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Yellowdog's avatar

Does the Christian "New Testament" emphasize that faith is necessary, or does it recognize that people don't have faith and God carries them through anyway, with little or no faith?

Asked by Yellowdog (10534points) August 6th, 2019

It may seem like a moot point, but worthy of discussion, I think.

A lot of the T.V. evangelists a decade or two ago emphasized ‘faith’ as almost a ‘force’ that people have or don’t have, and that the tongue can channel that force.

A more orthodox rendition is that faith is trust and belief. And that if we only trust God, things will work out better than we could have imagined.

Recently, I am noticing a trend that the T.V. evangelists are interpreting many of the texts about faith to mean that we don’t have enough, but should rely on God to make things work out even though we have doubts and have given up. In other words, even though we have lost faith, Christ hasn’t given up on us and will still come through.

The infamous “Mustard Seed” passage (Matthew 17:21) seems to say that the tiniest amount of faith can accomplish great things, but another way of looking at it is that God is the one that makes up for our having such a tiny amount of faith.

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23 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

It is my understanding that GOD knows what is in our heart and makes the final judgement based on that

Patty_Melt's avatar

My take is that God would judge us when we ascend, and that while we are alive he would help those who believe in him having the power to be a help.

To clarify, admission to heaven requires belief in God, and that Jesus was his son and Savior of all humans.
Petitioning him for some sort of aid requires the belief in his power to handle anything.

And he looks like George Burns.
So does the devil. I wonder if that means they are twins besot by sibling rivalry.
I mean, how long can a just god carry a grudge?

Yellowdog's avatar

Oh, God.

God looks like George Burns? And the Devil too?


ragingloli's avatar

It means whatever you want it to mean.

LostInParadise's avatar

I am not a Christian, but it is my understanding that Protestants believe that faith is sufficient for salvation, but Catholics believe that it also matters how you live your life.

elbanditoroso's avatar

A truly merciful god would help all people, regardless of the depth of their faith and their belief.

Otherwise it would be like “God Costco” where the only ones allowed god’s grace would be those who had bought the Faith membership card. And that isn’t godlike.

kritiper's avatar

It seems to me that if one believes in Jesus Christ, and that he died for your sins, you will be saved.

flutherother's avatar

I’m not clear on the difference between “having faith” and “relying on God”. If you have no faith how can you rely on God? I’m not even sure of the difference between a large amount of faith and just a little amount. Usually a very little is all we ever have and that is often hidden well away.

Yellowdog's avatar

What I mean is, T.V. Evangelists used to give an inordinate amount of airtime to the idea that all you have to do is believe / trust God or whatever, and nothing is impossible with God. ut you have to TRUST God and believe.

Now, many (such as Joel Osteen) are saying that you may have lost faith, you may have given up on God, but toy belong to God and God hasn’t given up on you. God will come through for you even though you gave up on God.

Almost making it a moot point, but pointing to God’s “faithfulness” being greater than ours.

kritiper's avatar

In the Old Testament, with the 10 Commandments and all, it seems that “God” was VERY strict in his judgment. And in the New Testament, all you had to do was believe in Jesus Christ (and that he might have died for our sins) to get a pass.
I never could (and still don’t) get how what Jesus said might usurp what “God” said.

Yellowdog's avatar

Well, Jesus in the New Testament showed how everyone’s motives were bad, and had absolutely no possibility of pleasing God He called out the hypocrisy in everyone. Christ in the New Testament like Yahweh / Adonai / God in the Hebrew scriptures, used imperfect people anyway. Even using their moral failings to bring about the Kingdom of God,

Jesus himself paid the price for all that by dying on the cross in our place. Its called the Substitutionary Atonement,

seawulf575's avatar

My understanding is that, as Jesus said in John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Faith and belief are required. Acceptance of Jesus as the savior is required. God has a plan for us and we all play a part, but in the end, getting into heaven requires more than just being alive.

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Inspired_2write's avatar

“Does the Christian “New Testament” emphasize that faith is necessary…”

Yes it recognizes that one should have Faith in God .

It however does NOT say faith in Religions.

