Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here's what I believe...

I said in an earlier post that ‘when you know how to die, you know how to live.’
I believe that.

I’m pretty sure there is a heaven.
I’m not sure without a shadow of a doubt, but I’m sure without a reasonable doubt.

I believe this because of Jesus.... and the Bible, among other things and other people.

Some folks laugh at Christians.

They think the whole idea of us believing in God, much less a good God is ludicrous. .... what with all the misery there is in the world.

I can understand that.

I have problems with all the misery in the world.

But I believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior .... BECAUSE of the misery.

And I believe that God does NOT require us to climb up his ladder of perfection... but that he came down to the BOTTOM rung of the ladder (so to speak)... and that we don't have to try and be what we're not ... to reach him.

I've been reading an old book by E. Stanley Jones (written in 1957) called CHRISTIAN MATURITY. In it he has this:

The differing systems of thought and devotion have arrived at the following ideas concerning God:
Egyptian- God is immortality;
Hebrew - God is righteous law;
Japanese - God is loyalty;
Chinese - God is poise;
Hindu- God is truth, intelligence, bliss;
Buddhist - God is a question mark;
Greek - God is eros;
Islam - God is authority;
modern secularism - God is irrelevant;
modern science - God is natural law;
Christian - God is love.
... And not abstract love, but love as seen in the teaching, the life, the death, the resurrection of Jesus. It is love anchored to and interpreted by the fact of Jesus. As someone has said: “The victory must go to those ideas which are guaranteed by the facts.” The idea of love in the gospel is guaranteed by the fact of Jesus.

I think that is great.

... but "The fact of Jesus? What fact?"

I like to think of C.S. Lewis and Lew Wallace, who wrote BEN HUR, and Josh McDowell (author of EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT) to name a few.... who set out to disprove the fact of Jesus and his claims of being the Christ, the Savior of the world... and they ended up embracing him.
And there are so many others who have come to the conclusion that all that went on around Jesus, and all the disciples, and how they were scruffy guys whose lives changed... etc., etc. , etc.... meant that Jesus might be ‘the answer’.

I haven't done that kind of research... but I have decided to go with my own knowledge of my own self ... and people I know... and yes, what I've read in the Bible... and I've decided to take this thing about Jesus as truth.

Oh, there is weird stuff. And tele-evangelists (ugh), and super-judgmental people. And there are good questions.... and I don't have the answers.

But I've chosen to believe.

Now, I really think Christians mess up when they try to convince people of stuff that really, in my opinion, is not essential stuff. Like answers to questions like: How long did it take God to create the world?

I believe there is an almighty loving God. I believe that he loves me and you...and that love is what we need. .. not that we love God, but that he loves us.

Dr. Karl Menninger said that the saddest word in any language is 'unloved'.

I think God made us for love.

Christianity is the lens through which I (we) view the world rather than an object that I (we) examine.

I could analyze it to death (as if), but I just think Christianity puts the dots together...
That’s what I believe.

['Course there is a lot more that I could write (and which I did and deleted), but well, for my own reasons I've decided to quit right now.]

If you are not a Christ-follower, I pray that you would come to your senses.
(That's my preachy part, and I'm sticking to it.)


Maria said...

Nancy, well done! You always speak the truth in love. Thank you for being an example of Christ's love for all humanity. Muah!!!

Being Beth said...

Wow, that's one of the most honest and simple declarations of faith I think I've ever read -- and I've read extensively on this topic.

Thanks you for writing that.

arg said...

Well said! And so refreshing. Thank you (as always) for sharing so honestly!

Deanna said...

Refreshing, yes. Just like that nice glass of lemonade you posted. Something to quench a thirty soul when it is dry and parched.

Thank you for this simple, yet very eloquent, statement of your faith. I cannot even imagine where my life would be without Christ by my side (and in front of me and behind me!) I wouldn't even WANT to try and imagine it. I have lived it both ways, and with Him is immeasurably better. Life is still life, and there will always be bumps in the road. But there is joy in the Lord, even when the bumps are big.

And, oh, yes, Nancy. You are SO right - if you know how to die, it is SO much easier to know how to live. Thank you, Lord, for the hope we have in You, through Your Son, and what He has already done for us.

And if anyone wants to call me crazy, that's okay. If I am wrong, I have NOTHING to lose. If you don't believe, and you are wrong, can you say the same?

Allison L said...

you are so great with words nancy! i love what you said about christianity is a lens, very powerful !

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