Today I found myself reading and commenting on The Christian Post, although I’m not a Christian and I’m not particularly fond of reading quotes from fundamentalist pastors. The article I started on was called Young Pastor Challenges Ministry Leaders to ‘Just Believe’ which I honestly think is a bunch of bull and also ethically irresponsible preaching (if any preaching can be considered ethically responsible).
Some of his sermon oversimplifies complex decisions by insisting that a) Jesus speaks to this youth pastor directly and audibly b) you shouldn’t try to figure things out critically c) ignore all doubt d) if you do have doubts, it’s the “enemy”.
Here’s a part of it:
“Some of you are trying to figure out something that God wants you to just believe,” Furtick stressed.
That may sound overly simplified especially for situations that seem complicated, but the Elevation pastor clarified that it’s not a simple statement as much as it is “a focused demand.”
“Just believe” doesn’t mean to just cheer up and believe you can make it. Rather, “this is something you’re going to have to give your entire effort to, that this is so singularly important that you trust me (Jesus) in faith that you’re going to have to focus all of your energy in believing.”
“I (Jesus) want you to trust me enough to devote everything you have … to believing what I said is true and living like what I said is true until you see the manifestation around you of what I’ve already spoken inside of you,” Furtick challenged. “Just believe.”
There are moments when “the enemy” or a voice of opposition will say it’s impossible and plant doubts.
My response is here:
I think there’s a lot more to faith than just believing. Saying that causes a lot of people to forfeit their own conscience and refuse to think for themselves.
To expand on that, having sat under pastors of this caliber and ideology before, I will never have anything to do with living by or guiding my life by their principles. I do a much better job creating my own philosophy in life by cultivating an open minded, thoughtful and complex way of viewing the world that works for me.