Church membership is shrinking in the West,
in places where gang-culture is no longer primary,
where thoughtful engagement replaces tribal loyalty.

Yet such thoughtful consideration of our faith may well preclude
endorsement of a theology based on ancient myths,
or the concepts of ignorant pre-history.

What then is Faith? What then is Faith?

The orthodox understanding of faith lies in it being a belief
in the statements embraced within the Creeds of the Church.
Yet the opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty,
for certainty denies the need for faith.


Religious Faith may seem superfluous Religious Faith may seem superfluous

We can not exist without Faith in the physical world around us;
our cars and cycles, the walls of our houses or offices.
We need equal stability in our mutual relationships.
Thus earthquakes and divorce have similar effects.

We do need our principles, moral boundaries, guidelines.
Without them life becomes a mess, incomprehensible
for we can not predict the behaviour of others
nor modify our reaction to their need.

Perhaps these guidelines, boundaries, are endorsed by religion,
By the teaching of Jesus and of other ancient savants,
but they also surface in less religious settings;

Yet we are exposed by lack of Faith Yet we are exposed by lack of Faith

Lack or loss of faith leaves us exposed to life's vicissitudes.
We have no foundation to hang on to, no stability.
We may set off on a journey of discovery,
but lack a home port to which we can return.

In religion we find a destination and a hope of eternal meaning.
In religion we are called to express faith in eternity,
in a purpose for our lives and a judgement upon them.
In church we express find justification and hope.


Seeking Religious Faith Seeking Religious Faith

The orthodox understanding of religious faith lies in it being a certain belief
in the statements embraced within the Creeds of the Church.
Yet the opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty,
for certainty denies the need for faith.

Yet, if Faith in a God lies in acting as if that God exists,
despite lack of certainty of the reality of that existence,
creedal rehearsal can have little relationship to my Faith.


Does then religious faith lies in the courage to look more deeply
to seek the reality of divinity that surely lies
behind the mask of religious doctrine?


Faith Renewed Faith Renewed


Religions, whatever their form, provide firm principles, stability.
Rules and boundaries are defined; ways of acting and behaviour.
Those rules and boundaries are said to have been defined,
though some medium of authoritive communication,
in spoken, written or even human form,
by the God of that religion.

When renewal of faith presumes the rectitude
of the conclusions others have drawn,
we are merely hiding, fearfully,
behind protective boundaries

Is it in accepting such constraints that our faith is ratified
or by challenging the divinity of their presumptions?


Does faith then lie in accepting the constraints and practices
imposed by the church for its protection?

Is the Way of Jesus that of the churches or the path beyond them?
Surely the churches need to modernise their ways and doctrine,
if they are to continue to serve the purposes of divinity.