Friday, October 26, 2007
Maybe I should change my name ot Thomas...
From Peter Rollins How (Not) to Speak of God
Only a genuine faith can embrace doubt, for such a faith does not act because of a self-interested reason (such as fear of hell or desire for heaven) but acts simply because it must. A real follower of Jesus would commit to him before the crucifixion, between the crucifixion and the resurrection, and after the resurrection. The believer should not repress the shadow of doubt that hangs over all belief (the potential lie that may dwell in the heart of every belief). Instead the believer ought to acknowledge and even questioning it engages in is not designed to undermine God but to affirm God.
I was talking with a friend about this just last week . We were talking about God and why things work out the way they do. He was asking me how everyone could be so sure all the time. He said to me " I just can't be one of those 'happy Christians.' I can't pretend like having God in my life makes all the bad stuff ok. It doesn't, in some ways I think it makes it worse. Knowing he could have done something and didn't. I just wish I knew that good God that everyone keeps talking about. Maybe I should just change my name to Thomas." I left the conversation thinking how many Thomases there would be if were were all a bit more honest with ourselves about how we feel about God. It dawned on me how much I wish I could be one of those "happy Christians" too. So much of the time I find myself frustrated with God, wishing I could feel his presence like everyone else around me seems to. I wish I knew why things happened the way they do and why so often it seems that God has left us out in the cold. I have a hard time understanding Christians that attribute everything good in their lives to God's blessing but refuse to place blame or anger on God for the bad. I haven't gotten all this sorted out in my head nor do I think that would be an easy task, but I do know this: No matter how frustrated I get, I just can't let go of God. I don't know why God does what he does and doesn't do what he doesn't do. But I do know that when i look at the life of Jesus; I want to live like that. There's something about having a voice of authority in my life that I need. I live better and love better and treat others better and treat myself better when I choose faith then when I don't. So I guess I will "continue to work out my faith with fear and trembling until the Lord returns."