Elemental Season 1 - Day 11

"Complexity."

Let me be CLEAR, we should think about God, and we should even seek to think correctly about God. But we are super complex beings. We have big brains, and we have deep spiritual thoughts and experiences. We ponder things like the meaning of life and what Cheetos are actually made of. We seek the divine and the profane all at the same time. We struggle with sin and we triumph over it. Some of you run marathons so you might suffer, some of us suffer in other ways. 

What I am saying is that people are pretty amazing. And the fact that we can form thoughts about God and about dirt means we have a pretty broad range of things we can think about. And I believe that God invites us into the hard work of thinking about who God is. 

I like doing this a great deal. I’ve had lots of schooling to help me do this, and I preach to you all every single week. You know I like to think about this stuff. And we should think about it. The life of faith and the life of the mind is not opposed in any way to each other. They don’t exist on opposite ends of the continuum. The problem is, and I have said this before: 

Letting our beliefs do our believing for us. 

I think this is why our denomination waited so long to delineate the 27, now 28, fundamental beliefs. We believed what Loughborough said and didn’t want people's faith in God to hinge on the statements that the church had made about God. They wanted people to lean into a deep ocean of questions, answers, experiences, and even doubts. 

But somehow, we have essentially made it common practice to “know what you believe” so that you might have faith. I think this is a problem. It means that we can be argued into faith, and must be argued into faith, rather than loved into believing. We have allowed the Apologists of faith to become the arbiters of whether or not we have faith at all. I don’t think this is the way it is supposed to be. 

What happened to being loved into faith? 

What happened to trust? 

Hebrews 11 says: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
It does not say that faith is what you KNOW, what you can EXPLAIN, and what you have FIGURED OUT.

It seems to be about trust most of all. Trust God is God and that God is Good and that God's words never fail. Trust, that even when I don’t understand God is for me and not against me, and working for all things to turn out as blessings. 

  1. What do you believe faith to be? 
  2. How can we make sure we are trusting, not just seeking certainty? 
  3. How can you believe in something without “knowing” something? 
  4. How does that definition of faith found in Hebrews 11 make you feel? 

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