So I love reading blogs. I love reading what other people have to say and seeing the many different ways God is leading and guiding and teaching his people. And then, just when I find myself a little too aligned with a blogger and saying "yes! exactly!" too often, a post pops up that jars me out of that alignment and throws me into all kinds of questions.
Wait, I don't like that! But I really respect this person's faith and opinion...
What does that mean about what I believe?
Wow, if I can't grasp this deep challenging theology, am I shallow? Off base?
Is it okay for me to say "I don't like the God you are describing."
I don't want to be a pick-and-chooser.
And I begin to question what it means to personally follow Christ. To follow the Spirit rather than outside influences. But I worry about "going off the deep end". I struggle with thoughts of my simple understanding of God being, well, too simple.
Relevant, Spectacular, Powerful
I once heard someone use these words to describe the three temptations of Jesus in the wilderness, and as the basic temptations of humanity. And oh, do I struggle with these. I feel them rearing their heads in the midst of these questions. I want to be relevant, sophisticated. I want to be somebody.
Is my faith too simple, rudimentary...unattractive in today's culture? Wow are those the wrong questions. No where in the bible does it say anything about faith being sophisticated, attractive. It is foolishness to the world.
What does it mean when I walk with someone who I see Jesus in, and yet don't agree with them on everything? Obviously, taking a broad look at the Church makes it pretty clear to me that somehow we have to come to terms with diversity, even in beliefs. Unity of beliefs is not ever going to happen. So what is unity to be based in?
Obviously not unity of thought.
Obviously not unity of function.
Obviously not unity of doctrine.
Obviously not unity of theology.
Unity of Spirit?
We are all at different places in our own stories of faith. I know my beliefs have changed dramatically over the course of my life. I'm sure they will again. Something central and grounding has to be in place. And it might be a dying of self to these basic desires. And for me, it has to happen in a real understanding of an active, speaking God. My human brain cannot conquer this. Nor my human heart. But, lead by the transforming Spirit of Jesus, perhaps I can begin to understand this dying to live. And find peace amid the questions that my human will doesn't want to let go of.
Relevant, Spectacular, Powerful
2 Timothy 4:3
New International Version (NIV)
3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
This verse challenges me, because I don't know which end of it I am on! I know sometimes I am "the people". But other times, I feel like I'm on the other side too. It's easy to point fingers. It's hard to recognize that there are some aspects of what I believe that I am afraid to have challenged for fear that it will be proven "not sound". And part of me will have to die to that.
I am so thankful for Grace and the Helper. Me in my humanness could never figure all this out.