"Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love." ~Oswald Chambers
Recently someone shared with me that they found my view and approach to Christianity perplexing. I found this curious. And obviously it bothered me and I've been mulling over it and now I'm blogging about it. I know I'll get judged for being too open once again, but the bottom line is, I've now been judged on MY approach to MY faith, so I'm not sure any other judging will count as much. If that makes sense.
Here's the thing. Faith is confusing. I get it. How can I believe in something I haven't seen? How can I believe a book written by multiple people over a long period of time is true? How can I believe that the same God that flooded the entire earth as retribution for sin can turn around and flood my heart with love and peace? How can I believe that God would love a murderer the same amount He loves me? How can I believe that a higher power even exists? There are so many things (and people) pointing you to what is wrong with faith, what is confusing about faith, what makes faith a waste of your time. I can't say I've studied other religions, but I learned enough in Miss Moody's World Religion class to know that Christianity is the only faith that makes sense. To me. It may not make sense to you, and that's ok. When I was younger, I was very robust about spreading the word and sharing my faith. I felt like everyone should be a Christian. Don't get me wrong. I still feel that way. BUT, I guess now I'm more about showing what Christianity is for than what it is against. Too many people want to point out all the wrongs with Christianity. Too many crazy people get on tv preaching the gospel and singing bad songs and it turns people off. I get it. I really do. But that's not my faith. That is not the faith I know.
You see, I believe that faith as small as a mustard seed really can move mountains. How do I know that? because I am living proof. Even when my faith has been on life support, I've been moved and my world has been rocked for the better. And it wasn't by my own doing.
I believe that the God (and His son Jesus) of my faith loves everyone equally, no matter what sin you commit.There's this thing called free will. I can make my own choices. I can choose how to live my life. I can choose to sin. But, the God (and His son Jesus) I know still loves me anyway. And He's happy when I come back to him. over and over and over again. The God (and His son Jesus) of my faith is faithful to me. Even when, especially when, I'm not faithful back.
Much to my own dismay, I truly don't believe the God (or His son Jesus) of my faith is affiliated with any political party.
I don't believe the God (or His son Jesus) of my faith wants bad things to happen to us. I've actually been pondering a lot whether or not the God (or His son Jesus) I know allows for bad things to happen to us. I think I've decided that He doesn't. Yes, bad things happen. People make decisions that cause hurt feelings and pain for others. But the God (or His son Jesus) of my faith doesn't sit up in Heaven and point to people on earth and say "today you will do this bad thing so that this person can be hurt."
At the same time, the God (or His son Jesus) of my faith does allow for good things to happen. God's word says that through Him, our lives are longer and we will prosper and become wise. I believe that.
I believe that no matter what choices you've made in your life, you still deserve a place to put your head at night and you still deserve a decent meal. The God (and His son Jesus) of my faith believes in loving others and meeting people right where they are.
Sometimes I think about how Israel can be God's chosen people if the Jews don't believe Jesus is the savior. Sometimes I think about how the Trinity doesn't make sense but I can't explain why. I don't really care if you shave your beard or tattoo your body. I believe the verse about women being submissive to their husbands is abused because let's face it: how many husbands REALLY love their wives the same way Christ loved the Church? I do believe the family that prays together stays together. I believe people come back to their faith. I do believe your heart should be guarded, because it IS the well spring of life. And no one else is going to guard it for you. I believe my faith is my own and I may judge you on your outfit or the people you surround yourself with, but as a Christian, it is not my place to demand you believe what I believe. I have no desire to search for evidence or look for faults. If you search for fault, you'll find it. Guaranteed. I am happy to base my faith off what I know. I don't have all the answers. I may pretend like I do, but I don't. I don't know the Bible like the back of my hand. I don't believe you have to go to church to be a "good Christian." Going to church holds you accountable and keeps the fire burning. But being a "good Christian" is so much more. It's about accepting that Jesus died for your sins, that he got nailed to that cross so you didn't have to. It's about giving of yourself and serving others. It's about trying to live as He called us to live but knowing we're going to stumble and we're going to fall and the beauty in it is that His grace really is enough.
C.S. Lewis said "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
And that is what I believe.