Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Its been a while...

Its been a while since I have taken time to post. It seems that time is such a commodity that it is hard to set any aside for this. I have had a sort of epiphany if you will, or wondering thought as of late.
Have I always been a Christian? Am I one now? I'm not so sure anymore. I think in the everyday usage of the term, the answer is YES of course. But in retrospect, I think maybe not. Let me explain.
I have always believed in God. You know, the Big Man up there with the lightning and the rule book and the "vengeance is mine" thing. I have tried living up to His standards and have done a pretty good job for the most part. I have heard His voice on occassion, have walked with Him (see my post Finding God in Anderson County Tx), and have seen some stuff...
BUT...have I been a Christian? A follower of Christ. The answer may be NO. I am not a Theologian, but there seems to be a difference to me.
I have found that it is easier to Believe In God than it is to Follow The Christ. Have I kept the commandments? mostly. Have I been a good boy and worshipped and participated in HIS church? yes. Have I read my bible and devotionals? Sorta. Do I pray to God? yes. So it appears that I believe in God.
Do I turn the other cheek? Not likely. Do I go without to help the poor? Not really. Do I love my enemies? Probably not. Do I judge others? Yes. Will it be easier for a little one to enter the Kingdom than it will be for me? I reckon so.
so there it is. my own little dilemna. How can it be so easy to Believe in God in the first place and so damn hard to follow the teachings of His Son? Don't they appear to be at odds with one another philosophically speaking? I know its Old Testament v New Testament and Old Covenant v New Covenant and all that jazz that goes along with those apologetics, but hell (if there actually is one) why am I just now thinking about this in my life?
Is it possible to believe in God and not Jesus? Is it plausible that they are one in the same? Am I the only person out here with this strange thought in my head? I have no answers to this other than the ones I know are out there. You got any?


Endlessly restless said...

I understand your dilemma. I used to always describe myself as 'trying to be a Christian', and I've been returning to this thought process recently. I don't like all the (apparent) certainty that pervades the evangelical church - if there's no room for doubt, what's the point of faith?

For me the issue isn't one of believing in Jesus - it's more a case of trying to follow him more closely - each and every day. And I think that realising my shortcomings isn't such a bad place to start - or to be.

nonprofitprophet said...

er - WOW, i love how you said that "if there's no room for doubt, what's the point in faith?"! Amen to that and how timely, as another issue I have had this week is talking about John 14, and Jesus being quoted as saying "the only way to the Father is thru me". I was pointing out in context of the whole chapter that there was more to it than that, and I thought evangelicals took that one scripture and ran with it - thereby alienating non-born again types the ability to go to heaven. Like they get to decide that everyone else is going to hell based on that one scripture. It was frustrating. I had some in the group that were "apparently certain" that they new how it all works and that i was a bit,uh, perhaps maybe i'll blog this frustration and see what happens. thanks for the mssg.

That Hideous Man said...

Dear NPP, this is a really probing post!

Personally I am helped by the bit in John's gospel which describes Christ as "full of grace and truth". He constantly calls me to towards his truth, the unbending standards of perfection I fail to make; yet he does so in his grace -that is his equally unbending desire to love, even when we fail.

The truth then reveals my failures and exposes my need of grace. Receiving grace fills me with the desire to do better in following. In fact I think I am beginning to understand that God's grace is so radical that it might actually be the transformative agent that is going to make me, less judgemental, more generous, cheek-turning, prayerful; er.. Christlike in fact.

nonprofitprophet said...

Yes. Grace is a crazy thing. I came to a realization regarding Grace at an Emmaus Walk weekend, where I learned that I do not accept Grace freely and still get hung up on earning it. Its a struggle for me not to "try" and just "accept". I have read some of your posts as well as E.R. and find your thoughts interesting. Especially across the big pond.