Monday, March 2, 2015

God, Certainty, Faith: Maybe You Should Err on the Side of Grace

Paul and Jesus talk a lot about faith.  It's referred to many times as a standard that Christians should stride towards.  I find it interesting that so few people talk in terms of faith.  Instead they talk in terms of certainty.

I would like to highlight the difference (or at least the difference in how I'm referring to them).  Certainty deals with provable, predictable facts.  I am certain that the earth revolves around the sun on a 365 (and some change) day cycle.  I can say this because it is testable and predictable.  However, faith deals with the opposite.  It deals with things that aren't testable.  I have faith that a loving God exists and that I am somehow connected to Him/Her/It.  I cannot prove this.  But it's something I have faith in.

Certainty leads to an arrogance that draws lines in the sand.  In a religious setting, it's often a separator between you and anyone who doesn't look like you.  Faith tends leads to an understanding of how you could totally be wrong and in that ability to understand that you could wrong, you should extend grace to others because you don't have it all figured out anymore than the next person.  This is offering them room to find their own faith.  Offering insight and advice when sought.  But mostly just giving them space, friendship and love.

Right now there are HUGE discussions going on in churches around the country about homosexuality, what is hell, how to read the Bible and any number of other things.  You see people struggling to reconcile the beliefs they were brought up to have with these huge boulders of doubt that life throws at them.  They need people to supportive them and give them that space, friendship and love to find their own relationship to God.  They need people of faith.  But instead they have people of certainty.  People who are so certain that they have God figured out that they decry everyone who doesn't view God and faith through their terms.  They will claim that they are just going by what the Bible says.  They claim the Bible is the source of their certainty.  The problem is that they really believe THEIR view of the bible is correct.  But they are unable to see that there's a possibility that maybe God doesn't view the Bible the same as them.  I've heard many of these certain types of people say that they don't have a view on the Bible and that they are taking it for what it says.  THAT IS A VIEW OF THE BIBLE!!! I don't mean to yell, but anytime someone comes to any conclusion on the meaning of something it is an interpretation.  You are reading it through your lens of reality and can no more claim certainty than anyone else.  So when you hold firm to your interpretation of scripture and you are willing to cut others out, rebuke them, engage in bullying techniques in order to force people to look, think, act, believe as you do, you aren't upholding God.  You are upholding your view of God.  You are upholding your interpretation of the Bible.

So how do we handle it?  How should we handle these disagreements?  Maybe start by understanding that our beliefs are just that...OURS and may not necessarily be that of God's.  Instead of acting in the certainty of our beliefs, act in faith by extending the hand of friendship, acceptance, love and grace to those around you.

Anyone Still Listening?

I haven't posted here since 2011.  Is anyone still listening? 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Call for Christians to Turn Away from Social Conservatism

All my life I have been told that God loves people.  Loves them in a deep and giving way.  In a way that desires to be with them.  In this love God wishes to be loved in return.  But the crux of love is the freedom.  Had God forced us to love Him and to live a certain way, wouldn't that mean that there is no love returned to Him?  I would say forced love is no love at all, but slavery.  God doesn't want us to be slaves to Him.  He wishes for us to see the beauty in the world around us and in the life and teachings of Jesus and come to Him of our own volition.  God gives us the ability to choose right or wrong.  He didn't force morality on us.  But He offered us the teachings of Christ which we have the ability to accept or reject. 

So what does this have to do with leaving social conservatism behind?  Just this, if God gives us the ability to choose right or wrong, why shouldn't we do the same?  Has God instructed us to put a government together that forces, through legislation, Biblical morality on people?  No, He hasn't.  It isn't in the Bible and it definitely isn't in the teachings of Jesus.  So do we believe that God has somehow fallen short?  Do we believe that God just didn't get it quite right?  I would say that supporting a system of government that seeks to legislate Christian morality is saying just that.  It's telling God that His whole "freedom to choose right or wrong" thing is a bit over the top and that we need to step in and force people to live the way we think God wants them to.  It's telling God that, while you appreciate your freedom to choose Him, you can't let others have the same freedom...which might mean they choose something else.  In short, I feel that supporting Social Conservatism is telling God that His way isn't good enough for us and that we have to take up his slack. 

So I'm offering up two final spiritual and one political.  First,  God loves us enough to give us the freedom to live our lives the way we see fit.  Why shouldn't we do the same?  Second, understand that the freedoms you extend to others ensures your own.  Voltaire (or at least it's attributed to him) said it best,"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".  When we think of gay marriage, marijuana legalization, free speech issues, putting religious items into government institutions...I strongly believe we should mirror God and extend freedom...not oppression.

In the coming elections please move away from socially conservative issues.  God gave us the freedom to choose, shouldn't we do the same?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What do you belong?

I'm constantly torn between complete rejection of contemporary society and trying to find out where I fit into it. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Does All Knowledge of God Ultimately Come From the Bible?

For Christians,

If we are suppose to test all ideas about God against the Bible, does that mean that all we know about God ultimately come from the Bible?

Let's see where we can get with this. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

What my day looks PHP

$time = 9;

echo "This is what my Friday will look military time of course.";

while($time <= 17)
    if($time != 12 && $time != 17)
        echo "At ".$time.":00 I am writing code.";
    if($time == 12)
        echo "It's ".$time.":00...LUNCH TIME!!!!";
    if($time == 17)
        echo "It's ".$time.":00...QUITTING TIME!!1!";

Monday, April 11, 2011


One of the most important parts of believing in any theological or belief system is faith.  Faith, by definition, requires no reasoning.  It is not rational.  It's believing in something for the sake of belief.  So the practice of apologetics seems contradictory.  It seems to cancel faith.  Putting your faith in a sure thing isn't faith.  Faith is believing in something because it calls to your irregardless of reason.  To rationalize faith is to not have faith.

Wonder what kind of responses I'm going to get.