The Christian Faith Is Intrinsically Missionary Religion Essay

David Bosch in his book Transforming Mission makes the point that ‘The Christian faith, I submit, is intrinsically missionary… this dimension of the Christian faith is not an optional task: Christianity is missionary by its very nature or it denies its very raison d’etre’  . The author makes us understand as Christian Youth workers it is a fundamental requirement of our belief for us to engage in the mission of God by been a witness to the world.

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God’s mission which he gave to us in Matthew 28 known as the great commission must be the key and driving force behind the work we do with our young people. As youth workers we need to be aware that in order to fulfil the great commission we need to develop ourselves biblically and have a passion to evangelise every young people in our local community as well as the whole world. Bosch stated that ‘There is church because there is mission and not vice versa.’  Through its nature and vocation, the church is a missionary community; hence mission is intrinsic to the very life and calling of the church. Moltmann also argues in support of Bosch that ‘Mission does not come from the church; it is from mission that the church has to be understood.’  Hence our youth club or group exist due to God’s wider mission. Our youth group needs to understand that we are called to be the agent of God’s missionary task in whatever community we find ourselves and as quoted by Bosch ‘God is a missionary God, God’s people are a missionary people.’  Folmsbee also argues in support of Bosch that ‘Mission is an attribute of God that’s best understood from God’s narrative. God is a missionary God, and therefore mission must be seen as God’s movement into the world. That’s the exact opposite of how it’s often viewed, which is that mission is the primary activity of the church.’  In order to sustain their faith in the mission and in God’s work, those in the ministry believe that the mission work belongs to God and that they are simply his instruments working in the world.
In order to discuss how the evangelistic task directed at young people fits into God’s wider mission, we need to have a clear understanding of what mission is using Bosch as the main reference point by unpacking his quote The Christian faith is intrinsically missionary. This essay will be looking at a variety of sources drawn from the Bible and Christian literature to establish what is God’s wider mission, how we can tailor our assignment toward the young people using Christ ministry as the model for our outreach programme in the Christian youth work.
What is Mission? Bosch stated the term mission assumes ‘a sender, a person or persons sent by the sender, those to whom one is sent, and an assignment.’  In the book of John 20: 21, we see the missionary mandate of Jesus which he passed to his own disciple ‘As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’  Christianity has always been an evangelical religion, where believer go out into the wider world and spread the message of the Gospel in order to bring all of humanity into the kingdom of Heaven. Ever since the fall, God’s mission on earth is to return a fallen mankind to his presence, fully redeemed. Thus, He sent Jesus to earth to minister to the people before being sacrificed for the sins of the world. In the word of Bosch while citing the work of Hering’s, ‘…mission is, quite simply, the participation of Christians in the liberating mission of Jesus, wagering on a future that verifiable experience seems to belie. It is the good news of God’s love, incarnated in the witness of a community, for the sake of the world.’  Frost & Hirsch supported Bosch’s argument by stating ‘we will see the church differently no longer as a religious institution but as a community of Jesus followers devoted to participating in his mission.’  As youth worker we need to begin to see our work with the young people as us participating in the mission of God by fulfilling the work of reconciliation and restoration of all creation back to Him and also bringing hope to the world. Any aim different from this thus means that God is not at the centre of our mission but us trying to do our own agenda. It is okay for youth workers to have an agenda but the sole purpose must be for our young people to encounter the good news, Booker writes we need ‘…to try to connect our ‘missions’ with God’s agenda and activity in mission’  . It is very vital that as youth workers that we are very clear about what the mission of God is all about before we engage the young people in it.
Bosch referring to Aagaard writes ‘Mission was understood as being derived from the very nature of God. It was thus put in the context of the doctrine of the Trinity, not ecclesiology or soteriology. The classical doctrine on the mission Dei as God the Father sending the Son, and God the Father and the Son sending the Spirit was expanded to include yet another movement: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit sending the church into the world.’  Hirsch & Frost argues that we need to ‘…through the paradigm of the mission Dei to find the sent and sending God.’  As part of the evangelistic task, youth workers need to beginning to help the young people find God through Jesus in the work that they do with them, through the teaching, worship, prayer and all our activities. A classic example that the youth worker can use will be the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6 vs 9 -13, Jesus taught his disciple how to see the father through the model of prayer.
In the pluralistic society there is a need to get the young people to believe in the word of God. However, in an age of rising secularism, the current focus of the youth worker is to reach out to the young people before they completely form a secular/humanist belief system or get taken in by other faiths in their search for meaning. Youth worker need to help the young person to know how to belong in order to get a taster of the relationship with Jesus because in belonging they encounter God which is the whole purpose of the mission Dei.  
The Christian mission is about incarnation and crucifixion, and they both go hand in hand. Incarnation is about meeting people were they are with the gospel of the cross. God showed us the example to follow when he sent his Son into the world to pay the price for our sin. The gospel of John chapter 1:14 states ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. …the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’  Hirsch stated ‘if God’s central way of reaching his world was to incarnate himself in Jesus, then our way of reaching the world should likewise be incarnational’  As youth workers, we need to begin to identify with the young people we are working with or trying to reach by moving into their world so that we are able to clearly see their challenges and struggles in order to know how to effectively direct our missional task of reaching them for God. Frost argues that ‘…we must take seriously the call to live incarnationally-right up close, near to those whom God desires to redeem.’  This was further argued by Hirsch(s) that as youth worker we need to move out of our normal religious zones into our local community and be part of it, this may mean going into the school or anywhere were the young people gathers and guide them to find the redeeming grace of God.  As stated by Dave Newton, ‘we need to get alongside young people and their needs in order to demonstrate God’s love.’  The youth workers will work with them rather than work for them in their journey of making a decision regarding faith. According to Bosch, ‘The churches, by and large have an underdeveloped theology of the incarnation [while] the churches of the east have always taken the incarnation more seriously’  mission Dei has now been submerged under the liberation theology. The liberation theology is about the people to the structure while incarnation theology is for both the unique message of Christ and the messenger to be incarnated within the culture being reached. Paul summarise the incarnational message in 1 Corinthian 9: 19-23 that for the sake of the gospel he will become all things to every tribe, people or culture as long as he is able to win as many as possible. Graham Cray writes ‘Youth ministry has become a matter of cross-cultural mission. It involves entering into the young people’s world and honouring them by taking it as seriously as they do.’  As youth workers, we need to be creative and imaginative in our missionary work amongst the young people, in the way we present the message of the cross to them; we need ‘to help them to find Christ [were they are] and equip them to be agents of his kingdom.’  The whole message of the New Testament is Christ making an effect on humanity through the redemptive power of redemption. John 3:16 show us how the ever giving God through incarnation brought Christ out to the whole world. In summary, ‘Incarnational ministry essentially means taking the church to the people, rather than bringing people to the church.’  We don’t have to do church the way we have always done it  , youth workers needs to take the gospel to the place where our young people are based in our local community [most especially in the current changing trend in youth culture] that is church needs to be done inside out as the previous trend of let them come to us will not work with the current culture.
Mission as Evangelism is essential for creating communities of believers. Bosch gives a good definition of evangelism when he writes ‘Mission includes evangelism as one of its essential dimensions. Evangelism is the proclamation of salvation in Christ to those who do not believe in him, calling them to repentance and conversion, announcing forgiveness of sin, and inviting them to become living members of Christ’s earthly community and to begin a life of service to others in the power of the Holy Spirit’  25Paul, in his ministry, ensured that the new Christian community would have a solid ethical and moral framework for making decisions. In a world where religious competition was extremely high (with the large number of pagan cults), a theological framework was absolutely necessary to spread the Christian faith that way, parents could be the first to evangelize their young people and pass a complete model of faith downward through the generations. It is possible that such a complete framework led to the eventual dominance of Christianity in Europe and its endurance in modern times when there was no longer any threat of ‘convert or be killed’ and pagans are no longer burned at the stake. ‘The thoroughness of Paul’s mission practice is that he was not content merely with evangelism and church planting but was concerned to build mature communities of believers who could think biblically through the ethical issues they faced in the ambient culture.’  Bosch was very clear when he said that ‘Evangelism is only possible when the community that evangelizes is a radiant manifestation of the Christian faith and exhibits an attractive lifestyle’.  Our youth people do not just want to hear words from us but wants to see us live out our lifestyle in a way that attracts them to the faith we are proclaiming. James 2 verse 18 ‘But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.’  
Youth workers need to understand that for their missionary task towards the young people to have impact, relationships must be developed amongst the young people. Jesus our role model kept reminding us of the relationship he had with his own Father, the whole of his ministry on earth flowed from this relationship with the people he encounter (Christians and non Christians alike) as well as his disciples. The whole of the New Testament shows us that relationship is very important in our mission to impact the life of our neighbours and to reconcile the broken relationship with the Father. Sudworth et al citing Mike Breen writes, ‘Relationships are the only means we have of enabling and encouraging young people to reach maturity in their physical, emotional, social and spiritual lives.’  Youth workers need create an environment or community where they could practice the presence right under the young people’s noses; we need to look for ways to make God present for the young people we are serving. Hirsh made us understand ‘presence highlights the role of relationships in mission. If relationship is the key means in the transfer of the gospel, then it simply means we are going to have to be directly present to the people in our circle. Our very lives are our message and we cannot take ourselves out of the equation of mission.’  
The kingdom of God was central to Christ wider mission.
Word Count: 5438
 

The Health Care Provider And Faith Diversity Religion Essay

I have expanded my cultural experiences by relocating from the Midwest to the Phoenix metropolitan area. The facility where I work offers a fairly mixed spectrum of cultural diversity in an intimate and professional healthcare facility. Since several of my colleagues come from unique cultural backgrounds, I wanted to better understand their perspective on how their ways of life are accepted by or incorporated into today’s health care practices. This paper includes interviews that focus on Buddhism, Shintoism, and the Navajo Indian.

