Originally posted 10-21-06
I recently entangled myself in stupidity. I don't know why I did it, but I was drawn in like a moth to a flame...or perhaps a better metaphor is that I was drawn in like me to Guitar Center. I don't know why I do stupid stuff like this, but I chose to entagle myself with the highest form of stupidity.
I guess we all have this inherent need to have the answers. I don't think anyone in their right mind would ever actually claim to have the answers, but I think that all of us in our right minds still have thoughts of needing to know the answers to the questions of life. We have to be absolutely sure that we're not living our lives in pursuit of something stupid or false when we could be pursuing what is the best thing for us.
For some, that pursuit is money and fame and fortune. For some, the pursuit is just pure joy or hedonism. For some, the pursuit is God because that's what we feel is truth. In doing all of these things, we all hope that we have the right answer to the question. A lot of times, the question we have is wrong in the first place, so of course the answer is wrong...but that's neither here nor there.In my experience, which is somewhat vast (though obviously not all-inclusive), I have found that Christians many times are the worst about feeling the need to have the answers. Perhaps it is because we are taught from the beginning that we have the answers to life's biggest questions, so we inherantly need to feel as though we have said answers.
When it comes to any religion, when someone "buys" into it, then, if it is serious, then it is a complete life change. Because of this complete life change then it is easy to fall into the trap of suddenly feeling as though you know everything or that you have to know everything in order to not look like a fool to all of your friends as you try to convert them.
The problem with all of this is that life in and of itself is inherantly devoid of real answers.
Uh-oh...Christians are freaking out! WHAT?!!! WE DON'T HAVE THE ANSWERS?!!! WE HAVE THE BIBLE!!! THAT IS ALL THE ANSWERS WE NEED!!!
Well, that may very well be true for you, but for a person unfamiliar with Christianity or Christian dogma, then that is a hard pill to swallow. Especially when the Christian who introduces them to Christianity assumes that they (the non-Christian) has none of the answers while the Chrsitian has all the answers. Pride being pride, that usually doesn't bode well.
Now, before I move on, I should qualify what I have said thus far and define what I mean by answers. The dictionary gives this simple definition: "a correct response ". I think the "answers" that I'm talking about are perhaps a little deeper than the simplicity of that definition. What I am talking about as an answer would be more along the lines of not having the correct response, but having the knowledge that goes behind the correct response, or a surety that the "correct response" is indeed correct.
As I said before, life is devoid of this surety, of this knowledge that the correct is correct. When it comes to God and heaven and hell and a belief in Christ, we can not be absolutely sure. There is no scientific test that could prove that God is real. We can measure the scientific distance to the sun, but we can not define the distance to heaven or hell. There is no scientific means to measure salvation, as there is to define how much blood is in the human body. It all comes down to faith. And along with faith comes a degree of uncertainty that the things that we have faith in are somehow not quite right.
I have read of magicians/stunt artists having complete faith in a wire system or a board, only to have those things misfunction as the artists fall to their (what I would imagine) painful death. They had faith in something and their faith was misplaced.
As Christians, we put our faith in a book written by a bunch of men who claim to have been inspired by the Spirit of God. Okay, I'm a Christian and that sounds both fishy and spooky to me...just try to explain that to someone who has never heard that God is more than something that follows "oh my...". It seems a little fishy that these men who are trying to spread a religion would then back their claims up by saying, "No, I was inspired by the Spirit of God!" In order to believe what we believe, we must have faith that these men really were inspired.
The point of all this is that we as Christians must understand the frailty of our faith. We should never be arrogant about the fact that we have the answers - or that we think we have the answers. Our goal should be to admit that, though we don't have all the answers, we do believe that the answers we have come to are correct and make the most sense.
It doesn't "make sense" to believe in something that we can't see or touch or hear or feel. But it makes sense that this world could not have just happened by chance. It makes sense that if someone did create the world it would have to be a higher being and if their is a Higher Being, then it is natural that I should want to be with my Creator. If God is that Creator, then how do I get to Him? Is it by being good? Well, it makes sense that I could never be good enough because my bad certainly outweighs whatever good I can do. But when I hear the story that Jesus lived a perfect life and died, came back to life and all I have to do is believe that and I can spend eternity with my Creator...well that makes sense to me. Are there holes in what makes sense and what simply takes faith? Heck, yes! But no matter what you believe in, there are holes between logic and faith, it's a simple fact of life. At least that makes more sense to me than simply trying to make my good outweigh my bad.
Recently, I found a website claiming to be the top500 Fundamental websites in the world. Of course, being a former conservative fundamentalist, I decided to check it out. I found forums where fundies discussed certain aspects of life, and other forums where the "Fighting Fundies" came out in droves to display their idiocy. As I read through different thoughts, I found myself being sucked into these discussions on the King James Version and on issues that I haven't throught about in years. I even partook in a discussion on the KJV-only issue. I'm such an idiot! I had forgotten how moronic and dead-set these people are in their ways! It is simply amazing.
Then, it occurred to me that for these people it easier to hold on to a list of rules because it is easy. If you know all the answers then you have nothing to worry about...your faith is dead set. If you have all the answers (and your answers are the only answers) then perhaps it is an easier sell (though I highly doubt it). Then it made me wonder about my own life and how dead-set I am in my ways...wonder how dead-set I am that I have the answers and I had to remind myself again...my faith is frail, and though I honestly believe that the things that I believe are absolutely true, it still takes faith. And because it takes faith, there's a measure of unsurety. Perhaps the Fundies are right.
But I doubt it.