The Amazing Power of Unbelief in the World Today -- By: Harry Hager

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 110:438 (Apr 1953)
Article: The Amazing Power of Unbelief in the World Today
Author: Harry Hager

The Amazing Power of Unbelief in the World Today

Harry Hager

A Sign of the Predicted Anti-Christian Revolt

In his original state before the fall man was a creature full of faith. He lived in continual and unbroken fellowship with God, and he could do this because no doubt or unbelief had as yet intervened to affect or destroy this blessed bond that existed between himself and his Maker. Man was a believing creature. It was normal and natural for him to believe—to believe that there was a God, to believe everything that was revealed about Him, to trust in Him and to take Him at His word in all things whether it was God’s commandments, His promises or His warnings. Man’s faith was a perfect faith even though it was not yet a mature faith (immature, however, only in the sense of years and experience).

When the elf of pride entered man’s heart, the first great monster-sin to stagger into this world was the sin of unbelief, manifesting itself in Adam’s unwillingness to take God absolutely and implicitly at His word. Thereafter it was man’s perverted nature and habit not to believe, but to disbelieve. A numerous foul brood of perverts was born of this first great monster-sin in swift and multiplied succession. Man’s belief in the supernatural soon degenerated into superstition, idolatry and witchcraft. Faith in God’s providence was supplanted by murmuring, bitterness and rebellion. Man’s legitimate self-confidence was supplanted by fear, hesitation and worry. Man’s faith in the future degenerated into dalliance, despondency and despair. Man’s faith in his

neighbor deteriorated into suspicion, variance and wrath. Man’s capacity for that mutual confidence which is basic to all society and social order was vitiated by the unbelief which lies at the root of all hatred, strife, anarchy and sedition. Underlying all of these defaultings of faith, man’s belief in God declined first of all to misbelief, then agnosticism, then ultimately atheism and open infidelity.

Unbelief is the parent sin, the father and progenitor of all other sins, just as faith is the prime virtue, the mother of all the other virtues and graces of the Christian life. It is evident from this, then, that just as we can trace the progress of faith in history, just so we can trace the pathology of unbelief in its origin, its history and its logical consummation in the course of human events. For as it may be said of unbelief that it was the first sin to enter into this world, so it will also be the last sin to leave the world. When it does leave the world, like the grain of mustard seed it will have grown from the first seemingly small offense that it was at the beginning, until it h...

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