Oh there is a vast difference and frankly, I am really glad to see this question pop up because I have been speaking to quite a few people of late who conflate the difference between belief and faith. While they can be deeply intertwined and are presented this way in the modern dictionary, contrary to popular belief, they are not the same thing in a religious context.
Death, disease, starvation, homelessness, and many, many more problems plague humanity. At times, we all find ourselves facing or fearing these problems either in our own lives or in the lives of others. The following psalm addresses our fear of these things, acknowledging that God will protect those who take refuge in Him. Before reading the psalm, I’d like you to reflect on what that protection may look like in your own life.
All knowledge begins with God. Without God, all that can result is foolishness. This may seem counterintuitive, especially if you do not believe in God, because we are taught to rely exclusively on our own senses, or our own comprehension and understanding when we think about the world. However, if we take a moment to really think about it, we have created fields of study dedicated to answering the very questions that the Bible addresses outright and these fields of study haven’t been very successful.
I recently encountered a question on Quora where someone wanted me to defend various aspects of Leviticus from a moral perspective. Of course, this is not the question which I set out to answer, it was originally a question about God's existence and quickly transitioned to a debate about morality. In my experience thus far, this seems to be the usual. Conversations that start out as a debate about God's existence move away from proving God and into a position where we are expected to defend God. Fortunately for me, God does not need me to defend Him. The situation, however, caused me to step back and evaluate the real question at hand. Can we find objective reasons to disagree with God's moral actions or decisions?
I am so excited to announce that we are launching the Canon of Reason Podcast! On the show, we intend to dive straight into some of the most challenging aspects of Christian apologetics, theology, and philosophy. If you enjoy our blog, Canon of Reason, then you will LOVE the podcast!
If humanity as a whole has become adept at one thing, it must be the judgement and condemnation of one another. I believe this to be true in all circles, and sadly, perhaps it is most true among Christians. We condemn one another publicly and privately, we question someone's ability to be a Christian if they are homosexual, or if they have tattoos, or if we catch them in a lie. We condemn those that smoke tobacco or weed (which was burn on Jewish alters before God), or drink alcohol (Christ is know to have imbibed), or a myriad of other offenses. We are so concerned with what a Christian should not do, that we are losing focus on what Christians should be doing.
In Psalm 73, the psalmist tell us that he had been behaving like a "brute beast" before the Lord. What does this mean exactly? To be savage, uncontrollable, lacking intelligence, sensitivity, and compassion, this is a brute beast and describes the unrepentant sinner perfectly. Not to say that the unbeliever is unintelligent, but rather ignorant of that which would benefit them the most. They are not completely without sensitivity or compassion, but their sensitivity is limited to that which they deem worthy of their compassion. They are not out of control, but refuse to yield control of their lives to a cause greater than themselves and their own desires. Psalm 73 looks at the relationship that an unbeliever might have with the Lord, and juxtaposes it against that of the believer.
We all suffer from the same condition, we are all human. This means that we experience overwhelming emotion sometimes, and it may cause us to lose control of ourselves. We may act irrationally, erratically, or even dangerously. We may insult one another and betray our most trusted friends. Once we have sinned in this way, what should we do? If we repeatedly with the same sin, what do we do?
Since the beginning of our existence, mankind has fought continuously over natural resources. Water, fertile soil, forests, oil, gold, and a great deal of other items have been the centerpiece of death and destruction as greed has driven various cultures at different time periods to attempt to control access to these things. With all of that violence we may have forgotten an important fact, we don’t actually own anything. We can’t own anything. All the world belongs to God, including humanity. If we belong to God, and the world belongs to God, then how can we own anything?
On my journey with Christ, there have been quite a few things I have given up, and frankly, there have been times when I miss those things. While we should not be envious of one another, sometimes it is difficult to see a world that can be so unrepentantly carefree. The temptations of the flesh do effect us all equally, after all. However, Psalm 37 addresses these feelings, and in the process it challenges what is considered to be the traditional Christian view of Hell. Is there any reason that we should envy those who will be rewarded with destruction?