Is childlike faith a good thing?

I’ve been taught for a long time that having child like faith is important to follow Christ. I’ve always had an issue with this statement as I’ve found to be a bit off. Having blind faith is what has lead many people down terrible paths in history. Faith in bad leaders or fads has lead to inhumane treatment of many groups, as nobody questions the person in charge. What sense does it make for me to be taught everywhere else that I should question what I’m doing but when it comes to such an important life decision, I’m just supposed to follow blindly? Why is it different for this? I cant just say, “alright, i guess that must be true because I shouldn’t think otherwise”. I’m sorry if the tone of this question seems aggressive but I’ve had these thoughts bouncing around my head for so long.

5 Likes

@Lorserw:
Great question. I have had to think this question over the years and in a strange way that question and questions like have brought me to connect,
If blind faith means believing in something without evidence or reason then I would be suspicious of such a faith. The faith that Jesus speaks about in the Gospels is not a faith that is untested it is a faith that that is rooted in who he says he is.

https://appreasons.org/biblical-faith-vs-blind-faith-2/

On a more practical note if I compare the faith of my children in me as their father it is/was always built on trust, violated that trust and you destroy that faith. You don’t have to worry about that with Jesus.

Hope that helps.

5 Likes

@Lorserw If we read Matthew 18, Jesus clarifies what He means by become like a child. Jesus says we should take the lowly position of a child; that we should be humble before God and in the way we serve others. I have recently been reading a book by Josiah Henson, a slave who escaped slavery in the antebellum South by fleeing to Canada. He said that the children of his slave owner’s were kind as children, but as they grew up they were turned sour by the institution of slavery and often became mean and cruel like the adults around them - milk turned sour is how he said it. In the same way, the evil in the world could turn us sour if we allow it to make us proud and self-seeking.

I believe Jesus is warning us that we must not become like the world, seeking power, money and fame and trying to elevate ourselves. Rather, we must put others before ourselves and make Christ Himself our treasure rather than prestige or power in this world. As Paul says in I Corinthians, we are to be infants in evil.

However, the Bible is also clear that we are to be mature in our thinking - that we cannot remain baby Christians. We must grow up and become mature in our thinking and in our obedience to Jesus. Here are a few summary points:

  • being like a child is about humility; not being simple minded
  • the Bible encourages us to be mature in our thinking and in our conduct, but to be infants in evil
  • the Bereans were praised for checking the Scriptures to make sure what Paul said was actually true - we are never encouraged to blindly follow anyone; not even the apostle Paul

Hope those thoughts are helpful. Christ grant you wisdom as you grow in grace and knowledge of Him :slight_smile:

Matthew 18:2-4 - He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

1 Cor 14:19-20 - Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

Hebrews 5:11-14 - About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Acts 17:11 - Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

6 Likes