It strikes me as interesting that Hollywood movies many times encourage you to “just believe”. Never mind if it is true, or even if it is possible, “just believe”. Is that faith?
No, it is not. Recently, I heard a sermon that somewhat focused upon transubstantiation, the belief that the bread served during a communion service literally becomes the body of Christ. It struck me then and there that a lot of what people base their beliefs upon is, quite literally, magic. They substitute magical thinking for real faith.
What, then, is the difference?
Faith is the belief in someone or something outside themselves, whereas magic is always “me” centered. A Christian believes in God, believes God and understands that everything is God’s will. Magic is the attempt to bend reality to one’s own wishes, desires or even what they wish to believe. Faith is based in reality. Magic is based in illusion.
The problem with things like transubstantiation is that the lay member may claim to believe in God, but in reality they literally do not believe God. Instead, whatever faith they have is in the priest, who is a fallible human being and not one’s mediator with the real God.
Real Christianity understands that the bread and the wine are symbols. They are a reminder that we are to spiritually take in Christ’s mind, doctrine and attitude. God is not interested in a family of cannibals.