under your skull. They’re just bouncing off of each other. You believe what you believe strictly because of biological and chemical determinants. Therefore, on the basis of that, there is really no reason for you to trust your thinking. There is no reason for you to reason. Everything is relative.
For the last 30 years, people have been saying, “Because there is no truth, we are free! Our minds are free to think! In the old days, we thought there was a God and there was the Bible. We thought there was this and that, so we couldn’t be free thinkers, but now we know everything is relative. There probably is no God. There certainly is no Bible and revelation, so we are free.” Do you know what that leads to? For about 30 or 40 years, people were saying, “Because all things are relative and all morals are relative, therefore, we shouldn’t impose our values on each other.”
That doesn’t make sense. If all morality is relative, why not impose your values on other people? That’s just your value that says you shouldn’t impose your values on other people. Don’t you see that? If there is no truth, there is no basis for freedom of thought at all. “I’ll control your thought if I want to. I’ll do whatever I want.”
The postmodern deconstructionists say, “Because all values are socially constructed there is no right and wrong. The purpose of life is not to try to find out what truth is and what justice is and conform to it. Absolutely not! You do whatever the heck you want,” which means there is no search for truth. There is no reason to reason. There is no reason to think. It’s all a power struggle.
“Whoever has the power, whoever comes out on top is the one who rules. We don’t find out what is right. We don’t find out what is wrong. There is no right and wrong.” Don’t you see that scientific materialism leads to the death of thinking? “You don’t need to think. You can’t trust your thinking.” That’s the first basic philosophy you have.
The second basic philosophy is Eastern monism (Eastern pantheism and Eastern religions). They believe, and anyone will tell you this who understands the New Age and understands the Eastern religions, what is wrong with us is that we think, that we’re rational, that we reason. Eastern meditation is after what they call pure awareness without thought. Eastern meditation says what you need to see is that it’s all one. “You’re one with the tree. You’re one with nature.” There is no individuality.
Eastern thought tries to frustrate the reason and tries to frustrate your analysis. It says, “Eventually we’re all going to go back into the All Soul, and there won’t be individualism. There won’t be individuals. There won’t be personality. There won’t be rationality. We’ll all be one.” Eastern religion gives you no basis for rationality, but Christianity, or I should say the religion of the Bible (Judaism and Christianity and even Islam, which is based very much on the Bible) teaches there was a God who created the world who was rational.
“If there is a God who is rational, my reason is not an accident of molecules, and my reason is not an illusion. My reason is a reflection of his person. It means if a rational and orderly God created the world, then when I use my reason I’m going to find out what is really out there.” But philosophically, at the end of the twentieth century, Christianity is the only thing in the world tonight that really encourages you to use your mind.
It’s the only thing in the world tonight that gives you a basis for doing it, and it’s the only thing in the world that really liberates the thinking. Somebody says, “What are you talking about? I got out of Christianity because I felt I couldn’t be liberated. Now I can think of whatever I want to think about.” But the Bible says you’re not free unless you know the truth because “…the truth will set you free.”
Do you know why? Look at all the people who really understood the truth and said, “The Bible is the truth.” That’s freedom. Do you know why? No matter what your friends tell you, no matter what your political party tells you, no matter what the ideology tells you, no matter what the dictator or the king who is ready to cut your head off tells you, you know what the truth is.
If you have the Bible, if you know there is an absolute truth, you could be the only person in the whole world, it could be you against the entire world, and you can know you’re right. Look at Elijah standing before Ahab. Look at Moses standing before Pharaoh. Look at Paul standing before Herod Agrippa. Look at Polycarp in AD 88, the old man standing in the coliseum. They were about to throw him to the lions, and he said, “Away with you all!” He dies. Look at Latimer and Ridley being burned at the stake. Look at Martin Luther standing before the whole world.