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The first question I posed to Kamm was about the spiritual perspective on healing in the Buddhist way of life. She told me that this comes through an end of suffering through wisdom, acts of compassion, and peace. A person who shows great compassion is able to draw on inner strength to overcome pain. She continued by explaining, “At a physical level, that person may suffer from pain, but their mental disposition is calm.” His/her mental level is able to subdue the physical pain. Because of that person’s mental disposition, the body’s immune system becomes more active to fight the disease. She elaborated further to say that sometimes it also means that a person is at peace in accepting physical pain or death in an optimal way, without suffering from it. A Buddhist prefers a calm and peaceful environment.
I asked Kamm about the critical components of healing of a Buddhist. She explained that diet and exercise are critical components of healing or preventing disease. She also added that Buddhists pray and meditate regularly to promote relaxation and healing. If illness does occur, many believe that using the mind can help overcome it. Kamm stated, “Everything constantly changes and change is the only constant. If certain events happen, people believe it is because a person has sowed those seeds that caused that event to occur.” Kamm elaborated further by saying that following death, Buddhists prefer not to disturb the body for as long a time as possible. The first 49 days following a person’s death are very important. It is during that time when many prayers are offered before the new life, reincarnation, begins.
Kamm explained that reincarnation occurs over and over and a follower can be reborn as any living thing. Karma is important in reincarnation and is defined as an intentional mental, verbal, or physical action and this is very important to the Buddhist (Sayadaw, 2008). Good karma is based on showing compassion and doing the right thing; this helps determine how a person will be incarnated. If a person generates bad karma by hurting or killing others, negative consequences will occur in this or another lifetime (“Karma and rebirth,” n.d.). Kamm briefly reminisced when she said, “The people cherish ancestry. During a specific time of the year, they take a vacation to go back home to pay respect for the dead.”
I asked Kamm to define what is important to a Buddhist person when cared for by health care providers with other spiritual beliefs. She explained that if a physician is very knowledgeable but not compassionate, their medicine is not very effective. The basis of trust comes with a commitment, a sense of responsibility, and a genuine sense of concern. She also added that Buddhist physicians treat their patient as if he/she was their own child.
My second interviewee, Taki, grew up in Japan. In her early 20s she met her future husband, an American, who was temporarily working there. Following their marriage, she moved with him to the United States. Taki explained that in Japan, Shintoism is another way of life, not a religion. There is a great respect for nature and when Shintoists are close to nature they are close to their kami. Kami are spirits with supernatural powers they worship that are often depicted as a variety of objects in nature such as trees, rocks, and animals (Blanford, 2009). Taki elaborated further to say that there is a strong aspiration for purification in all aspects of their life and this can be observed through their rituals or in their way of thinking. Like Buddhist beliefs, when someone passes away Shintoists believe that the person is reincarnated.
Taki explained the spiritual perspective on healing from the Shintoist perspective. Shinto followers are accepting of some of the difficult things that come their way because they believe it is the kami’s way of getting their attention. She also told me that though they may seek medical attention at medical facility, they also use other methods for healing such as in the use of herbal remedies. According to Taki, Shinto followers are very accepting of the care they receive but they are more uncomfortable when it comes down to decisions regarding complex treatment. She continued by explaining that because they are very respectful of nature and following a natural path in life, this type of complex treatment goes against their beliefs in following a natural life. They also see the dying process as one goes against their aspiration for purity in life.
Taki explained that a critical component on healing includes silent prayer to one of the kami requesting a favor. The Shinto people believe that kami want their people to be happy so they pray for good health, a good life. Taki continued by explaining that they also pray during major life events such as birth, marriage and death. Sometimes they write their prayer on a plaque and leave it at the shrine. She also noted that the Shinto people keep a small shrine in their home where offerings are made to a particular kami.
In response to the question regarding what is important to the Shinto follower when cared for by health care providers, Taki explained that often, the Shintoists are advocates of a natural way of healing and typically are not in favor of artificial means to live. Some patients will rely on the doctor and will be very accepting of the results, no matter how serious.
My final interview was conducted with Carmen, a Navajo Indian, who has lived her entire life in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Carmen explained that the Navajos also do not have a religion that traditionally worship a god. Their way of life, which stems from their sacred beginnings, serves as their belief system which strives for balance and harmony. Carmen went on to say that Navajos believe they are connected to the land and are relatives to every living thing. Their way of life is full of ceremonial rituals and traditions that connect them to their sacred past. “Throughout our life we strive for holistic wellness for which many of our rituals are based,” she explained.
Carmen believes that illness occurs when a person has an imbalance between body, mind, and spirit. A Navajo healer might be sought out to diagnose this imbalance by interpreting dreams, star gazing, or understanding the vibrations in nature. Following that, a healing ceremony can be planned to assist the mind in healing the body. Carmen went on to tell me that the ceremonies are conducted in their ceremonial attire and include chants, which are a form of prayer. Several days are observed for holiness and the healing process to continue following the healing ceremony. Carmen elaborated on this further to say that during this time the person needs to avoid certain activities, one of which includes bathing. This shows evidence the Navajo’s seriousness for a deep desire for healing to occur. The Navajo may also use herbs for treatment or seek a medical doctor for some care.
Carmen relayed that in the United States, there are hospitals specifically designed to integrate the Native American practice for healing with modern medicine. She happily reported that healing ceremonies are sometimes conducted on public land before any ground breaking for a health facility. A ceremonial hogan, a Native American family dwelling that faces the east, is included in some hospitals to accommodate this way of healing (“Hogan: Dine (Navajo),” n.d.). Carmen also noted that if a Navajo is hospitalized, Navajo healers are sometimes brought to the patient’s hospital room.
Carmen admitted that the Navajo are often wary of the western medicine practice. She emphasized that they want their doctors to understand their beliefs. The Navajo would like to see more medical facilities consider the Native American way of life as plans for medical facilities are made. Carmen continued explaining that the Navajo find most facilities are too business like and cold which creates stress and anxiety. This often makes it difficult to regain wellness through harmony and balance.
Collectively, the people interviewed all had a consistent message for how they value the care provided to them by health care providers whose spiritual beliefs were different from their own. The care they receive needs to align with their values which might include the medical team approach that respects their beliefs, a calm and serene environment, or incorporation of healing practices unique to their ways of life. They do not want healthcare workers to assume that what is important in western medicine is necessarily shared by all peoples.
When patients see health care providers let go of their own beliefs, patients feel more comfortable in their care. A sense of trust develops. Patients have greater comfort knowing that their ways of life are understood, respected, and incorporated into their care. All of these efforts promote their healing process.
The Christian philosophy of faith and healing often refers to God’s power to heal. God’s will is interpreted by some as being punished for their sins, or as a way to bring a person closer to God because of a lack of faith. Today’s belief in healing integrates God’s will through faith with traditional medical practices. God has given people the ability to acquire knowledge and skill to pursue and employ scientific advances to help treat or cure diseases. However, in contrast to other faiths this may not include a belief in the same god or what is important in a person’s life.
In conclusion, I have learned a lot in gaining a better understanding of the beliefs and values of other cultures. It has significantly increased my awareness to never assume that the care I typically provide is in agreement with the beliefs and wishes of my patient. I am more aware of the importance to first understand my patient’s beliefs so I can assist in their healing process that respects their culture and best meets their needs.
 

The Faith Of Gideon Expository Sermon Religion Essay

In Hebrews Chapter 11, there you see in verse 32, the author includes Gideon in his classic catalogue of OT great and worthy heroes of faith.
Gideon is the fifth judge of Israel who ruled for 40 years. He is without doubt counted as one of the outstanding heroes of faith in Israel’s early history.
Yet as we look at the life of Gideon first mentioned in in Judges Chapter 6, he did not start off with one who is full of faith. Faith did not come naturally to Gideon. In fact, we see much of his unbelief. It was only when he went through some spiritual transformation that he became heroic in his faith in God.
Application: Is it not so for many of us? Do we not show the lack of faith in God when we are first asked to do something for Him? Do we not always shy away from attempting some service for God because we feel inadequate and thought that God cannot use us?
But as God transforms us, like what He did to Gideon, we will then begin to put more trust in Him and to do what He has called us to do.
Do you remember how you reacted to God’s call to serve Him in some ministry? Have you been called to teach SS, join the choir, join the Exco, etc.? Did you accept the call readily? Or did you go through much struggle, exhibiting lack of faith in God, and therefore you put so many questions across to God. And not sure if God will use you. And so you keep on debating with God.
Well, this is natural. In fact, in may be good, to recognise your inadequacy before the Lord. Lest God transforms me, otherwise I will not be able to do it on my own. So you struggle with God.
Gideon went through much struggle when God called him. In Judges Chapter 6 verses 11 & 12 we see the angel of the Lord appearing to Gideon and calling him to rise and become the deliverer of his nation from the Midianites.
The children of Israel feared the might of the Midianites who prevailed against them because of their sin of disobedience (v. 1-2). They were so afraid that they had to hide themselves in dens, caves and strong holds in the mountains to protect their own lives (v. 2). And in verses 3-6, we are told that when Israel had sown, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east came up as grasshoppers for multitude, and consumed the increase of the earth, leaving no sustenance for Israel, nor for sheep nor ox nor ass, so that Israel was indeed “greatly impoverished.”

