Pillars of Faith

Typical house in rural Cambodia


In many of the countries that I have traveled people build their houses on pillars.  When the storms of the rainy season flood their village, they are able to rest safe, “high and dry” above the waters that pound their shelter..  In all my travels I have never seen a house built on one pillar!  Most have at least four, some have six or more!

And yet many people that I have met over the years have built their entire faith-experience on one pillar, the Bible. As children, like me, they may have learned the song, “The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me, I stand alone on the word of God, the B-I-B-L-E!”

As amazing as the Word of God is, millions of people have been swept away to the ocean of unbelief, because their one “pillar”, the Bible, was attacked in ways that they did not expect or were not prepared for. It is hard to pass through this life without coming face to face with serious challenges to the things we have been taught that the Scriptures say. It may be a beloved professor at the university we go to, a co-worker that likes to philosophize over lunch. It may be some books that we read, the vocal doubts of a loved one, or even a trusted pastor or teacher at our church. Sooner or later, most believers will face a “monsoon” that challenges their whole Christian worldview, and everything that they have been taught about what the Bible teaches.

Amazingly, some are able to tenaciously hold on to their faith, with just this one pillar to cling to! They close their eyes, hold their hands to their ears and repeat the mantra, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it for me.”  And that is great …. for them, for now. The problem is that greater storms may be coming and even if they are strong enough, isolated enough, or blind enough to survive with their faith intact, their children or other loved ones may not be so fortunate! Many God-fearing, Bible-believing Christians have had to watch helplessly as their children are swept away because they never learned the importance of building on a strong foundation, using many “pillars”!

It is said that "in every life, some storms must come". Even if one survives the storms of skeptics and critics, many will have to face the storms of personal loss and grief. Still others may simply be overwhelmed by floods of human suffering. The will ask, “how could there be a personal God of Love, as the Bible teaches, when there is so much suffering in the world?”

If we are interested in building a solid faith that can withstand the storms of doubt, despair and grief, we would be well-advised to build our belief system on more than one pillar!  God does not ask us to rest our faith in one book alone.  There are other books that we can study to learn of His excellence and mighty power.  Have you heard of these other books?  Here are some you can "read" to build your confidence and faith in God.

- The Book of Nature
- The Book of Personal Experience and How God has Intervened in your Life
- The Life and Teachings of Christ
- The Work of God in the Life of Others and Human History
- The Still Small Voice that Speaks to our Hearts and Minds Every Day

When we rest our Christian experience on the solid support of these six "pillars of faith", firmly planted in the absolute authority of the Supreme Creator-God, we will never lose our balance when any one pillar is attacked!  When our children go off to university and their pillar of "faith in the Bible" is challenged and scorned by professors and friends alike, they will be OK, because their belief-system is firmly supported by five other pillars.  This will be more than enough to sustain them until they can get through the storm and have a chance to more carefully examine the challenges to their "Bible pillar" under calmer conditions.

In my own personal experience, I have had various pillars challenged at different points in my life.  My "Bible pillar" has been challenged by the books that I have read, and the professors that I have sat before.  My "Nature pillar" has been challenged by the teachings of modern science that claim that all life on Earth has evolved naturally without the need of a Creator. My "Personal Experience" and "Still Small Voice" pillars have passed through storms of discouragement loneliness and despair.  But through it all, the stability that I have had through multiple connections with the God of my Creation, I have survived the storms of doubt.  As each storm has passed, I have been given an opportunity to examine pillars that have been challenged and galvanize them to be better prepared for the next rainy season!

May we ever be inspired to build connections to our Creator.