What I believe

I believe that we live in a world that is not what it was meant to be.

I believe that the central problem with the world is a broken relationship with God.

I believe that God is a God of love, justice, and peace. 

I believe that the closer our hearts are to God, the more we will experience love and peace and the harder we will work for justice.

I believe that the life, death, and resseruction of Jesus were the pivotal points in history.  I believe that everything that happened before Jesus’ coming to Earth was preparing this situation.  I believe that everything that has happened since that time has been a result of this occasion.

I believe that God will someday return everything to what it would have been if we had never fallen… We will live in a place like what the Garden of Eden would have become.

I believe that we are eternal.

I believe that God wants us to wrestle with his truths.

I believe that God uses the world to grow us.  I believe that he wishes we had not made the choices we did. 

I believe that God weeps with us. 

I believe that God’s church has done things which make God laugh with joy and things which make God shake his head in shame at us.

I believe that God’s holy spirit is in the places we least expect to find it.

I believe that the enemy of God and man often masquerades as holiness, piousness, normalacy, and conformity.

Sometimes, I think it’s easy for emergents like me to throw the baby out with the bath water.  We see how quiet mainstream Christianity has been about its doubts.  We see how tabboo being authentic has become.

And so we open up about our fears and the ambiguities we see.  And it’s a good thing to do this.  But my fear is that we end up looking like depressed, faithless, nit pickers.  

As I consider the stuff I’ve blogged about, it looks like I’ve got more questions than answers. 

The thing is, this isn’t really true.  There’s lots of stuff I’ve believe.  With all that I am.  This post is a sort-of state-of-my-faith adress. 

Most of the stuff on this list is actually pretty close to more moderate and even conservative folks.  It’s easy but dangerous to miss all the things which unite us… because really, the only important thing… Jesus Christ… does unite us.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

One thought on “What I believe”

  1. Given your first two points, you might like to check out this link:
    http:/www.energon.org.uk

    A sort of: Everything you always wanted to know about God but were afraid to ask!

    Like

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