Is Seeing Believing?

by Sarah Abbey

As an apologist I am constantly thinking through the evidence that surrounds my Christian faith. I’m always looking for ways to communicate the reasonableness and evidence for my belief in Jesus Christ. I want to explain that I have not made a blind leap into the abyss of nothingness so many have dubbed “faith.”

Yet no matter how strongly I’m able to demonstrate the truth of Christianity there will be people who continue to tell me, “Your faith is blind.” In other words, if I would open my eyes and choose to see, I’d give up my faith in God and in Jesus Christ specifically. They tell me I can’t see God, and what I think is evidence is really phantom lights as my eyes strain in the darkness. The clear implication is that seeing is believing; sight is foundational to belief.

I must admit I struggle with this notion. Consider that so much of what we believe in can’t be seen. We can’t see love, gravity, hope, or justice. While we experience their effects, we cannot see them. Yet we believe in them.

But my struggle goes deeper than recognizing that we daily believe in things we cannot see. The real reason I struggle with the idea that sight equals belief is because I wonder if it’s actually true. If you saw everything you think you need to see to believe that God exists, Jesus Christ is who he claimed to be, and the Bible is true, would you automatically believe?

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Let me illustrate what I mean. Because I believe God exists and want to live in a way that honors Him, I ask him for guidance in decision-making. There have been times when I’ve had to make a big life-changing choice and I’ve been at a loss, not knowing what to do. In those moments I’ve been known to tell God that I really wish he’d just speak audibly and tell me what to do. If I could just physically hear him tell me what he wants then I would do it. In a very real sense I’ve fallen into the idea that seeing is believing.

In those circumstances I’ve had to stop and ask myself some questions. If I heard God audibly speak to me, would I be more likely to obey? Would I be more likely to believe? I’d like to think so, but I wonder…

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RECOMMENDED APOLOGETICS RESOURCES FOR FURTHER READING:

Why Trust Jesus?Why Trust Jesus?: An Honest Look at Doubts, Plans, Hurts, Desires, Fears, Questions, and Pleasures

The Apologetics of JesusThe Apologetics of Jesus: A Caring Approach to Dealing with Doubters

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