Why Do We Just Need Faith?

Dear Pastor Andy, I'm a Catholic and went to Catholic School (2nd - 8th grade) and have read much of the Bible there. This is a serious question and I want serious answers. I have been struggling with weather I believe and feel bad.  I was an Atheist for a couple years after 8th grade and this std speech guy came to our school and told us a ton of blatant lies about sex and std's (this made me really mad) and i had been noticing many contradictions in the Bible.  Why do we just need faith, why doesn’t He just tell us?  I can’t just believe the world simply is (a greater force had to create it) but I simply can’t believe in a god (it's to convenient, such as confession and to harsh such as gays going to hell when there born that way).  I don’t understand why I need faith.  Does it say in the Bible, why we need faith, and why?  And do you really believe God hates gays ... I'm worrying so much about religion lately.  Should I just pick up my morals and forget about God?

My Reply:
You sound sort of similar to this father who asked Jesus to heal his son, but the way he asked was, "If you can". Jesus basically asked what he meant by "if I can"? And the father replied, "I believe, help me with my disbelief (or doubt").

I don't know if you've ever seen any Indiana Jones movies, but in the one about the Holy Grail, Jones is following a book's direction, when he comes to a huge cliff and void. The book tells him to just walk across, but to the eye, he can see no way possible without falling to his death. But then, with no other reason, he steps out, actually expecting to fall, only to land his first foot onto a thin bridge that was camouflaged by the rocks across the way. All he had was faith, and it was his response to this faith that caused him to see the full truth, which in turn, caused him also to fully believe. But if he didn't have faith, then he'd never have been able to cross over to the other side.

The reason you need faith, as Paul explains in Romans and Galatians, is because there’s nothing else you can do to be saved. You can’t obey the Law, for the Law says that you must follow ALL the Law.  He uses Abraham as an example of somebody who was righteous before God because of his faith.  And because of his faith, God made a covenant with Him.  So now, to be connected with this covenant, we too must accept Jesus through faith, not by works.  And anybody who receives Jesus through faith is a child of Abraham, and as a child of Abraham, we’re heirs of the covenant/promise that God made with him.  But this is only achievable through faith.

As for "being born that way", if you mean born sinful or born into sin, then we were ALL born that way...not gay, but sinful.  And this sin that we're born into does tend to influence our decisions.  But then that explains all the more reason that we need Jesus to rescue us from our sin.

Honestly, I don't believe God hates gays.  Although I DO believe that God hates their gay desires and that they follow through on them.  Granted, many gays who I've spoken with did wrestle and struggle with Scripture about their desires, but still ended up giving into their desires.  Paul explains that such is sin, but because they chose their desires over God, God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful thing their hearts desired. He didn't ALLOW the sin, for it's still sin, but He let them continue in the way they chose.  And the reason for them going to hell isn't because God is sending them, but because they continue in their sins and continue to reject God and HIS ways...it's unrepentant, even justified sin.  

But to look at hell and condemnation, you also have to understand that anybody who continues in their sin, justifies their sin, and continues to reject God's ways are going to hell, also, not just homosexuals.  Many straight people do the same.  Heck, many people even claim the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord, but continue in their sinful ways, justify their sin as acceptable because they think it's OK as according to the culture of the day, and follow their sinful desires.  For example, in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul gives a list of types of people who will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  But then look at verse 11: "Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."  In other words, regardless of one's sexuality, if they repent of their sins to Jesus, deny themselves, and give their whole selves to Jesus and His ways, then they will be saved.  Nobody is exempt from salvation.  But they must accept it and be willing to throw off their sin and sinful desires as if a coat that was on fire.  

There's a saying, "Jesus loves you enough to meet you where you're at, but loves you too much to leave you there."  Jesus WANTS you to allow Him to transform you into something that you're not now, but can and are destined to be, but you've got to first put your faith (trust) fully into Him, take His hand, and allow Him to guide you across the void, even if you can't yet fully see the road at the moment.

Take some time to read the passages linked throughout my answer, and take some time to ask Jesus for help in the areas where you have trouble believing Him and His Word. Talk also with your (or a) Priest/pastor, and pick up a mentor to help you grow in Christ.
---Pastor Andy
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