Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I can't figure it out

Ahh... I can't figure it all out.

I wish the Bible was written like a catechism or statement of faith.

Why do I find more than one answer to the question "What must I do..."? And neither of the answers Jesus gives sounds like the typical evangelical gospel message and sinners prayer.

What is the deal with God's wrath. Does God love sinners, or does he want to torture them for eternity? If God hates sinners can I too? (No - just in-case you think I'm really nuts). But there are verses that speak of God's wrath. I want to ignore them, but they are there.

I don't buy that my sin separated God from me. I understand that when I go my selfish ways, like the prodigal son, I am separating myself from God. But do I ever go so far that God is not able to reach out and love me in my sinfulness? While we were sinners Christ loved us. Satan was even in God's presence in Job. Jesus was a friend of sinners.

Why did God have to kill Jesus? Or was it my sins that killed Jesus? Was it simply to symbolize an end to the Jewish sacrifice system, being the final perfect lamb of God? Or is there also a meaning that I (a non-Jew) need to understand? Because to be honest, I don't understand why a loving Father would kill his own son.

I know God loves me.

I know he wants to reign in my life, be my Lord, and be my Savior.

I know he wants me to respond in love to himself and to others.

I know I need to learn to listen to His voice, and follow.

I'm just not sure what to do with some of our beliefs. Do I focus on the verses that speak of God's wrath towards sinners, or do I focus on the verses that speak of God's love and desire to be in a deep relationship with me.

Do I need to figure it all out? Or should I just start living?

6 comments:

Lysa said...

Jon,
You bring up good points which many people have pondered.
I like the way the Holy Spirit has prompted you to share in a totally "human" way.
My own journey, because of my very God-created nature, has led me to Love. As you pointed out in an earlier post, the first commandment is to Love-the Lord and as Jesus said, each other.
He reminded me of how the Gospel is Good News. It was love which compelled Christ. He willing went to the cross because of His deep love for every one of us. In as such, He has me on a "mission of love"...loving all people. He allows me compassion by showing me His heart throught the eyes of his Spirit. I have been able to love people whom I wouldn't normally "choose" to love. It's an amazing thing! And it bridges gaps unlike anything else has!
I beleive He will show you which path He desires for you to take.
With such a diversity of personalities and circumstances upon the earth, I believe we are given different "tasks" with different methods.
Following the leading of the Holy Spirit is the key. I think it can be summed up in one word-OBEDIENCE.

Blessings & love in Christ,
Lysa

Jonathan said...

Thanks Lysa. I appreciate hearing what the good news means to you, and how it has impacted your life. That is great. I don't have all figured out obviously, but for now I need to focus on living the stuff that is clear to me. And continuing down the path God is leading. Thanks! God bless!

Anonymous said...

I do not pretend to understand all of the gospel,but because God writes a very severe warning that whoever adds or subtracts from his word, I have to accept that it is all there for a purpose. The ot lists that a father who has a wayward son beyond redemption is to have the elders take him out and have him stoned.I think God is trying to show that there is limits even to his love

Jonathan said...

Thanks for visiting, and for the comment. I agree that I'm not eager to add or subtract... but most of us do it a little bit here and there... for example 1 Cor 11:2-16. It may also help to consider the context of Rev 22:18-19. Those were not the lasts words of Scripture written. A lot of the books in the New Testament were written after Revelations. The books are are not organized chronologically. So in context I think John was giving a warning not to add or subtract anything to the warnings in the book of Revelation.

Some of the stuff in the OT was rules so their society could survive. I doubt the Father would ever stop loving his child. But for the benefit of others in society he would understand the need for consequences.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by... even though I didn't seem to agree, I appreciate your input.

God bless!

Al said...

"I wish the Bible was written like a catechism or statement of faith." Ay, there's the rub!

As McLaren points out in his latest book (A new kind of christianity), there are many who take the Bible as a constitution--a place to go to find definitive answers, legal-type solutions to any discussion.

But that isn't what it claims to be or is for. It is a collection of writings over many years, from different cultures and times. The picture of God is different depending on the setting. Not to say that God changed, but how he revealed himself and how people saw him sure did.

If you haven't read that book yet, I recommend it. Sure, it probably brings up more questions than it answers, but it gives a new way of understanding some of the things we have taken for granted, but now question.

Like you, I am drawn to and completed by the picture of God shown in Christ. After all, it is Christ who is the Word of God.

Thanks for honestly sharing the questions that many of us have. Fortunately, we don't need to toss out the baby with the bathwater.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Al for the encouragement.
So maybe it's OK that I don't have all the answers yet.
I guess if the Bible was written as a catechism we might know all the answers, but we'd likely miss out on the learning part of this journey.

Anyways, thanks,
God bless.