352. a ready defense?
[another cross-post from the Church Plant 2013 blog]
If you’re on Facebook, there’s a group that’s been created called Church Exiles 808. It’s only been up for a few days but there’s already been some lively discussion on a variety of topics affecting the church and Christianity.
One of the discussions I’ve been participating in has been around the intersection of science and religion. It’s been a really difficult but also a very fulfilling one for me. I’ve had to openly wrestle with some very fundamental questions and although the conversation is still going, I found myself at a rather surprising place in one of my responses.
Here’s what I wrote:
You know, I’m willing to concede that I may be comforting passengers on the deck of the Titanic and that the world may be moving into an entirely post-religious, secular society. I might be trying to hold together old technology while you’re an early adopter of the next wave of human civilization.
I don’t see myself that way, but I do admit it’s a possibility.
I do believe in God. I do believe that s/he reveals herself to us in whatever way we can understand her. And I do believe that God is working to fix all that’s broken and unjust in the world. And I do believe that I have a part to play in that scheme.
That’s how I get through the day.
Is it a delusion? Is it a crutch? Is it a coping mechanism that allows me to hide from the idea that this life may be all that there is?
I think it’s much more than that but even if it is all that it is, it makes my life meaningful. It brings me joy and peace. It helps me to get along with my asshole neighbor. It gives me strength and reasons to fight injustice. It comforts me in my sorrows and multiplies my joy. And yeah, sometimes it sucks donkey balls too.
My faith does all this for me and so of course I want to share it and to help others who share that faith.
If it’s all a delusion, if we’re all just worshiping the opiate mass, well so be it. It’s where I stand and what I believe and it’s what brings meaning to my life.
Of course, you’re missing a lot of context. If you want to see the entire thread, head over to the Facebook Church Exiles 808 group and try to find the comment thread that begins, “We need this because there is a definite gap in the body of Christ.”
One of the things that surprises me about my comment is how different it was from anything I might have said in my early years as a Christian. Back then I was taught to rigorously defend the faith – to have a ready defense for what I believed. And that meant arguing in a way that proved yourself right and the other person wrong.
And I really was surprised to find myself writing the words I quoted above – because it’s so far from the Christianity I was raised with, because I freely admitted that I could be wrong.
I guess I don’t care about being right anymore. I care about what brings me meaning and joy and peace. I care about how can I help other followers of Christ to find those same things in the faith.
What do you all think?
Did I go too far in what I said?
Does it betray my faith as weak?
Do you think I honored God by what I said?