In response to some thought-provoking discussion going on at one of my favorite blogs, Causerie, I posted some questions and responses of my own. I love these kind of discussions, so I'm putting my reply here, too... so, if I have any readers out there, I'd love it if you'd throw in your own two cents' worth in the Comments below this blog post. Respond to any of my comments or any of the ones found at Causerie. I'd love to know: What do you think about it all??
OK, I’m not sure if this is exactly where you were going, but this discussion brings to mind a question I’ve pondered for some time now. If I am a Christian, and if I believe the Bible to be true, then I am told that it is my responsibility to share God’s love and preach the “good news”. If I love my neighbor, and if I have found something that has transformed my life, and if I believe with all my heart that God is real and living and true, then I am supposed to tell people about it. But the difficult part is that many who do not consider themselves Christians are REALLY turned off by Christians talking about “their” God. Or they’re offended by the implication that if I believe this to be true and if I believe they need to know about it, I’m conceited and assuming that I am correct (which implies I think they are “wrong” or I am trying to change them because they’re not “good” enough). But I’m just trying to do what I’m told to do by the God that has transformed my life, and I don’t mean any judgment by it.
I’ve met many people who are not Christians (and those whose beliefs are Christian but who don’t associate with a formal group or church) who truly seem to “know” God. They are spiritual, they have faith, but they have unconventional “religious” views. But the Bible I believe says Jesus is THE way, the only way to God. Yet in spite of my belief in the Bible — because I do believe it is truth — I can’t bring myself to believe these other people don’t know the same God I know.
Sometimes I think having faith means choosing to recognize that sometimes we just don’t know. Sometimes the questions are too big for us to get our heads around. In spite of any apparent contradictions, I believe that God is real, He is alive, and He is bigger than all of my questions. He has the answers, and if I don’t know what those answers are, it’s because I don’t need to know. My questions and doubts don’t keep me from believing. I may not get it all, and I may not have all the answers, but I know that I know that I know that God is real and that He loves me. There are many areas we can debate -- most of which have to do with “religion” or “church” and very little to do with the relationships I believe God wants to have with each of us – but to me it comes down to this: what can I do to best represent the God I want people to know? How do I let Him shine through me? How do I communicate that He is all about love and not about division and estrangement? How do I show people the way He can change lives without offending them? Again, I don’t have these answers, and every time I seek answers I discover more questions. But I find it all fascinating and wonderful anyway.