Note: Going through the blog doing some housekeeping, I found this post in my Drafts file from 2015. As I read through it, I realized that, aside from now bringing Trump into the heart of my nightmares, things are pretty much as was. I could have written it yesterday. Then I realized I hadn’t posted anything about my faith in a very long time, caught up as I was with politics, depression and what might be poetry. So here it is, delivered in the spirit of penance. Won’t take longer than a couple of Hail Mary’s.
Looking over the posts for this blog again. Realized my identity as a Christian is clear but not which boxes I’d check on a Pew questionnaire.
So, here, off the cuff and in the moment, is where I stand and what I believe. I expect to lose some stiff-necked Christians as readers, just as I hope to resonate with Nones. The Nones are the fastest growing self-identified group in the US. More people believe in a vague, undefined spirituality, praying and practicing a personal faith, just as fewer people affiliate with a church. Though I definitely identify as a Christian, by temperament I’m a None too. (Yes, I hear you, gentle reader, the punch line is, none too bright)
What do I believe?
Jesus Christ is Lord, Savior and King of this world and my life.
I’ve felt His presence, sometimes even when it didn’t drive me to, or find me on, my knees.
I affirm the Creeds and find Richard John Neuhaus‘ inspired phrase, the High Adventure of Orthodoxy a notion that can attain a Koan like quality. Did a nod to the East cause your neck hair to stiffen? Is suing school boards that sponsor Yoga high on your agenda as a Christian? You won’t find common cause here.
I believe the sustainability of the Earth’s environment is our responsibility. We are stewards. Any other interpretation of our relationship to the planet is un-Biblical. Global warming deniers are tools of Satan, though I didn’t need the qualifier.
Might as well cheese off the Creationists at this point. Fellas’ listen, none of us can do the math, but the folks who can–many many Christians in the sciences–tell us the Universe is 14 billion years old and humans in our present biological form are 200,000 years old. Brothers and Sisters, I love you, but let this go. Those are the numbers, let’s embrace them as an unfolding of the Creators’ Mystery. We have all the air cover we need from the BioLogos foundation. The list of mathematicians and scientists who are Christian is as impressive as it is unexpected, if your impressions are formed by the current secular narrative. Science and faith do mix, and provide a much richer explanation of the Universe and our place in it, than either by themselves.
The last point, about the current narrative, is a personal peeve more feral than pet. The idea that believers are intellectually lazy or second tier is ludicrous and infuriating. Here is a list that might counter that impression. In addition to the sciences, the field of Theology has called many deep, insightful minds. Here are just a few worth spending a lifetime with; N T Wright, Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, C S Lewis, John Lennox, Gary Habermas, and a thousand others.
Let’s see. What else?
I believe in Angels, good and evil. I believe that Satan, or the Devil, or the Accuser is, somehow, inexplicably, a real being intent on destruction of our souls. His job is to keep us from God. It sounds as other worldly to me as I type it as it does to read it. But a glance at GoogleNews makes the case.
Capitalism is run amok. Evil fills every crevice of the Free Market. The new Golden Calf is the true, pagan idol. Money is worshiped above God, humanity, family, country. Greed is the unkillable virus of our time.
Murder, mayhem, riots, violence, butchery, depravity beyond imagination.
American cities are in flames because White Christians have sinned so egregiously against their Black Christian brothers and sisters for the last four hundred years that the heat of His wrath now scorches American soil. By this they shall know you are My disciples, that you love one another…Homosexuality is not the sin that ceded American grace; it was, and is, Racism. More precisely, racial hatred. White Christians have allowed this blasphemy to enter their hearts unrecognized for it’s Satanic source, despite the Gospel, deaf to the Word. I’m speaking in generalities, of course. God always provides pockets of grace. But the sum is infinitely more damning than the parts. Merely ethically wrong–or neutral–from the secular view, racism is the deepest offense against Christ and remains unrepentant in the Body.
Islam? The declared mortal enemy of Israel and of the Cross. Muslims are projected to have the same population as Christians by 2050. Whether that prediction factors in the systematic butchering of Christians going on unhindered is not mentioned. Jesus said be gentle as doves, wise as serpents… He also said, the time is coming when those who kill you will think they offer God service…hard not to believe he had 21st Century Islam in mind. And then He charged us with Love your enemies…another Cross Islam can’t refute.
Gay Marriage? We lost.
Lastly, primarily, fundamentally I believe in the redeeming power of Jesus, the Living Christ. The Son of God. The Prince of Peace. I call brother and sister all who affirm the same, regardless of condition. I seek to share the Good News, He is risen! meaning, as it does, God Is Love.
I sincerely hope Nones are listening.