Tuesday, July 09, 2013

FIGURING OUT GOD

 Do you think you pretty much have God all figured out?  I must admit that looking back there have been times in my life when I have arrived at that conclusion. The first would likely be at my conversion. That is when on April 12/86 I confessed that I was a sinner and asked Christ into my life. At the young age of twelve I probably thought I could pretty much tell you all there was to know about God. Then as time went on I in my religious fervor started telling my friends what kind of music they should listen to. Hell, at one point I became convinced that God was against Christian rock. Into the fire (literally, but that's another story) went my Christian rock tapes (they came before cds for you youngins).
 
Sadly over my years in evangelical circles I am encountering more and more people who really think they have God mostly figured out. Now if you were to ask them they would probably deny it because they don't look at it that way.  I have seen less and less though, tolerance for people who have doubts and questions about their faith, about God, about His ways, His will.  In other words if you don't tow the party line regarding moral issues, sexual issues, views towards other religions, views about hell, etc. then the pastor and/or congregants begin praying that you will come around to their point of view, err, um, I mean God's point of view. Funny how their view is always God's view. 
 
I still am a born-again Christian and more in love with Jesus than ever. But I don't tow the party line. I stick out in many evangelical circles, and some family circles because of it.  I have as many questions as I do answers when it comes to matters of faith now. While I believe that God never changes, I believe my understanding of Him does over time.  It is a maturing process and I am likely still an infant, only to be perfected in eternity.  I believe God can withstand my questions, doubts, and imperfections. No, I don't spend my entire day lobbing questions at Him. I have times of praise and certainty too.
One last point. It has been my observation that it is more acceptable for a person to attend a church and/or be a Christian and never talk about their faith, than it is for someone like me to open up dialogue that may lead to different conclusions than the church/pastor reaches.  And this pisses me off. Yes, I said 'piss', but Mary Beth Chapman, Steven Curtis' wife has also used that word so if it's okay with my fellow evangelicals, I'll use it here. 
I would love to hear from you if you can relate to any of what I have written here. Peace, Dave