Friday, September 16, 2005

I Have Decided To Follow Jesus

I believe in God. This is the lens that I view the world from. Yet, I have to admit that God has not been irrefutably proven to me. In the end, I made a decision to believe. I made a decision to look at the Bible through believing eyes. I decided to think about God with a believing mind. I decided. One of the mistakes that we have made in the church is that we have gotten into the habit of trying to offer "irrefutable proof" of God's existence. We tried to construct iron clad formulas to lead people to Christ. We forgot that faith, by nature, is not the product of irrefutable proof (or it would be "sight"). What if instead of trying to rationally prove our beliefs to everyone, we just lived out our beliefs with lives worth living? What would happen if we invited people into our faith communities (not just our services) who didn't yet believe, and incorporated them into the practice of our faith? What if instead of trying to argue or debate reasons for faith, we became reasons for faith? As Brian McLaren says, "In a postmodern world, the question is no longer 'Is it true?', but instead 'Is it good?'" This is by no means a denial of the truth of God. Rather McLaren is pointing out the way that people in culture now gage validity. So what if you can prove it? Is it good? Maybe it's time we stopped trying to prove it and started living lives that people might actually decide to follow because they are good lives. Maybe it's time that we connected them to stories and a Story that is worth buying into rather than "irrefutable proofs". After all, the Gospel is "good news", isn't it?
AE

2 comments:

Matt Wilson said...

A few years ago I asked my dad why do you believe? And he said this to me, "I just do. It something I think makes life better and I found it true. I chose to live this way." What makes this statement amazing is the example of the life he lives. This belief effects all of his life and that's where the strength of the answer "I just do" can be seen. I know it's an old, overused saying but Actions speak louder than words. But I think sometimes they make our words true or false.

Great post...

Mark said...

This is a great post.

Then again, you can be an athiest and live a good, ethical life. Whether one decides to "follow jesus" or decides to become a leader himself, what really matters is if that person has integrity: honesty, trustworthiness, citizenship, responsibility, fairness, compassion... These are the things that truly matter; not whatever diety someone chooses to worship in the confines of their skull. Regardless of what religion's perspective you choose to see the world through, ethics ring true as decent virtues to strive for.

I disagree with Christians in that worshiping this god or that god is enough; I've seen many chrisitans who are unethical when they are out of the watchful eyes of their faithful breathren.

So why disguise what's truly good in a cloud of debatable dogma? People shouldn't need "the fear of God" to do the right thing. And those that do worry me...

Peace...

-M