Superstition in Faith?
Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see.
~ Hebrews 11:1
Superstition is defined as: A widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief. The definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.”
These are two, totally different, stand-alone persuasions. The antonym for superstition is truth. Christians, who display faith, see their belief as truth. So in essence we could postulate that faith and superstition could be opposites. Yet agnostics may see Christian’s fitting the superstitious bill; having the need to believe something without proof.
In Christianity, when one professes a belief that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came and willingly gave His life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, it is prevalent to also see a flavor of superstition of ideologies interwoven or tacked onto this profession. There is an intermingling of both attitudes of faith and superstition, without an awareness that faith sometimes takes a back seat, as actions motivated by fear give way to superstition.
When a person, chooses in faith, to become a Christian, the matter is closed. That person is adopted into the family of God, Christ is the redeemer, and the Holy Spirit takes up residence in their life, and therein lies the truth of God’s existence, something an agnostic would not know. We are sealed forever, yet doctrinal rituals, and dogmas are tethered to this, sometimes becoming of greater value, than the original decision of the heart. When this happens, one can start questioning their decision or even worse, begin to believe that God is sitting on His throne, with His whip in His hand, just waiting for them to mess up. Here are three examples:
- When I was a little girl, I did not understand everything, but I believed in Jesus. One day, in a silly manner I said to a relative, “You are an old fool.” Immediately, He turned around and yelled, “He who calls his brother a fool, is in danger of hell fire!” I was sick. In my little mind, I saw myself burning in Hell because I had used the word fool, a word that was in the reading books at school. I didn’t know it was a bad thing. I fretted and fretted over that until I made a profession of faith, two more times, just to get it right. To be honest, that was pitiful and unnecessary.
- As an adult, I had been homebound for quite some time due to an illness. A well-meaning lady came to visit me. It was not to bring me comfort, but chastisement. She started quoting scripture, alluding to her idea that I was not living in God’s will, or I would not be sick. I was older, more grounded, and not so easily swayed, but these words could have caused doubt. I guess she forgot to read John 9:1-3.
- The most poignant example were the religious leaders during the time of Jesus. The Pharisees tried to follow the law and were zealous to the point that it superseded faith. Jesus said to them in John 5:39, “You carefully study the Scriptures. You think that they give you eternal life.” They were blinded spiritually to the truth; the one who gives eternal life, the Messiah, was standing before them.
As we walk our path of life as a Christian, we must ask ourselves, “Am I performing ritualistic acts simply out of fear or habit? Am I constantly distressed to think God’s vexation is pointed directly at me for any small infraction? Is my service to Him fear driven or love driven? Am I so wise that I know the mind of God?” Superstition brings provocation, but faith in Jesus, brings peace.
Dear Father, Fill me with faith, not fear. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
~ Jenny Calvert