When I worked at the Psychiatric Hospital as a chaplain, one of the things I would do as often as possible was a Spiritual Assessment: Basically to get a feel of someone, their faith, and how it may or may not support them.
One of the questions was “Do you feel hope?”
And more than once the answer I got was, “no, not really, maybe someday I will.”
i.e. I’m hoping for hope
To me, this is the essence of the Christian question….
When a father brings his son in Mark 9 to be healed, Jesus says he can only be healed by belief, and the father says “I believe, help my unbelief”
In PCUSA we have a great deal of rules and order. We have systemized theology so that we have a complete (well complete as humans get get) picture–we put all our information about God out on the table, and we desperately try to leave nothing out. Why?
Because we don’t know everything, so we hang on tightly to those things we do know.
Two things about this
1. Church is for unbelievers: Its for those who don’t know whats going on, and the more we make church for unbelievers the more successful church will be
2. Church is for faith: Faith is not something you can hang onto–one minute you are walking on water, the next you are sinking fast. However, Church is a place to hold onto faith when you yourself don’t have any. We don’t have to believe all the time, because Jesus does. And we can both believe in Christ and not believe at the same time–>I don’t know what I believe
What an honest statement. I don’t know what I believe….
I believe in love
I believe that bad things happen in the world
I believe in discipline
I believe in human brokenness
I believe in being a good person
I believe I can’t do it alone
I believe life is a miracle, every single time
I believe in relationships
I believe in science, math and the order of the world
I believe that someone is behind the ordering of it (most of the time)
I believe that there are intangibles that are as important as tangibles
I believe there are connections that are beyond desciption
I believe that humans have a purpose
I believe in God
I believe that good and evil both exist, and there is a struggle between them
I believe that I can’t understand that struggle
and I believe that God would never leave us hanging and alone ie I believe in Christ and the Holy Spirit
I believe that God is a particular person, not a nameless entity, I believe that we have complete free will and that God controls everything
I believe in auxi morons
I believe that God is timeless, and that often we mess things up by trying to constrain God with time (time travel anyone?)
I believe that most of the time I believe all this, and I believe the the church helps me when I believe…and when I don’t….
But I believe in hope, and if you don’t have hope, I believe you should hope for it! (Isn’t that what waiting for Christ is? Hoping for Hope!)