Sunday, May 4, 2008

My faith

Because I have chosen to tackle some controversial and theological issues, and because I have approached each one from a Biblical perspective, I now want to address the issue of my faith itself. I realize that many people might find it terribly simple-minded to start with a premise of faith and draw my conclusions from that, rather than approaching everything objectively and "intellectually." Well, I will first state that I find a godless perspective no more intellectual than a God-centered perspective. But that's another blog, for a day when I feel like delving into it. Suffice it to say that I have given much thought to deep issues since I was a child. My earliest memory of struggling with unanswerable questions goes back to the dinner table when I asked my dad where the evil within Satan came from if God, being entirely good, had created him. Dad explained that anything contrary to God was evil, and I asked why, etc.

It has been the experience of my heart -- as much or more than my mind -- that has "answered" some of these questions for me. I have felt the love and presence of God -- most strongly, in fact, right after my agnostic phase -- and realized He is utterly, inexplicably loving and perfect, and it makes perfect sense now how anything in opposition to Him is evil. He is not a bully, he is just love and law, and havoc and judgement are a natural result of opposing him, and they are what necessitated Christ. That almost makes God sound helpless against his own power...but again, there is another elusive issue.

It is to my agnostic phase that I wish to point: I have been through, and continue to go through, those tough questions, that ones that have no real answer, the ones which drive people away from faith to atheism or agnosticism. As with other schools of thought I do not adhere to, I completely understand how people do. I completely understand the tendency to swear off faith, to scoff at the seemingly non-intellectual faith-based mentality.

Bottom line: I have chosen faith, but not after weighing the evidence for and against it, and experiencing, for a time, life without it. I have many stories, incredible stories of miracles, spiritual manifestations, all those "signs and wonders" that I could use as evidence of God, but in the end, it's always a choice. We humans have the uncanny ability -- even tendency -- to split our head open on a rock and still deny the rock's existence. So my stories really don't matter. Faith is a choice and that is what I have chosen.

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