Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I went up north to the cabin this past weekend. In Michigan, Up North is a place not a direction. It has deer and bears and turkeys that walk across the dirt roads. It is a beautiful place. At night, is the best time though because after everyone has gone to bed and the noise of a bunch of people has halted, there is me, a fire, and God. I was sitting and looking up at the stars which always shine brighter Up North and I was thinking about how much I do not know about God. I think this is a problem with Christians as a whole, not that we know too much or not enough, but that we convince ourselves that we know God; How He would act, what Jesus would do etc. I don't think we know anything about God except what He allows us to know through His Word. We may think our personal experience and revelation have taught us the nature of God, but we can never trust the way we feel to be fact, because it is emotion. It is like the Tower of Babel. The world is ground level in understanding, or at least the thought that they understand God. Then the religion is the next tier. A place full of people that know God, but do not, but imperfectly. But with every tier we build, arrogance comes with it, the longer we have been a believer, the more we have studied, the degrees, the life and ministry experience, the church background and history, the knowledge of Church dogma. We learn and we learn and we learn which is good, but somehow many forget to leave the pride and arrogance behind. Many have forgotten that it is God that allows us to gain understanding, not our superior intellect or in-tuneness with religion and the ways of the Jedi. So we build towers to show the world our great power and intellect, some of those towers are made with ivory, some with gold, but they are still towers of pride. The last time people tried to build such a tower, they were confounded by God, the One they were trying to reach for, they didn't understand that you cannot reach God because we do not have the capacity to reach God at this point. We are not perfect. So many are turned away from the church, Protestant and Catholic, Methodist and Lutheran, Wesleyan and Baptist, because of the arrogance of it's followers, not because the unbelievability of God. We can be a large hindrance to the Church. When we are right about something, we tend to be arrogant about it which makes us wrong. It is easy for us to make a mess of something because we believe it so strongly that we forget, we don't know anything on our own. Others see this attitude and bolt, it isn't attractive. I have read a lot of books and attended a lot of Bible studies where a person was right about what they were talking about, but no one is listening because no one respects a person who speaks down at people in pride. As a church, we have to stop doing this. I start with me, I have the ability to do this very thing when I believe strongly, but sometimes, we need to shut up. The Bible says to speak only what is uplifting and to build others up. This is a good practice to put in place.
I'm a simple person to figure out. I usually write it all down here. I try not to pretend to be anything. I am what I am and that's good enough until it's not anymore. I want my kids to remember me smiling when I'm gone. Integrity is the very basis of a good life. I love my God, my wife, my kids, my friends, and I try to love all of the rest of you.