Sunday, March 20, 2011

In response to Jeff

This past week, as I sat at dinner with a good friend, she said something to me that really struck a chord. Or rather, her husband gave her a message to give to me, that really struck a chord. Apparently the two were discussing me and he said that I believe more than I let myself believe (in regards to Christianity). I was going to come home and write a fun upbeat post about all the fun that I had with my friend at dinner, but then I wanted to meditate on what exactly it was that had been said, and what it meant, before I wrote about it. I like to take things seriously.
I think in some regards this is accurate. I know, especially during the “holy” holiday seasons (Advent and Lent/Christmas and Easter) I wish I believed. I really enjoy teaching those things to my students. I look forward to attending Christmas Eve and Easter morning services (the only two times I can be counted on to go to church all year). I’ve often said I would probably attend church (or would have given it up less readily) if there was a good, full Sunday morning service style service, but offered in the evening (maybe during the week- like a Thursday night would be good). Not the Bible study style service my old church offered for evening service or Wednesday night, but a real full on service. But do all those things mean that I believe?
I have a hard time thinking that someone who is powerful enough to CREATE the entire universe, would also care about the little dramas of MY life. Why would any all-powerful being want a relationship with me? Or really with any of us? If the Bible truly is the infallible word of God, then there are some ridiculous things that God went through just to have relationships with us. Even taken as the highest form of creation, as a species we are not all that amazing.
I have a hard time believing that there is a God who would give people the power to think, and who controls the laws of nature, who would then create a world where those very laws of nature can be used to make it hard to believe. What about all the evidence for evolution?
I have a hard time with any group that looks at what their God has called wrong (homosexuality), declares that God doesn’t make mistakes, therefore he didn’t make those people that way, but he did make babies that are so sick they never take a breath on their own.
All that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t believe or that I don’t believe, it just means that it’s hard for me to believe. So, is my friend’s husband right? Could I believe, if I’d let myself? Maybe. But I’m selfish, and I like my own little sins and I don’t want to give them up. Perhaps I’m giving up greater blessings by refusing to give up my secret sins, and perhaps as I mature and think more about this, I’ll change my mind. For now all I know is that I’m possibly open to persuasion. But, dear friend who started all this, don’t take that as an invitation to gang-witness to me. You’re better off approaching it as gently as if I were a wild deer, because although I’m thinking about it, I’m skittish about the whole subject!

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