Where Does Your Faith Really Lie?

When you have a heart attack, do you go to church first or to the hospital? When your house is on fire with your family trapped inside, do you kneel and pray before or after you call the fire department? Most people, evangelicals and otherwise, answer these questions the same; those who don’t often see the ugly side of natural selection.

Here on Debunking Christianity, we spend hours and hours of our lives (cumulatively) debating and discussing the various ideas, values, and personal experiences that our faith (or lack thereof) imply. We craft our words with both art and craft, honing our arguments to fine points of logic or beautiful strokes of emotional appeal.

But talk is cheap.

When it comes to the truly important, urgent, and practical things in life, do you trust God to be your “very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46), or when you need present help in times of trouble do you go to your fellow humans?

The answer is obvious; when you need “very present help in trouble”, the number you call is 911, not the local church. Why? Is God unable to help you in your time of urgent need? Is He unwilling?

Or is it that, when the stakes are high, the matter urgent, and most importantly the consequences something you can actually see, is your faith in humankind greater than your faith in God?

I would argue that the answer is self-evident; you have faith in humankind, because you trust your experiences. Regardless of how many poetic Bible verses you read that promise God’s help in times of need, no matter how fervently you argue against atheists and heretics of all flavors, no matter how enthusiastically you knock on doors and witness to your fellow humans, when it comes to something urgent and real, you rely upon sinful, imperfect, and (in your view) downright impotent humankind.

Does this say something negative about the evangelical believer? I don’t think so; I think it says something very real about God. When it comes to manipulating anything we can see, hear, touch, taste, or smell, God does not live up to His advertising, and all but the craziest theists know it deep down no matter what their cheap words may say.

(Note: I am NOT encouraging evangelicals to try faith healing, faith firefighting, or any other faith-based manipulation of emergency situations. Please don’t try to pray out a stroke. Call 911.)