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In verses 7-10, Israel cried unto the Lord for deliverance. The Lord heard them and sent a prophet to rebuke them of their sin of disobedience and to cause them to repent. After sending the prophet to teach the children of Israel a lesson, the loving and gracious God next sent an angel to call a saviour to deliver Israel.
The call came to Gideon who was to be the saviour of Israel (v. 12). And notice how God called Gideon. When the Lord calls, He assures His presence, His might and His valour (strength and ability) are with Gideon.
Notice also that Gideon is thus far unknown. He was a poor farmer’s youngest son, supposedly working with his father in the farm (v. 15) – an ordinary and obscure personality. AND God called him for a special service.
Application: You don’t have to be someone who is already great for God to call you to serve Him in some area of service. In fact many times in the Bible, we see that God calls the weak and use the small and little. It is so that His might and His valour might be manifested through the weaknesses of His servants.
Did not the Lord call poor fishermen to be His disciples to teach and proclaim His message of love for mankind?
Did not the Lord use five loaves and two small fishes from a little boy to feed more than 5000 people?
BUT, look at Gideon’s immediate response in verse 13! Note his complaint…Oh!…why?…where?…but… Instead of blaming the sin of disobedience and rebelliousness against the Lord on the part of Israel, Gideon was questioning why God allowed Israel to be suffer under the threats of the Midianites.
Application: Have we not asked Gideon’s questions, especially during those times when we are broken hearted and bewildered (confused, cannot understand what’s going on, cannot decide what to do). “God, you said you are with me always and will deliver me, but look at what is happening to me – distress, sick, poor.” Instead of seeing our own faults, are we in the habit of blaming God for all the things that go wrong in our lives?
How did the Lord God respond to Gideon? Verse 14. Strong words, but reassuring. Gideon was to go in his might. And what was his might? It is the assurance that “Jehovah is with him” (v. 12), and also in the understanding that it is Jehovah Himself had sent him: “have not I sent thee?” (v. 14).
Never mind all the accusations Gideon had made against the Lord, but God is still gracious to assure Him His presence with Gideon as He sent him to be the deliverer of Israel from the Midianites.
But this was still not enough assurance for Gideon. In verse 15, he complained again because he realised that he could not run away from God. The Lord was persistent in calling him. He gave more excuses.
Application: Does it sound familiar to us? Moses did the same thing, giving excuses. And we too. All because of lack of faith and trust in the Almighy.
Like Gideon, we look inwards to ourselves, our diabilities, inadequeacies, weaknesses; instead of looking up to who God is! – the one who has called, the one who has sent us, and the one who will equip us.
Look at how the Lord reply to Gideon’s complain and excuses in verse 16. Yet, again, this was not enough for Gideon. And he again tried to find a way of escape. “If …then show me a sign.” (v. 17).
Application: Do we see a character full of unbelief? Gideon’s vocab is so full of unbelief, skeptical surprise, uncertainty, expression of hopelessness, complaints, sarcasm, and sign-seeking attitude showing lack of faith. Is this part of our vocab as well, when the Lord direct us to do something?
Gideon’s unbelief arose from and consisted in his looking at circumstances instead of looking to God. Gideon’s eyes were earthbound and inward instead of heavenward and unto the Lord.
Yes, looking at circumstances instead of looking to God is the certain cause of unbelief. There are other classic instances of this in the Scriptures.
Think of Peter walking on water to Jesus. As long as he keeps his eye on Jesus he treads the waves; but as soon as he begins to look around at the boisterous billows, his faith collapses, doubts seize him, he begins to sink, and cries out, “Lord, save me!”
Think of those twelve men of Israel who were sent to spy on the land of Canaan. Ten of them declared that Israel is utterly incapable of occupying the land; while the other two urge to immediately go in. The difference – the ten had their eyes on circumstance, whereas the other two had their eyes toward God. The ten put the difficulties between them and God and as a result God looked very small. The other two put God between them and their difficulties, and the difficulties seemed as but the opportunity for God to display His glorious power. Someone said, those ten pessimists saw four “G’s.” Grapes, great cities, giants, grasshoppers. But they forgot to see the biggest G which Joshua and Caleb could see, God.
Dear friends, Is it always the same with us? We look at circumstances instead of looking to God and this breeds unbelief, and unbelief begets helplessness and hopelessness. Let us focus on Him rather than on our problems, and learn to put full trust in Him.
Thus far we have seen that Gideon was so full of unbelief when he was first called by the Lord to be the saviour of Israel from the Midianties. But look now at his transforming experience.
Gideon in his debate with God challenged the Lord to show him a sign (v. 17). And the Lord God graciously acceded to his request. And after having seen the sign of a miraculous fire breaking out of the rock to consume the unleavened cakes which had been laid there, Gideon was quite convinced (vv. 17-22). And he built an altar unto the living and true God and called it Jehovah-shalom (v. 24).
In the OT, there is vital significance about the altar. It is the place where God and men meet. There at the altar the human soul interacts with God. When Gideon built the altar to Jehovah, it showed that he was in communion with the Lord. It means that he had made a clean break with the past, and became a worshipper of the one true God.
The proof of Gideon’s conversion from his unbelief to trusting in the Lord was seen in that he named the altar Jehovah-shalom. The word “shalom” is the Hebrew word for peace. He called the altar “Jehovah is my peace.” For the first time in the life of this young Hebrew boy, came a sense of peace. And this is what happens when a sinner is truly converted to the Lord. His heart is filled with wondrous peace.
Application: Do you have this peace? This peace is a peace that know that all our sins are forgiven by the virtue of Christ’s atoning death by the sheddind of His precious blood on the cross. Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? If you are washed, you have become reconciled to God, and the living Saviour daily keeps you, and there is a heavenly home awaiting for you in eternity.
If you do not yet have this peace, you must come to the altar which God had built at Calvary when the Lord Jesus was sacrificed for our sins. He died and rose again to save you and me from our sins. That is the altar where a holy, loving God gives us the pardon, peace, power and promise which we sinners need.
The next step of Gideon’s spiritual transformation was his consecration. He offered himself to the will of God on that altar which he built. He did not only meet the Lord at the altar, but he also yielded himself to the Lord.
God tested his consecration as we see in vv. 25-26. It was a test of Gideon’s faith and obedience unto the Lord. He was commanded to throw down the altar of Baal – false god which the people had been led away from the living and true God to worship. Therefore for Gideon to throw down the altar of Baal and to erect on to Jehovah in its place, and with a sacifice made upon it, was to truly stand firm for his faith. It means inviting death for Gideon. Did he obey?
Verse 27 tells us what he did. He passed the test of his faith in God. He was even prepared to die for his new found faith in God by his action to destroy the altar of Baal. And then trouble came for Gideon in verse 28. Things were not good for Gideon. But just then a most remarkable surprise came. Look at verse 31. Gideon’s father stood up and addressed the angry crowd. (see verse 31). It was a challenge for the idol worshippers. The marvellous thing was that Gideon’s father stood by him in his faith in the true and living God.
Application: Dear friends, would you stand firm for your faith in God, if you are put to the test? Sometimes we are afraid of what our parents, bosses, friends will say if we stand firm for our faith. But to our surprise they may even commend us for our firmness in our stand. Have you been tested for your faith? Did you stand firm? Or will you stand firm? (Testimony of a sister who went ahead to be baptised and ready to be thrown out of the house, but to her surprise, the father gave her an angpow).
And then we see the most remarkable transformation that took place in Gideon in verse 34. He was controlled by the Spirit of God when the Spirit came upon him. It is like God clothing him with God’s armour to be ready to fight the Midianites which God had called Gideon to do.
Application: Note that when God calls, He provides what that we need to do His work for Him. He wants you to fight against the devil, He also provides His armour for you to put on. He sends us to spread the gospel, but He assures that He is with us always.
So we see that Gideon was converted to the true God, consecrated to the will of God, and then controlled by the Spirit of God to become the savior of the people of Israel. The people recognised all these and flocked to him when he blew the trumpet (v. 34). And the story that follows in the next few chapters tells of Gideon’s marvelous victory over Midian, and freeing Israel from her enemy. God gave him victory over the enemy as he fought, trusting in God Almighty.
What a transformation has taken place in Gideon’s life – from a heart of unbelief to a heart converted to God, consecrated unto God’s will and a life controlled by the Spirit of God. And he gained a place in the Hall of Great Faith in the book of Hebrews.
Conclusion
Let us learn from the faith of Gideon. Let us not look at the circumstances around us, otherwise our faith in God will waver. But let us put our focus on Lord, fully trusting in Him alone, let us be ready to stand firm in our faith and yield our life to Him, to His will. And He will clothe us with His Holy Spirit to do things, in faith, for Him which He has directed us to do. May God help us.
 

Knowing God Through Reason Or Faith Religion Essay

The desire for mankind to know God, implicates that all humans are designed to have a conscience in them that enables communication with their creator, as stated in (Genesis 1: 27). This essay will explain both arguments of knowing God by faith or reason, examples relating to both sides will be given in order to draw a conclusion of how mankind know God. It can be argued that God can be known through both faith and reason, and this can be demonstrated in scripture and nature also known as God’s two books in which He writes about Himself. Deepak Chopra wrote “God” and “Nature” as all-pervading and very impersonal laws in the universe that order things. The secret to life, he claims, is to know these laws.”

