Monday, March 21, 2005

Afraid of Grace

Sometimes, I think being a Christian makes you more afraid of life.  I know it shouldn't but it does and let me explain why.

When you're constantly being spoonfed answsers to life's biggest questions and repeatedly told how you should respond to any given moral dillemma, it's really hard to remember to be human.  And to take that a step further, I think we Christians eventually use this fear of being human in ways harmful to ourselves and those beloved ones we claim to be
trying to reach.  When you can't be human and acknowledge that not everyone knows the "right" answer to life's most "demanding" purpose-driven questions, how can you know--or much less empathize with--people who still feel they haven't found any answers at all?

Now, before you jump to conclusions, let me confess that I haven't always been a grey kind a guy.  Most of my life, I saw black--and there, over playing by itself in the wildflowers, was white.  The two distinctions were very easy to spot because my world was full of people showing me how to box things up, compartmentalize, and package up ideas in hopes of shipping them off to either heaven or hell.  But now, I wonder if God is really that simple to figure out.

Some days I think God wouldn't create us to be uncertain; other days I think he created uncertainty to remind us all that we are not God.  Some days I see more answers, and other days all I see are questions.  However, I've thought a lot and I think I'm starting to come up with an idea that makes sense to me.  Clarity without insight is empty because in the end, no one truly wants to be told how to feel, think, and act?  After all, isn't part of humanity our own uncertainity?  And didn't God take the biggest risk of all in creating humans to choose what to feel, think, and act?  And is clarity really clarity when one is forced into believing it or feeling it or thinking it or living it, without ever make the conscious decision to do so?

I don't think God wants people who say what sounds right all the time.  In fact, I don't think God agrees with most Christians on what sounds right most of the time.  That empty road is called extreme moralism, and too many Christians are on that road and God is no longer with them.  And vice versa, they've stopped believing in God altogether really.

The world is complicated...this I know. No one wants to constantly be told what to do because in the end, I don't think it really matters what you're told to do or what you're told to be.  But what matters is what you're doing, and who you're being: are you being
a human made in the image of God, or are you being a Christian who thinks they're no longer human?  One of those is idolatry; the other is living in grace.

I just have a hard time remembering to live by the latter I think.


nateshorb said...

beautiful. thank you.

Betsy said...

Wow. I agree. Fuller must be a great place ;). Hey did u get to see our piece last sunday (with the dance/drama/paint)?

Neville said...

Betsy, I didn't see it...I'm sorry. I was here in Michigan at my home church where there was no dancing, no painting, and no hip-hop-boppety-booping.