An Update….

I recently read over a page draft for something I once called “Going a Little Deeper”. These were articles I’d written that, at the time, explained in more detail my thoughts and beliefs on such heady content as Hell, Salvation, Church, Doubt, and even scriptural verses like John 14:6.
Man, I was an arrogant little bastard! (Full disclosure: I still can be!)
I set out to look over these “Going a Little Deeper” posts to try and update how I viewed some of these admittedly hot button topics, but, I couldn’t. Not that I still cling to these values that I once held so dear and so pridefully. Not that I don’t. It’s just that, along the way, especially lately, I’ve learned quite a few more truths about myself than I have in Truth of any grand spiritual or scriptural kind.
In fact, one of the things I’ve come to learn is this: The deeper my faith becomes, the less I seem to know. Or maybe, more accurately, the less I feel certain of.
I heard an interesting Atheistic summarization of the Christian argument the other day: “So, I either believe in the God of the Bible, and in Jesus, or I’m going to burn in Hell?” they said. “Some choice.”
Exactly! Some choice!
We Christians have boiled down our faith to a simple issue of certainty—you’re either in or you’re out. And we feel comfortable having that be our main, and often only, evangelical calling card. In fact, that’s all Christianity has become to the too-vast majority of us: A get out of Hell free card.
We feel okay with that of course because we’re in!
And Jesus? We’ve reduced Him to playing the bit part of door man, or maybe “gate” or “good shepherd” to keep it biblical. If only we could read a few verses later into that metaphorical story (John 10 if you’re interested) when Jesus also says, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
Who are these “other sheep”? And, what will “my voice” sound like…to them?
That’s another thing I’ve come to learn: Faith is messy.
Faith is not tidy. Faith is anything but certain. “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” And neither confidence nor assurance equate to certainty.
I’m currently reading over quite a few of these posts that I’ve written over the past several years, some posted, some not. So far, many of these I’ve decided to leave up—as much for myself as for anyone else. These 400+ posts are an ongoing chronicle of my faith journey; signposts and off-ramps and potholes and switchbacks that I’ve encountered along the way. It’s been a great journey. It’s been an ugly journey. But, it’s been my journey.
And, surprise, surprise, I’m not the same man, husband, father, Christ-follower, that I was six months ago, let alone six years. Even more, I have no idea who/where I’ll be six months or six years from now!
One last thing I’ve come to learn: In whatever I write, I’ll likely contradict myself at some point. And that’s okay. I’m in good company. So does the Bible—and it’s inerrant!

2 thoughts on “An Update….”

  1. Hey my friend, hope things are going well for you!

    Just thought you might be interested to hear how the church I used to attend interpreted that passage in John 10. They viewed the “other sheep” as Gentiles, since they apparently weren’t included in Jesus’s ministry yet. I guess the closest he got was the Samaritan woman at the well, and it’s not until Cornelius in Acts 10 where a Gentile is converted.

    Of course, that may not be the meaning behind that verse, but it’s the explanation I was taught, for what it’s worth. 🙂

    1. I think that’s probably a good explanation. One of my favorite “Jesus stories” as of late comes out of Luke 4 where he unrolls the scroll of Isaiah and reads. What’s significant is that he stops mid-sentence and rolls up the scroll, a fact the Jews of the time (especially those in the synagogue) would have picked up on immediately. He intentionally leaves off the part about “the day of the Lord’s vengeance (or anger)”. Then, as if to drive the point home, as if anyone would have missed it, he goes on to talk about the how Elijah helped the widow from Sidon and how Elisha cured the Syrian general, Naaman. THAT’S when the crowd got angry and wanted to kill him. Jesus was clearly making the point that he was Messiah to the gentiles as well. I think too many Christians today hold that same inner anger when someone brings up that their ‘enemy’ is still loved and sought after. That was my point with the ‘other sheep’ questions.
      Always good to hear from you my friend!

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