Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Land of Both And

Before I launch into today's thoughts, I want to tell you about a new blog that will be launched on Jan 1. It is up and running now, but I will not be doing entries until Jan 1. Visit www.cortlandumcsj.blogspot.com on this blog I will be entering my thoughts as I along with the congregation, and all others who would like, read through the New Testament in a year.

As for today. I have written in the past on this very topic, but I continue to wrestle with it. I grew up in a world of faith which was deeply connected with either/or thinking. The journey of faith was in fact not a journey, rather it was a list of truths and facts to be memorized and regurgitated when demanded. I am now experiencing a faith journey where essential truths are still held to, yet they are held in a different way. There was a time in my life when questioning was off limits. If I had doubts I could not have faith. If I read something that caused me to have doubts, whatever I read was dismissed as ungodly. At the present time all I have are questions. If there is something to read and it causes questions about God, I say read away. A truth I hold deeply is that God is big enough to handle all my doubts, questions, and challenges.

A few years ago not everyone was up in arms about The DaVinci Code. Many people were concerned about the movie teaching things contrary to the Scriptures. Indeed there were several aspects of the movie that were inconsistent with the Scriptures, but we must remember what section of the bookstore the book is housed, fiction. The other point to remember is that is God is not big enough to deal with a little questioning and challenging, then I am not sure that is a God I want part of. That is to say I think you can read or watch the DaVinci Code and still be a Christ Follower. It is possible you might be a better Christ Follower.

There is a lot of talk about how our world has changed to become a more both/and culture. I disagree. It has always been a both/and world, simply many were just too brazen to realize it. Those who bought hook, line and sinker into the Enlightenment actually thought given enough time all the mysteries of life could be figured out. The church embraced and furthered this thought pattern. Today there are thousands of books written by people of faith trying to convince people through scientific evidence God is real. They are great scholars, but their work will always come up short. If God could be detailed in a nice little treatise, don't you think God would have used that much before this time to draw people into relationship?

The reality is this. God is full of mystery. Significant understandings of God have been made known, Jesus Christ for example. Still we as the created will never fully understand the creator. Life is mystery, mixed with questions, seasoned with some paradox, topped with more questions. I hope we all can enjoy the journey.

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