The disloyalty of unbelief

I’ve been a parent for some time now, and I’ve noticed that the kind of disobedience I hate the most is the kind I get when I’m not trusted. I realize my children don’t have a complete picture of the world and that they often can’t make sense of what I want them to do in light of what they (think they) know so far. But sometimes their questions or their hesitation involves a distrust that I find insulting–as I’m sure my parents often experienced from me when I was young.

Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, but they had to first commit the sin of reckoning God as untrustworthy. The Serpent told them that God was lying to them and they decided the Serpent was trustworthy.

When the author of Hebrews is describing the heroes of the faith (chapter 11), he describes Sarah’s faith as that she “considered him faithful who had promised” (verse 11). Likewise, he encourages his readers to continue to believe with these words: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (10.23). God is faithful. That is the basic truth that makes faith the only proper response to God. Adam and Eve decided God was untrustworthy in the midst of paradise; the Second Adam entrusted himself to God even on the cross (First Peter 2.23).

Thus, trusting God is inherently a form of loyalty to him and distrusting him is always disloyalty. When Jesus was abandoned by many former followers, he asked the Twelve if they were going to leave as well. “Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God’” (John 6.68, 69). Is this a profession of faith or loyalty? The only possible answer is Yes.

2 thoughts on “The disloyalty of unbelief

  1. pentamom

    Amen. This verse is one of the reasons that I’ve never really understood why people who go through trials use that as a reason to abandon their faith. Stop trying to live it out, maybe, because you just decide it’s all too hard, that I can surely relate to — but use it as a reason to positively reject Christ? That doesn’t make sense to me. Likely I just haven’t been pushed hard enough yet, but it seems to me that the last response I’d have is to give up on the ONLY possible hope I have to make sense of it, the only source of strength to endure it. It’s not that my faith is so strong and rock-solid that I’m never tempted to doubt Christ’s love for me or that what is happening is His perfect will for my good — it’s that really, there’s no possible better alternative. The words of life aren’t anywhere else, and every day up to now, they’ve been found in Christ.

  2. Doug Roorda

    Mark, faith is assent to bare propositions, you dolt. Loyalty? Show me any Westminster divine who says that faith has anything to do with loyalty . . . man, you’ve got the H-word written all over your sorry theological carcass.

    Wait, was I actually typing that? 😉


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