This I Believe
I believe that if you have the faith of a mustard seed you can move mountains. The mustard seed knows from where it came. It came from a large plant, so it knows it can become large. To the small seed every clod looks like a mountain, but it knows that if it finds fertile soil; with proper sunlight and water it can move those clods and become large. The faith of a mustard seed is founded in the science of biology and the knowledge of its origins. Biology and history define the boundaries of its faith.
In the New Testament, Matthew has Jesus chastise and berate his students for their lack of faith. He blames them for what he has not taught them. He tells them that he will not always be with them, and they need to start figuring things out for themselves. That is science. It’s discovery and venturing into the unknown, whereas religion is always being handed the answers, and told what to think.
Matthew has Jesus telling his students to become scientists. Matthew wasn’t starting a new religion. He was creating a quest, an adventure for the adventurous. He hid it in religious terms because he was using a thorn to remove a thorn. The creation of the mythical Jesus is part of the quest. He can’t be located in history because he was never there.
Matthew is not just indicting the Old Testament, but is indicting all religions. Seek and ye shall find. Discover. Investigate. Be skeptical about what you are told. Galileo was forced to recant, but he knew it did not matter because once truth is revealed it can’t be taken back. Truth always moves forward.
Religions fight to check that progress because each step forward leads to the end of religions. I believe that increasing faith is ending religions and jihads are an expression of their death. Whenever something dies, whether animal, plant, or organization; it has a last hurrah.
The word “belief” comes from the same root as the word for creed, pledge or promise. The word “faith” comes from the same root as the word for trust. The relationship between “belief” and “faith” is the same as the relationship between theorem and proof. Faith is a measure of trust that increases or decreases with knowledge, and validates or disproves a belief, creed or pledge. The faith of a mustard seed is the measure of trust that is needed to move mountains. Between Thales of Milatus and Galileo there was a scientist named Matthew.
Future generations will find it difficult to comprehend of a time when man held theorems that were not intended to be proved. They will consider such a state of affairs as shear madness. The proof that such a time existed is in the misery and the body count.
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