Forget about it.

December 9, 2009 at 10:46 pm (1)

sweet.The past few weeks have been filled with more doubt than I’ve ever experienced.

And I’ve never felt better.

It started a couple of weeks ago, when I started making a list of things that I’ve learned this year. This year being the first year in 13 years that I haven’t been in school, so starting since September. I’ve been interested in how much I can learn from everything BUT the education system.

This list of things that I “know” is probably going to stay at one point long…

I need to stop pretending like I know anything about anything. Ever.

When that’s the only thing you know, it makes it difficult to know anything else.

I’ve been doing my best to apply this principle to everything.

I decided to try my best to break down the things I “know” about my faith.

I know Jesus loves me, and loves everyone.
I know I am freed from the law of sin and death.
I know that all things were created by God, but not necessarily in six days.
I know that Love is the answer for the problems of this world.

It didn’t take long for it to occur to me, that there are people who are also Christians who believe the complete opposite.

Jesus doesn’t love me, and he certainly loves everyone else less.
He has a list of my sins, and he’s angry at me for all of them.
God created the universe in six literal days, and if I deny that then I’m denying that Jesus died on the cross.
Love is not always the answer, sometimes it takes violence.

While these things are literally the opposite of what I know, many people know them to be true.

To go even farther, me being a Christian at all is something that I know to be the truth, the way, the light, the whatever else you can call it. Meanwhile, there are others, many others, who aren’t Christians at all, whether they belong to some other religion or whether they’re complete Atheists, which has become a religion in itself.

There are divisions between denominations within Christianity. There are divisions between Christianity and other religions. There are divisions between denominations in other religions, including Atheism.

Everyone knows something that everyone else doesn’t know.

My good friend Brad said it very well, when he spoke on the many Jesi (which I am officially coining as the plural for Jesus) separating denominations.

We all have a projection of Jesus that we know. The one true Jesus is really only the one Jesus that we believe to be true. We all pick the Jesus we find easiest to deal with. The kind of Jesus that loves everyone, but still has the nerve to turn over tables, has become the Jesus that I know.

When this is pointed out, the discussion quickly turns to Scripture, and the evidence it provides, when realistically, scripture might not even be true at all.

The Bible might be entirely false.
The Bible could be entirely, literally, true.
The Bible might be divinely inspired stories to map out God’s love for us.

I fully realize that I’m beginning to ramble, but that’s sort of the point. There are too many disagreements within Theology, for those disagreements to divide us.

I follow a blog called Naked Pastor, and the author, David Hayward, recently made a list of questions to consider if you are genuinely interested in living in Unity.

For me, it has come down to this. I’ve reached a point where my faith is dangling dangerously by a thread. I’m in a place that the thing running through my mind most is, not that I might be wrong, but that I probably am. Its not that I believe that truth is relative, its that I believe it isn’t, but no one really knows what the truth is, because no one really knows anything.

As a result, every wall has come tumbling down. Every curtain has been ripped.

I have never felt more connected to the world.

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7 Comments

  1. preacherlady said,

    What a wonderful place to be at such a young age. It took me until I was 60 to reach that point completely. “…and the veil was rent…from top to bottom…” It was the veil to the throne of God. Beyond denominations…beyond religions…beyond our concepts of God…there is an experience of God awaiting all of us that is different than anything we thought. Sit in the Silence and listen…and you will hear what you need to know.

  2. Hannah Goldberg said,

    that was totally my word… jesi…. MINE

    you’re awesome 🙂

  3. Lauren said,

    May I begin this response by saying that I really appreciate your openness, and that although it is good to be open to correction,and to learning, we should come to terms with our doubts and our questions quickly, so that our doubting period won’t deeply affect our relationship with God.

    About what some Christians believe, may I first say, that although someone may believe something doesn’t necessarily mean it to be true (as you have stated earlier), and also that although someone may profess to be a Christian, it doesn’t mean that they are necessarily following Christ wholly, nor does it mean that all of their views will be in line with God’s word if they are either disobedient or are not yet versed in what the Bible actually teaches.

    “Jesus doesn’t love me, and he certainly loves everyone else less.”
    I would say, that if anyone truly loves and follows God, he will not believe this. If he does, he is deceived and his mind would be changed if he read what the Bible says on Christ’s love (Psalm 72:14, Proverbs 8:17, John 3:16 etc. )

    “He has a list of my sins, and he’s angry at me for all of them.”
    Again, if someone truly serves the God and Jesus Christ of the Bible they cannot ignore this truth. Christ’s atonement for our sins is essential to our conversion! Proverbs 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 26:8 etc).