These were free thinkers because they knew and because they had submitted to the truth. Now they had a standard by which they could judge any ideology. They had a standard by which they could judge any philosophy. They weren’t the victims of their culture anymore. They weren’t the victims of their party. They were always able to judge their own culture and their own party and their own philosophy and their own school. Christianity is the only basis for being a free thinker. It’s the only basis and encouragement for actually using your mind.
If you want me to know why Christianity stimulates the use of the mind, I can prove it to you historically. Wherever there have been revivals, great awakenings in the history of the world, you will see the common people always receive the gospel. You go back to the New Testament, and it says, “…the common people heard [Jesus] gladly.”
Well, all the religious leaders thought that proved he couldn’t be a great teacher. “Look, the common people like you! The common people are following you.” Of course, all through the early church, they were all the common people. They were the slaves. They were the illiterates. And what happened? Their minds woke up. The gospel always arouses the thinking. Throughout the history of the church, throughout the history of the world, whenever the gospel has spread amongst people, their minds wake up and they want schools.
The gospel always makes you gird up your mind, and do you know why? Because the gospel is not a teaching. The gospel is not a philosophy that says, “Here, live in this way. Just live in this way.” That doesn’t make you think. The gospel says, “God has broken into the world in the form of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He died for us, and he was raised from the dead.” Don’t you see? You can’t even listen to that teaching without it electrifying the mind. It challenges the mind. It shocks the mind.
It’s not at all like a philosophy of how to live. That doesn’t stir up the mind. The gospel stirs up the mind. You can’t even reject the gospel without using your mind because the claims are so incredible. God has broken into history. “…when the time had fully come, God sent his Son… born under law to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons [of God].” That claim is so incredible you can’t even reject the gospel without thinking because you have to say, “What is the evidence for the resurrection, and how do I know these things?”
There are only two kinds of people reading this. The first kind are the people who think Christianity is something maybe that might help them privately spiritually, but they really are afraid to actually let it challenge their minds. If Jesus is who he says he is, you must belong to him wholly: intellectually, emotionally, and volitionally.
If he is the Son of God as he said, if he rose from the dead as was claimed, you have to look at that evidence. You can’t just say, “Well, I don’t know what I think about all of this. I want to just have a kind of personal, mystical experience. I just want to have peace.” You can’t do it. God says, “I will not come into your life unless I come in through your mind. You have to receive the form of teaching. You have to look at the evidence. You have to believe it. You have to check it out.” Don’t you dare try to do it and run around the mind. Listen to the gospel. Let it argue with you.
Lastly, some of you are Christians, but you’re not very consistent Christians because, really, so many people come out of fundamentalism or come out of liberalism or out of all these different churches, and they all really do bypass the mind. Don’t you dare. You need to study the Word of God. You have to let the Word of God sink in. You have to let your mind be completely bathed in the authority of God.
How are we supposed to think?
- We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ...
The relationship between faith and reason
Richard Dawkins once said:
- “Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where’s the harm? September 11th changed all that.”
This view of Christian belief is common among skeptics and believers alike. Critics think Christians accept truth claims without any evidential support and many Christians embrace the claims of Christianity unaware of the strong evidence supporting our worldview. Dawkins is correct when he argues against forming beliefs without evidence. People who accept truth claims without any examination or need for evidence are prone to believing myths and making bad decisions.
Followers of William Branham should do likewise and closely examine the evidence that is available surrounding his ministry.
Christians Are Called to A Reasonable Faith
Christians are not called to make decisions without good evidence. The God of the Bible does not call his children to obey blindly. The Gospels are themselves an important form of direct evidence; the testimony of eyewitnesses who observed the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. That’s why the scriptures repeatedly call us to have a reasoned belief in Christ, and not to resort to the behavior of unreasoning animals:
What the Bible says
- But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.
The Bible uses the word “unreasoning” in a pejorative manner; to be unreasoning is to act like a brute animal. God clearly wants more from beings created in His image. In fact, God wants us to examine all the evidence at our disposal and to study the things of God with great intensity. When we do this, we truly begin to worship Him with our mind.
