Faith of our fathers

June is the month for garden tours featuring daylilies in Tennessee, as they are usually at their peak. Today was no exception. With two friends as “enablers,” I went shopping at another friend’s beautiful garden for a few more daylilies to add to my burgeoning collection.

Some new varieties will now grace the garden, with features such as ruffled edges, petaloid segments, and vivid eye zones.

Of course the garden still contains a few “heirloom” daylilies, in stark contrast to some of today’s fancy new additions. I like the old, but also love the new.

For instance – this year, I’ll be growing the old tried-and-true “Kentucky Wonder” pole beans, a favorite of Dad’s.

It’s that time of year when the focus is on fathers again, and many Christians will be singing of the “faith of our fathers.” It is truly a beautiful thing to see a genuine love for God passed down from one generation to the next.

However, many times that faith is only passed down in the way that the uglier orange daylilies are also passed down. It is with a grudging sense of duty that many so-called Christians follow their parents’ lead in matters of faith.

A young man recently confided in us that his faith had been shaken at an early age when he was told that some prophecies had never been fulfilled. He went through years of just going through the motions in the denomination where he was raised.

It was only after reaching adulthood that he felt that he had arrived at a saving faith, but in his case he felt he had to close his eyes to what he perceived as God’s unkept promises, and “just trust.”

Is this man relying on the hope that his forebears got it right when they believed God? If so, it can be easily shaken again. Was his hope that simply “accepting Jesus into his heart” is enough to ensure that the blood of Jesus will wash away his sins? Not according to Scripture (Acts 22:16, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16).

In the case he cited of the prophecy in Ezekiel 26:1-14 – that the city of Tyre would never be rebuilt – he was unaware of the fact that the city spoken of in the prophecy is now below sea level. It is truly, as Ezekiel foretold, “a place for the spreading of nets” (Ezekiel 26:14, NASB).

I have since sent links to archaeological proof of the fulfillment of this prophecy, with an invitation to study other prophecies that someone may have misled him about. While it is commendable to trust God even when we don’t understand all of his ways, we are not left with the choice to trust blindly or disbelieve.

What’s worse, we may be found to believe a lie. My own mother and father were atheists. Their faith that the universe’s intricate design appeared by accident seemed unfounded, so I searched further. “Seek and you will find” (Luke 11:9).

Even among those who call themselves Christians, hundreds of denominations compete for your attention. If we simply follow and do not search, we could easily go in one of those incorrect paths we are warned against in Matthew 7:13-29.

Websites and materials such as Apologetics Press, Focus Press, and Searching For Truth have made it unnecessary for anyone to go through life doubting, or just going through the motions of religion but denying the power of it.

Lay hold of the faith of THE Father, not necessarily of our earthly fathers.

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