    “God created the universe in six literal days, and if I deny that then I’m denying that Jesus died on the cross.”
    It is POSSIBLE it is figurative, because as 2 Peter 3:8 says “…With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Personally I’m not decided on this one yet, as I haven’t researched it and there is some evidence for both sides. The point is, you can believe BOTH of them and still believe Jesus died on the cross for you. One belief does not presuppose agreement with the other.

    “Love is not always the answer, sometimes it takes violence.”
    This also, is not true. The wrath and judgment of God in the Bible does take the form of violence, but this is NOT void of the LOVE of God. True love is not permissive. A father would not allow his child to indulge in destructive behaviour, and a parent who does not punish his child in some form wouldn’t really be doing a good job of parenting! God is a righteous and holy God, and in his love he judges, so this belief also doesn’t work. (Here’s a cool article on it http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5439 )

    I’m not saying that you DO believe these things, but it is wrong to say it is alright for a Christian to believe them. Yes, some believers MAY, but they are in error, and with study of the scriptures they would likely change their minds!

    Secondly, about the many “Jesi” people believe in, I will again state that although people may believe certain things about Him, if they are contrary to Bible, than they are false. If you believe Jesus doesn’t condemn sinners, that is contrary to the Bible:

    “Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:1-12 . He loves her, and does not cast the first stone, YET he tells her to leave her life of sin! He loves her, but tells her to repent.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, on the reliability of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, there is much scholarly historical and archeological evidence supporting the accuracy of the scriptures, and it would be exhaustive to list it all here. Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ” has a TON of information that brought me to total CERTAINTY of the reliability of God’s word. I also have a copy of “The Apologetics Bible” which I would strongly reccomend because it has such articles as

    “Has the Bible been Accurately Copied Down Through the Centuries?”
    “Don’t Christian Missionaries Impose Their Culture on Others?”
    “How Can We Know the Bible Includes the Correct Books?”
    “Who Are You To Judge Others?”
    “Can Something Be True For You And Not For Me?” etc….

    It IS possible to know the truth! This is what Jesus says in John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus begins MANY teachings with “I tell you the truth”! So yes, it is possible to know the truth.

    It would be extremely dangerous to leave your questions unanswered, or to be answered by extrabiblical teaching. As you said yourself: “I’ve reached a point where my faith is dangling dangerously by a thread.” Don’t let it stay this way, pursue the truth.

    Some EXCELLENT further reading:

    Apologetics Website http://www.carm.com

    On truth being relative: http://www.faithfacts.org/search-for-truth/questions-of-christians/if-it-feels-good-for-me-isnt-it-right

  4. whateverthatmeans said,

    You seem to have so much knowledge on these things, but knowledge is fleeting.

    I also completely disagree that, for people who believe those things, studying scripture will change their mind.

    Also, I was at a point where my faith WAS dangling by a thread, but then i realized that because of my own awareness of my complete lack of knowledge, I have more faith than I have ever had by still believing. My faith is stronger than ever. Kind of like Paul insisting that he has more faith even than the disciples, because the disciples were there to witness it and Paul wasn’t, but he still believes. Basically, don’t act like you were their to witness it, and so, don’t act like you’ll ever KNOW the truth. All you can do is believe in the truth, and BELIEVING is knowing. Not the other way around.

    And I think you completely missed the point of my entire entry, in fact you entirely … contradicted it.

    The point was not to say that its a good thing that people believe some things that they do, like that list I gave. The point was that even though they do believe those things, that shouldn’t separate us from them.

    I absolutely do NOT think that those things are correct, nor do I think they’re healthy in any way. But I’m also saying that … and this clearly the part that you’re having a surprising about of trouble dealing with … being faithful in something means you believe in something that you can’t possibly KNOW to be true. You can only believe it to be true. And I’m saying that we can’t know ANYTHING to be true, so the only thing that we have are our beliefs. So hold on to your belief as your knowledge. Because knowledge means absolutely nothing.

    Honestly, the only people in scripture that Jesus was utterly impatient and annoyed with are the people who acted like they know everything about him (the messiah), and acted like they’re knowledge and obedience was what made them Godly. Jesus comes to say that the kingdom is for the people who aren’t obedient. And that the kingdom is for the people who don’t know anything.

    Meaningless. Utterly meaningless. Everything is meaningless. I thought to myself, “Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

    You offend my reason by saying that my unanswered questions and lack of knowledge is “dangerous”. But I say that chasing after the answers you assume ownership of is like … chasing the wind.

    You will never know anything, be it the existence of yourself, or the existence of God. You will only ever believe in those things. And by believing, you will know.

    I will not chase answers simply so I can believe. I will believe, and the answers will come.

  5. Lauren said,

    Thank you for your response. I would like to add a few further things because I feel perhaps I was incomplete in my first response, and also that I should address things you bring up in your rebuttal.

