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.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I am Free

How am I doing you ask? Thanks for asking! :)

If someone was to ask me this regarding my faith journey my answer lately would be "free".

I am having difficulty putting to words what I feel free from.

I'm not saying I was in some religious cult before, but lately these word of Jesus have spoken to me.

Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

There was a time when I wanted to fit in to a system. I thought that system was where God wanted me to plug in. I placed a lot of trust and faith in that system. The system had a set of beliefs that I believed and trusted to be true. The system had a set of does and don't that I tried to live by. I knew these actions did not 'save' me, but there were certain things that everyone else in the system did, and other things we didn't.

For many years I think I did a decent job following the crowd as I tried to fit in.

I also bought into the idea that God wanted me to serve the system so God could impact the world through the system. There was some truth to this. I assumed the best people in the system were the ones who gave the most time and money to the system. But now I realize God also does His work outside the system. I am OK if others want to serve the system, but I now feel free to focus on serving and caring for people.

And there was also the guilt of not living up to all the expectations of the system.

So how have I been learning to be free? Well a hint from the above passage is to learn from Jesus. Walking with Jesus and watching how He lived. It has been a journey.

God wanted to teach me some stuff. He got me started with the topic of unity. I realized my system of beliefs had a few wobbly legs supporting it. That started the slippery slope. I admit it was a scary ride. Not only did I discover my system wasn't the clear winner, I discovered most systems were not really endorsed by Jesus or the Bible.

Years ago an old friend told me you could be spiritual without being religious. I had no idea what he was talking about. The conversation went no further. I couldn't imagine someone taking spiritual issues seriously without being part of some religious system. Well, I have changed. I would love to go back in time and have that conversation again.

OK, sorry, I'm rambling now. What am I free from? I hesitate to say I'm free from religion, because that term means different things to different people. I still have a strong belief in God, and feel my relationship with Him is growing.

The aspect of religion I feel free from is being bound to a system of beliefs set up by others. I also feel free from a system or organization that needs my support and devoted service to carry out it's mission.

I've got a long way to go in learning to live in the unforced rhythms of grace Jesus describes. But somehow through this journey I've discovered a freedom and my personal commitment to Christ seems stronger.

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1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

Great post.

I too, would say that "I am free".

Free from having to justify myself in any way by what I do, say, feel, or think. Free from all the projects that so many churches engage in. They never quite 'arrive'.

Well...in Christ Jesus, we have arrived. He has done all things needful to repair the realtionship with God. The war is over. Now we are free to live and do the best we can with our humanity...or, as is often the case...or not.