What I believe (in case you’ve been worrying about it!)

Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you. 1Peter 3:15

About my faith:

1. God is. I can’t even begin to describe God, let alone define God. Anything I say about God must fit inside my mind, and the one thing I can say with authority and absolute assurance: God is bigger than my mind. (Psalm 139: 7-18)

2. I can’t see God. I can only see where God is passing through. (Exodus 33:23) Thus, I see God’s methodologies and systems much more often than I see God’s direct interventions. Those methodologies include breath-taking scenes like Mt.Ranier, an ocean storm, and a baby’s cooing and laughing. But they also include the chaotic explosions of stars, the ripping apart of a live songbirds by hawks, the chomping down on innocent baby turtles by sharks, and tsunamis. And flu. And asteroids. And sunshine. And magenta, and minor 7th chords.

3. I can live within the rhythms and harmonies of God, or I can choose not to. (Genesis 3:13) Those rhythms and harmonies are in place and operating- they have been for a long time. In fact, my body (and yours) are examples of Life evolving to fit within that “music” of God. If I walk wherever I go, the chances are excellent that I will live a longer and healthier life than if I periodically and frequently put myself into a quarter inch thick metal cage and go hurling down the highway at speeds much faster than my body was meant, by God, to move.

4. Savvy? If you can’t follow this so far, that’s OK; many can’t. I believe, along with the writers of Genesis, Psalms, and the Revelation that the only way I can even begin to talk intelligently about God is through metaphor. God is like a king (Psalm 103:19). God resembles a mother hen (Matthew 23:37). But God is neither. But God kind of is- youknowwhatI’msayin’? Our human, finite language about divine and infinite concepts is inadequate- always has been and always will be. So we may not understand each other when we talk about God; or we might. I think it’s always better to give each other the benefit of the doubt, instead of going to war over exactly what God is or what happens to us when we die.

5. Thank God for Jesus! I can follow Jesus- he had feet, hands, and a brain like me. He did real things and said I (and you) would be able to even greater things than he did! (John 14:12) I like Jesus so much that I resent those who have turned him into a set of doctrines to be obeyed instead of a son of God to be followed. I don’t like it when the doctrine-lovers take words like those in Matthew 5 and turn them into a set of rules that justify human greed, human ego, and human proclivities toward violence. In fact, I love Jesus– even though “love” is a many-splendored word; i.e., I don’t ‘love’ Jesus in the same way as Benny Hinn and Pat Robertson would probably say they love Jesus. So let me just say, I really, really like Jesus. And- you know what? I think Jesus would say the same thing to me. (But he is a really strange guy, because he’d probably say the same thing to Benny and Pat, too. And Osama, and Kim Jong-il.) Following my metaphors?

6. I can read about Jesus in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, AND in the gospels of wildflower fields, ocean shorelines, and your eyes. Call me a pantheist, a humanist, or a pagan- I don’t care. Jesus doesn’t lead me (or anyone) into definitions and theological arguments. He leads us to the “least of these.” (Matthew 25: 34-35) So, you’ll have to pardon me if I am prone to spend more time and lend a more attentive ear to those who are actively following Jesus out to the ragged edges of life rather than just talking (on and on) about him from the comfort of their easy chairs. The gospels of actual Jesus followers’ are thicker, and far more interesting. (By the way, you can also, if you are an ancient Greek, call me an atheist- I do NOT believe in Jupiter. But there were sure some cool stories told about him!)

7. Last point. Go ahead, test me. Vote for McCain. See if I stop loving you.

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2 thoughts on “What I believe (in case you’ve been worrying about it!)

  1. That was beautiful, and I can’t help but think that, while they scare the heck out of me, God (the God I am about to imbue with the human trait of judgment) is often more proud of the shark than he is of us.

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