You all know, by now, that I attest my Christian faith to be truth to me. That said, there are things within those beliefs that I attest to be proven facts in my life…unquestioned anymore by me. Proven things that I have no more reason to doubt. I know that I know those things.
There are other things that are beliefs that I hold, because they are part of the faith that has been proven to me…but that I have questions about, or a lack of ‘full understanding’ of the details. I am, of course, not God. I used to really be bothered by not understanding some of those things, but I no longer am. I accept that I am not God, and that I do not understand some things, nor do I have to understand them.
There are areas that I disagree with other Christians on. That is something that exists among Christians and always has…even in Biblical times. I am told to trust God for discernment…not simply to trust what some other Christian, no matter WHO they are, tells me that I must believe. That is in fact what I do.
One of the proven things in my life is that God has used the Bible in my life for correction, instruction, comfort and encouragement…to speak to me personally in many ways. It contains the beliefs that I profess…and that have been proven to me. It also contains things that I don’t fully understand and differ with some Christians about the details of. I think that’s okay. The important thing, is that while I will not tell someone that a thing is a fact simply because someone tells me this verse or that one says it, I also will not tell them it is not a fact. Even the devil himself knows the Scriptures, and they can be misused to prove anything anyone wants to prove…good or bad…right or wrong. I will say I don’t understand something if I don’t. I will say I understand it some particular way and why that is. But I will most certainly not be responsible for changing the Scriptures to suit things that I don’t like, or don’t understand. God is God. I am not God. I don’t have to grasp a thing for it to be a particular way that I may or may not like.
Am I making sense? I am purposely not giving specifics, because that’s not the point of this post. Part of the point of this post is that I think it is okay to question things. I think it’s perfectly okay…as long as the searching we do is looking to God for the answers, and not simply trusting that someone said it’s this way or that way. It is okay to not have all the answers. But I personally do NOT think it’s okay to tell someone that something is proven truth to you if it’s not. Know what I mean? I mean…I separate those things that I strongly attest as proven facts, from those things I believe simply because they are also contained within the Biblical Scriptures, which I believe to be where the truth that I know is recorded.
I will give you one example. I believe there is a hell. Why? The Bible tells me there is a hell. I do not like that. It’s not comfortable or pleasant for me. But I believe it. I know for a fact that evil exists in the world. I know that I have come under attack from spiritual forces, as the Bible states are a reality. The Bible states that there is one way to get saved…through Jesus and his sacrifice. That it was a once and for all sacrifice and that we do not have to, nor could we ever work our way into heaven. It is a gift…this salvation. It’s a way that God gave us a bridge to Him over all the evil in this life.
BUT…I have a very, very hard time believing that God…the loving, compassionate, merciful God that I know to be a fact in my life…would condemn a person to hell who genuinely believed in some other religion because they were taught that they should, for example. I have an extremely difficult time believing that the murdered Jews in Nazi Germany are burning in hell…at the hand of the loving, merciful God that I know personally…and the murders being done in the name of Christianity!
That said, I cannot say that those people are no condemned to hell. I can’t say one way or the other. God is God. I am not. And there are things in the Bible that talk about a God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and who sent the great flood, for example. But I can only say what I know…and based on what I know personally…what I believe about this God that I love and worship. And I do not know what happens in the last moments of a person’s life between that person and God. So if a person is, even the most horrible person imaginable…I cannot simply say they’re burning in hell. I was not there when they took their last breath…standing between them and God and looking on. I admit, I have a much easier time saying some nasty person who met his death after brutally raping a child is justifiably burning in hell, than I would have saying that someone who believed in a different religion than Christianity but was a good, kind, loving, generous person is burning in hell. It goes against the knowledge that I have personally experienced of God’s love. But I do not have all the answers, therefore won’t carelessly disregard things because I have a hard time accepting them.
So here’s what all this boils down to that I’m trying to say. I think that we have to be careful stating what we know that we know to others. If you know that you know it, because it’s proven in your life…because it’s within your experience…that’s one thing. If you believe it because of blind faith…that’s another one. If you don’t know…say you don’t know, but you believe whatever it is that you believe.
My ‘truths’ came about because of stepping out in ‘blind faith’, in the beginning. Well…I was raised to believe. But I never really experienced God…the reality of Him, until I knelt and accepted Christ on that day in 1982. Since then there have been enough instances of proof that there is no doubt in my mind of the reality of Him…and of the magnificence of His love. Therefore, I state God and Christ as truths in my life. I state the Bible as truth in my life because it’s the basis for my Christian faith…or the documents surrounding it, or whatever you want to call it. I understand some of what is contained within the Bible in a very personal and real way. Other parts of it are not so clear to me. Again, I think that’s okay. But I cannot deny anything that I know to be truth…I cannot attest to anything as fact that I do not.
Does this make sense? Any thoughts?