Pause with Thought with Ray Dadswell: Let’s Talk About the F Word

Yes, let’s talk about the ‘f’ word, shall we?

So many people don’t like it, and they react negatively when they hear it in the street, on the bus, even in the pub.

Faith is what I’m referring to, of course. F-a-i-t-h.

It’s such a nebulous thing for the majority, nothing whatever to do with real life. But Christians mention it in every other conversation. Why? Because the Bible tells them to, they say.

So, in these days of rampant secularism, with its focus on the here and now, how can the idea of another world be put across, particularly to the younger generation ?

Martin was using his gap year to gain experience in church ministry and outreach in an Eastbourne congregation some years ago. “When I am asked, ‘How can you believe in God without evidence?’, I accept that logically it doesn’t make sense, so I use the metaphor of wind, as in the Gospel of John, chapter 3: ‘The wind blow wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.’”

At another local church, Charlie, Youth and Children’s Worker, had another perspective to offer.

“To young people, church is often old and stuffy, and what they want is something fast and in your face. They live in a ‘What can I get out of it?’ culture.

They can’t easily relate to what they need to think about. However, when they do, changed behaviour is proof that faith works!”

A clear expression of his faith can also be seen in the attitude of Darren, who took over a short-term position with a town-centre fellowship to gain experience in working with teenagers.

“Being involved in bringing God into people’s lives is a privilege. 15-16 year olds have a lot of problems, drugs in particular, and to witness a complete turnaround as they find a new purpose in life is terrific. Although challenging and a sacrifice, it is great just to be there for them.”

Some while ago, I was at Canary Wharf, visiting the Christian ship Logos Hope, run by the organisation Operation Mobilisation. A poster in the exhibition room on board had a very clear message: ‘Faith is not an emotion. It is objective trust placed in a very real God.’