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The Bible testifies that God is spirit and He wants to fellowship with humans, according, to (John 4: 24). Since man is embodied in a physical body, an act of faith has to be applied in order to believe in an invisible God who has no physical body and therefore unseen. (Hebrews 11: 1) “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith considered to be a gift from God, is a spiritual inner substance in human beings that communicates an inner know that there is, though one cannot see. That is why faith is considered to be a spiritual act.
Further, God proved Himself by incarnation being born of flesh as Jesus Christ and throughout the scriptures; faith is an important act that has to be applied by any believer. This was emphasised by Jesus Christ, the main representative of God on earth according to the Gospel of John. (John 1: 18) “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” So this gives clarification that God Himself in incarnation came to witness to mankind about Him.
God being Infinite, humans will never know His fullness, but through incarnation, Jesus Christ conveyed the greatest revelation of God to humans.
A person who has faith pleases God according to scripture. Abraham was an example because he used faith to know and believe in God when he was asked to leave his father’s house and promised to become a father to many nations. It was God who went to Abraham, and told him who He was. (Genesis 17: 1) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.” Reading about Abraham’s testimony notifies the reader about the existence of God.
On the other hand, through the Human eye and surroundings of the world, it is evident that God truly exists, according to some points to be drawn from some elements of natural theology such as science. Evidence is a key element in reasoning. In other words proof is needed to show that God exists. Reason is a thought or a consideration offered in support of a purpose e.g. creation gives reason to speculate how God looks like. Through His creation there is wisdom and knowledge that gives humankind the reason to know God through the natural order. Natural theology gives a deeper insight on how one can know God, by what surrounds them, for example natural resources and sciences. Thomas Aquinas analysed that, “There exists a fundamental likeness to God within the created order as a consequence of God being the cause, in some sense of the word of all created things.” In other words all things were created, they don’t just happen to exist. Through, God’s wisdom and knowledge humans can discern God’s existence by things that occur around us regardless of their beliefs. For example, the birth of humans and their innate behaviour, or how plants grow from seeds. Science cannot give full explanation on how many things around us occur.
Jean Bodin (1539-96) wrote, “We have come into this theatre of the world f no other reason than to understand the admirable power, goodness and wisdom of the most excellent creator of all things…” That’s why humans should appreciate the creator of such beauty displayed in the world through all creation, other than destroying the nature that was intended for human adoration. Theologians have described the manner in which God can be known through his nature. Hans Urs von Balthazar wrote, “The category of beauty is to be reclaimed as a description of the revelation of God rather than some human category which can be applied to God.”
From a spiritual point of view, not everybody believes that God exists, the bible says, (Hebrews 11:6) “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Apparently atheists do not believe in the existence of God in other words they don’t have faith. Other aspects such as unanswered prayer can bring doubt to those who have little faith. But from a theological point of view, Karl Barth argued that natural theology wasn’t an adequate way of knowing God as this would bring conditions of humanity knowing God under their own condition whence creating their own concept about God.
A conclusion can be drawn from the above that Christians know God by faith and by visible evidence through the human eye, that indeed there is God. Even from human characteristics that are experienced through the flesh, lives no doubt in a human mind that God exists by both faith and reason. From a spiritual perspective, faith is very important to a Christian believer, because God demands this act in order to please Him. Finally God has made himself known in a general sense in the intriguing mechanisms of the created world, and he has revealed himself in a specific way by means of the written documents of the Bible. Therefore faith and reason are not a conflict; rather they complement one another as two modes of knowing God, through the natural order, and sacred scripture.
 

Importance Of Faith And Prayer In Islam Religion Essay

The quotation from the course textbook (page 225) gives tremendous significance to faith and rituals of the Islamic culture, both of which are greatly highlighted in the holy book of Quran. The main source where Muslims gain an enormous amount of faith is from reading the holy book of Quran. One must fully believe and understand the messages written in the Quran to have complete faith in it as a Muslim individual because without faith, performing those rituals are useless. For centuries, the Quran has been preserved in its original form as it was first revealed to Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H). Any slight change in it can be easily detected, since over the years, the Quran has been memorized by millions of Muslims all over the world. The originality of the holy book for over a decade is a huge fascination on its own. Since its original script is from God, the Quran is able to hold a great extent of value in the hearts of its followers.

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The term religious rituals, as explained in our text are basically “repeated actions or words that connect an individual to God”. The religious rituals in Islam are a few in numbers, but each hold great importance to Muslims. The quote from the text reminds Muslims to keep up with prayers. The ritual of prayer, known as Salat, is the second of the five Pillars of Islam. These five pillars are the five practices that every Muslim is encouraged to perform throughout their life by the holy book of Quran. The ritual of Salat is a distinctive mark of a true believer. This ritual, performed five times during the day, provides a Muslim individual with direct communication with the Creator, the Almighty.
The religious ritual of prayer is essential to all Muslims. An individual performs a ritual ablution (wadu), before each prayer, to be in a state of purity. Praying five times provides Muslims with a sense of punctuality in their everyday lives. An individual carries out a prayer in order to praise and admire God for his benevolence. Prayer gives one an opportunity to ask for forgiveness for all the misdeeds committed and also to ask the Almighty to guide him/her in the straight/ right path. As described in the Hadith, one of the sayings of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) relates prayer to the convenience of having a stream flowing outside one’s door. If an individual could easily bathe in this flowing stream of water five times during the day, he/she will have no filth left on him/her. Likewise, praying five times daily washes away one’s sins. This repeated performance of the ritual keeps everyone remembering and fearing God throughout the day.
The quote from the text refers to highly important claims and one cannot help but agree with them. Reciting the Quran and keeping up with prayers are the key factors that keep a Muslim connected to Allah, the greatest. Remembering the power of Almighty several times during the day is beneficial in endless number of ways such as keeping an individual away from evil or committing misdeeds and reserving a place in the afterlife (Jannah). These benefits clearly link the ritual of prayer with morality. The term morality, as defined in the text, is “a set of norms designed to regulate and govern the conduct of humans”. Religious rituals, on the other hand, help keep an individual connected to God and following in the path of guidance of the divine being. Prayer requires complete submission of an individual’s mind and soul to the Ultimate. It reminds everyone that the Creator, the Almighty owns everything, including the Day of Judgment. Praying is not done by choice, but is rather obligatory starting at the age of seven. The religious ritual of praying can be seen as a true sign of having faith and the quote from the text greatly helps to signify its importance as mentioned in the Quran.
 

Faith As Found In The Book Of Hebrews Religion Essay

In view of the term faith as found in the book of Hebrews, one must begin at its source, to lay some initial groundwork or foundation to be able to rightly build upon it a structure through Hebrews. It is found in the Old Testament book of Habakkuk, specifically chapter 2 and verse 4b, “The just shall live by his faith”. This specific text in the Old Testament plays a larger role in the doctrinal discussions of the New Testament in a variety of passages. Though its modern interpretation reflects the method by which its teachings may be entirely fulfilled in everyday living, it is not lost in what historical value the verse holds. Roughly four hundred and fifty years ago, that verse ignited a fire in one Martin Luther that started the Protestant Reformation. In his interpretation of it, he did not read it, “The just by faith shall live,” the man who is made just by his faith, but the one who is just, having been so made by God himself, shall live, endure, through his belief and faith in God. Belief and faith in the church, in popes and decrees, is ineffectual, does not make for endurance, for salvation, for eternal life. Luther’s tremendous emphasis upon the main teaching of this text made it a kind of battle-cry of freedom among the German reformers.  According to Luther himself,

