Difference between revisions of "Faith"

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Faith is a concept that implies belief or complete confidence in something unseen, and is strongly emphasized in the Christian religion.  The term lacks a precise definition, although several qualities can commonly be ascribed to people of faith (see below).  Its root is the Latin word "fidere", meaning "to trust".
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Faith is complete trust or confidence in an unseen, loving power.  Its root is the Latin word "fidere", meaning "to trust".
  
While the Christian religion does indeed put great emphasis on faith, faith is the basis of nearly all known religions, some of which demand more faith of their followers than even Christianity.
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Jesus was unique in preaching the significance of faith and it is exclusive to Christianity.  No other religion is based on faith as distinguished from mere belief.  Faith is mentioned 229 times in the Bible's New Testament.  An example is Jesus observing the powerful healing faith of a Roman centurion:  "Assuredly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" (Matthew 8:10-12)
  
The concept of faith is also strongly emphasized in other major religions, although this is by no means true of all major non-Christian religions.  While faith is mentioned 229 times in the Bible's New Testament, the concept is mentioned only twice in the Old Testament (KJV) which forms part of the basis for the Jewish religion.  However, the Koran places a strong importance on faith; throughout the preaching of Mohammed (the Muslim prophet) as recounted in the Koran, it is repeated that faith is an "absolute requirement" for Muslims who wish to enter Paradise.<ref>Ringgren, H.  <i>The Conception of Faith in the Koran</i>.  Oriens, Vol. 4, No. 1. (Aug. 15, 1951), pp. 1-20.</ref>  The term <i>mu'min</i>, meaning "believer" or "faithful", is actually more commonly used in the Koran to refer to believers in Islam than is the term "muslim" (ibid.).  By telling followers that questioning their beliefs means that their "faith" is weak, the use of "faith" damps down the ability of Muslims to question, and ultimately renounce, their ways.
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The concept of faith is mentioned only twice in the Old Testament (KJV).
  
The term "faith" is often used colloquially to describe the belief systems of other religions.<ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith</ref>  Modern usage of the word "faith" includes many definitions, which are supported by current dictionaries of the English language:<ref>http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith</ref>
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In the Koran, the concept of submission to Allah is mentioned 11 times, while the concept of faith in Allah is mentioned only once.
  
:1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
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Some (particularly non-Christians) dilute the meaning of faith, depriving it of its power and significance.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary, for example, includes this watered-down definition of faith: "a system of religious beliefs."<ref>http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/faith</ref>  Under this meaning, any and every religion has "belief" or "faith".  But faith preached uniquely by Jesus obviously refers to something far more precise than any "a system of religious beliefs," and such faith has never been preached in the same way by non-Christian religions.
  
:2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
 
 
:3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
 
 
:4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
 
 
:5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
 
 
:6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
 
 
:7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
 
 
:8. Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved. —Idiom
 
 
:9. in faith, in truth; indeed: In faith, he is a fine lad.
 
 
 
Anyone who believes in something that cannot be empirically observed has faith. Therefore, adherence to any theistic religion requires faith because the existence of God (or gods) cannot be proven.  Mark Twain said, "Faith is believin' what we know ain't so."
 
 
Jesus Christ, having noted the faith and righteousness of a Roman centurion, a pagan, proclaimed:
 
 
"Assuredly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!  And
 
I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham,
 
Isaac, and  Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the sons of the kingdom will be
 
cast out into outer darkness.  There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
 
(Matthew 8:10-12)
 
 
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'''Sources:''' <references/>

Revision as of 02:24, 23 February 2007

Faith is complete trust or confidence in an unseen, loving power. Its root is the Latin word "fidere", meaning "to trust".

Jesus was unique in preaching the significance of faith and it is exclusive to Christianity. No other religion is based on faith as distinguished from mere belief. Faith is mentioned 229 times in the Bible's New Testament. An example is Jesus observing the powerful healing faith of a Roman centurion: "Assuredly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" (Matthew 8:10-12)

The concept of faith is mentioned only twice in the Old Testament (KJV).

In the Koran, the concept of submission to Allah is mentioned 11 times, while the concept of faith in Allah is mentioned only once.

Some (particularly non-Christians) dilute the meaning of faith, depriving it of its power and significance. The Merriam-Webster dictionary, for example, includes this watered-down definition of faith: "a system of religious beliefs."[1] Under this meaning, any and every religion has "belief" or "faith". But faith preached uniquely by Jesus obviously refers to something far more precise than any "a system of religious beliefs," and such faith has never been preached in the same way by non-Christian religions.


Sources:
  1. http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/faith