Now, I’m just making a distinction between the two phrases, so don’t go running to Webster’s to see if I’m right, but I’m suggesting that true Christian faith is more of a “step” than a “leap”. Leaps of faith often are considered for no reason at all. People might just jump off a bridge, expecting God to save them…only to wake up dead.
Others will fight against obvious evidence to the contrary and insist that something came out of nothing (the universe, for instance) or believe that a loved one couldn’t have committed a crime, even though they’ve been found guilty not just beyond a reasonable doubt but beyond all doubt.
Leaps of faith actually aren’t faith at all. You could substitute the word “folly” or “stupidity” instead of “faith”, and it would be more accurate.
Steps of faith, on the other hand, are logical, reasoned, and evidence based moves. For example: going through a green light at an intersection is a step of faith. You are trusting that the drivers coming perpendicular to you know that red means stop… and that the light is functioning correctly. However, you do not know this for sure. You don’t know the mind of the other driver… and you can’t see the light from the other angle. You are stepping out in faith, knowing the training that all drivers must take, knowing that the city maintains their lights, and knowing that the manufacturer is trustworthy. But you really don’t know for sure.
There may be be mechanical failure in the other car or the lights. A hacker might have messed with the light programming. The other driver might be drunk or texting. You are taking a step of faith.
The Christian life is to be lived with such information. The Bible gives us the foundation for helping us to learn about things that we can never prove (who The Father is, how Jesus loves us and dies and rose again, how to rely upon the Holy Spirit). We learn from each other through their experiences in the faith. We are tutored in things of “faith” in our churches. We see God’s handiwork in nature.
All of this is not proof, but it is evidence… very good evidence that leads us to take a knee in the presence of God and defer to Him to be in charge. It’s a step of wondrous, mystical, rational faith.
Avoid the leaps… they hurt. Take that step!
Pastor Joell Haugan
CBWC Church Planting Advisory Team