As Dante stated in “The Divine Comedy” ( Paradiso Poem).
line 118 Page 415 ..translated by Allen Mandelbaum

” The “bird” that nests in the fashionable preacher’s cowl is presumably the devil”

Translated to mean:
” The ultimate purpose of the theatrical preaching style is to extract money from the ignorant.’

And this is the ultimate goal of TV or /and other Evangelists.

Faith in God does NOT require money.

It just requires trust in God and Gods plan for each and everyone of us.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Its like to have faith in the hand you are delt.

Yellowdog's avatar

@Inspired_2write Thanks for the Paradise Lost quote.

I have never known a T.V evangelist since the 1990s to ever solicit money. I do remember this practice in the 1980s and 1990s by frauds like Robert Tilton and others with fraudulent teaching— one of the wealthiest men in the world, who mostly got his money from people living on social security and assistance, ironically, from their churches.

In 1979, Billy Graham established the organization Evangelicals for Financial Accountability,
It took almost 20 years to be the new normal, but soliciting money is not permitted. They do solicit donations in any amount for books.

kruger_d's avatar

Lutherans look to Ephesians 2:8–9
We are saved by grace, through faith. It is God’s undeserved love and forgiveness that saves.

zenvelo's avatar

@Yellowdog ”Jesus in the New Testament showed how everyone’s motives were bad, and had absolutely no possibility of pleasing God”. Except for the Samaritan who did not have faith and did not know Jesus, But was used by Jesus as an example of how to behave and how to assure one’s place with the Father.

JLeslie's avatar

I too thought that Protestants believe that faith in Jesus Christ was all you need. All you need when you die to get you into heaven. But, are you asking about while on earth?

I think the message about believing God hasn’t given up on us is to give people emotional support and feel loved and not alone, which is important in getting through hard times. If the televangelist is saying things that make you feel not alone, you will keep tuning in. It’s not all bad unless you are bankrupting yourself by donating money to the televangelist. Feeling part of a greater unit, whether it be a family, friends, or God, is important. God can always be there when no one else is.

I’m not sure what losing faith is? Does that mean the person is now an atheist?

Demosthenes's avatar

It seems to me what is meant by the “God will come through for you” message is that your faith will eventually be restored, not that you will go to heaven faithless. Faith is still required. It’s just that even if you have lost it or are doubting, you can hope to have it restored.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I wrestled a lot through my life feeling the god of the old testament was entirely different from the god of the new testament.
I no longer believe in the existence of any god, but if I’m wrong on that, then I have an idea of why that would be.
The old testament was written at a time when the entire human race was very primitive. It was basically like having cities full of four year olds running their own lives. So I suppose god would be stern, and instructional. Too many details would simply confuse them. Eventually they become organized enough to respond to compassion, loyalty, and devotion.

Zaku's avatar

It seems to me that “faith in God” etc. is a metaphor,as are the consequences of lacking it.

I would discount any interpretation that takes it literally.

If you don’t develop yourself to the point that you recognize your connection to the universe, and your true core self’s essential joy and love and benevolence and so on, your soul will suffer more and more until you do. Because that’s our nature.

It’s not literally about the Church or some personified God or telling people you Believe or about Jesus or heaven or hell or any of that. Not literally. Those are metaphors mostly trying to get people to the above wisdom.

Inspired_2write's avatar

There is one prominent Evangelist on TV selling “Holy Water” vials and duping the general public still.
I saw it a couple of times but never took notice of his name etc
It comes on once in awhile .

Others use overt methods like ‘giving one a product’ whether a pamphlet, a Rosary , a metal,all these things that are produced cheaply yet comes with a ‘request’ for money .

I wrote the company that keeps sending me Rosaries to stop sending me this as I only bought a book that they had ‘once’ years ago and there reply was ” Just give it to someone else?”
I now leave the letter with the Rosaries at the Post Office “freebie table”.

Another company regularly sends me “Saint Christopher metals as well ?????

I have come to the conclusion that the reason being is that they can write off the expenses and claim it on there income tax.

That is why so many have taken up this practice of sending unwanted items to strangers via of the mail system.

Once they have your address one will be inundated forever!

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