As I mature, I have to admit that more questions than answers arise. However, that may just mean that I continue to think, rather than to settle for the status quo religion of my parents, as so many do. Not that I have fallen from the faith, it’s just that when I consider the practice of faith, as observed among those who “believe like me”, and i’ll admit to a dwindling number of Americans, it sometimes causes me pause.
My last blog faintly reflected this stream of thought, as I pondered the recommendation of a fellow Republican that I tone down my rhetoric, if ever I desired to serve in elected office again. This friend meant well, but for me, simply verified my suspicion that the current political climate probably limits one’s ability to be truthful, even more so among those furthest right, who make such a “to do” about religion.
Filing season is over, though I had left myself available to God, if in fact, the scenario arose that my voice might seem necessary. I know how this must be sounding but my commitment to be a voice, to be obedient to the voice, is my one BHAG’s in life.
Just yesterday I received a nudge from a friend, who though unaware of my thoughts, sent a quote from Oswald Chambers’ writings:
“We are not told to walk in the light of conscience or of a sense of duty, but to walk in the light as God is in the light. When we do anything from a sense of duty, we can back it up by argument; when we do anything in obedience to the Lord, there is no argument possible; that is why a saint can be easily ridiculed.”1
I make no argument as to my behavior, especially relative to being a saint, but I do know I am willing to share what seems to me as truth. So, now that all cause for suspect as to political overtones is gone from my life, the above quote really should provide some insight into my on-going dialogue, at least for those truly open to a message beyond the religious, as well as political, status quo?
Yesterday morning, as I finally became comfortable with my decision not to run for office, I was reading in Hebrews, a verse that began speaking loudly to me and before I knew it, I was ready to voice my thoughts once more. If it helps the reader, my poor spouse cannot figure me out either!
The recent and seemingly unresolvable debate over Creation vs. Science continues to stoke the passions of both ends of the spectrum, occasionally adding fodder to the political fires that separate rather than unite our once Christian-like country. One has to admit that there was a time, at least in the South where a more common belief system existed, a time when many among whom I was raised “believed the Bible.” Now I have opened a real can of worms.
For my more moderate friends, just hold your horses, for my point is that those who profess a more literal acceptance of scriptures sure ain’t living it. Let me take you to the scripture I read yesterday from Hebrews 1: 10-12:
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.” (NIV).
The Bible not only speaks to a beginning on this planet but an ending. Bottom line, we and she wear out and we that are dead and “those that remain” meet our maker!
Yet, we live as if this thing goes on forever; even our local editor captured those thoughts very well this a.m. in his opinion column entitled: “Departing in Style.”2 This was the final nudge that drove me to my basement office, with a need to write!
In fact, as John Railey wrote, this thing does go on forever, just perhaps not on this globe. Just as I can’t prove that God created the heavens in six days, and for the creation purist, that man was created separate from all other beings, neither can I prove that this globe is near ready to be closeted like an old robe. Ironically, I watched the History channel yesterday, as scientist described the challenges of a moon that moves further from the earth each year! I must say that on this end of the creation spectrum, the prophets seemed quite on target.
The conditions of our planet, the political unrest in the Middle East and now the recent stirring of the Russian Bear, counted as dead relative to former cold war years, all bears fresh thoughts, pun intended.
Is Christ coming soon, the earth folded like a garment? The Middle East, as the prophets foretold, seems totally out of hand in Iraq, Iran and Syria (old Babylon); meanwhile an amazing move of God is apparent given the fresh testimonies from so many religions, at least that was the case when I was in Lebanon and Turkey recently. If there is merit to the doctrine of the second coming, shouldn’t we who profess the words of Jesus, be living differently when it comes to the widows and the orphans and those sent to our shores with need of Good News, those whom this God of love is reaching so desperately toward?
We profess it; even use it to stir the passions of those looking to politicians for answers, but do we believe?
1 Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.