- You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment.”
This kind of faith is unafraid of challenges. In fact, Christians are encouraged to examine what they believe critically so they can be fully convinced.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
- Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good…
1 John 4:1
- Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
- Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind.
2 Timothy 3:14
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them…
Critical examination requires us to investigate the evidence, and God holds evidence in high regard. He wants us to be convinced after we examine the facts. Jesus valued evidence and continually provided evidence to make his case.
- Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.”
Jesus continued to provide evidence to the disciples, even after the Resurrection.
- …until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
The earliest Christians understood the connection between reason, evidence and faith, and they did not see these concepts as mutually exclusive. In fact, Paul often used direct evidence to make his case for Christianity.
- “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
- And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead.
When believers use their minds, investigate the evidence and become convinced, something wonderful happens: We have the courage to defend what we believe using the same evidence, logic and reasoning power we used to come to faith in the first place. In fact, we are required to do this.
1 Peter 3:15
- …but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…
Christians in all disciplines of inquiry and discovery have used their reasoning power to investigate the evidence. Christians are not irrational, and Christian faith is not blind. The rich intellectual history of Christianity calls each of us to have a reasonable, examined, evidential, case-making faith. This kind of faith honors God and withstands skeptical criticism and personal doubt.
Christianity promotes rational thinking
Anais Nin, the avant-garde author and diarist, once said,
- “When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.”
This is true. If you were going to trial, the last thing you would want a jury to do would be to adopt a position blindly. But many people seem to think that Christians do this very thing, when they adopt the view that Christianity is true. This is largely due to the fact that the term, “faith” is largely misunderstood. For some (even for some Christians), faith is best defined as “believing in something that lacks supporting evidence.” But this is not the definition of faith that is presented on the pages of Christian Scripture.
The Biblical notion of faith is more akin to “trusting in the best inference from the evidence.” The Biblical authors repeatedly encouraged their readers to search the evidence to investigate the claims of Christianity (see 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 and 1 John 4:1) so they could be convinced of the truth of these claims (Romans 14:5, 2 Timothy 1:8-12 and 2 Timothy 3:14).
This encouragement is consistent with the notion that the evidence will lead us to a rational conclusion about the nature of Jesus. In fact, Jesus also encouraged his followers to consider the evidence he provided about his deity (John 14:11 and Acts 1:2-3). Christian faith is not blind. Instead, the Christian faith encourages investigation related to Jesus and to the world around us. Christians ought to understand the distinctions between unreasonable, blind and reasonable faith:
If you believe in something IN SPITE of the evidence, you are holding to an unreasonable faith - where we refuse to accept or acknowledge evidence that exists, is easily accessible and clearly refutes what we believe.
Blind faith is believing in something WITHOUT any evidence. We hold a blind faith when we accept something even though there is no evidence to support our beliefs. We don’t search for ANY evidence that either supports or refutes what we are determined to believe
Believing in something BECAUSE of the evidence. We hold a reasonable faith when we believe in something because it is the most reasonable conclusion from the evidence that exists. The Bible repeatedly makes evidential claims. It offers eyewitness accounts of historical events that can be verified archeologically, prophetically and even scientifically.
We, as Christians are called to hold a REASONABLE FAITH that is grounded in this evidence. The pages of Scripture support the notion of “reasonable faith”. 
Doesn’t the Bible Say True Faith is Blind?
The Biblical definition of faith is a reasoned trust in light of the evidence. Jesus told us to trust his claims in light of the miracles that confirmed his words evidentially (John 14:11), and he spent 40 days with the disciples after the resurrection, providing them with many convincing proofs that he was alive (Acts 1:2-3).
There are several passages in scripture that, at face value, seem to be saying that faith is blind. For example, Hebrews 11 starts by saying that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This seems to be saying that faith is made out of hopes, and that having faith is evidence enough. It appears to be the closest Biblical statement affirming a “blind faith” that is not restricted to things that can be supported by evidence.