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“Before those words broke upon my mind I hated God and was angry with him because, not content with frightening us sinners by the law and by the miseries of life, he still further increased our torture by the gospel. But when, by the Spirit of God, I understood those words – ‘The just shall live by faith!’ ‘The just shall live by faith!’ – then I felt born again like a new man; I entered through the open doors into the very Paradise of God.”  
Entire New Testament books are a testament to the scope of this foundational passage. From Romans that defines the just, to Ephesians that defines the aspect of life; it is Hebrews that ends the passage with telling how to take hold of it in definition and display. Specifically, Hebrews details what faith is and as well as its object, the expectations of faith, and the examples Christians should follow.
What Is Faith?
There are groups of theologians and scholars where faith is not being talked about enough, and there are groups where too much is being said, for the most part because what is being said is not biblical. It is not sound. When faith is discussed, the catalyst cannot be on man’s faith. The greater emphasis should be placed upon the faithfulness of God. It is not man’s ability to rise to a spiritual level, but the character of God that is being dealt with when discussing faith. His character is the primary focus, and the activity or response of man is going to depend upon what is known about the character of God and that man’s own inability. However, “in recent years some scholars have proposed that faith in Hebrews does
not have Jesus as its object.”  In order to answer some of these scholars, the question that must be answered first is what is faith? What it is not is a leap in the dark, a random belief in some great unknown entity, or the ever present leap of faith, which in contemporary theological thought, few concepts have had more influence.»¿  There is not any credulity of thought being towards some great unknown beyond comprehension and understanding at all. Faith in the biblical sense does not depart much from the secular definition. Man can have faith in any number of things or objects. However, regarding it biblically, many regard it as simple-mindedness and as an expression of an uncritical spirit inappropriate to men and women coming of age. By contrast, the Scriptures seem to regard faith as a stepping forward, not into darkness but into the light which God has given.  The word itself, faith, or even better, faithfullness, is the Greek word pistis  , which has a meaning of “a firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing.”  
The two ways in which it is used in the New Testament is impartially and personally. Being the focus of this text is within the book of Hebrews, the former of the two will not be discussed. The simple definition of this question, what is faith, is found in Hebrews 11:1, which states, “…faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” To better help in understanding the bare facts of this, in order to expound upon this important verse, one must be able to grasp initially some kind of understanding to better comprehend its message. To illustrate in helping one with this matter, a person at one point in time places an order from a store. Later, that same store calls the person back to say that the order is ready for pickup. The person accepts by faith the word of the store clerk that the order is ready. Picking up the order by driving to the store’s location is the act of faith. It is not a passing emotional state. There is a substance to it that comes by hearing. It is an essential grace provided and preserved by God. As such, in returning to an earlier statement, due to the author and sustainer of faith, it is He in which that faith is based upon. The proof comes “from the relationship of faith to the word of God. In 6:11-20 the idea of Jesus being the object of faith is depicted in terms of the word of God.”  In this trusting of God, the substance is how God was realized or grounded in the person of Jesus Christ. It differentiated the belief in some abstract existence from an actual existence. Again, it is in this difference where the division came be distinguished between “blind faith” and true saving faith. Looking to the Author of faith as an example, it is in His faithfulness to save fully and completely that exemplifies man’s confidence, as his own severely lacks in all aspects. Looking at Hebrews 3:2-6 as an example of this, Moses compared to Christ delineates little over much more, which lends itself to the call of “holding fast in verses 6 and 14 in the same chapter. Back to Hebrews 11:1, pistis is the tangible realization of the Person being believed. Its background is found in Hebrews 2:8, with the triumph of Christ as the “hoped for and not yet seen” reality of faith.  
 

How Strong Is Your Faith Religion Essay

Biblical character Job placed much faith in his lord. He kept his faith despite some of the harshest of circumstances. Job had immense resources that provided for him and his family until Satan challenged God to a test of Job’s faith. It was then that great tragedy befell Job and his family. Further testing his faith, God disfigured Job’s face by giving him welts. Through this entire calamity, Job’s faith grew even stronger, proving Satan wrong. God then replaced Job’s health, job, land, and even provided with him a better wife. Confused, Job wondered why he experienced such a dramatic rollercoaster of life. Job asked God “why did this all happen?”, and God replied: …”Because I’m God”. That’s was all the answer he needed.

