Cognitive dissonance is when your belief does not match up with reality. A common example is climate change. The reality is quite obvious, the weather is changing. However, many people believe there is no climate change. They don’t believe it because of their political persuasion. Acknowledging climate change means there are major economic and political consequence not to mention another tax that will be based on carbon emission. So the reality is one thing, but believing is another.
What does cognitive dissonance have to do with faith? When
Paul wrote Romans, he did not have the definition cognitive dissonance, but
he would have used those words if he had them. What he wrote described it.
Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor where thankful, but became futile in their thoughts”
You would think that human being logical would always base their believe in what reality is. However, the more you look, the more you realize people do not make decisions based on reality. The entire field of marketing to persuade people to separate from their hard earned money is not based on reality. If our buying decisions were based on reality, marketing would have given out facts about their product, but they never do. They use every tool available to persuade us except for using hard facts.
When it comes to something as important as knowing God our creator, it is no difference. There is the obvious reality, and there is the believe. Everyone already knows the obvious reality. When you look at the night sky, the nature, the ocean, or any of God’s creation, everyone agrees it is amazing. Nobody who studied astronomy is not amazed at our universe. Nobody who studied science is not amazed at the workings of our universe from the quantum physics to black holes. Those who studied animals are equally amazed. Being amazed is one thing, but acknowledging God is another thing all together.
So why do people not acknowledge God? Because knowing the reality is one thing, but believing is another altogether. It is obvious God created the universe, but it still takes faith to believe it. That is where the dividing line between knowledge and faith comes in. When it comes to God, he lets you know he is there, but not necessary allows you to believe it. Believing that God created the universe still takes faith even though it is obvious
Hebrews 11:3 “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” In order to believe that God created, you have to want to acknowledge Him. If you don’t want to, you will not be able to believe. When God said I want you to have faith, the prerequisite to faith is the desire to acknowledge Him. God first of all wants us to have the desire to seek Him. He has given us all the evidence in the world (no pun intended) that he is there, now is up to our desire to seek Him. The desire then produces faith. Therefore, when Paul said without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), the way to translate that is when we don’t have the desire to seek God, it is impossible to please Him. However, as Jesus said, seek and you shall find.
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