Sunday, March 30, 2008

God, and various perceptions

Perception does not equal reality, only individual reality. What is verifiable reality? This is the question we search for in discerning truth. We can determine that God is the source of truth. Not just truth, but goodness, love, perfection, and joy. God is, in reality, Reality and ultimate Truth. Centering on him gives life meaning. Abandoning him voids meaning. We don't just add him to our life like adding flour to a cookie recipe. We seek him out to make him our everything, the very essence of our reality... not just a part of our perceptions.

Sometimes, it may be tempting to think of God as an "idea". He is not that. God is a "personable" Being. One we can KNOW him. We cannot comprehend him fully, because he is God, but one can become acquainted with him, and his is the One who draws us to himself relationally and theologically. Allowing His Spirit, in our hearts, free reign to speak through the power of Scripture, we may have a sumptuous life with him. When we read the Psalms, for instance, we see the wonders the Creator God. We don't have to trip on the details to realize who the Words are about, and what the essence of them are. The Word of God, the weight behind the scripture has authority to tell us what is meant. God is Almighty! The God of the passage, and the God behind the passage comes out, and we encounter him.

We are known, and become aware of his knowing us. And surely we know him better too through it. Is this perception reality?
God is GOD. What more can one say?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Unsettling findings about church (likely yours and mine)

- Shallow "Folk Theology" held by followers

- Very limited growth spiritually speaking

- Limited discipling/mentoring taking place for people to become like Jesus

- People seeing church as a place to "be fed" and not pursuing God with spiritual hunger on their own (and not knowing how to do that)

- Spiritual life and daily life (or work life) seen as separate live or domains

- Directionless growth or a meaninglessness to spiritual nature of things (spiritual things are experienced and one bounces from experience to experience)

I think we can improve here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

evil, suffering, and pain

It seems the most common tendency in the human experience is for people to equate pain and suffering with something negative or even something evil.

What if it were one of the only ways to a kind of lucidity? What if pain where a kind of grace?

What if the question of suffering didn't have an answer except that it lead to another question about reality itself, and choice, and what the human heart decides to do with what happens in this world?

Not being able to account for great suffering has turned many away from God, but also from sense, eventually. And that is not to say suffering is pleasurable in itself, or we should dole it out, or hunt it down... but nevertheless, it will come to us. It will find us anyhow.

I doubt whether what we cannot reason about suffering ever makes God unreasonable, but it certain makes us finite-unable to grasp. And I think it's the part out of our scope that we hold the grudge about. It's no sin to ask "why?", only to say "God, you are not good" which is at the core of the blame of suffering, and pain.

There are things I'm upset about, and I wish God had intervened in. There is suffering around far too much, and I'm not in on the why of it. I use to be far more upset about it. It seemed mad. I still have my bouts of frustration, but I think also I have to put it all down again too, and in some way say, "I just don't understand. I'm going to have to concede this point, but in trust not doubt you, because you have revealed yourself. And You have laid yourself out too.