Do you have a favorite episode of The Andy Griffith Show? It may be "Opie the Birdman" or "Deputy Otis," but mine is "Mr. McBeevee" which originally aired on October 1, 1962. This episode reminds me of the true definition of faith. Faith is not based on evidence, and it does not always make sense.

Opie's description of Mr. McBeevee illustrates this point perfectly. From Opie's description, Andy has no reason to believe that what his son is saying is true. We as humans pride ourselves on our logic, and we believe that everything real must have a logical explanation. Our problems begin when we are called to believe in something that is not supported by evidence we can understand.

Andy could have based his decision solely on the evidence, including any preconceived opinions he had about his son's active imagination. In that case, he would have concluded that Opie was lying about the existence of Mr. McBeevee.

His second option was more difficult. He would have to see past what he understood about the situation, look into the heart of his young son, and, regardless of the evidence, believe in his son. That is hard to do, but that is exactly what we are called to do as Christians. To look past all the suffering and injustice in this world -- all the things we could point to and say, "If God loves me, then why is this happening to me?" Instead, we are called to have the faith that, even when we don't understand everything, God will do what is right.

Andy said it best when he explained why he believed in Opie: "I guess it's a time like this when you're asked to believe something that just doesn't seem possible; that's the moment that decides whether you've got faith in somebody or not." The Bible says it this way: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). Andy said it like this: "No, I don't believe in Mr. McBeevee. But I do believe in Opie."

 

 

In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Bruce Jones, Pastor and Co-Creator,
Imagine Church of the Carolinas

 

The True Definition of Faith

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