There’s so much noise around God blocking the view and distorting the spiritual landscape. Sometimes we have to begin by weeding out knee jerk responses or past experience that colors the topic and slams doors.
Considering God does not mean losing your mind, jettisoning the intellect, or taking blind leaps of faith. The reality is that we walk by faith however we live. With God, without God, we believe in something. And whatever we believe has a huge impact on how we view life, purpose, meaning, and our identities. It’s a fascinating and exciting journey to explore without prejudice. Tackled with intellectual and emotional honesty and most importantly, curiosity. And curiosity hasn’t killed this cat!
No, you will not turn out as your dear Aunt Jemima who beat people over the head with a bible, Uncle Albert who went to church and yet had a promiscuous lifestyle and was ‘such a hypocrite’ it made your toes curl, Neither will you have to wear outdated conservative clothes or never touch a drink again, or be an absolute saint (it would be nice, but impossible).
“Tell me about the God you don’t believe in,” I often ask. Most of the time I agree with the reply…. “Neither would I if that were ……”
“Think of the person you have most loved during your lifetime. How you feel about them, how you respond when you’re together. How you act when they go through hard times and then when they overflow with life and fun. Feel those responses now in your heart and deep in your gut. Now switch it around and ponder the fact that God loves you like that – but only much more.” That’s my starting point…..
I believe that God is real, personal, kind, truthful, forgiving, gracious, understanding, on our side; not vindictive, cruel, punishing, or angry.
I believe God’s character and purposes are most fully revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ – on earth as a man (and Son of God), in history, in a particular place. That plenty of credible evidence exists to verify this in the form of documents, historical narratives, archaeology, and personal experience through the ages.
I believe that the reality of God is unbelievable to our limited and very atrophied mindsets but – that there’s still enough evidence to support faith that has integrity and credibility.
I believe that every human being ‘is God’s favorite’. We are created to live from dynamic spirits connected with Him that enables us to rise above circumstances that are usually less than perfect or ideal.
I believe that God is known through relationship in personal encounter and that many people mistake religion and ritual as ‘what it’s all about. When that is the case we are usually bored, not interested, and quite rightly, walk away.
I believe that everyone has freedom to believe whatever they choose but that not all ‘religions’ are equally true. It is up to us to explore and discern and I don’t believe anyone should be forced into any faith through guilt, shame, or peer pressure.