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God can easily take back everything that he created at any time, which causes man to fear God. People of the purest faith realize this and repay God with a lifetime of homage and servitude. This is usually the key behind all religions were there’s a God. For example, in the Hindu faith they have a God in which goes by the name of Shiva, believed to be the “restorer and destroyer of worlds”, which gives Shiva the persona of being one of the most temperamental gods of any faith. Shiva has the power to destroy the world on a simple whim. To prove his power, Shiva once cut his own son’s head and replaced it with an Elephant’s head. Once there was a story of a man whom desired power more than anything in the world. He had to obtain sacred weapons from
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which were created by Shiva. Through deep meditation that went on till he clouded the heavens that eventually angered Shiva. Shiva then challenged the man to a battle, in which he was easily conquered. Shiva was still impressed by the will and determination of this man, so Shiva ended providing him with the weapons that he desired so much. Shiva requires the type of faith that is strong enough that man would even challenge God himself, which would make him the ideal Hindu.
Religion is a part of everyone’s life; throughout history, in art, in music, and especially in literature. It’s something that could even be traced back to man’s earliest presence in this world. Some people’s faith extends further than others, but does this really matter? When comparing the stories of Job and Jonah, faith seems to no make a difference to God. Job being someone who had strong, pure, and unfaltering faith, and on the other hand, Jonah had such faltering faith. Yet Job was punished when God tested his faith, and at the same time Jonah just fled from God, and yet he was forgiven. Faith seems not to really matter to God in the long run. Between these stories’ it seems that the good man ends up getting screwed in the end, while the bad guy seems to be rewarded. With that being said, doe’s one man who truly worships God and pure end up weighing more in the eyes of God than an apathetic Hindu?
Man having the need to believe that there is something out there that might superior to him with some type of explanation for our presence on this world. God having such an unimaginable popularity to mankind makes him necessary to mankind, definitely having lasted this long. We want to believe and find something that proves there is something more than just a void when it’s all over. Subconsciously, we even realize there actually was no God, and no afterlife, there would be no consequences, and the basic goodness within man would come to a fault which would take away from us maintaining the little order we have, and would promote chaos all around.
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The amazing part of our world is that everyone has unique gifts, skills, and abilities. One man may end up as smart as Albert Einstein with a body like the Hulk, and his brother would have the mind of the Rain-Man and the body of Moby Dick. God seems to rewards us in a variety of ways. Some of us are blessed spiritually, some physically, some mentally, when some are all rounded. Rewards could be proportional to faith. A man with wealth may be a strong believer, while a man with nothing may be a blasphemer. But there might be no connection between the amount of faith you have and how you’re rewarded. This would make it much easier to believe, when some of the wealthiest people out there are usually sinful or have their hands something that is. People who believe might not be any better off than people who don’t believe. But there’s a question that still remains; is religion actually good or bad? In Moby Dick, questions of faith, reward, and reason, floats about subliminally in the lives and fates of all the players.
The Pulpit:
“At my first glimpse of the pulpit, it had not escaped me
that however convenient for a ship, these joints in
the present instance seemed unnecessary. For I was not prepared
to see Father Mapple after gaining the height, slowly turn
around, and stooping over the pulpit, deliberately drag up the
ladder step by step, till the whole was deposited within,
leaving him impregnable in his little Quebec.”
Things like isolation, and alienation could end up being the result of strong faith. This causes you to be set apart from the crowd, making you an outcast. Father Mapple being one of the truest believers in this novel
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sets himself up at a distant, higher, and more protected place. Mapple believes he is a direct messenger from God. In this chapter The Pulpit is built unlike any other. According to Mapple’s specifications, it was extremely tall with a long rope ladder leading to his platform; this setup was very similar to boarding a vessel. Once Mapple withdrawals the ladder, he goes to an isolated world of his own, taking him away from the city where he’s an extremely popular whale man. He feels to have such a necessity of going away to an isolated island away from the real world so then he can communicate with God. Being on a nearly empty, isolated ship seems to be all that’s left of his religion. This can be taken to mean that while Mapple is alone on his vessel and silence is surrounding him, he must climb up the simple ladder toward heaven in order to escape the land of the sinners so he can communicate God’s word. He then pulls up the ladder to prevent any distractions, visitors, or invaders. Usually a real vessel would be set off to sea, which spiritually Mapple has to do. He then stands up high, looking down on the congregation, he feels he is superior. He has a painting at the foot of the Pulpit of this ship fighting off a colossal storm, and through the clouds is an Angel that is creating light to guide the lonely vessel home. The vessel in the painting is also the same as the vessel represented by the Pulpit and Mapple is at the Helm. Now at the top of the Pulpit is a podium where Mapple reads his bible. His bible in which guides his ship through the storms of evil. Now the resemblance of all this is that religion represents this lonely vessel, which must break through these storms of evil before the world can be holy, and Mapple is the only crewmember on this vessel, who represents mankind.
Religion is being a lonely vessel, and man stays alone on this vessel. The tale from Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” further expresses this solitude. The mariner, who was a man that was cursed to walk the earth, telling his tale to those that he felt were fit.
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Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner:
“I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech
the moment that his face I see
I know the man that must hear me;
to him my tale I teach”
It was tale of a seaman whose crew had encountered some grilling times during their voyage. They discovered salvation in a special Albatross that helped guide their path with swift wind to clear their passage. Once they were out in the clear, they witnessed that there blessed creature was killed by the mariner. In an instant the situation deteriorated and all two-hundred crew members suddenly dropped dead, with the mariner left all alone in the freezing, stormy weather. Once repented, the vessel was guided by all the ghosts of his crew members to an old hermit who sent him on a solitary quest. The quest he was sent on was for him to spend the rest of his life traveling the world, while telling his tale to all he felt fit. This could very well be Elijah’s predicament in (Moby-Dick), someone who appears to be an old insane bum that won’t stop trailing Ishmael and Queequeg. It all started when the Pequod’s papers were signed and that moment Ishmael and Queequeg have in effect signed their souls away. He moved on talking of a prophecy concerning Ahab’s fate. Ishmael saw him as a senile fool, but Elijah has a purpose, he is a prophet. He brought about a sense of pessimism before the journey ever started. He was much like the Ancient Mariner in that he was damned to eternity of prophecy and warning. This is a warning that concerns a mistake which will lie ahead on their hunt. To the mariner, the Albatross is hunted despite the fact that it was their salvation sent by god. Elijah might be warning the deaf Ishmael that Moby Dick is actually the Albatross that was sent from god. In any case, Elijah’s fate was sealed
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forcing him into a life of solitude. He definitely is a true believer, a prophet, and perhaps even some incarnation of God. Once again someone’s faith leads them to solitude.
Elijah’s life may just be the ending to Jonah’s story. After Jonah repented he was forgiven and reborn as a prophet. As a prophet or even a direct servant of god, his journey will end up being a solitary one; he will have to fend for himself much like Elijah was. Everyone seems to look upon Elijah with suspicion and ridicule, but this comes with the territory. Although Jonah’s story never really ended, his fate was still written in stone, and Elijah’s life is that fate. Faith destines him to live a life of solitude.
Just like Elijah and Jonah, Ishmael is also left to a fate of spreading his tales to those he felt fit. He is the mariner, in which his voyage killed the albatross and he ended up paying the full price left alone in an empty ocean with nothing but a coffin as a life buoy. In all likeliness, God did not allow Ishmael to just shake it off and move on. This tragedy will end up consuming him for the rest of his life, and this cycle will never end because there will always be another Ishmael and his Pequods.
Starbuck on the other hand, is one of the most faithful Christians on the Pequod. He is actually the voice of reason out of the whole crew and always maintains his faith while the majority of the crew ends up disregarding it. Like so many others, his religious faith ends up leading him to solitude. Now in ‘The Quarter-deck’, Ahab actually describes his experiences with Moby Dick and then announces the goal of his mission, and the entire crew becomes truly excited in which they all end up going along on his insane quest. Through all of this, Starbuck ended up being the only crew member to realize that Ahab had actually changed and became obsessive after this incident.
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The Quarter-deck:
“Vengeance on a dumb brute!” cried Starbuck, “that
simply smote thee from blindest instinct! Madness!
To be enraged with a dumb thing, Captain Ahab,
seems blasphemous.”
Even from the beginning, Starbucks faith isolated him from the rest, he could have easily decided to follow the crew, but that would falter his faith. He realizes he is completely different from the rest of the crew. He refused to drink sinfully with the rest, due to the crazed and absurd quest of Ahab. Ishmael described the whole crew as being detestable, but Starbuck is actually the ideal man; maybe even God’s blueprint. Now this is quite a difference. Yet the only factor that separates Starbuck from the whole crew is his faith, but his beliefs end up isolating him from the crew. His faith is truly pure but eventually in ends up faltering. He soon realizes that Ahab’s obsession has been growing with each passing day and eventually it will kill them all. At point Ahab actually threatens Starbuck’s life with a musket over a difference of opinions. Starbuck ends up obtaining the musket and is forced to make a decision between his faith and justice. Starbuck being a man of faith knew that no matter the outcome, it will always end up being God’s will.
A difference of faiths caused Queequeg to be alienated from the crew. Queequeg was a prince who came from the island of Kokovoko. Over time he developed an interest with Christianity and later ended up finding himself onboard an English whaling vessel. Although he did attempt to be assimilated into Christian society, but he eventually lost interest and ended up returning back to his own faith. The only thing truly learned were just the skills of whaling. Felling like Christianity had actually made him less than pure he decided not return to his Island to claim his throne. Even though he was greatly respected by the crew, they isolated him for his unique
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faith and culture. During Queequeg’s Ramadan, he was in a deep meditation didn’t move for a full day while worshipping his God. Ishmael had never seen anyone do anything like this before, so to get Queequeg’s attention he tried his hardest to knock down the door.
Ishmael- The Ramadan:
“I then went on, beginning with the rise and progress
of the primitive religions and coming down to the
various religions of the present time, during which time
I labored to show Queequeg that all these Lents, Ramadans,
and prolonged ham-squatting’s in cold, cheerless rooms were
stark nonsense; bad for the health; useless for the soul;
opposed, in short, to the obvious laws of Hygiene and
common sense. I told him, too, that he being in other
things such as an extremely sensible and sagacious savage,
it pained me, very badly pained me, to see him now so
deplorably foolish about this ridiculous Ramadan of his.”
Ishmael being the fool tries his hardest to cover it by mocking Queequeg’s god. He questions what kind of savage religion would require your loyalty and discipline. In comparison to other faiths Ishmael’s negative reaction indicates the lack of respect Christianity has for their God. Now Queequeg is definitely not the inferior one in this case. It seems that Ishmael’s faith may be so weak and insecure that he feels he must convert and condemn every “savage” he sees. Even though he says that Christianity has “progressed,” it seems he may very
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well may be using a different dictionary than the rest of the world. Unless “progressed” actually means to be declined to such an extent that a faithful Christian and a prophet are considered freaks and are shunned and isolated from the world. Ishmael’s prayers to Yojo showed that he himself believes that Quequeg’s faith is inferior to his. Ishmael and Queequeg underwent a pagan ritual, smoking to the doll, in order to confirm their marriage.
Ishmael -A Bosom Friend:
“I was a good Christian; born and bred in the bosom
of the infallible Presbyterian Church. How then could
I unite with this wild idolater in worshipping his piece
of wood? But what is worship? , thought I. Do you suppose
now, Ishmael, that the magnanimous God of heaven
and earth- pagans and all included-can be possibly be
jealous of an insignificant bit of black wood? Impossible!”
Ishmael is in denial and doesn’t realize it. He has troubles excepting that the Christian’s God and Queequeg’s God are the same being but in different forms. His faith is not strong enough to see the idol as nothing more than just a piece of wood. This is exactly where the relationship starts to have problems. Ishmael feels church is “infallible” and lacks any solid proof. He feels this was due to it being forced and installed into him his whole life. On the other hand, Queequeg has spent ample amount of time worshipping his God to where he truly believes. Ishmael being so close-minded, he refuses to accept that Queequeg’s faith as anything
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more than inferior, therefore making him more isolated from Ishmael than a normal from what “Christian” standards of friendship are. In other words, Queequeg’s faith makes Ishmael see him more as a pet than a friend.
Queequeg is much like the character that goes by the name of” John the savage” from Huxley’s “Brave New World”. John was raised away from new civilization, therefore he the opportunity to have his own opinions, ideas, and ideals. Now on the other hand, everybody that lives in this new society were brain washed from when they were children in order to fit into their assigned classes. Just like Ishmael and the Christians, they were raised believed that everything that they thought they knew was infallible. They believed in their somas, a drug, as a means to escape from their reality, while John knows that the somas were only just a diversion. They believed that the Feelies, a form of entertainment, was the only form of art, while john knew that was wrong for a fact. He was well aware of literature, poetry, and Shakespeare. John was very open-minded because he wasn’t like everyone else, a brainwashed conformist. So do you think if Ishmael would have become more open if he wasn’t raised by the church?
Queequeg was discriminated against by everyone, because of his faith when he first boarded the ship. There is one criterion for working aboard the Pequod, it was that you were a Christian. It didn’t matter if you were a Killer, thieve, or even an overall scum. All types were welcome with open arms as long as you were Christian. On the other hand, Queequeg must prove himself to everyone before he can work with them. It took a very dramatic experience for Queequeg in order to prove his worth to the crew. This all occurred when a foolish man who ridiculed Queequeg was knocked overboard due to a loose post that knocked him into the ocean. Queequeg immediately dove into the icy water without any hesitation at all in order to save this man, and he succeeded. Since his beliefs differed from the others, he was required prove himself to his shipmates even though it wasn’t necessary for others, Christians, to do so. Unfortunately Queequeg’s faith separated him from
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his shipmates. In a way it seems Christianity really screwed Queequeg over. He was completely rejected by the others, even though his interests in Christianity lead him to leave his people. He was driven away from Christianity from all the corruption that came with it. Since his purity was tainted by Christianity, it made him unworthy to be able to return home and claim his throne.
So far the strong faith that was in the lives of these mentioned believers has not yet been a positive factor in their lives. We have Job who endured a humiliating test by the God he loved. Then there’s Mapple who felt that in order to communicate with God he had to be isolated upon a pulpit. Then we have Elijah, the mariner, who preach the word of God to everyone he saw even though they deemed him a humbug. Now we can’t forget about Queequeg who was discriminated against by everyone, even his own tribe, just because he was involved in two faiths. These stories make it seem like there is no advantage to having any faith at all. In fact, in the long run no matter whom they were and how strong their faith was, the entire crew ended up having the same fate: a watery death. All except for Ishmael, who was supposedly left to live his life as prophet spreading the word of God? The only affect religion seemed to actually have on these lives, was nothing more than pain and isolation. No one was rewarded nor did they receive any advantages just for loving God. In which seemed to have the opposite effect for the non-believers, they had a clear advantage to not having any religion at all.
A life spent without religion is a life spent with leisure. The second mate of the Pequod was Stubb, and he was the complete opposite of Starbuck. Starbuck started this voyage to earn a living, in which Stubb just joined for the thrill of the hunt. Through this entire voyage, Stubb really enjoyed himself. His days are now worried free. His supper is one example of his impertinence and carefree attitude. He and the black cook,
Craig Peitz How strong is your faith? Page13
Fleece, have a conversation that leads to questions about death. Stubb asks Fleece where he plans on going after his death, and Fleece just subtly points up. Which was quite funny since Stubb didn’t understand this so he told Fleece that we definitely don’t need a corpse just hanging from their masthead.
Stubb -Stubb’s Supper:
“You said up there, didn’t you? And now look
at yourself, and see where your tongs are
pointing. But, perhaps you expect to get into
heaven crawling through the lubber’s hole,
cook; but, no, no , cook, you don’t get
there, except you go the regular way, round
by the rigging. It’s a ticklish business, but must
be done, or else it’s no go. None of us
are in heaven yet.”
He might have some belief in heaven, but it’s definitely in a very distant corner of his mind. He lives his life without worry of heaven at least until the last possible moment. He thinks faith is nothing but useless, he’s a non-believer. He asks Fleece how he intends to get into heaven since it seems the effort is more trouble than it is actually worth. On the other hand, the “regular way” in Stubb’s mind involves a Starbuck-type loyalty, which he doesn’t want to give. When he says “none of us are in heaven yet” he is basically saying: why bother? There is no proof and no live person can be sure that heaven even exists until they die. Therefore, his life is full of enjoyment having no religion, and yet he shares the same fate of “God’s blueprint.” Starbuck doesn’t consider or
Craig Peitz How strong is your faith? Page14
fear death at all, and this is how he lives without any worries, superstitions. One example Ishmael give for Stubb’s lack of religion and faith, is his pipe. It was described as a part of his face, he thought of it to be some kind of “disinfectant” that would protect him from God’s wrath. Ishmael doesn’t want to believe that there will be no consequences for your decisions in life. Yet some having no religious conviction at all easily lives his life freely, unlike most other Christians. I feel we all have the opportunity to make our own “Blue Prints” of life regardless of our beliefs and or faith. The only things that all humans have in common is suffering, which brings us together, but yet we all are destined to the fate of death some just sooner than others.
These two monolithic figures from literary history lived two very similar lives despite their differences in faith and styles of coping. Both were beset by great tragedy, and endured in their own was. Perhaps there is something to be said of the captain’s demise when compared to Job’s perseverance, but a faith in something greater is what bound them together.
 

