“Faith” Sounds like a Cat Poster As it says in the Bible, ‘the just shall live by faith’.” Romans 1:17. Many people throughout recent years have wondered aloud why God should choose faith to be the lone action that pleases Him. Undoubtedly, the cynic will quickly answer “Because God doesn’t actually exist! Naturally, He should want people to exercise faith in order to bring Him into existence!” But this popular understanding of “faith” is quite thoroughly mistaken. The concept of faith for most people seems to mean something like believing in the existence of things which are invisible, improvable, and highly unlikely. To have “great faith” is to be extremely devoted to, at best, a possibility and, more likely, a delusion. This kind of faith is only celebrated in movies and in Yoga classes. In the rest of the world it is mocked for the good reason that it is quite foolish and frighteningly unstable. This kind of “faith” sounds like a cat poster. This is not the faith that pleases God. This is not Biblical faith. It is no wonder that few people will be gripped by Paul’s statement that the just shall live by faith because inserting the word “faith” implies to many people that it is in fact not true. To say that the “just shall live by faith” means that the “just” shall not live at all except in the imagination and memory of the still living. No wonder Paul’s gospel seems irrelevant to modern hearers. We need to reclaim this language of faith. The nature of the faith to which Paul refers is similar to the faith that Americans foolish enough to enthusiastically support either one of our current presidential candidate are expressing. They believe that their candidate will help America and the other candidate will be bad for America. They are throwing in their lot with one or other of the candidates for better or for worse. This is having “faith” in the candidate. It could also be describe as being faithful to the candidate. To have faith in God means that you have hitched your wagon to the belief that God Himself will carry out justice in the world and will set the world to rights. The Apostle Paul says that “the just”, that is those who will benefit from God’s putting-to-rights action in the world, are those who have done just that, they have committed themselves to God’s own way of carrying out His purposes. Paul believes that God has already begun to set the world right in the person of Jesus. Those who believe and who act accordingly will benefit from it. Could it be that our world looks at faith as though it were sentimental feeling fit only for cat posters because it already has its’ own reality and solution that it has so thoroughly bought into and believed that it can hear nothing else? The current high standard of living in the West has helped us to thoroughly believe that evil is virtually wiped out and that the sciences are working to rub out the last few small fires left in the forest. “God’s justice” has been relegated to a mythical story of superstitious days gone by. We believe that the world is run by laws of nature and we know that the most important law is having the most advanced weapons in the world. This is our “reality”. This is how we establish “justice”. But we need to be awakened! Our view of justice and our perspective on the world and its gods is highly similar to all the pagan world powers that have gone before us. We laugh at the ancients who worshiped the Caesars or the gods of war and we boast that our nation “will never run”, as they did about their own nations. But if the Gospel of Jesus is true, as I believe it is, the power of the West will rise and fall and Jesus will still remain, relegating all our boasts and our propaganda as being nothing more than silly words on a cat poster. Which gospel have you put your faith in?