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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

reposte: rebuilding my faith (#1)

the truth is, friends, i've arrived at this point: i know that i believe what i want to believe, because if i didn't believe it, i wouldn't want to.


once more, rephrased: if i don't really think God Loves me, then why am i trying to find out that He does?

notice how this gets past the whole debate of whether He actually does Love me or not. that question can be asked, but there will never be an answer until these two things happen: 1) i faith that He does, and 2) He returns. i await the Second Coming just like the faithful Jews once awaited their Messiah. two things here: first, when i use faith as a verb, that's not my exhaustion showing. that's my [attempt at] careful, creative thinking and helpful rhetoric. the word will be redefined later on.

the purpose of this blog is to provide a practical way of life that nurtures and develops your faith as a Christian. and my faith as well; you should know that i'm just now beginning to walk this path that i'm here proposing for you as well. consider this an informal [yet still official] invitation to walk life with me.

the idea of Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, as developed by a professor of mine here at VU, is this: you can tell what a church believes, just by singing their worship songs with them, and praying their prayers with them. it's that simple! obviously these will only give you glimpses of their beliefs, and it's true that even within a small, local congregation, there's a diversity of beliefs (personal theologies, if you will). but yeah: if they sing about the Trinity, they believe in the Trinity. if they pray, "Spirit, breathe life into this imperfect body..." then that's a good indication they depend on the Holy Spirit for their ministry, and not just Christ.

let's take it a step further, and reiterate something you've probably heard as long as you've been a Christian: you can tell what a person believes, just by seeing how they live their lives. because, as one blogger recently noted, isn't worship all about your whole life?? aren't we supposed to present ourselves as living sacrifices?

oh, that reminds me. you need to know that you do not have a body.

you heard me. sorry if you've heard it all before, but it has to be set down as a foundation for the rest of this blog. you don't even have a soul! the truth is, a couple thousand years ago, a bunch of Greek philosophers decided that the human person is divided into parts. they say (and millions still believe) that you've got a soul, and you've got a body, and you've got a mind... and so on. furthermore, they believed that spirit is good and matter is bad. we'll get into that some more, later on.

anyway, the point i want to make: you are a soul, and you are a body. you are a mind, and heart. you don't possess them; you are them. this is vital for our so-called 'spiritual life.' the truth is that everything you do in your body is also everything you do in your soul. this doesn't mean that just because you're raising your hands, you're worshipping God; that's quite a different problem, and it involves intent. what it does mean is that if you don't have a bodily life, you don't have a spiritual life.

one more, rephrased: if you are not worshipping God in/with your body, then you aren't worshipping Him at all. (and i do mean worship in the holistic sense.)

~ ~ ~

"get to the point, man."

alright, alright... here it is.

stop believing in God...
you intend to believe in Him with your whole life.

do you believe in Him only as a mind? if so, then you don't believe in Him. and if you're having trouble even with just that, then this blog is for you.

that means your morning routine, your activities at church, the way you go about your relationships, the thoughts you have as you fall asleep, the way you handle your feelings, the attitude you have at work, the money you spend... these are all your life, yes? then you need to faith with them.

it makes no more sense to believe in God only as a mind (and not as a soul/body/heart) then it does to be married to your wife only as a mind. it's just ludicrous. it can't be done. this is problem #1 with my spiritual life: i call it my spiritual life, instead of [more simply] my life.

one qualification: this doesn't mean that you do everything for Jesus. you don't have to pour yourself a cup of iced tea for Jesus; you don't have to tie your shoelaces for Jesus. generally, it won't be necessary to ask God which pair of jeans you should wear tomorrow. what i am saying is that you need to work at your spiritual life just as you would work at some athletic training. you need to devote energy and resources to the development of your faith, just as you would devote resources to getting your Bachelor's degree or building a house with your own two hands!

if you do not live your life in this way, with work and your whole self in mind, your faith will falter and die.

but if you do live your life with hard work and your whole self in mind, your faith will grow. i promise.

"isaiah... i just don't know. how in the world can you promise this."

i'll tell you later. lol spiritual life lesson #1: patience. and how are we going to learn it? by waiting, of course! =)

i'll post again soon.

Originally posted: Thursday, December 14, 2006]