History Of The Bahai Faith Religion Essay

The Baha’i Faith is an independent monotheistic religion. The Baha’i Faith is an independent religion in the sense that it has its own scriptures, own laws, own holy days as well as its own calendar. This faith is known to be one of the fastest growing religion in the world and is spread to at least 250 independent nations in the world. The Baha’i Faith represents approximately 2112 ethnic and tribal groups and is composed of as many as over six million people who have declared themselves as followers of the Baha’i Faith. This faith is distinct in terms of the diversity of the believers of the faith. The Baha’i Faith is a ‘global’ religion as the believers come from different cultural, ethnic, professional and social class background.

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The second figure, Baha’u’llah (Glory of God) was known to be the founder of the Baha’i Faith. Baha’u’llah was born as Mirza Husayn- Ali Nuri in Tehran, Persia who was the son of a prominent Iranian noblemen. He was one of Bab’s first disciples as well as the most renowned one. In his 20’s, he renounced a life filled with wealth, privilege and high social standing in order to join the Babis and fight for humanitarian rights. When the Babis were being persecuted after the death of the Bab, Baha’u’llah also suffered and was thrown into the Siyah-Chal which is a black pit. It was during his imprisonment here where he received revelations through a maiden from God of him being a Messenger of God and him being the prophet of which the Bab had predicted. While most of the Babis were being killed, he was spared and released from prison but he was consequently exiled from Iran by the government. Baha’u’llah then made his way to Baghdad and began the quest to revive the Babi community there. Due to this, he was again exiled to Constantinople but before his departure, he revealed to his followers that he was the manifestation of God. This incident marked the birth of the Baha’i Faith. After his stay in Constantinople, he was again asked to depart for Adrianople, Turkey. Here, he openly revealed his claim of being the messenger of God and began proclaiming his station openly to the world at a larger scale. It was here also when Baha’u’llah sent a series of letters to the leading monarchs of his time to inform them about his faith. The monarchs included Pope Pius IX and Queen Victoria. Baha’u’llah was subsequently sent to Akka which is the modern day Acre, Israel. His final years were spent here but before his death, he assigned and declared his son, Abdu’l-Baha as the Centre of the Covenant, successor and interpreter of Baha’u’llah’s writings.
The third figure, Abdu’l-Baha known as the Servant of God was the oldest son of Baha’u’llah and the successor of the leader of the Baha’i community. His appointment was stated in the will of Baha’u’llah. Abdu’l-Baha was born as Abbas Effendi in Tehran. His birth was special as that day marked the start of the mission of the Bab. From a very young age, he experienced the sufferings of exile and imprisonment alongside his father. Under his leadership, the Baha’i Faith expanded beyond the Middle East and found its way to Europe as well as North America.
 

Do Faith Based Schools Create Division And Segregation Religion Essay

Britain is now more diverse in terms of ethnicity and faith than it has ever been. Diversity provides many benefits; however, diversity needs to be balanced with equality and social cohesion in order for our multi- cultural society to be successful. At present Britain has an education system which includes faith schools. Faith schools reflect the diversity of religion and beliefs in Britain, although this paper asks the question whether they promote equality and cohesion within wider society.

