Molnár József: Abraham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A few days ago I wrote about how I had had two upheavals in my faith and I told you about one of them. The reason, that I didn’t talk about the second one is, that I am not quite sure myself yet. How do you know that God is calling you? There are many, many stories about God calling people in both the Old Testament and the New Testament and every calling seems to be quite unique ad at the same time they all seem to be similar in some way. It confuses me. I thought I knew what my calling was going to be and I was ready for it and happy but it is becoming clearer and clearer to me that it is not happening and I am finding myself at a loss. What am I doing? Did I completely miss the point? How can I get back on track, and was it the right track? If not, how do I find the right one?
Reading about Abraham being called by God to just up and leave with only his faith in God as reassurance that things would work out, I feel similarly. In a kind of limbo, not seeing where I am going and even struggling with where I am coming from. I know I am just supposed to have faith and happily follow along but, honestly, I hat this. It is horrible not to know. I am sure as much as Abraham believed in God, he also had doubts and wanted to know where he was going to go. All he had was this vague promise, that God will show him the land. Well, I have a not-so-vague promise that God is always with me and guides me and will rescue me at the end of time but right now that doesn’t seem very helpful. Don’t get me wrong, I draw a lot of energy from my faith and God and the community in my church and all of this is amazingly helpful in itself. Yet, sometimes, rather often, I think to myself: But what am I doing? And I wish God would answer that question. And I know that eventually he will. (But can’t it be sooner, rather than later, please?)
- Faith Sight (rockchristiancenter.wordpress.com)
- Trustworthy Hope (doylevan.wordpress.com)
Adam and Eve by Peter Paul Rubens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I do not believe in Evolution. What I mean by that is, that I know evolution took place and therefore I don’t need to believe it. Whereas I believe that God created the universe. I believe that because there is no scientific proof that he has. There is a lot of scientific proof that evolution happened. But this post isn’t really supposed to be about evolution at all (maybe I’ll write more about that later but it will be less a post about what my faith tells me and more a post on science and knowledge), it is a question I ask myself whenever I start thinking about it. About what? The Fall. You know, when Adam and Eve supposedly ate the apple (or whatever fruit it might have been) and found out that they were naked and so on and so on. The Fall is almost the second thing that happens in the Bible (after everything is created and named and told its purpose) and without knowing what the Fall actually is, I find it difficult to understand almost anything else. Because everything in me tells me that creation is a good thing, that God is proud of it and that none of it is bad or evil. Yet, obviously, I cannot say that humans are good and everything they/we do is exactly as God wishes it to be. I have put quite a bit of emphasis on free will (see my posts on Invictus and what it means to me) and I honestly do believe that God gave it to us as a present. But! If it is such a good thing, why do we need rescuing from it? For me, Jesus dying on the cross feels weird if it was necessary to redeem humanity from the Fall. And what might the actual Fall be anyways? Is it when humans started to think abstractedly, develop a sense of self (animals have that), became creative? All of these together? And, since I believe (but don’t know the proof) that evolution was ultimately responsible for all of these, were they in God’s plan from the beginning and if so, why didn’t he change the plan again? As you can tell I am thoroughly confused. Please help me, tell me what you believe the Fall was/is and how it fits in with God’s plan. I will continue to ponder.
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
This is my favourite verse in the Old Testament. The promise expressed through it is truly comforting and heart-warming. Yes, it is true: We are not alone. Thank you, God, for giving me this message.
The Bible being the founding document of Christianity, it is of course immensely important to Christians the world over and the foundation of most of the doctrines the different strains of Christianity have developed (although they would say all of them, I can’t agree because some clearly are not). But how important is it to me personally and how much does my faith benefit from reading it? I am in two minds when it comes to the Bible because unlike many others I don’t see it as the document of Final Truth and I certainly don’t believe that everything in it is pure fact.
Almost a year ago I decided to read the whole Bible which I had never done before and I only finished a few weeks ago. While it opened my eyes to many beautiful and inspiring passages that no doubt are very rewarding spiritually, there are also many passages that made me shake my head in disbelief and even disgust occasionally.
Since then, I have been given a King James Version for my birthday and in the back there is a Bible reading schedule to finish it in just two years including reading the New Testament and Psalms twice. I decided to incorporate these readings in my daily prayers, but now I am not so sure that was a good idea. I am in 1 Samuel right now and Saul has just been thrown from God’s good graces because (and here it is) he would not completely kill everyone and everything of the Amalekites. Because Saul doesn’t commit genocide, or rather complete the genocide (and yes he doesn’t because he wants to keep their cattle) God becomes angry. As you can imagine, reading this kind of ruined my prayer time because it made me angry. I like to use those readings to come up with some rule or moral but this one I could not take anything away from. So now I am wondering whether maybe I should keep to the passages and books that I know I liked, or found useful in some way, and just ignore the rest? But, on the other hand, wouldn’t that be cheating? I think, for the time being I will continue reading it all and try not to get worked up too much but I know there are some triggers I will not be able to withstand. Another thing to pray for, I guess.