    Firstly (a technical mistake) that website I posted should be http://www.carm.org , the other one was a different website!

    Secondly, you are right in saying that scripture may not change the minds of people who believe such false things as “Jesus does not love me”, but that would be only in the case where that person was not submitted to God and no desire to truly learn Jesus’ teachings (and a study of what he does teaches would soon reveal the opposite)…

    But I do not think I missed the point. You said “The point was that even though they do believe those things, that shouldn’t separate us from them.” We are not separated from them in the sense of God’s love for us. Yes, he love us all, and as you said “Jesus comes to say that the kingdom is for the people who aren’t obedient. And that the kingdom is for the people who don’t know anything.” But this is an incomplete thought. Jesus came for sinners, yes, but those who do not repent will not see the kingdom of God! Hebrews 10:26-27 states:

    “For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.”

    This is an unpopular teaching, but is what God says, and lines up with the rest of scripture. Luke 13:3 states:

    “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

    Repentance of sin in the NT is clearly essential, because rebellion and disobedience bring death when we don’t submit ourselves to God. So to say that he comes for the disobedient is true in that we are all sinners before, but we are not saved unless we walk in repentance.

    Thirdly, and most clearly the point of opposition, the point that we cannot know anything. I think reading my response you assumed I don’t have knowledge of the philosophy, but I do have a very basic level of understanding on this idea — its Hume or Kant I believe you are drawing from.

    From a rational standpoint, one flaw in knowing I can know nothing, is that this even assumes that my own mind is rational enough to even come to this conclusion! If I can know nothing, why should I trust that my mind is making rational arguments? Why is it that nothing is to be trusted with my senses? (Again, I have a very basic understanding of this teaching, and do not want to continue a great debate on this)

    But where does this assertion stand Biblically? Knowledge and wisdom have great position both in the New and Old Testaments! Jesus condemns Pharisees for being too “religious” and not seeing God in front of them, not for the attainment of knowledge itself.

    Proverbs is a key example of the value of knowledge! When you say everything is meaningless, I believe (Solomon?) is talking about everything (including knowledge of this world), but knowledge of GOD is of great importance. Proverbs 1 states:

    1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

    2 For gaining wisdom and being instructed;
    for understanding insightful sayings;

    3 for receiving wise instruction
    [in] righteousness, justice, and integrity;

    4 for teaching shrewdness to the inexperienced,
    knowledge and discretion to a young man—

    5 a wise man will listen and increase his learning,
    and a discerning man will obtain guidance—

    6 for understanding a proverb or a parable,
    the words of the wise, and their riddles.

    7 The fear of the LORD
    is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.

    Here the Lord clearly shows Godly wisdom is to be saught after and attained! It is not wrong or ungodly to have knowledge, but only when knowledge is self-serving, and not God-glorifying. It is possible to know the truth! As I stated earlier, John 8:31-32 says:

    “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.””

    Yes we can know the truth, and it is to be saught after: Luke 11:10 says:

    “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

    If we ask of God, he will answer our questions. He wants us to seek him and to bring to him our concerns. God bless you.

  6. whateverthatmeans said,

    I have no idea who Hume or Kant are, I’m speaking entirely from my own experience.

    Just based on your response, its clear that you don’t really understand what I’m trying to say. I’m sorry its so unclear to you. Awareness of your own lack of knowledge does not mean awareness that you are entirely WRONG. Its just clear to me that tons of people who have seeked and found, have found something completely different than what I have found. I think they’re wrong, they think I’m wrong. That doesn’t mean I think we’re both right. It means I think I’m right and they’re wrong, actually. Such is the case with you and I, I suppose.

    There’s very little love in your words. I’m sorry you disagree with me so strongly, but I think I’m right. So that leaves me, in your eyes, a fool that despises wisdom. You speak of knowledge and wisdom as something that is entirely attainable, which it isn’t. You speak of repentance as something you do, and that when do you’re done, but it isn’t.

    And yes, you did miss the point. Don’t tell me that you didn’t miss the point, when I wrote the point, and you did. The point is that I fully understand where people are coming from now, even though I completely disagree with them. Like you, for example. I have sought, and I have found. This is what I believe, and therefor what I know. If you shared my point of view in this, you might be able to accept me for what I am, but clearly you can’t.

    I’ve asked God plenty of questions, some of which he’s answered, some of which he hasn’t. But that means nothing to most people. They are not fools. They are people.

    Also, we clearly disagree on the authority of scripture, so we won’t agree on much.

    Yeah, God bless you too.

  7. Lauren said,

    I’m sorry you see very little love in my words, because it was written with much love and much prayer. I bring to you not condemnation, but what God has revealed through his word, and the Word of God is the greatest source of love and truth.

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