April 25, 2008

Faith as commodity

Last month, I noted the teaching of our Confessions that faith is believing the promises offered in the Sacraments. Dominant today is an alternative view of faith as some quality within a person, usually without an object. Thus we can have "people of faith" grouped together, even though the objects of their trust are different and even opposed to one another. 

In an article in the April 19, 2008 Washington Post (Page A4, "Pope Stresses Human Rights, Ethical Science"), Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, is quoted as making the following fabulously awful statement in introducing the Bishop of Rome to the UN: "Whether we worship one god, many or not, we at the United Nations have to strengthen our faith every day.... We need more and more of this precious commodity. I am profoundly grateful to his holiness Pope Benedict XVI for bestowing some of his faith upon us, and putting his trust in us. May we be strengthened by his visit." Yikes! 

Faith is not a commodity that can be shared or bestowed from one person to another. This is what I think is a fundamental problem with the new evangelism theologies; I dare not share MY faith; what people need is the OBJECT of true faith: the incarnation of the Son of God in Jesus of Nazareth, His death and resurrection for us men and our salvation.

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