Is Faith Strengthened by Tests?

My journey with faith has been labyrinthine, to say the least. I believed unquestioningly as a child, when I would recite The Lord’s Prayer with my mother at bedtime every night. But as the years passed and I encountered atheistic college professors, read books by atheist philosophers like Bertrand Russell, and saw horrific things happen to good, God-fearing people enough, the pristine beauty of my early faith was chipped away at until barely anything was left of it. I’m currently working to build it back. Like innocence, I don’t know if the natural hue of youth can ever be fully restored. I have seen too much. But I think we can access that original faith, and innocence, which to me are very similar. It comes in fragments and moments, like savoring something sweet carried on the wind from far away until it dissipates again. But oh, the majesty of that moment, when we remember how pure it was, how sure we felt that good would be rewarded and evil would be punished, how comforting it was to know our prayers were heard and taken seriously. 

I had this conversation today on Facebook with a friend. I was at our local church/preschool to turn in my three-year old’s registration papers when I saw this – the community library exchange box with a book about zombies and another about witches (Roald Dahl’s The Witches.)

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I thought it was funny so I posted it on Facebook. This is the conversation that ensued.

Friend: It doesn’t hurt to learn something new.
Me: I can’t agree with you on that one. Some things are better left unlearned. Innocence needs to be protected sometimes, even in adults. Although I will say one’s faith should be so strong, he can watch any movie, read any book, and walk with the biggest sinners in the world, and still have his faith completely intact afterward. Faith should withstand any test. The questions are do we want to put our faith through all that unnecessarily, or taint our souls more than life already does? Things seen and heard cannot be unseen and unheard. Nobody who wants to live would put poison in their body, but most of us will carelessly poison our minds in the name of worldly knowledge. I used to like gory horror films, but after I saw actual horrors in the world, I didn’t like them as much. I feel better when my mind is clean.
What do you think? Is faith strengthened by tests, or should we keep our minds and spirits pure? Does watching a horror film or reading a horror story invite dark spirits into our lives? Does anything return to us void, or does everything we do have consequences one way or another – spiritually or psychologically?

3 thoughts on “Is Faith Strengthened by Tests?

    • Me, too. I couldn’t agree more. I love suspense but I can’t see people getting slashed up anymore. There’s too much of that in the real world already, and movies are contributing to it by inspiring disturbed people to become violent. I won’t support it anymore, or pollute my inner world with it.

      Liked by 1 person

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