Honest Doubts 1-4

Honest Doubts: Thought 4 (God + I)
Category: Religion and Philosophy

Thought 4
Sometimes I wonder if the personal reality I experience of God is just a mix of the way I understand and view life with the concepts from the Bible. I think sometimes I am scared of fully understanding the Biblical God. I am not sure if I will like Him the way I like the God that I commune with daily.

For me, this is a constant stretch of faith. It seems I have been in this phase of doubting God. In a way, I guess I just think that it is wise for me to question what I believe, to know what I believe and why I believe it. In fact, even if God wasn’t real and I knew that, I am pretty sure that at this phase in my life I would knowingly choose to believe in Him anyways. I don’t think I could let go of this just like that and without a replacement. The faith that I have in believing that there is something more to me out there who is all Good and all Big helps me not to just survive but thrive. I have no doubt that without this faith I wouldn’t have life. Hence, whether God is true or not, I need Him. I need something. He makes the most logical sense of any religion. I have experienced Him on the deepest and most intimate levels. I have seen and heard of amazing supernatural things. There is so much evidence for His existence. And therefore, I have faith that God is real and applicable, and that He is my God. Still, what is my faith unless it is constantly being challenged to grow? So, these are my doubts of late which are challenging me to grow.

Currently watching :
French Kiss
Release date: 18 January, 2000

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Honest Doubts: Thought 2 (God + Genocide)
Current mood: confused
Category: Religion and Philosophy

Thought 2
The other big thing that I really don’t like of late is about God and genocide. In my mind, genocide is obviously unjust. I mean, it is something that breaks my heart and in my opinion should break everyone’s hearts (at least once they understand an even small amount of its horrors). Hence, God is against it, right? Yet, the only place I know it is mentioned of in the Bible is that God commanded the genocide of various peoples in the OT. Also, in the books of the prophets God often spoke very genocidally. Concerning the location for Israel, maybe the destroying of the pagan nations wasn’t as much about a land for His people as that it was that these people groups were wicked. But heck, all peoples are wicked!

A project that I am working on requires I have a Bible study available for my church on genocide so I was trying to write or find one on the Internet. Well, um, the only things I could find about it on the Internet were people bashing Christianity because of how God did command genocides. I need some Biblical help with this one, because I can only seem to agree that that is true. Again, how is God applicable to someone in who has faced genocide? Why would they want to trust a God who instigated genocides? And how can I talk to my activist friends about this same God?

Currently listening :
Waking Up
By Bethany Dillon
Release date: 03 April, 2007

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Honest Doubts: Thought 1 (Woman+The Bible)
Current mood: annoyed
Category: Religion and Philosophy

Thought 1:
I have been very bugged by the whole seeming “oppression” of women in the New Testament. I generally don’t think of it as a big deal until I read these seemingly harsh verses that Paul writes. It makes me think he is a bastard. I have always kinda played them off as cultural, and generally, I think in someways that makes sense. This week they are getting to me, though. I mean there were women prophets and a deaconess in the New Testament, as well as other women leaders. Which in turn makes me think that Paul is just talking in, um, geometric spirals.

I guess I just know of so much oppression of women, and understand the root of pain which is the foundation of feminist thought. How can I expect ‘her’ to experience and know God unless I can show her a God which is applicable to her life? I can understand the concept of submission to your spouse/father fine, that makes sense to me in how men and women work. Its not like God doesn’t tell the husband to love His wife enough to sacrifice his all for her like Jesus has. Who wouldn’t want to submit to such a good man that was laying down his every-day life for you and loving him as himself? Um, ya. I’m down with that. As I can see how this sacrifice/submission thing plays out in my own life with my husband, this doesn’t bother me (not saying I just adore ‘submitting’ all the time, er…or ever). Yet, what I don’t get is the allowance of a cultural oppression.

Actually, I am not too sure what I don’t get. But I know what I want. I want to really know that God really loves and wants the best for women. Jesus seems to, doubtlessly. But God as in the Father, and the other things post-Jesus in the the New Testament which lead me to be not so sure about this.

Currently reading :
Crusade of Tears: A Novel of the Children’s Crusade (Journey of the Souls)
By C.D. Baker
Release date: 25 June, 2004

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Honest Doubts: Thought 3 (House)
Current mood: disappointed
Category: Religion and Philosophy

Thought 3
I have always seen God work the miraculous or give an understanding. Currently, we just found out that the house we were buying has been taken off the market and foreclosed on by the bank which was selling it. This has side-swiped me. Over a the past month and a half we have gone to a lot of work to buy this house, and the last three or so weeks it has been just shy of for sure that we were going to get it. I began packing; we were just waiting for the bank to sign.