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The aim of this paper is to address the question of whether or not faith schools should receive state funding and to discuss whether faith schools further segregate communities in a society which is already experiencing racial tension. An overview of faith schools and a history of education focusing on the 1800’s onwards will first be given in order to understand how the church became involved with education, and why faith schools came into existence. It will then present some arguments for and against faith schools before coming to a conclusion about the question at hand.
Faith schooling is part of a long tradition of religious involvement in the English educational system. Today there are around six thousand nine hundred faith schools in the United Kingdom, which makes up thirty three percent of all maintained schools in this country (Berkeley R. 2008: 4). Faith schools are based on the values of a particular religion and many incorporate religious and spiritual elements into the school day. They are either partly or fully governed by a religious organisation such as a church or mosque. Recently faith schools have become progressively more controversial, partly because Britain has become a multi- faith society. As Christian schools are state funded it seems only fair that Muslim and other religious schools are also funded although the problem that arises for some is that separating children into ethnic and religious groups for schooling may cause prejudice and divisions in society.
The earliest schools in Britain were set up in the Middle Ages and were called ‘Song Schools’. These were places where the sons of the wealthy, were church educated and taught how to sing in the cathedral choirs. The church had begun to set up Elementary Schools by the sixteenth century to cater for other parts of the community. In Britain, free compulsory education has been conducted in formal institutions since 1870. Up until that date, virtually all schooling was provided by the Church of England.
In 1811 the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church (otherwise known as the National Society) was founded and its aim was to provide a school in every parish. The National Society introduced mass education before the state provided schools. Religion alongside reading, writing and arithmetic were taught and took form of the Bible, prayer and book services (Gates 2005:16). There were other Christians, along with liberal Anglicans and some Jews and Roman Catholics, who preferred a different approach and in 1814 founded the British and Foreign School Society for the Education of the Labouring and Manufacturing Classes of Society of Every Religious Persuasion (the British and Foreign School Society). These schools taught Scripture and general Christian principles but in a non- denominational form, drawing upon the work of Quaker Joseph Lancaster. There was also a third group who wanted to keep religion out of schools altogether and formed another organisation in the 1830’s called the Central Society of Education. This third party only represented a very small number of people and made very little impact upon education. In 1833, the government began to give out annual grants to both the British and Foreign School Society and the National Society as it did not want to appear to be promoting one over the other.
England’s industrial revolution began to boom in the latter half of the 18th century and new agricultural techniques and machinery meant that it was possible to supply a larger amount of goods using less manual labour. During the Industrial revolution, an economy based on manual labour was replaced by one taken over by industry and the manufacture of machinery. Rapid industrialisation cost many craft workers their jobs and scores of weavers also found themselves unemployed as they could not compete with machinery. Ordinary working people found increased opportunity for employment in the mills and factories and in some cases had no choice but to move to the towns and cities in search of work.
In the 1820’s, the population of Britain stood at approximately fourteen million and by 1871 it had reached twenty six million. This fast growth of population meant that a larger number of the population were children. By the early 1900’s up to eighty per cent of the population of Britain lived in urban centres (Kumar, 1978, cited in Bilton et al, p.28). Education was still limited at this time; therefore children were expected to work in the factories.
This dramatic social and economic transformation revealed that England’s educational provision was inadequate and several reports pointed out deficiencies in the system and better schooling was called for. The Church of England believed that education was desirable for all children although this view was not held by everyone, for example those who benefitted from employing children such as the factory owners. Many new types of schools were established including industrial schools, where the poor received manual training. Sunday schools also taught the poor, both children and adults, how to read the bible, but did not teach writing or arithmetic and new day schools were also introduced where teaching was also based around the bible. There were also parish and private schools still surviving alongside these new schools. The annual funding that the state provided to schools in the 1860’s was in excess of £800,000 but there was pressure for the government to provide schools in areas where there were not any. The interests of religious societies caused problems as there was conflict over whether the state should pay for schools run by a particular religious denomination or whether schools should have no association with religious groups.
The Church and the State continued to work closely together in education up until the 1870 Education Act, also known as The Forster Act, which introduced state funded education. This Act established school boards to oversee the network of schools and to bring them under supervision. The 1870 Act can be described as the point at which the government began to take the education of children seriously. The aim of this act was to fill in the gaps concerning schooling that was already provided by the churches. The Act divided Britain into districts and required elected school boards to raise money to provide public elementary schools, which are also known as board schools. Some assumed the 1870 Act would see a gradual decline in church schools, which would be replaced by board schools, although the churches were adamant this would not be the case. The churches took full advantage of government funds and planned as many buildings as they could. As a result of this, the number of church schools rose considerably in the next fifteen years and the number of children attending church schools doubled.
The Education Act introduced in 1902, established a ‘Dual System’ of partnership between the churches and the state in providing a national system of education. This system was clarified by the Act of 1944, by distinguishing the different types of maintained schools. County schools had no church governors and were entirely publicly funded. Voluntary schools were originally funded by religious bodies although they later went into voluntary partnership with the state. Voluntary schools were separated into two main types, and they continue to remain this way; Controlled and Aided.
Voluntary aided Schools are usually called religious schools or faith schools and have governors who are appointed by a religious body from the place of worship connected to the school. In a voluntary aided school, the land and buildings are normally owned by a religious organization such as a church and the governing body is responsible for the religious instruction and the running of the school. Many of these schools teach their own syllabus of Religious Education rather than that which is taught in community schools. This does not have to include the teaching of other religions. Voluntary aided schools are partly aided by the state, partly the governing body and partly by a religious organisation. At the time that the 1944 Act was passed, the state paid half of the building and maintenance costs, the rest had to be found by the religious body, this was because they had greater influence over running and teaching of the school, although in the 1960’s, the proportion of the cost that the state paid went up to eighty five per cent. Although the church appoints some members of the governing body of voluntary controlled schools, they have fewer Church governors than voluntary aided schools and are controlled by the local education authority. Religious education is taught in accordance to the local agreed syllabus and the pupils must follow the national curriculum.
The majority of state schools in Britain today are community schools which are funded and run by the Local Education Authority although a growing number are voluntary controlled or aided with up to one hundred percent of running costs covered by general taxation. Out of these there are four thousand six hundred and fifty seven Church of England schools; the Catholic Church claims two thousand and fifty three schools in England, there are around thirty six Jewish schools, eight Muslim schools as well as other faith schools including Sikh and Hindu schools (Berkeley R. 2008: 4). The admittance of a pupil into a faith school is determined by the governors of the school but the local education authority is also usually involved. Faith schools can insist that their pupils come from particular faiths but this is bound by the Race Relations Act. It is suggested that school places should be reserved for children of no or other faith although ultimately this is the governor’s decision and a Church of England school may ask for proof of baptism and regular church attendance. An argument against this is that if a school is being funded by taxpayer’s money then it should be open to all not only those of a particular faith.
Faith schools are seen as important for sustaining religion, culture, identity and language to religious groups. These schools are seen as having appropriate moral beliefs and are free of discrimination around their religion and culture which may reassure parents. Parents may feel faith schools will allow their children to grow up sharing their own beliefs and help them to live moral and responsible lives. Where a group feels under threat by the majority culture, hanging on to their culture will be seen as important, and it is clear that these schools are popular with some parents, however a survey published by the Guardian on the 23rd August 2005, showed that two thirds of those who were interviewed believed that the government should not fund any type of faith school. However, these results may have been encouraged by the perceived threat of Islam, as the results were collected just one month after the London bombings of July 2005. Faith schools are a particularly British way of accommodating religious diversity and they are not found in countries such as France where there is a definite separation between the Church and the state. There are many arguments against faith schools, although ethnic and religious tension currently being experienced in France is an indication that eliminating faith schools will not guarantee community harmony.
At present there are many people lobbying against faith schools, and apart from other reasons, there is an ongoing argument that no one religion should be promoted in schools. The current New Labour government is however continuing to fund faith schools as they argue that faith schools produce excellent academic results and have found that many schools with a religious ethos are very successful. Although the government often claims that faith schools are more successful than non faith schools, it is argued that these schools are likely to have fewer pupils with special educational needs and it is argued that faith schools attract middle class children, who are generally more motivated and do better academically. In turn this raises the question of whether the higher success rate is down to the religious ethos of the school. The argument could be made that faith schools gain better results due to the selection of pupils within the school rather than the quality of the teaching or the religious aspects. It is however important to take into account that Catholic schools reflect the national school population in terms of those pupils with special needs and according to Ofsted, they perform better than county schools (Quality and Performance: a survey of education in Catholic schools: 5).
One of the main arguments against state funded faith schools is that they may expect children to accept particular religious teachings and practices. It is argued by Humanist philosophers that young children lack the necessary experience to make judgements on religious claims and that information taught on religion in religious schools is likely to be biased (Jackson R. 2005 p51). It is thought by some that faith schools separate groups in society and that future citizens of this country should learn to live together despite any religious or cultural differences. The most convincing argument against the topic of faith schools is their ability to create barriers between different groups and in return causing damage to social harmony. There is also the danger that separation by religion will also lead to separation by ethnicity.
“A report on race riots in Bradford five years ago found that the existence of religious schools had increased segregation and contributed to racial tension. Critics [of faith schools] argue that as faith-based schools increase in numbers, racial and ethnic mixing will dwindle” (The Economist 2006).
The conflict between youths of different ethnic backgrounds, which took place in Oldham, Bradford and Leeds in 2001, has led to increased calls to end the expansion of faith schools. In September 2002 it became compulsory for secondary schools to include Citizenship education in their lessons. This teaches students about diversity and the need to respect all people from different social, cultural and religious backgrounds.
It is more than necessary that space is made in all schools for the teaching and learning of all the major faiths and cultures in Britain today, with particular focus to the local area of the school. This would play a vital role in supporting the understanding and awareness of people in our communities and help to build bridges between faiths and not create barriers. There appears to be a lack of teaching in all schools, but in particular faith schools, about different cultures and religions and beliefs in Britain today, which in some instances may lead to misunderstandings, ignorance and fear of difference. If children were taught from a young age about different beliefs and cultures this may ease a parent’s fears of sending their child to a community school.
Education is an important aspect of socialization, involving the acquisition of knowledge and the learning of skills. Intentionally or not, education often helps towards shaping a person’s moral values, understandings and beliefs. The purpose of British taxpayer’s money should not be to push one particular religion but should be used to enable all children to gain education, insight and awareness which are all necessary to engage with others. Places of worship are specifically intended to nurture faith through worship and learning and schools should serve a separate function.
 

Analysing A Struggle To Maintain Faith Religion Essay

Eliezer’s battle with his faith is a commanding conflict in Elie Wiesel’s Night. In the introduction of the work, his faith in God is unconditional. On page 4, when asked why he prays to God by Moishe the Beadle, Elie answers, “Why did I pray? . . . Why did I live? Why did I breathe?” His belief in a supreme, compassionate God is unconditional, and he cannot imagine living without faith in a divine power. However, this faith is shaken by his experience during the Holocaust. Initially, Eliezer truly believes that god is everything and that nothing could be possible without god, but his faith is challenged by the traumatic events that cross his path during the holocaust. After the hanging of the pipel on page 65 in the end of Segment Four, Wiesel writes:

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“Where is God? Where is He?” someone behind me asked. ..For more than half an hour the child in the noose stayed there, struggling between life and death, dying in slow agony under our eyes. And we had to look him full in the face. He was still alive when I passed in front of him. His tongue was still red, his eyes were not yet extinguished. Behind me, I heard the same man asking:
“Where is God now?”
And I heard a voice within me answer him:
“Where is He? Here He is-He is hanging here on this gallows. . . .”
The Holocaust and its traumatizing images put Elie Wiesel’s faith into question through the end of the novel.
Initially, Eliezer’s faith is a result of his studies in Jewish mysticism, which teach him that God is everywhere in the world, that nothing could exist without God, that in fact everything in the physical world is a reflection of the divine world. In other words, Eliezer has grown up believing that everything on Earth demonstrates God’s divinity and strenth. His faith is put into the idea that God is everywhere, all the time, that his divinity touches every aspect of Eliezer’s daily life. Since God is perfect, his studies teach him, and God is everywhere in the world, the world must therefore be perfect.
Eliezer’s faith in the goodness of the world is hopelessly destroyed by the cruelty and evil he beholds during the Holocaust. He cannot imagine that the concentration camps’ inconceivable, revolting brutality could possibly reflect divinity. He wonders how a compassionate God could be part of such debauchery and how an all powerful God could permit such savagery to take place. His faith is also shaken by the mercilessness and greed he sees among the prisoners. He might have been able to maintain the belief that humankind is essentially good if he didn’t see that the Holocaust exposes the selfishness, evil, and cruelty which everybody-not only the Nazis, but also his fellow prisoners, his fellow Jews fall victim to. If the world is so wicked, he feels, then God either must be equally wicked, he or must not exist at all.
Though this awareness suggests a massacre his faith, Eliezer manages to retain some of this faith throughout his affairs. In moments during his first night in the camp and during the hanging of the pipel, Eliezer does grapple with his faith, but his struggle should not be confused with a complete desertion of his faith. This struggle does not belittle his belief in God, but it is actually crucial to the entity of that belief. On page 4, When Moshe the Beadle is asked why he prays, he replies, “I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.” Questioning is also crucial to the idea of faith in a higher power. The Holocaust forces Eliezer to ask terrifying questions about the nature of good and evil and about whether God exists, but the very fact that he asks these questions reflects his commitment to God. Only in the lowest points of his faith does he turn his back on God.
Even when Eliezer says that he has given up on God completely, Wiesel’s constant use of religious metaphors undermines what Eliezer says he believes. Eliezer even refers to biblical passages when he denies his faith. When he fears that he might loose his father, he prays to God, and, after his father’s death, he expresses regret that there was no religious memorial. At the end of the book, even though he has been forever changed by his Holocaust experience, Eliezer emerges with his faith intact, so according to Wiesel, without a faith in God, there is no faith present at all. According to him, without God there is no faith and without faith there is no God. I agree with Elie Wiesel completely, because the ideas of God reside in our ability to be good outright people and to make right decisions. We can still do that without a belief or faith in God, but we cannot justify our actions without the faith that in return for our actions we will be rewarded when our time comes. Without that, our lives have little meaning during our lives and no meaning at all after that.