BD 1894 21.04.1941
Confused thinking - Unbelief ....
Faith - Grace ....
The explanation for their unbelief rests in people's confused thinking. When people join a school of thought, which can be called utterly wrong in comparison to the pure teaching of Christ, it is misguided thinking, and the less it corresponds to the truth, the more serious are the consequences. Thoughts which are opposite to the truth must, understandably, detract from true belief and prepare the ground for unbelief. However, a person will be unable to grasp a clear thought but will disjointedly believe one moment this and another that, i.e. he will deem it to be the truth. And thus his train of thought is confused, he will hardly recognise what is right as truth and this state is scarcely satisfactory. It cannot result in a person's spiritual progress but instead will cause him constant anxiety and he will keep insisting on his point of view for a long time. He will walk past the pure truth because he excludes God. Hence he will try, by way of his own thinking, his own strength, to fathom what is incomprehensible to him, and his thoughts will therefore be led astray. Or his will for truth is not strong, consequently, it cannot be offered to him either, whereas the person who desires knowledge for its own sake will receive brightest wisdom. Belief and unbelief are based on opposite conditions. In order to have faith, the human being must have a childlike relationship with God. He must totally hand himself over to the eternal Deity .... he must consider himself small and insignificant and recognise in the eternal Deity a Being of profound perfection .... For this is faith .... The atheist, however, negates everything, he deems himself intelligent and wise and no instruction gets through to him. He will never subordinate himself to a higher Being because he denies His existence. Thus he is high and mighty; consequently, the preconditions are entirely different .... the believer's thoughts are clear and righteous, while the thoughts of the unbeliever lack order and therefore cannot reach a correct conclusion either. Spiritual clarity can never be given to an arrogant person since he does not pray for grace, therefore he cannot receive it. Without divine grace, however, the human being cannot think correctly. But the human being's will is frequently too weak in order to seek help from God Himself, and thus he will live in ignorance until he prays for spiritual clarity and then humbly waits for divine grace ....