But is that what this verse actually says? Let’s take a closer look at the passage in the NASB:
- Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
The context of Hebrews 11:1, following Hebrews 10, is essential in understand what the writer of Hebrews is referring to in this passage concerning faith. In Hebrews 10, the author ends the section encouraging his readers to continue in their faith and to “endure” (verse 36) in spite of “reproaches” and “tribulations” they may have experienced or observed. He finishes by saying, “…we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” In the very next line (the passage we are considering at 11:1) the author says that "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
So what is it here that is connected to “faith” and is also “unseen”? Is it “evidence”? Is the author saying, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, when the evidence is unseen?”
No, he’s saying just the opposite. When considering chapter 10 prior to interpreting verse 11:1, it’s clear that the author is encouraging his readers to endure those times when God seems absent; those times when trials and tribulations cause us to question God’s existence. Where is God in these difficult situations? Why can’t we see Him? Why can’t we see His activity in our lives?
In verse 11:1, the author of Hebrews says that we can trust that God’s salvation, protection and provision are still there for us, even though they may appear to be “things not seen.” In spite of their apparent absence, we are told to trust that they exist. Why? On what basis? On the basis of what we can see.
Over and over again the Old Testament saints, when questioning God’s goodness, provision or protection, were encouraged by a leader or prophet to remember what God did for them in Egypt. God’s rescue efforts in Egypt were provided as a piece of evidence, demonstrating that He was capable of rescuing His children again. God has given us visible assurance that he exists, and the writer of Hebrews is simply asking us to trust this assurance when God and his mercies seem like they are “things not seen”. Even the writer of Hebrews understood the conviction and assurance that resulted from evidence: the evidence of God’s Old Testament activities and the evidence of Jesus’ New Testament miracles.
Adding to the Bible?
William Branham misquoted the Bible and then built a doctrine around his addition to the Bible. We challenge anyone in the message to find the following passage referenced by William Branham:
- That's the reason you can't rise up in faith, because you got intellectuals there. Your intellectual part says, "Well, this, or that." It's a reasoning. We want to cast down reasonings, the Bible tells us.
- But now, as long as you dwell in that mental reasonings, you'll never be no different. Now, the Bible said we've got to cast down reasoning.
- The Bible said, "We cast down reasons."
- The Bible, in Proverbs, says, "We must cast down reasonings.
- William Branham, 59-0423 - Abraham's Seed, para. 29
- William Branham, 65-0822M - Christ Is Revealed In His Own Word, para. 130
- John Nelson Darby, The Holy Scriptures: A New Translation from the Original Languages (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1996), 2 Co 10:4–5.
- 2 Cor 10:5, ESV
- 2 Cor 10:5, Holman Christian Standard Bible
- 54-1024 THE.UNPARDONABLE.SIN_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 2 Co 5:7
- Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).
- CHRIST.IS.REVEALED.IN.HIS.OWN.WORD_ JEFF.IN V-4 N-10 SUNDAY_ 65-0822M
- The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 2 Co 10:5.
- New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), 2 Co 10:5.
- Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), 2 Cor 10:4–5.
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 1 Cor 14:20.
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Php 3:15.
- Job 13:3 (KJV)
- Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Mt 18:12.
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Lk 10:36.
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ac 17:17.
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ac 19:8–10.
- New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Romans 10:17.
- Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).
- Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 2 Cor 10:5.
- http://coldcasechristianity.com/2012/christianity-promotes-rational-and-evidential-exploration/ Christianity Promotes Rational (and Evidential) Exploration]
- http://coldcasechristianity.com/2012/doesnt-the-bible-say-true-faith-is-blind/ Doesn’t the Bible Say True Faith is Blind?
- 56-0121, The Inter-Veil
- 56-0128, Inspiration
- 62-1014M, The Stature Of A Perfect Man
- 65-0822M, Christ Is Revealed In His Own Word