In a world of many faiths, many beliefs about many different things, and in particular a culture that simply requires belief in absolutely anything whatsoever as the only requisite for a hope of heaven or wherever it is you might like to be going, one thing glaringly stands out: the validity of your beliefs.
Lets cut to the chase: the requisite is not an ambiguous random thing called faith.
If I might mimic James, “So you say you have faith?”
Faith in what exactly? Or is it something that you purchased at Wal-Mart?
Not desiring to belittle anyone at all, we must concede that if a strong belief in anything is all that is required then Hitler and Dahmer are just as likely candidates as any. I have no doubt at all that they had strong convictions.
I am simply trying to underscore this one point: it is not the mere existence of faith that grants a validity to it (does that seem strangely circular?), but rather the validity of the object of the faith. In my daily reading, I came to 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul actually addresses this very topic. Apparently some had been stirring up controversy as to whether Christ was actually raised or not and the Apostle addresses it very pointedly.
1 Cor 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
We see clearly in this passage that it is not the faith that gives validity, but rather the object, viz. the ressurected Christ.
You can have all the faith in the world and if Christ is not raised then your faith is not valid and therefore futile.
The Apostle is not embarking down this line of reasoning to leave the subject open to speculation, as we see in verse 20:
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead..”
The Apostle affirms the validity of the object and therefore the validity of the faith. Our faith is valid because Christ is raised.