I know I am of the disposition to always get my hopes up; you would think I enjoyed being on an emotional roller-coaster of sorts. Yet, I guess I see it as impossible to suppress my glee, and almost just as impossible to hide my tears (though, I do have some practice with the later). In otherwords, I wear my heart on my sleeve where it is plainly seen; it hopes, loves and breaks with ease. I am aware that this sometimes makes my husband crazy. I know he would prefer to box my heart from pain and lower all expectations so I could never be hurt. Yet, try as he might to protect me, it just doesn’t always happen. Amazingly, in spite the way I am, I have not been crushed. Of course, if I never hoped it I would not be sad at all. But I am sad. I am very sad.

It was not just a house. It was THEE House. Okay, for those who have seen it, I realize, it really wasn’t that “great.” But between the location of it, it being in excellent condition for the scenario, the perfect size with a beautiful backyard, as well as it being the “deal of the century” (as our real estate agent deemed it)…..it was Thee House. I guess what has been hard that is seemed that God’s fingerprints were all over the situation, leading us here. We have prayed and sought God a lot about this particular house. As of right now, neither of us feel at peace about looking at other options. It seems we are going to pursue it until we can’t anymore, running it into the ground. Which in this case means that we might be able to buy it off an auction.

As it has been a depressing and disappointing thing to not get it, it had been making me think a lot about how God has been so alive in my life. Or at least I attribute it to God. I have been ludicrously blessed in my life without reason. It seems only good has ever happened to me. And when it wasn’t good, God helped me understand why it wasn’t, which was for the good (and felt good). So, I guess all I can do for the most part is see everything behind me through a rose-colored lens: I have been blessed amazingly, and seen both supernatural things, as well as impossibly coincidental things happen over and over and over again. Even when life wasn’t perfect I still see it as if it was because God has been in it. Yet, the future isn’t rose-colored. The future has no color. The future is a choice between trusting in the God I believe has made all things good, or not trusting in Him. Of course, considering the track record I have experienced, you would think it would be easy to jump off the cliff and say, sure God, whatever! But, um, no. Though I dance easily emotionally, I still think very very very much. I like to know things and am ceaselessly analyzing my world.

Last year we jumped off a cliff. I knew God was taking us on a journey of trust when it came to our living arrangement. In short, because I believed God was directing us to, we decided to move. We didn’t find a place, had to leave within days after changing our mind to stay, we moved in with friends, other friends moved out of their place and we moved in it. It was great to see how God came through despite all. Yet, the saga still hadn’t ended and I knew it hadn’t. So, we have been in phase two, I guess you could say. So now as we believed God had led the way to this place, the door has been slammed in our faces. Which is, I might say, always a little faith shaking. Not so much in the sense “But God, you said!” (because I don’t know if He really said anything). More so, He hasn’t led us to do anything else which is actually plausible. Buying another house, that is plausible. Buying this house on auction, that is not. And its weird. If it happens, awesome. God will look even cooler, because He did something that seemed impossible and our faith will have grown more, as well as everyone else’s who has been watching (I hope). But, if that is not what happens? And those are the moments I have to trust God for understanding. Did we not hear or recognize God correctly? Or did we really just go through all of this to learn something? To get connected with that one person? It seems more thrilling to say, oh, well, maybe it is because the economy is going to crash in a few months entirely and God is saving us from a bad business deal. Or maybe God is going to lead us to move away from this area shortly. Maybe God wants to give us a better deal or a better place somehow. Those can make sense. I can understand those things. But if the economy doesn’t crash, if God doesn’t move us on, and if we aren’t looking for another place because God hasn’t led us to….then I don’t understand.

And this is where my faith actually has to become faith. I hate the idea of sitting here and not knowing why we aren’t directed to do anything else and not understanding why this, Thee House, was pulled out from beneath us. That makes me nervous. I am afraid I might not ever understand. I am afraid God won’t direct us onwards except to do nothing. That makes me feel stupid because it goes against conventional wisdom to just go back to not looking. Basically, I am afraid that I will start seeing my past not through that rose-colored lens.

In otherwords, I don’t want to be like the majority of the world and not see how God was there. Because that is why I believe in God. I believe because He is and was there. I would venture to say that the billions of people who have been screwed over by life have not seen how God was there. So who am I to cry a river when others are being raped, tortured, murdered, enslaved, are dying from the flu, starvation, don’t have water, medicine, with their family and friends hurting all around them….people who daily have no hope? I can hardly trust God with a house or not. Yet some people I greatly respect are in these situations and still trust God. If I am ever in that place, will I still trust God? I want to so badly. I want to see, at least believe that God is working in this housing thing so that way I can once again say, “yes, God is there.” He has made the past rosy once again, and no matter what goes on in the future and no matter who I meet in the future that also questions God, I can undeniably say once again that God is there. That’s why God wants to look great to us, isn’t it? He wants to be made more famous so that everyone will know that He is worthy of our trust and our frail love.

Currently watching :
The Phantom of the Opera (Full Screen Edition)
Release date: 03 May, 2005
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