Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Certainty Project

Ever heard this idea.... "Believing with 100% certainty doesn't mean you've found truth - it means you've stopped looking for it."

Fascinating statement! I appreciate the genuine work-ethic, and truth-seeking, of anyone who makes such a claim. However, it also makes many assumptions about Believers (those of faith in the God of Israel, and the death, life, and resurrection of Jesus Christ).

Assumption #1: "We're that good!"
I, personally, know of no true follower of Jesus Christ who has held to any such high human standard of thinking. Speaking for myself, but likely most in the Christian community, ...I am not 100% anything! If I were ...faith would be unnecessary. More about this to come (not just a gap-fill). The writer of a Proverb, in the Christian Bible, wrote this... "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."(‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭5-6‬ ESV)

Assumption #2: "They're that good!"
By this, I mean to ask, in response to the certainty statement... where does it end? Is truth an unattainable, false idea in itself? If truth is ever looked for, never settled for, then doesn't that equate to unattainable? If this is true ....why bother looking for it? This follows with the idea that most true followers of Christ I know are very practical in their faith. Meaning, we are realistic. Realistic about our depraved world, human ability, and reject the idea that we'll ever find absolute, concrete, non-debatable truth in and of ourselves; at least this side of the human realm. Do you believe, with even 85% certainty there is no God? 15% chance of being wrong. And if never 100% certain ....are you certain you trust your math? Is there room for doubt? Indeed. Is there room for faith. More so. "He must increase, but I must decrease." (‭John‬ ‭3‬:‭30‬ ESV)

Assumption #3: "We're that stubborn"
Really, honestly, we'd like a Moses-like meeting with our Creator as well. Most days I'd like to not have to depend on my very fallible faith. I think there may be problems with that, with being "human", if that wish ever came true ...but I'm just being honest. It is often exhausting not being 100% sure of anything. I'm not so sure that our Creator God is terribly interested in dicing up percentages for micro-measurement. Why would the immeasurable God, of Whom we claim allegiance, be tied to such values anyway? Many days I would love it if God stuck His head from among the clouds and shouted the next instruction. Again, many human problems with that. Free-will problems. "He is wise in heart and mighty in strength —who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?" (‭Job‬ ‭9‬:‭4‬ ESV)

Assumption #5: "Faith is for fools"
Truth is... faith, practiced, aligns more with trembling assurance, and less with stubborn certainty. Faith, by definition, requires that we play a lesser role in the game of life. That proposes One who plays a greater role. My trembling assurance, awe-struck believism, does indeed strengthen my faulty faith. Faith, by proxy, is faulty ....especially if I'm wielding it. Yet, the God of the universe, whom I cannot properly fathom, saw fit to create all things, all of us, and call it good. By free-will we choose to corrupt that perfect goodness. Still... by His graceful will, through our even faulty faith in Jesus Christ, we find the calm assurance (faith) to be saved, redeemed, won back. "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." (‭Genesis‬ ‭1‬:‭31‬ ESV) Surely, some would challenge that with questions about horrific events in human history; why a good, sinless, perfect, all-powerful God would even "allow" such things. I defer to a quote I was recently introduced to, by one the early church fathers. Augustine's The Enchiridion, chapter 27... "For He judged it better to bring good out of evil, than not to permit any evil to exist."

Yes, I am uncertain. In fact, I'm certain of it. :) Just having a little fun with ya', eh?? Grateful, proud, to be so. This strengthens, in fact it demands, my deep reliance on the God of the Bible. I don't trust me. I trust Him.