“Faith is taking the first step when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Is faith a term that can only be used in the context of religion? Can you have faith without being religious?

Many would argue against that idea. The common theory has always been that putting your trust in something or someone is categorized in two ways. If you believe, it’s simply a confidence that stems from logical reasoning. For example, if the sky is gray, you believe it’s going to rain.

Having faith, however, seems to suggest a belief in the higher power. Perhaps this is so because the textbook definition of faith is believing in something without the aid of any logic.

For example, logic would suggest that a person who’s heart stops beating for more than seven minutes, will surely die. But there have been examples that have countered that logic.

Keeping all of the above points in mind, I would argue that having faith need not always be backed by religion.

Though before I move forward, I think it’s important for me to note that I do believe in a higher power. I pray. I talk to God in my own way quite often. I point that out simply to avoid any misconception that this I’m pushing forward a philosophy at the cost of any religious beliefs.

That said, I believe that you can have faith without a religious or even a spiritual context.

The reason I believe so is that the unseen is not always something religious. I could look outside my window, see the sun at it’s brightest and conclude that it’s an appropriate time to go jogging.

However, it could start pouring immediately after I step out. I wouldn’t necessarily attribute that to a higher power as much as I would to nature & climate. I say that because that specific scenario, much to my annoyance, happens very frequently where I live in Dallas, TX. Did a higher power simply chose to specifically target Dallas with unpredictable weather on a regular basis?

I wouldn’t think so. Texas, afterall, houses some of the biggest churches, temples, mosques and synagogues in the country. In terms of religion, it’s one of the strongest states ever.

In summary, the definition of faith is putting our trust in something or someone that ostensibly, cannot be explained. I would conclude that there are forces both religious as well as scientific that would qualify under that category. To choose one definitively can only be decided individually.

How do you feel about faith? Do you identify it with belief or on a higher level? Do you feel it’s something that can only stem from religion? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.

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Hi, I'm Neel! I'm a writer (fiction and poetry), a journalist and currently working in the advertising business. I'm also a mental health advocate, having been diagnosed with clinical depression a few years ago.
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