Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How it all began...?

I can't decide if this (how it all began) is what it always comes back to. "It" being ...discussions of spirituality, eternity, our purpose. I can't decide if it's about our origins or if the discussion is far less about that and more about the "Jesus problem". That term deserves some explanation I guess. I'll get to that in a moment.

I have met atheists (a-theist) who simply deny the existance of a supreme being; God, if you will. I have met agnostics who, admittedly, just don't know (let's be honest and say that we can all at least empathize with this group). I know "deists (de-ist) ...who believe in "a" God ...and base their belief on the common-sense factor of the results of nature, that you and I had to get here from somewhere / someone. If you're in this camp ...then you need little explanation of my former term of the "Jesus problem". And, case in point, there are those who believe in, and follow the direction, example, and teaching of ...a Messiah. Unless this is the first article you've read from me ...you know that I fall into the camp of "Christian". By definition ...a "little Christ". More losely termed, yet accurate, a "Chrst-follower". I believe Christ "is" the Messiah.

I guess there are no rules that say there can't be multiple "problems" at hand. Maybe the big-picture problem is two-fold. (a) Were we created by a Creator or was it happenstance that brought us into existance. Still can't wrap my brain around the amount of faith that takes. (b) Maybe you don't wrestle with the creation / Creation argument at all ....but this whole Jesus idea just doesn't set well with you. Well ...you're not the first; rest assured ...just not too long.

I like history. I did not enjoy it once ...when I was younger. Only because I had no appreciation for what history tells me about... "who I am", "where I come from". We must be careful with history. Stories can be skewed, or even twisted to meet a need. And "history" being the teacher ....when it comes to our permanence, or lack thereof, or our eternal destination .....people take that pretty seriously. Many cultures, today, still hand down "stories" (non-written) from generation to generation. In fact, on a practical level, history is the reason I am, and remain, a Christ-follower. Historical accounts of who Christ is and what He has done have been recorded for future generations ...not by hear-say proclaimers ....but by those who walked with Him, healed with Him, laughed with Him, hurt and cried with Him, obeyed Him, dis-obeyed Him ...and yes, even watched Him die for them. These men and women have personal experiences that lay the foundations of "Christianity".

But it's even more than that! Those personal experiences, alone, would have been enough to convince most of us that Jesus is who and what He says He is. The fact is that Jesus, Himself, never made such a claim based on His own testimony and works alone. God's original covenant / agreement with His people make clear the claim and coming of a Messiah. We could spend hours, years, centuries (..and we have..) loading the scales to determine to which side the evidence falls.

But again, in keeping true with this historical proclamation, the evidence, alone, doesn't supply the only basis / foundation for the Christian belief. As the words were written ..."faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

The Christian faith, in practice and proclamation, doesn't come from a singular source. Yet from many witnesses of God's manifestation of Himself, in various ways, to various people. I think the old saying is true. It takes a lot more faith to believe in most of the alternatives to Christ ...than the faith required of us, His followers, to believe in Him. It would seem, to me, that a ridiculous amount of evidence has been provided to support the truth of Jesus Christ. You'll have to read the Scriptures for yourself to see those. There isn't enough blog to contain it here.

To choose not to believe is ....just stubborn I guess, and maybe just frustrated. To conclude that all good people go to Heaven is, at the very least, presumptuous, short-sighted, and ultimately self-defeating. I mean ..I do know, for certain, that it wasn't "me" who spun all of us into existance. That being true ...I probably can't dictate or mandate what it takes to get "back" to eternity. I'm just sayin'. Dear friend ....will you please just give God a "chance" to speak to you ..and listen in the way "He" asks us to? This isn't about "church" (..at least not as you and I have typically seen..). Forget the building or the practices for a minute. Find someone willing to spend time with you, to argue with you and neither of you be afraid to be honest about what you know right now, to love you enough to even want to argue with you ..and you with them. The worst that can happen is that you'll be un-moved. Well, that's where you are anyway ....so you won't lose any ground. The "best" thing that can happen is ...you will be enlightened! You can begin to see the possibility (faith) of a loving God ...greater than you or I.

"In the beginning ...God created..." -Genesis - book of beginnings

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