Stumbling Through Life

My photo
Please, God – Don’t strike me with lightning! I’m just trying to figure this world out. Sometimes I think and say things that are stupid. But sometimes, too, You tell me things that are so meaningful that I simply have to write them down. This blog is nothing more than a diary of some of these thoughts.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Please Don’t Make Me Look Stupid

“Tide goes in, tide goes out. No miscommunication!”

If you don't know, that’s what Bill O’Reilly said. Bill is a political pundit with a show on Fox, who likes to argue and browbeat people who disagree with him. Apparently he was proving the existence of God to an atheist. He said it with such a smug attitude – and his argument is sooo dumb – that it went viral. People who don’t watch his show (like me) got to see Bill O’Reilly make a laughingstock of Christianity.

So, what was Bill trying to say? Science doesn’t explain everything, therefore there has to be a God. Is that it, Bill? Okaaaay. I get it now! I’m convinced. Jesus is Lord. I’m ready to be saved. Just pray the sinner’s prayer with me and I’m good.
Why not?
The moon pulls the tides, says Bill, and we can’t explain the moon. No miscommunication. And furthermore, you're a pinhead for pointing that out! I’m convinced now! I feel so humble.
We can explain the moon? (And the two moons of Mars?) It’s got something to do with gravity, or so I’ve heard. Einstein and Kepler and some other smart guys worked out a lot of equations, and they had lots of numbers in them, and – I admit it – I believe them. Sometimes it’s okay just to trust that scientists know stuff.
Okay, now what?
A lot of scientific facts can be explained, well, scientifically. As a Christian, that doesn’t bother me. See, that’s what science is about; explaining things. Faith is about those things that can’t be explained. Faith in God is about our relationship with God (as opposed to, say, tides). I think many Christians today don’t get that. They want to argue science with scientists. What they should be doing is shining the light.

...let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

As a Christian, I actually understand what Bill was trying to get at. (For someone who talks so much, he manages to say very little.) Ultimately, if you look deep enough, science doesn’t explain everything. Atheists would say we just haven’t figured it out yet. Christians would say that if we go deep enough, we’ll find God.
But is that what the world is yearning for? Scientific proof of the existence of God?

See, it’s not the stupidity of Bill’s statements that gets to me. It’s his smug attitude. If I were an atheist, I wouldn’t want to know God based on Bill’s little diatribe. The God I know is loving, forgiving, and kind. The God I know is someone I can turn to when I’m unhappy, who loves me and gives me peace. For me this didn’t happen overnight. It’s taken me a long time to trust God and to find His peace. It’s been worth it. If you're not there yet, I'm not going to call you names, or to bully you into agreeing with me. The God I know doesn't think you're a pinhead.

This is what I think about when I think of God:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 1 John 14:27

Peace, love, faith

Friday, February 18, 2011

Adam's Navel, and What It Means to Me

When Adam was made by God (Genesis 2:7) he must not have had a belly-button, right? (After all, he didn't have a mom.) This must be VERY important. Scholars have actually STUDIED this phenomenon.

This is the online diary of an ordinary Christian. I believe everyone has full access to God's mind; not just priests, pastors and Bible experts. But God's written word, the Bible, is big and (admit it) often difficult to understand. I'm not saying I have the answers... I'm just exploring.

So, is Adam's navel worth contemplating? I think Christians often get sidetracked by unimportant (yes, that's what I said) issues like the exact age of the earth (Yawn...) when we should be discussing real issues, like how to love our neighbor. Some Christians say that to believe the Bible, you have to believe ALL of it - literally. And it often seems like this is the MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGE of the Bible! Is it?

I'll have to think about this some more. Let me get back to you... (Hey, look! Lint!)

Peace, Love, Omphaloskepsis

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What is "True" Love?

Valentine's Day is coming. Ah, the holiday of love. What will you do this February 14th?
Get a nice card for your honey?

What if you don't have a honey?

Go out to dinner with your husband or wife?

What if you're not married?

Will you bake cupcakes for your kids, with red sprinkles and pink frosting?
Will you spend the night before filling out cute/funny cards for their classroom friends?

What if you don't have kids?

Will you buy a dozen roses for your honey? Buy a few big balloons... a teddy bear... candy... a piece of jewelry? Go out to dinner? ($$$$!)

What if you're unemployed and low on cash?

Spend the night at home with those you love?

What if you haven't got a job or a home, due to poor choices, poor circumstances, a bad economy, illness, or all of the above?

Is Valentine's Day a lonely day for you? ...for anyone you know? I call this day a "manufactured" holiday. It's less about love and more about showing off than it lets on. (If you can afford a dozen roses on February 14th, you must really love your wife!) Here's what I think of when I think of Valentine's Day: Hearts, candy, flowers, cards, restaurants, and that little guy with impossibly tiny wings who shoots arrows into people's butts.
What I don't think of is TRUE LOVE.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16

The word for LOVE here is "agape." According to C. S. Lewis in his book The Four Loves, agape is the highest level of love known to humanity — a selfless love, a love that is passionately committed to the well-being of the other... also translated as CHARITY.

The other kinds of love are:
Storge - Affection
Phileo - Friendship
Eros - Romance

Valentine's Day is dedicated to these three loves. They're all good (don't get me wrong) but they've got nothing on TRUE LOVE.

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus said "You have heard that it was said, 'Love (agape) your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love (agape) your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:43-46

You can't put that in a $4.00 card!

Go out to dinner if you want, and send some nice candy to someone you care about. But here's an idea: Forgive someone you're mad at. Give some money to your favorite charity. Spend an evening at a soup kitchen, serving people who can't afford a dinner at a nice restaurant. That's TRUE LOVE.

Peace, Love, Agape