Skip to main content

vision for faith exploration

This morning I have been praying and thinking a lot about vision and something that has surfaced is a longing for spiritual seekers to have a safe place to explore their faith. I think we live in a time when there is significant anxiety that Christians will shove faith choices in the faces of those curious about faith. Earned or not, the fear is really there. It is there for me come to think of it.

Sometimes what I hear in my faith world are words that suggest the Bible is absolute truth and we must absolutely believe it. That language feels sort of like a hammer or a coercion mechanism--such words feel almost violent, militant. I love the Bible but God never meant it to be a controlling forceful book. I believe God meant the Bible to engage us and invite us into a story about God and his engagement with humanity. In it we find God's desires for humanity to live in relation with himself and how much God has done to draw us to himself. It is a book filled with wisdom for living. It is more, it's a book that in some way paints a picture of God to us so we might know him and his heart toward us. It is an invitational book and we are invited to dwell in it, explore it and mine its wisdom.

We need time to explore the Bible and explore God like we do in any new relationship. That is how trust is born in any healthy friendship or marriage. Accept in caveman jokes, no one woos a loved one with a club... neither does God.

Could it be that we are so anxious about our faith and our beliefs that we do not allow room for sometimes lengthy and sincere exploration. If we truly believe that the Spirit is at work in some one's life, perhaps we will let go of control and let God simply reveal himself in ways that are life-giving and respectful to that person.

I am not sure of how this would be played out in action but i dream of a church that would provide such experiences either in a small group or another kind of setting. Like any relationship in development, we need safety so trust can be built. So much of faith is not well understood in the marketplace as it has often been voiced and imaged solely by one particular brand of somewhat militant, political Evangelical Christianity and that is often a pretty scary image--appearing more like a bully club than an invitation to friendship.

I think there is beauty in the faith and in the Bible that is why i have devoted my life to teaching it. I long for people to explore it deeply and choose belief because it is indeed meaningful, full of wisdom and life-giving. I treasure my relationship with God and the respect he offers me in relation with him but that has taken a long time to develop. And I need to allow that space for others as well.


Popular posts from this blog

Jesus the New Temple, Seeing Verses Perceiving?

Mark 13:1-13
If you knew you were about to die, how would you prepare your children?  If I knew I was going to prison for my faith, what would I say to you?  If I knew that you because of me, would face trial and suffering, what would I say to you. 
I might prepare you for what you will face.  I might alert you to various games and challenges you will face.  In pre-teaching, I might give you strength and help you tune in so that you will remain true to God.     
Jesus is in Jerusalem, he knows he is about to die.  He has said to his disciple three times as they were on the way, that he would be handed over to the authorities, accused, tried and hung on a cross to die.  He knew the end was near.  I can see his heart, he has many things to share with his disciples and he knows they too will face a similar fate.  He longs for them to see, to hear, to understand, to be able to endure the challenges that are before them and remain faithful to God.  
In the 1st century culture it was commonly t…

Resurrected Jesus on the Road to Emmaus: Luke 24:13-35

What does it mean for us to say that Jesus is alive?

Christians believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead. We teach this, sing about, celebrate it every year. But where do we see Jesus alive?

Fast forward to Pentecost and you will notice that when Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to many real people who lived in the first century—500 to be exact. When he ascended into heaven he reminded them that he would pour out his Spirit on them and they would be his witnesses—or his agents in the world. They would tell his story and continue walking in the way of Jesus in the world.

Jesus is alive… how do we notice Jesus in our world?  That is what the author of Luke is telling in the account he wrote.

So what is the Story leading up to this story: The journey to Jerusalem and suffering began in Luke 9:51, Jesus has traveled with his face set toward Jerusalem. Now the crucifixion is passed and some women have gone to the tomb of Jesus to place spices on his body. Instead of en…

Eye Witnesses To The Resurrection of Jesus

I like Crime shows. I find it fascinating to see the story pieced together by examining the evidence and hearing the testimony of those who knew something about the crime. Investigators take a look at the evidence, which leads to clues, which leads to witnesses who tell their story. In the end what happened emerges and we get the picture of what took place.

That’s what we are going to do today. We will examine the witnesses in the scripture so you can grasp that this book we call the Bible isn’t just a manual or rule book, but a story about people who encountered God--witnesses so to speak of the risen Christ.

The witnesses of John 20 tell the story of how they each experienced the resurrection of Jesus. In John we hear the words about witness and testimony often. It was customary for a truth to be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. In John 20, we have more than two or three as the author of John seeks to establish the truth of his book through the testim…